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Customer Discussions > Romance forum

Book where Hero is abusive to the Heroine before he loves her...?

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Showing 1-25 of 107 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 21, 2009 1:55:40 PM PDT
A. Bowley says:
what are some steamy romaces where the hero is very physically and or sexually abusive to the heroine but in the end turns it around and earns her love. and if you could give a little description of the story line I would greatly appreciate it Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2009 2:38:46 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 21, 2009 7:29:13 PM PDT
Mae Adamson says:
To Have and To Hold by Patricia Gaffney. Heroine is freshly released from prison where she has served 10 years for the murder of her husband who tortured and sexually abused her.

"Hero" is the magistrate who hears heroine's case when she is brought in for loitering. He is a cad and a pervert who pardons heroine on the loitering charge, gives her a position as his house keeper and promptly starts abusing her.

Hero has a change of heart half-way through the book and works to become a better person and win the heroine's love. Disturbing but powerful.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2009 2:47:55 PM PDT
J. L. Yates says:
The problem with that is, for me that I don't usually read such books. I don't like a book where the hero is just plain out mean.

On the flip side of that, many paranormal romances can have something like that. Many see them as horrible, but I love them. The reason for me is that, in C. Feehan's Carpathians, the males are centuries old and if they don't find their lifemate, they will turn and become vampires, bring distruction to all, they attack humans to kill them, seeking the rush of emotions they feel as they killl a human, torture them. When the male finds his lifemate, he is usually at the end and getting ready to turn and so he must claim her, usually against her will. Of course, in the end they are in complete love.
One example that is still an argument as to whether or not it was rape is D. Secret. Rafael is very close to turning, he finds his lifemate, who is not a Carpathian. The process of turning a lifemate (human who has psychic abilities) he must exchange blood with her three times. On the first exchange, he binds her to him. The second exchange, he did when he had sex with her. She was a virgin and thought it was an erotic dream. He made sure she was pleasured first, and last. When she realized it wasn't a dream, she was, rightfully, furious at him. She told him it was the same as rape, as he had used his abilities to "trick" her. He was going by the traditions of his race, a male has the right to take a female, as she is the completion of his soul. To Rafael, he was doing what he had believed was right, he had, in his opinion, seduced her, but since she was his lifemate, it was acceptable. He was really appaled that she had seen it as rape. He was upset with himself that he had hurt her so bad, psychologiclally and emotionally. By the customs of his race, it was allowed, the men and women both saw it as acceptable.
He later has sex with her again, and does the claiming ritual (specific words that bind them together). Although he explains who and what he is, she is still confused (understandably) and then, at the end he does the final exchange and converts her. He felt he had no choice, but aftewards, he realized that he should have given her more time, explained it better. He hadn't even realized that he really loved her, he just did what he had to to save himself and mankind. If he had turned vampire, he would have destroyed a LOT of humans. Was he being self-centered, yes. Did he care, yes he did, he hadn't gone with the attitude of I don't care how she feels now or even later, but that she will understand, after the conversion and accept that I had no choice.

Many pnr has a similar theme, but to pn readers, it is the fact that a totally different race is involved makes it allowable, to some extent. If Rafael believed that he had the right to force himself, sexually, on Colby any time he wanted to or to physically hurt her, then a BIG NO would be yelled. And Feehan doesn't write her heroes that way, the males cherrish their mates, their happiness is placed above their.
But domminaring, possessive, that is allowable, if done the right way.


Posted on Aug 21, 2009 2:53:28 PM PDT
HMS says:
Fires Of Winter ~ Johanna Lindsey
Captive Bride ~ Johanna Lindsey

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 3:19:42 PM PDT
Claiming the Courtesan by Anna Campbell. Kylemore rapes Verity (not a violent rape though) and also torments her mentally. He's not completely sane so I felt for them both. I can't tell you how this book got under my skin. Very good read.
I agree with Mae about To Have and To Hold. He forces sex on her but it's not a violent rape.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2009 3:20:30 PM PDT
Janette I didn't feel bad towards Rafael. I pretty much saw it the way you did. He felt really bad about what he did. That made a difference for me. I actually liked Rafael. (ducking any tomatoes).

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 4:10:31 PM PDT
Wendy Love says:
This just barely is even remotely close to your description, but in Touch the Dark by Karen Chance, Pritkin tries to kill Cassie and by like, the 2nd book she's attracted to him, despite that whole I want you dead because you're a vampire-loving whore thing.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 4:16:55 PM PDT
Wendy Love says:
Plus, Secrets volume 6 sort of goes along with this.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 4:30:29 PM PDT
Magnolia88 says:
I also agree with Mae on TO HAVE AND TO HOLD by Patricia Gaffney.

The hero is a total jerkwad who completely takes advantage of the heroine (he doesn't rape her but she doesn't have a lot of choice in the matter either), but it is still a truly great and powerful book. The difference between THATH and the old "rapist hero" books (at least for me) is that the hero KNOWS he is being a cad and the heroine sees him as a real cad, too. He eventually grows up and decides that he wants to be a better person and that is what the book is about. It's a dark and disturbing book at times, but it's a romance classic imho. Gaffney can really write.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2009 4:34:29 PM PDT
J. L. Yates says:
Rafael is one of my favorite Carpathians, next is Gregori (who also was very rough with his lifemate, but she made him wait so long he was on the edge of turning) and Lucian, the strong, silent type.
Rafael was the third book of the series I read due to the hype over whether or not it was rape. Then I went back and read the rest of the series.


Posted on Aug 21, 2009 4:46:30 PM PDT
J.Bird says:
I felt that way with Love's Tender Fury, by Jennifer Wilde. I haven't read any of the further books revolving around that character, but the heroine is generally abused quite a bit in the story. Accused of crimes, humiliated, and then a trip to the New World. Indentured servitude, and so on. I tend not to enjoy romance novels as a general genre, but I read this one cover to cover and enjoyed it.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 8:45:28 PM PDT
Just Joan says:
Consider Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2009 8:51:51 PM PDT
T. Smith says:
Rafael wasn't my favorite Carpathian (Darius was!), but I liked him and his book ok. But he really, really ticked me off when, after he 'felt so bad about taking away her choice' with the having sex thing, he goes and converts her without even telling her what he was doing!!!! I couldn't help thinking "You got a brain defect or something? Short term memory shot?" And then she goes and forgives him too quickly. I just don't buy the "He almost died so I'm not angry with him anymore" thing. I want my groveling darn it!

Now Gregori, that's a whole different story. He DID rape her, and it was easily and totally forgiven in the context of the story. Kinda weird how that works out.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 8:53:30 PM PDT
T. Smith says:
And I don't know if he could be considered abusive, but Zsadist was pretty rough with Bella in their scenes in Lover Eternal.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 10:04:11 PM PDT
misty9 says:
I generally avoid these stories too.
Elizabeth Lowell's 'Mackenzie' stories from the 80s have this plot line. The hero and heroine meet, he KNOWS she's a whore just out to get his money (he OTOH has boinked everything in sight but of course it's perfectly acceptable). He insults her continually, but of course she falls in love anyway. When he finds out she's a virgin, he continues to abuse her, and then suddenly has an about-face 5 pagine before the end of the book.
I had bought a lot of her books, because I loved her 'Donovan' series and they were all DNF

Posted on Aug 22, 2009 12:11:23 AM PDT
An oldie but a goodie (or baddie, depending on how you look at it) is Rosemary Rogers' The Insiders. Brant Newcomb is a Grade A bastard who drugs the heroine for an orgy and rapes her while videotaping the whole thing, as I recall. (Sheesh, talk about a rocky start to your relationship!) Later in the book, he also serves it up to some 18-ish girl in less-than-chivalrous ways. I haven't read it since I was 18-ish myself but several scenes sure stuck with me over the years. I might have to buy another copy and reread it from a 45yo perspective. I know Brant and Eve wound up together, but I just don't see how he could possibly have redeemed himself adequately after what he put her through.

And I adored Claiming the Courtesan.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 22, 2009 9:23:42 PM PDT
I ended up reading Dark Secret early as well. Rafael might be my favorite so far. I really like Darius as well as Rafael, but also Lucian. He was such a good lifemate to Jaxon.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 22, 2009 9:28:49 PM PDT
T. Smith Rafael came off as being very old world in his worldview to me. In his mind, he was right in doing what he felt was necessary about Colby. I would have been more angry but I could see he did realize it was wrong. But I don't fault you for being unhappy with that situation. I think I've read so many Harlequin Presents, it was right in mode with some of those guys, so maybe it didn't bother me as much for that reason.

Gregori and what he did made sense within the context of what was going on with him almost turning. He was very sorry about it, and he did make up for it. I know in real life some of this stuff would so not be okay, but in a fiction work, I can forgive and forget a lot of this.

I don't think I could forgive the hero in The Insiders. That just seems awful, sleazy and wrong to drug and videotape rape a woman. I can't even get past The Pleasure Seekers, how the so-called hero was there when the heroine got gang-raped and he didn't try to stop it.

I've read books where the hero had sex with the heroine when she was drugged, and it wasn't the most honorable thing. It really depended on how it was done. Sometimes it didn't feel that bad to me morally. But in real life that would SO NOT BE OKAY.

Posted on Aug 22, 2009 9:54:44 PM PDT
Rebecca says:
Elizabeth Lowell's western series of books has this theme. They feature a bunch of abusive men whom the heroine should have dumped and found herself a better natured man - A Lady of the West comes to mind.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 22, 2009 10:02:18 PM PDT
T. Smith says:
What Rafael did didn't make me hate the book, I was more upset at Colby for forgiving him so quickly then anything. I still liked the book. I just wanted to hit him with a 2 X 4. That's all. : )

And what you said about in a work of fiction we can forgive a lot, I have to add especially in pnr. You can explain away a lot of behaviors that would otherwise be completely wrong.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2009 1:18:17 PM PDT
Mae Adamson says:
Isn't Lady of the West Linda Howard?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2009 2:32:50 PM PDT
Too true, T. Smith.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2009 2:33:15 PM PDT
I think Lady of the West had a very abusive hero.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2009 5:38:36 PM PDT
SusieQ says:
THE INSIDERS is actually a good read, despite the orgy/taped rape scene. Rosemary Rogers' SWEET SAVAGE LOVE and WICKED LOVING LIES have heroes who treat the heroines badly (or deliver them into situations where other men treat them badly) before they realize they love them.

Posted on Aug 23, 2009 8:08:16 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 23, 2009 8:09:39 PM PDT
A Customer says:
The Tide of Destiny by Shanna Murchison, the hero thinks she is a spy working for the rebellious prince who destroyed his family. No rape or anything, just verbal assaults and mistrust. She fights with him side by side and proves herself. Medieval Wales, paranormal. Great chemistry, really tortured hero.

Experience, Sorcha MacMurrough, the hero ends up married to the sister of the man he thinks is his worst enemy and so does not trust her. But he really fancies her. He is a control freak and does some really dumb things but they come through in the end. Not unkind in the physical or rape sense, but certainly he does not know how to love a woman until she shows him the way. I cried all the way through this book, it was so good but sad for the hero. Very erotic read too, great chemistry between h'h.

Whitney My Love
and Irresistible by Mary Balogh,
were on a similar thread. The women there would count as TSTL.
Stranger in My Arms, by Kleypas probably qualifies. not a great book.
hope this helps!
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Discussion in:  Romance forum
Participants:  54
Total posts:  107
Initial post:  Aug 21, 2009
Latest post:  May 9, 2014

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