By Cara Bristol
It’s no surprise women are drawn to powerful men. It’s why romance heroes are almost always tough, commanding men. But a perfectly macho man is a little too perfect. He’s unreal. But a wounded or tortured hero? A powerful man who is vulnerable?
Meltdown on aisle four! The wounded hero evokes sympathy and a need to care for him in addition to lust. When he prevails despite being wounded, it makes him even more courageous.
In romance fiction you’ll typically see the wounded hero as someone who has suffered in his past—and who has never healed. The suffering can result from a childhood trauma, a war experience, the death of friend or spouse, a lover’s infidelity.
Though the hero bravely marches on, the trauma dogs him—until he meets the right woman. Enter the heroine. Her love mitigates his suffering.
Commander Dak of Breeder, an erotic sci-fi domestic discipline novel, is a wounded hero. Someone close to him betrayed and nearly killed him.
The hairs on his neck stood up seconds before a twig snapped behind him. Dak whipped around, feinting to the side, but not soon enough. Agony lanced through him as a dagger sliced between his ribs.
His injured arm hung useless, and Dak roared with pain and rage and shoved his attacker. His assailant’s face contorted into a rictus of hatred as he latched onto Dak’s shoulder and twisted the knife.
Dak survived, prevailed, and became one of five ruling Alphas of his planet. But it was not without sacrifice:
No one, save Corren in private, called him by name anymore. The man called Dak had vanished with the completion of military training. He’d surrendered his right to fulfill his personal needs when he’d assumed command of his people. Even securing a breeder had been mandated by his position. Dak did not exist. He was only Alpha.
His position renders him peerless—except for the other four Commanders. But Parseon is an aggressive, violent race, and Dak knows not to trust.
Put any two Alphas in a room and one could not predict what would occur. Aggression and the inclination to dominate simmered beneath the thinnest veneer of politeness. But for survival, he needed to test the winds. He considered the old Terran saying “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” wise advice.
His friends numbered a few. But enemies? Too many to count.
On Parseon , females are slaves whose sole function is to serve as reproductive incubators. They have no status in the male-centered, male-dominated culture. Men seek sexual companionship from other males. To feel lust for a lowly female is considered deviant, a violation against nature and Parseon Protocol.
Dak must secure his legacy by producing a son. He purchases a breeder named Omra. And the highest of the high finds comfort with the lowest of the low:
As Alpha, he could not risk idle conversation with other males, as an offhand comment could alter the course of history, undo interplanetary diplomacy, or end lives. He had to consider the nuance of every single word before he uttered it, making conversation taxing. Even with Corren, he maintained a caution. He’d made a lot of decisions from his gut, and his intuition had saved his life on more than one occasion.
But Omra hid no agenda, secret strategy, or ambition to build or destroy an empire. True, she’d wreaked a fair amount of trouble, but she presented no political threat to his command or his life. Talking with her relaxed him.
Omra sees him for what he really is.
He’d grown taller, broader, his musculature bulging and coiling, presenting her with a blood-chilling glimpse of what his opponents faced in battle—the most awesome warrior of their society…But something else had slipped through his fierce facade, something none of his foes would ever see. Fear. Pain. He hid it well, so it was only a glimmer, a speck beneath the outrage, but she recognized it.
In her he finds comfort and passion:
His name, uttered in her throaty voice, sounded sweeter than her honeyed pastries. “Yes, Omra?” He savored the vibration of her name; it hummed like a mantra on his lips. She calmed him—when she wasn’t causing claws of lust to rake his body until he thought he’d go insane.
But their passion is forbidden by the law of Protocol. And Dak’s enemies are only too eager to use it against him.
To secure his legacy, Commander Dak, a ruling Alpha of planet Parseon, purchases Omra, a breeder slave. He intends to impregnate her, produce a son, and hand her off to his anointed beta partner. As Dak and Omra discover a sexual bliss banned by law, he begins to question the traditions and ways of his people, causing him to jeopardize his command and endanger the life of the woman he has come to love.
Breeder explores the concepts of gender roles and social prohibitions against deviant behavior. It includes graphic M/F and some M/M sexual content and domestic discipline.
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