Thursday, November 12, 2015

Guest Post with Sabrina Darby & Assassins

Please welcome Sabrina Darby to the Nightstand! She's here today to discuss Bad Boys and assassins! *Shiver*


 

From Grosse Point Blank to The Sopranos, there is a certain fascination for the morally ambiguous man who works in the shadows. His skills are usually analogous to that of someone working in covert operations or even a navy SEAL, but his motivations are dubious and unlikely to be honorable.

 

If you’re going to be a romance book hitman, you probably also need a secret desire to be one of the good guys, and therefore be prepped for redemption by love with the right partner. The romance book hitman/bad boy has a moral code; it’s simply his own moral code. And above all, he wants to protect his love interest, even if it is with his life.

 

On that note, meet Gerard Badeau—mercenary, courier, assassin and spy—trained for his profession from a young age. He had a tutor who taught him, along with the classical education expected of an early 19th century gentleman, fencing, boxing, dancing, how to use artifice to disguise ones appearance, to blend into any environment. Taught him chess and how to adapt that strategy to a world far more complex than a two-dimensional board.

 

He’s no longer satisfied with his cold life of shifting identities with the wind and when he meets Lady Jane Langley, he finds the woman who sees through his ambiguous morality to the possibility of an honorable man within. The only problem is she is the witness to his latest crime and letting her live means endangering his own life.

 

I loved writing this book, even though it was one of the most difficult to shape just the way I wanted. Redeeming a bad boy is no light undertaking! What about all of you? Do you have any rules for turning a fictional bad boy good? Or rather, just good enough to make him Happily Ever After material?

 

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Excerpt


“When I leave—”

“Jane, you know I cannot let you.”

“You say you love me. Then let me go and trust that I will not reveal you.”

He leaned over her, cradling her head, brought her mouth to his. The rough fabric of his shirt rubbed against her; she parted her legs to cradle him between them, against her, knew that she was tempting her own control, her own ability to make either of them stop.

Lady Jane Langley. She said her name in her head, repeated it again till the words began to hold some modicum of meaning. Langley. Jane. But his mouth was everything, a world of swirling colors and rich warmth, where she would never be cold, never be hurt, always be in the cradle of his hands.

She broke away, burying her face against his neck. “If you really love me, then would you not want my love in return?” She lifted her head again, challenged him to meet her gaze. “As your prisoner, any love I professed would be... false.”

Distorted.

She admired him and desired him.

“I cannot let go of you.” But this time he was not referring to her ability to identify him. She looked away from the tortured need of his gaze and stared at the now dark pile of ash. She understood that agony and confusion. Her world had upended and apparently his had as well. And though she had said she could not give him her love, her heart ached. Somehow, as different as they were, they had found something akin in each other, experienced some sort of communion of the souls. It was very like love. Perhaps it even was the seeds of such an emotion, but it didn’t matter. She pushed herself from him, reached down, buried her hand in soot. With her other hand, she pulled at his shirt, not caring when she heard the tear of fabric.

“Gentle, love.” His hand stilled hers but she slid her fingers around, took his wrist between her fingers, and brought it to her mouth. Lips pressed to that thin, sensitive skin where she could feel the pulse of his blood, she lifted her other hand.

“Here,” she whispered, palm flat against his chest. Then she lowered his hand from her mouth to her own breast, above where her heart beat. She met his eyes, still blinking away the wetness from her own. “In some way, you are right. I am yours. My heart, that ephemeral space the poets call a soul. Everything. But still, I will leave you.”

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