13 Romantic Books With Reluctant Heroes Who Are No Match For Love
We all know the story: two people meet, fall in love, and live happily ever after. But there's another story that us women, and women in romance, know far too well: the reluctant hero — the man who makes us swoon but won't give in because of a misfortuned past, a misconception of what it means to commit, or really any myriad of reasons. And while in reality it may make us want to pull our hair out, in fiction, it can be quite the endearing quality. So here I give you 13 reluctant heroes just waiting to be won over!
In The Hookup by Kristen Ashley, Eliza Forrester hits the local drinking hole and meets Johnny Gamble. She wakes up the next morning in his bed but still feels Johnny holding her at arm's length. When Johnny makes it clear he wants more, Eliza knows she wants as much of him as she can get. But Johnny's in love with someone who left him broken. He knows he needs to let her go, and Eliza makes it easy to slip through his fingers.
How to Keep a Secret
Secrets and lies abound in Sarah Morgan's How to Keep a Secret when circumstances force three generations of women to spend the Summer together on the beautiful island of Martha's Vineyard. With her life in pieces and revelations threatening to tear her family apart, the last thing Lauren needs is to rekindle a long-dead romance with sexy boat-builder Scott Rhodes. Scott isn't looking for love either. He's spent his life running from responsibility, but Lauren might be the one woman who can make him change his mind.
Laurie is worn down, washed-up, pushing 40, and tired of going through the motions of submission. But somehow Toby — 19 years old, too young, too intense, and too easy to hurt — might be his perfect dom. The only problem is Toby doesn't just want him to surrender his body; he wants him to surrender his heart in For Real by Alexis Hall.
Playing For Keeps
In Playing for Keeps by Jill Shalvis, Caleb and Sadie have always been like oil and water, but one stormy night, they accidentally co-rescue an abandoned dog. Caleb's reluctant to share his heart under any circumstances, especially to a vulnerable puppy and an equally vulnerable woman, both of whom tug on the heartstrings he'd thought he'd severed long ago. But when he somehow ends up with joint custody of the dog with Sadie, little does he know it will change everything.
Driving Whiskey Wild
In Driving Whiskey Wild by Melissa Foster, PTSD has made ex-Special Forces biker Bullet Whiskey tough as nails. His walls are rock-solid, and he likes them that way. When Finlay Wilson appears in his bar, she's everything he never wanted: afraid of his dog, afraid of motorcycles, and sweet enough to give him cavities. But she gets under Bullet's skin, and he finds out the true meaning of protecting those he loves.
Ryan Woods doesn't want to be anyone's romantic hero — especially not Stella's. Her dream future involves a husband and family, and he doesn't believe he's capable of love. The years he spent as a US Marine deployed in places like Iraq and Afghanistan have taught him to switch off his feelings as a defense mechanism. A quick failed marriage upon his return didn't help. But as Stella slowly draws him out in Only Love by Melanie Harlow, he begins to feel accepted and understood, and he's tempted to let himself feel again.
Stay With Me
A twist of blind faith threw them together. One night alone will test them both. A single moment will change everything. Stay with Me by Kelly Elliott is a standalone in her new With Me series.
Survival of the Richest
Harper's stepbrother was supposed to be her enemy. Instead, he protects her with fierce determination. Her story begins with a fall, but it doesn't end there, because her fortune is about to change . . . find out how in Survival of the Richest by Skye Warren.
In Unchained by Helen Hardt, vampire Dante Gabriel was held captive, tortured, and forced to be a blood slave for 10 years. Finally unchained, he's desperate to sate his hunger, but when he finds Erin Hamilton and inhales her unique fragrance, only she will suffice. Dragging her into his tormented life isn't on the agenda, but when he learns he can't live without her, he has no choice.
In HelenKay Dimon's The Protector, Damon Knox has tried to erase every memory of his time in Salvation, PA. It was a long time ago, but he is not going back. Or he wasn't, until Cate Pendleton comes knocking. She is looking for help, and he is out of the rescue business . . . but convincing her of that? Impossible.
Tripping on a Halo
In Tripping on a Halo by Alessandra Torre, it's really hard to save a guy's life when he keeps running from you! She was perfectly happy — and perfectly sane — before she was tasked with keeping Declan Moss alive. It was a thankless job until the moment that her panties dropped and his delicious smirk found his way in between her thighs. Hello, toe-curling ecstasy. Goodbye, professional boundaries. And suddenly there's a new danger to avoid: the falling of her heart.
In my book, The Princess, Eric is the quintessential reluctant hero. He left his family years ago and became a self-made billionaire. But when the woman he shared one unforgettable night with six years ago comes to his doorstep begging for his help, he wants to say no. But every emotion, every kiss, everything he tried to forget about her comes rushing back, and he can't help but be the hero she so desperately needs.
Risky Play, Out March 19
He's a famous soccer star, she's a virgin heiress who needs to forget. One night changes everything. Both of them leave scarred and angry, only to reconnect months later. Now she's working for him, and he's having a really hard time risking his heart again. Find out how it all plays out for Mackenzie and Slade in Risky Play by Rachel Van Dyken.