Monsters like vampires and werewolves, that were once horror villains, have over the years developed into romantic heroes. There’s something about a Beauty and the Beast type story that never fails to captivate, and there’s often truth to the old saying you can’t judge a book by its cover.
Why do the beasts appeal to so many of us? Why do we want to redeem the monsters? Maybe it’s because in a way we associate with them. They reflect parts of ourselves that we find ugly or hard to control. Though no one is perfect, we still want to be loved. The fantasy of someone looking past the monster to the human heart that longs for love is an appealing story theme.
Writing beastly heroes can be a challenge. Their power and often volatile personalities put them on the edge of a line that generally can’t be crossed if they’re to be redeemed.
Whether it’s surrendering to a vampire’s kiss or accepting a werewolf’s embrace, monster romances are a fun way to explore dark fantasties.
What are some of your favorite fictional romantic monsters?
Always a fan of romance and the paranormal, Kate Hill started writing over twenty years ago for pleasure. Her first story, a short erotic vampire tale, was accepted for publication in 1996. Since then she has sold over one hundred short stories, novellas, and novels.
When she’s not working on her books, Kate enjoys reading, working out, spending time with her family and pets, and running the Compelling Beasts Blog, dedicated to antagonists, antiheroes and paranormal creatures. She also writes under the name Saloni Quinby. Visit her online at http://www.kate-hill.com.
Excerpt from Handsome Bastard
Though years of practicing to conceal her emotions allowed Leotine to maintain a calm appearance, excitement coiled tightly inside her on her way to Cyprian’s private bath. Within moments she would be making love with the most sensual man she had ever known.
But he’s not a man. He’s a monster.
The young female slave who guided her to the bath paused and pointed to an archway.
“Through there.” The woman rested a gentle hand on Leotine’s arm. “Don’t be afraid. He’s a kind master to those who please him.”
“And those who don’t?” Leotine asked quietly.
The slave’s lips parted as she drew a long breath, glanced away, and headed back toward the kitchen where she worked.
A shiver rippled down Leotine’s spine. Just as she’d thought. He wasn’t nearly as harmless as he would like her to believe. But what Roman man was? Many ruled their households with violence, and Cyprian had double the capacity for cruelty. He was both a man and a blood-drinker.
Bound by duty and lured by drives of her body, Leotine stepped into the bath. Her gaze fixed on Cyprian, she nearly forgot to breathe.
Naked, he stood by the pool, his back to her. Beautifully developed muscles rippled beneath flesh gleaming with sweat. His firm yet well-rounded bottom made her ache to touch it and squeeze the taut spheres.
He glanced over his shoulder at her and blinked slowly, almost lazily, in spite of the lust glistening in his eyes.
Across the room, Sextus cleared his throat. Leotine glanced in his direction. She had noticed him from the corner of her eye when she’d entered, but she had been far more interested in Cyprian Augustus’s perfect body.
The slave, also naked and sweat-drenched, carried two swords with which they had obviously been practicing.
“I’ll leave you now,” Sextus said, placing the swords aside only to cover himself with a toga.
The servant went to pick up the weapons, but Cyprian said, “You may leave mine.”
Sextus nodded and strode out of the room.
Once they were alone, Leotine walked to the sword and ran her fingertip over its handle. “Did you ask him to leave it so you could perhaps use it on me?”
Staring at her with those predatory eyes, Cyprian approached with long, slow strides. “Of course not. Why would I do that? I have another sword, one of flesh, on which I intend to impale you. Painlessly, of course.”
“Yet no less deadly?” she murmured.
He tilted his head slightly to one side, studying her.
Leotine resisted the urge to wrap her hand around the sword and attempt to destroy him then and there, before he could twist her emotions any further, yet that would be foolish. The chances of her taking him by surprise and fending him off were next to impossible. To ensure his demise, she must first earn his trust. Not only that, why had he asked the slave to leave his weapon behind? Why was he giving her a chance to use it on him? Did he suspect that she wasn’t what she claimed to be? Was he baiting her? There were far too many unanswered questions for her to risk acting on impulse. Not with a man like Cyprian Augustus.
“It’s time for you to fulfill your duty,” he said, his hand closing over hers around the sword.
“What?” Leotine glanced into his eyes, momentarily startled. He did know what she’d come to…
A smile flirting with his lips, he slowly guided her hand away from the sword and tugged her to where a lovely engraved container of oil and a strigil rested beside the bath. Relief washed over her. He merely wanted her to clean and massage him.
Once again staring at his powerful, naked body, she swallowed hard. Merely clean and massage. What had she been thinking? There was no way she could endure touching him without surrendering to at least some of the emotions battling inside her.