Take it away, Claire!
One of my favorite scenes in all the books I’ve ever written (which, at this point, is more than forty) is found in DARKER THE RELEASE.
It isn’t a love scene. It isn’t at all romantic. It isn’t even a sex scene, although it immediately follows a sex scene. It’s a scene where Caleb, the hero of the novel, is trying to come to terms with the man he’s been all his life—particularly in terms of his womanizing. I have no idea if other people will love the scene as much as I do. It’s actually one of those sections that might get skimmed in reading, since it’s mostly introspection without dialogue or action. But, no matter how many times I read it, I always love it, and sometimes I wonder how I ever managed to write it. Here’s a little snippet from it:
He wasn’t even thinking explicitly about Kelly, although she was underlying every one of his thoughts.
As he lay in the dark until dawn, Caleb tried to remember all the women he’d fucked. All of the call girls, one-night stands, other men’s wives and girlfriends. Tried to remember their names, their faces, the color of their eyes.
And couldn’t.The womanizer hero is very popular in romances. It’s quite common for heroes to have had a lot of experience with sex before they meet the heroine, and often this takes the form of a man who has used women for empty sex for most of their lives, often having vast numbers of one-night stands or superficial relationships. Romance readers have always liked when heroes finally understand what love and sex means in the arms of the heroine.
What we don’t often see is the hero genuinely exploring what it means to have used all the women in the past, just for their bodies, not understanding them as real human beings. In fact, sometimes the hero is actually dismissive of all women in the world except the heroine, which has always bothered me. I’ve always wanted a hero who looks at his past for what it really is and sees all the conflicted layers in his behavior toward other people. I’ve always wanted a hero who seems all the women he slept with before the heroine as humans too. So that’s what I was trying to do with this scene as I wrote it.
I know it’s not the kind of scene in a book that most readers love the most, so I don’t expect others to love it as much as I do. But it’s really important to the character development, so I do hope it doesn’t get skimmed!
Darker the Release
Revenge Saga #2
October 6, 2015
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USA Today bestselling author Claire Kent continues her emotionally charged story of longing, betrayal, and insatiable desire as two lovers find themselves in a deadly standoff of seduction.
Kelly Watson got involved with mogul Caleb Marshall for all the wrong reasons: namely, to prove that he murdered her father twenty years ago. But Caleb is hotter than hell, the sex is mind-blowing, and Kelly’s afraid that she’s falling for him despite her chilling suspicions. Now, the more time she spends in his arms, the more she risks betraying her identity and losing her heart. The only way out is to discover the truth before Caleb figures out who she really is.
Caleb’s feelings for Kelly are taking him into uncharted territory, replacing his weakness for call girls and one-night stands with a hunger for something real. Still, the ruthless businessman in him can’t resist looking into Kelly’s background. When his investigation suggests that he’s not the only one with something to hide, Caleb is forced to decide if he can trust someone who’s been telling him lies. For the first time, Caleb understands how intimacy can be so tempting—and, in the wrong hands, so dangerous.
Darker the Release is intended for mature audiences.
Claire Kent has been writing romance novels since she was twelve years old. She has a PhD in British literature and, when she’s not writing, teaches English at the university level. She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name Noelle Adams.