Tue
Jan 22 2013 8:12am

Forbidden Hero?

One of Kristen Ashley's “heroes,” Knight from the book of the same name, is a pimp. Rehvenge from J.R. Ward's Lover Avenged is both a pimp and a drug dealer (not to mention addicted himself). More and more heroes have jobs that are illegal at best, immoral at worst.

And yet they're still heroes.

Are you comfortable reading romance novels where the hero has this kind of profession? What other books feature anti-heroes with suspect ways of making money?

h/t to H&H's Janet Webb for the topic idea!

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12 comments
Little Read Riding Hood
1. Little Read Riding Hood
Heck yes! It makes them more ... dangerous. And we all love a dangerous man. :-) I mean, take Terrible from Stacia Kane's Downside Series. He is a drugloard's enforcer. He beats up people, & kills them, for a living. He even thinks fighting is the only thing he is good at, and it just breaks your heart and makes you want to give him a big hug and tell him it's ok.
Brianna
2. carmenlire
I agree! I really like the hero who is "forbidden." It adds danger, like Little Read Riding Hood said. Plus Rehvenge? Yum!
Little Read Riding Hood
3. vivi3
One of my favorite Lisa Marie Rice books is Dangerous Passion. Hero is an arms dealer who falls hard for an artist. And yes, I like reading about anti-heroes. There's a dark & dangerous side that hides the deep emotions that only the heroine can draw out. I love to see them fall apart for love.
Lege Artis
4. LegeArtis
Terrible. But I can't put him in same casket as Rhev. Terrible has heart of gold. I dig him so much....
I read last year Dmitry's Closet by Latrivia S. Nelson, first one in series called The Medlov Crime Family. Dmitry is nearly seven-foot tall, blond Russian mob boss. It was a good, sexy read...
Little Read Riding Hood
5. JBeck
I'm okay with this to a point. IF the hero is (a) aware the what he's doing is bad, (b) has some sense of ethics (won't hurt innocents) about his choices, and (c) is motivated to change his circumstances...then yes, I enjoy that story. Otherwise, he's just a jerk...and that's no hero! LOL
Little Read Riding Hood
6. Torifl
I agree with JBeck. There has to be some redemption, hint of redemption, or compelling reasons why he does what he does. Even if he is NEVER redeemed, the illusion is enough to make me a fangirl.
Kareni
7. Kareni
Roarke, from J.D. Robb's ... in Death series, clearly ties up the loose ends of illicit activities in one of the first books in the series. He remains willing to use less than completely legal means to help Eve in a number of her cases.
Nicole Leapheart
8. BoxyFrown
I love the bad boy anti-hero. Damian (TVD) is a bad boy, but when you find out his motivations, and that they are for love, I can forgive a lot. And Bones. Oh yes.

Most of the BDB have serious anti-hero issues. I feel a little hypocritical because while I can apparently forgive a drug dealer, I still have issues with a drug abuser - I used to love Phury until I read his book, and I can't stand him now...I think I lost respect for him (and his stupid british conscience.)
Darlene Marshall
9. darlenemarshall
I'd stop reading if the "hero" is a pimp. JD Robb's "Roarke" is in a different class of bad boy--he has always had standards, avoids hurting innocents and by the time we meet him, has more-or-less turned his life around.

I'd even take a hitman over a pimp, so long as he has a "no kids, no dogs" policy when it comes to hits.
Little Read Riding Hood
10. JacquiC
I am not entirely sure where my line is here. I am a huge Kristen Ashley fan but have hesitated over "Knight" because of the pimp factor. I am just not quite sure how to get my head around this, even if done by the crack-tastic KA. I've basically run out of her stuff (other than the paranormal ones, which I'm also hesitating over) until she writes more, so it is tempting to try "Knight", but then I get squicked out again and don't want to fork over the money for it.

However, I was OK with Tack, even though I think he is described only as an "improvement" over the former lawlessness of the club that he heads. I just downloaded the Joanna Wylde one that everyone is talking about, and I guess I'll see which side of the line the hero of that one falls on for me.

Generally, I am pretty aware that all of these books are pure fantasy and not at all representative of reality. But it still has to work for me...
Jena Briars
11. CutMyTeethOnKleypas
When they're "criminals" (Rehv is the hero I have in mind) - yes,that's okay so long as I see a full 180: Full redemption and recognition that they are criminals, doing illegal/dangerous activity, and acknowledging that it's wrong. Rehv does this REALLY well, and it made me empathize with his conflict, and I believed he truly wanted to improve and stop being a pimp and pursue his HEA with Ehlena.
Little Read Riding Hood
12. ice
I love forbidden men. The more dangerous the better. The last hit is my favorite and Nick just makes me laugh with him at his attempt to be normal. When I read about a hero trying to dig helfself out of the worst part of hell, I root for him, and hopes he makes it and get others out. I can't stand to read about the hero involved in human trafficking or raping.
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