Jul 17 2017 10:00am

Lora Leigh on Navy SEALs, Wild Card, and Rory Malone

Wild Card by Lora Leigh

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to squee with us over this month's Heroes and Heartbreakers E-Book of the Month Club pick, because it's one of our all time favorite authors: Lora Leigh! We sat down with Lora this month to discuss the mysterious Nathan, his deep love for his wife, Bella, and how they were able to find their way back to one another. If that's not enough to sigh over, we also got the scoop from Lora on Rory Malone and all things Elite Ops. 

Need more from Lora? Test your knowledge on all things Lora Leigh and see how you stack up in our trivia game—if you need a refresher, we've got your six, check out our Binge Guide to Lora Leigh's Elite Ops series. Ready to spill on Wild Card? Join our discussion thread of Wild Card

Now, without further ado, come chat with Lora Leigh!

What drew you to writing Navy SEAL heroes and why do you think they have such an enduring appeal?

The heroism, ideals, honor, loyalty, as well as the scars their hearts and soul carry, is what I believe draws readers to them. They are the ultimate hero.  We want to love them, heal them and be the recipient of all that brooding dark fire we sense must surely be waiting there under the surface. They protect and defend with a strength and determination that makes a romance reader breathless. They’re the perfect specimen of pure male strength and all we want to do is touch.

Nathan/Noah, out of fear that his wife wouldn’t feel the same way about him anymore, let Sabella think he died for 3 years. As you were writing, did you sometimes want to shake him as much as we did?! What was it like to get him to a place where he and Bella could find their HEA?

There’s not a single strong male, especially a military man that I’ve met, that I haven’t wanted to shake. Smack. Scream and rail at. They can be so stubborn, so set in their ways and so certain they’re right. Nathan, being the physical, sexual male he was, found in inordinate amount of pride in how much his young wife loved touching him and being touched and taken by him. To his “male mind,” the damage to his body and the scars he carried would horrify her. Their marriage was young and he hadn’t yet matured into the fact that it wasn’t his body she loved, it was him. His heart, his soul, his eyes, the sound of his voice, the way he watched her, the way he smiled at her. It was the knowledge of how much she had hid from him that he had never suspected, while discovering she’d always sensed the things he held back from her, that opened his eyes. Nathan was and still is, my own ultimate hero. A little flawed, a lot stubborn and protective, but able to bend when he needs to be his wife’s partner rather than just her husband or keeper.

Bella has mourned Nathan for years and understandably blown away by the revelation that he is now Noah. What was important for you to portray with a heroine in such a complex situation?

True to the soul love never completely goes away.

It takes years for the embers to bank enough to allow in another companion. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen a woman who knew her husband to the very depths of his soul, and loved him to the depths of her own soul. Ten years later she was still unwilling to give up the memories and settle for anything less than the man death had taken from her.

I believed that depth of love was a fairy tale and an illusion…until I saw it for myself. I wanted to portray that. A younger woman, struggling between the memories she wanted to live within and the fact that if she was going to keep breathing then she had to keep fighting. So she fought to save the home she shared with him, the garage he loved, even as she tried to deal with the certainty that he lived, that he was alive and in pain.

Wild Card is our first introduction to Rory Malone, who will be the hero of your first Brute Force novel, Collision Point. What made you decide to bring back Rory? What’s he been up to since we last saw him?

Rory, who his grandfather now calls Riordan, is the first hero of the new series. Five years after his brother’s return he’s struggled to figure out who he is, where he’s going. His grandfather is always watching for him to “find his way” as Nathan did. Or to find the woman that will hold his soul.  But Rory didn’t believe that would be his fate. Until he died for the woman he was forced to walk away from., Rory has become harder, colder. He has faced death dozens of times since, and refused to believe he’d ‘found his way’, until Amara’s threatened again. Now, he just might need his grandpop’s help to save the woman that will fulfill the Malone legacy and the soul meant to be his.

Will there be any other crossover characters from the Elite Ops and/or Tempting SEALs series? Can you give any hints?

I’ve been playing with another idea of a Elite Ops unit headed by Nathan. He’s pretty insistent about it actually. He thinks readers want to know what he and his Bella have been up to and how their love for each other can make a difference in the lives of men with nothing left to live for. I keep telling him readers have found other heroes, other lives to follow… He just rolls his eyes at me.

What’s one thing you want everyone to know about writing love scenes?

One thing? I could write a book on that subject alone. Writing love scenes can cause you to lose hair before a book is finished. I’m laughing as I write that, but it’s really not far from the truth. For me, the one truth about writing a sex scene is that I have to be in love with my characters, be fully connected to them or I have to fight for every kiss, every touch. And my characters can be rather stubborn when they don’t want to do something when I think they should do it.

Be sure to download your FREE copy of Lora Leigh's Wild Card from the H&H e-book club, available until July 31, 2017, 11:59 pm

H&H Editor Picks:

A Binge Guide to Lora Leigh’s Elite Ops Series

Lora Leigh’s Wild Card Book Club Discussion Thread

Trivia: How Well Do You Know Lora Leigh’s Books?






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