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Nicole North | Fresh Heroines

Laird of Darkness
Nicole North

Buy From Publisher


Barnes & Noble

April 2011
On Sale: March 21, 2011
ISBN: 1426891369
EAN: 9781426891366
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Also by Nicole North:
Secrets: Desires Unleashed, September 2011
Secrets: Desires Unleased, August 2011
Laird of Darkness, April 2011
Secrets Volume 29 Indulge Your Fantasies, August 2010


Since I’m here at Fresh Fiction, I’d like to talk about fresh heroines. These sorts of female characters are out of the ordinary, unconventional, interesting, spirited, bold, strong, and do things you might not expect. Alana, the heroine of my new Carina Press release, LAIRD OF DARKNESS is just this sort of heroine. She’s also entertaining.

The story takes place in late medieval times in a Scotland filled with magic and mythical creatures. But this young noblewoman isn’t a virgin as young ladies of the time were expected to be. She’s not a prostitute, either. She’s simply a girl who had a tryst with a handsome stable lad of her own choosing when they were both teens.

Why would I break with convention and create a sexually experienced lady? I wanted Alana to be a bit different from the heroines you normally find in historical romance. I wanted her to have an interesting past and memories she could draw upon when she is tempted by the hot dark Highlander, Duncan, who takes her hostage. It turns out she isn’t as afraid of him as he’s hoping she’ll be. In fact, she sees through his harsh, dark façade to the vulnerability he’s trying to hide. She’s incredibly drawn to him and decides to go after what she’s craving.

I wrote this novella as an erotic romance and, because of this, creating a heroine with a bit of experience makes the hot (and early) love scenes more believable.

In the first letter my editor sent me, she expressed how much she liked the heroine, and one reason she felt this way was because the heroine wasn’t a virgin. She found it refreshing that Alana was a different sort of heroine.

Alana is also strong and bold enough to stand toe to toe with Duncan. She’s daring enough to try and trick him. She’s spunky enough to fight, kick and try to escape him… even though none of these things work. She’s well and truly caught. But during the darkness of night, she discovers that being Duncan’s hostage isn’t so bad after all. Not only does he make her feel safe and comforted, he is a better lover than she could’ve ever imagined or hoped for.

When it comes time to bargain for her freedom, she doesn’t back down, nor allow emotion to cloud her decision. Sure, she wishes she could stay with Duncan, but she can’t remain his hostage forever. Besides, he wants to trade her for a magical bow, and she’s been promised in marriage to another man. Will she get everything she wants? Or will she be controlled by the whims of men as most other ladies were during the time?

How do you feel about unconventional, unusual or fresh heroines? I’ll give away a copy of the ebook to one commenter!

LAIRD OF DARKNESS: Half- Fae Laird Duncan MacDougall is cursed. His nights are haunted by Otherworld creatures sent to kill him. The only way to stop them is to possess the magic bow currently in the hands of his enemy half-brother, Kinnon MacClaren. In desperation, Duncan plans to take MacClaren's bride-to-be hostage and exchange her for the bow.

Lady Alana Forbes has never met her intended, but she hopes he is handsome-and a good lover, for Alana is no innocent virgin. On her way to Castle Claren, Alana and her escorts are intercepted, and she is kidnapped by a man with extraordinary abilities-and every attribute she longs for in a mate.

Duncan didn't expect the woman he thought of as a mere pawn would be so beautiful, and so arousing. Alana is drawn to him as well-but Duncan still needs the bow, and Alana is betrothed to another. How far will Alana go to save the life of the man she's come to love?

First chapter excerpt of LAIRD OF DARKNESS
YahooGroups Newsletter
Twitter: @NicoleNorth

LAIRD OF DARKNESS is available at:

Carina Press

Amazon Kindle

Bio: Nicole North's erotic romance novellas have been described by reviewers as “exciting, high octane, captivating, scintillating, sinfully delicious and pure romance.” Her stories contain “heart and heat, killer love scenes, magic and extraordinary characters.” She has sold four stories to Red Sage Publishing. LAIRD OF DARKNESS is her first novella for Carina Press. Nicole’s stories usually focus on her favorite things: Scotland, Highlanders and hot men in kilts. She and her husband live in the Southeastern US, but she wishes she lived in the Scottish Highlands at least half the year. As she puts it, Scotland is a beautiful, magical and enchanting place where anything seems possible. She teaches online workshops about various aspects of writing, including sexual tension and how to write great love scenes. Though she has a degree in psychology, writing romance is her first love.




43 comments posted.

Re: Nicole North | Fresh Heroines

Oh I love strong and unconventional heroines in books - the premise of your new book really intrigues me :-) !
(Birgit Lehner 3:36am March 23, 2011)

I've always loved unconventional characters as long as they are still recognizably human. That does seem to be the case in your book. I'm currently reading "Lord of Scoundrels" by Loretta Chase--so talk about unconventional characters. These two definitely are as well. Although they seem to be heading that way, it's hard to imagine two more disparate characters' getting together. I'll be looking forward to getting your prize or getting the book from Carina myself.

Best of luck and success.
(Sigrun Schulz 5:01am March 23, 2011)

Not just a different heroine but such a fresh approach! Intriguing!!!
(Sandra Spilecki 6:30am March 23, 2011)

Good for you! We need to read more about heroines!
(Marjorie Carmony 7:42am March 23, 2011)

wow sounds like a book i'd like to read. so tired of typical ones after a time.
(Julie Barett 7:48am March 23, 2011)

Fresh Heroines: I love the sound of that. Unconventional & bold makes for great reading.
(Mary Preston 8:02am March 23, 2011)

Thanks so much everyone! I'm so glad my unconventional heroine seems interesting to you and a bit out of the ordinary. Thanks for commenting and entering my contest!
(Nicole North 8:22am March 23, 2011)

Your story sounds HOT! I read the except and already really like Alana AND Duncan-rawrahhhh! :) Hoping to be the lucky winner.... ;)
(Michelle Muse 8:27am March 23, 2011)

Laird of Darkness (great title, btw) sounds amazing, I can't wait to read it. I love a bold heroine who's not afraid to fight and stick up for herself, and who's strong enough live her life (taking a lover) and who has a grasp on the world not evolving around her and her emotions (giving Duncan up).
(Claire Robyns 8:43am March 23, 2011)

Fresh and more experienced heroines make the stories so much fun--especially in erotics. Congrats on making it to the best seller list at Carina!!!
(Eliza Knight 9:24am March 23, 2011)

sounds like a good story, I would love to read it.
(Dinda Lestarini 9:35am March 23, 2011)

The book sounds awesome! I love heroines who know what they want and go after it!
Best of Luck!
(Sherie Lagarde 9:38am March 23, 2011)

A good book to look forward too :D
(Carmela Francisco 10:11am March 23, 2011)

Thanks so much, ladies!! I'm excited about the release of this book. I had fun writing it!
(Nicole North 10:16am March 23, 2011)

LOL, having a heroine with a "bit" of a sexual background before she meets her true love makes for a story that I can relate to! Thank you for writing this unique charactor, I put this on my TBR list.
(Jan Terry 10:21am March 23, 2011)

I do think it is refreshing for the heroine to be experienced. It gives her individuality. I also like that the threat of losing her virginity is not an issue in this story. I think Laird of Darkness sounds very interesting. I think I will enjoy it very much!
(Stacie Deramo 10:33am March 23, 2011)

This book sounds like a great read , wishing you all the best with its release !
(Kym Amaral 11:19am March 23, 2011)

Lately, heroines have usally been run-of-the mill, so it's nice to hear that you've shaken things up with an unconventional heroine!! I do like what you've done with her, and I think I'll like the book very much!! I can't wait to read it!! Congratulations on your new book! I think it's going to do very well, since it will be quite different from the others in the pack!!
(Peggy Roberson 11:21am March 23, 2011)

Thanks!!! I do hope people find it a bit different and unique. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and entering the contest!
(Nicole North 11:35am March 23, 2011)

You have got to love passion, magic, darkness, honor, loyalty, and love. Always something fantastic evolves from book when using these. I bet this book is one hell of a thrill ride full of life and adventure. Never unestimate the power of one's self character and will it will blow your mind.
(Anthonia Sharp 1:03pm March 23, 2011)

well the cover is great and the blurb is better i am on
face book with it and twitter and want to read it i do it
good on the blog im on
(Desiree Reilly 1:17pm March 23, 2011)

(Silvana Moscato 1:36pm March 23, 2011)

I am always looking for a great read with interesting characters to meet. I will take uncoventional anyday... each trait makes the character what they are... shows us how they are different from others. This book sounds great!
(Colleen Conklin 1:54pm March 23, 2011)

I don't like e books, love paper backs, but I'll join in.. I love a herione who is different, strong in spirit, goes after what she wants, and I love, love erotic
(Joanne Bozik 2:01pm March 23, 2011)

I totally agree with you, Nicole. "Experienced" heroines make the loves scenes much more beliveable. I mean, com'on, what virgin has an orgasm with her first sexual experience!?!?!? Or maybe...I totally missed the boat.... :-) I'm really looking forward to reading this book!
(Laura Henderson 2:09pm March 23, 2011)

Thanks so much, ladies, for your wonderful comments! If you read it, I hope you enjoy!
(Nicole North 3:38pm March 23, 2011)

I LOVE unconventional, it's what draws me to a story. I could close my eyes and pick out a number of historicals and most of them would be a virgin heroine. Not all, but most. You throw something new into the mix and it's intriguing becuse I don't know what to epect from the character. That's what I like, I like surprise and I like strong heroines. You give me those and I am hooked!
(Jolene Allcock 4:34pm March 23, 2011)

Unusual or fresh Heronies works for me.
(Deb Pelletier 5:33pm March 23, 2011)

It's always nice to get a different take on traditional characters and see them out of their elements.
(Leni Kaye 6:03pm March 23, 2011)

I like an unconventional heroine and also your reason(s) for making her that way. The early love scenes will be more believable. Now I have to run over to Carina since someone said you're on their bestseller list. Congrats on that!!
(Carly Carson 7:00pm March 23, 2011)

I like heroines to be strong. It gives more plot angles and makes the sparks fly when she meets the hero.
(Carol Drummond 7:06pm March 23, 2011)

I like unconventional heroine's, and I like for there to be some humor.....
(Brenda Rupp 8:49pm March 23, 2011)

The ones who are strong and have minds and wills of their own making are the best. They make reading enjoyable. Thank you for sharing.
(Maude Allen 9:37pm March 23, 2011)

Oh how yummy! Can't wait to read it.
(Angela Bartlett 9:45pm March 23, 2011)

Book sounds great. Thanks for giving me a chance to win it.
(Linda Hall 11:03pm March 23, 2011)

Thanks so much for your wonderful and fun comments, everyone! I've had a blast here today! Carly, I was both shocked and thrilled to see my book in the top five most popular at Carina. :)
(Nicole North 11:13pm March 23, 2011)

Cookie cutter heroines do get boring. There should be variety because that is
what there is in life. Realistically, not all women conformed to or met the
standards that were expected of them in any time period. Having someone
outside the mold gives the author many more possibilities for the directions the
story may take.
(Patricia Barraclough 11:30pm March 23, 2011)

I love when the heroine is unusal. It usually makes the story that much more fun to read because it isn't like most stories. :-)
(Larena Hubble 11:30pm March 23, 2011)

Well said and I agree! I hope everyone will find the story fun and entertaining. Thanks for all your great comments!!
(Nicole North 10:11am March 24, 2011)

I just love it when the heroine isn't perfect..makes me want to read the book even more...sounds like a great story!!!
(Leisa Prater 2:36pm March 24, 2011)

I always enjoy a nice change of pace. :) Keeps the books interesting and reading enjoyable.
(d Kenney 9:16pm March 24, 2011)

Just might be a fix for my boredom of reading the same thing time and again. I tend to see some books as cookie cutter writing that bores me.
(Christina Harrison 7:21am March 25, 2011)

More heroines are coming to light. And the setting of Scotland always makes me dreamy.
(Alyson Widen 12:50pm March 25, 2011)

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