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Christy Reece | Oh Those Tortured Characters


I read and enjoy all kinds of romances—suspense-filled, light hearted, or sugary sweet. If the story and the characters touch me or stir emotions within me, I'm going to enjoy it. But my favorite type of romance deals with tortured characters. I love the angst and uncertainty of that happy ever after I crave. The heart plummeting anguish seems to make the ecstasy of that happy ending all the sweeter and brighter. In short, I love emotion.

If you've read any of the books in the Last Chance Rescue series, you know that I have a fondness for tortured characters and I put my heroes and heroines through some horrific circumstances. When I started writing the LCR books, one of the elements I wanted to create within the series was overcoming adversity—surviving horrific circumstances and coming out the other side of hell a different, stronger person. My characters are damaged, far from perfect and deal with their circumstances in various ways. However, all operatives of Last Chance Rescue have one major similarity—they share a common goal—rescuing victims. And in the midst of working for LCR and rescuing these victims, they find love and a fulfillment they never expected.

SWEET REWARD, the last book in the Last Chance Rescue series, is no different. The hero, Jared Livingston, survived a horrific childhood. He's been rejected most of his life and one of the ways he's dealt with that rejection is to play the role of someone else. He's excellent at it and as a means of self-protection, it's worked very well for him. However, the moment his marriage ends, he makes the decision to be only himself. Jared is gruff, arrogant and seemingly emotionless. He's not playing a role, he is who he is. He accepts the fact that by not pretending, he'll never be with anyone else and that's fine with him. He never expected to meet anyone like Mia Ryker.

Mia's gone through her own rough times but she came out the other side of her trauma differently. She's determined to live life to the fullest, making no apologies for being open, trusting and in love with life. Mia is who she is. When she meets Jared, she sees beneath his icy surface to the man within. Every time he throws obstacles in her way, she bats them down.

Jared doesn't know how to deal with this woman who has no artifices. He's certain he can't work with her and is equally sure that she can't handle the job as an LCR operative. Mia proves him wrong on both counts. Not only do they work well together, Mia is bright, innovative and skilled. First she gains his trust and respect, then she steals his heart. He never believed anyone could love the real Jared Livingston. Again, Mia proves him wrong and he couldn't be happier.

Another Last Chance Rescue mission wrapped up, more victims rescued and more slimy villains apprehended and punished. And another happy ever after for two tortured characters.

Rescue Me
Last Chance Rescue
May 2009

Return To Me
Last Chance Rescue
June 2009

Run To Me
Last Chance Rescue
July 2009

No Chance
Last Chance Rescue
March 2010

Second Chance
Last Chance Rescue
April 2010

Last Chance
Last Chance Rescue
May 2010

Sweet Justice
Last Chance Rescue
September 2011

Sweet Revenge
Last Chance Rescue
October 2011

Sweet Reward
Last Chance Rescue
January 2012

Do you love tortured characters? If so, why? Who are your favorites? Tell me and you'll be entered to win a Last Chance Rescue book (winner's choice).




64 comments posted.

Re: Christy Reece | Oh Those Tortured Characters

I do like tortured characters. Jackson Rule by Sharon Sala is one of my favorites.
I would love to read your series. It sounds so good,
(Tammy Yenalavitch 10:52pm January 1, 2012)

After reading your blog comments, I can't wait to read the latest LCR addition. The others were so good, so I am sure I will not be disappointed in this installment!
(Angee Bartlett 12:51pm January 2, 2012)

love tortured characters especially when they finally get their hea.
Zsadist from Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward is a favorite.
(Cathy MacDonald 1:07am January 2, 2012)

Tortured characters come with a past. They tend to be vulnerable in ways they are not even aware of.
(Mary Preston 3:17am January 2, 2012)

I really hate tortured characters. You just know where things are going.
(Anne Jones 4:11am January 2, 2012)

Sounds like a great book; I can't wait to read it.
(Mary Smith 6:54am January 2, 2012)

My favorite tortured hero is Sam Starrett from the Troubleshooters series by Suzanne Brockmann.
(MaryAnne Banks 9:57am January 2, 2012)

This sounds like a great series. I haven't read any of these
books yet, But I just put the series on my wishlist. Even
though you really know where things are going with the
tortured heroes, I do love them. It's really great when they
get their HEA. My favorite would have to be Dragos from Thea
Harrison's Dragon Bound in her Elder Races series.
(Joanne Balinski 10:32am January 2, 2012)

I like tortured characters, perfection is boring. Not that I will ever know :)
(Vikki Parman 10:35am January 2, 2012)

I haven't read any of your books yet, but they sound great.
(Wilma Frana 10:51am January 2, 2012)

I like tortured characters, as long as they're not whiny about it. Sometimes an author can begin to get a bit repetitive with it, which causes the character to become irritating.
I'm always looking for a new-to-me author, so thanks for the chance to win! :)
(Debbie Burdeen 10:55am January 2, 2012)

I found your description interesting. I appreciate having this chance to win your book.
(Anna Speed 11:18am January 2, 2012)

I do like a tortured hero. They must learn to overcome the past to have a future. They learn to open themselves up after years of being closed off and I love watching this transformation. I look forward to reading this book.
(Maude Allen 11:28am January 2, 2012)

I find that most people have flaws that help them to be their own character. I don't like dwelling on them, but it shows how they use those flaws to overcome problems. The story sometimes depends on those flaws to create interest and I can see where you draw on strength and weakness. Good wtiting Christy.
(Rosemary Simm 11:29am January 2, 2012)

sorry Christy, didn't proof my comment.

Good writing Christy is what I wanted to say.

Happy New Year.
(Rosemary Simm 11:31am January 2, 2012)

This is why I like Jane Austen - and all of the adaptations! The characters are driven to be tortured and to torture in a myriad of ways.
(Beth Elder 11:46am January 2, 2012)

I like tourtured heroes that can learn from what they survived. They may not always think they deserve to have the woman that loves them,, but she will always find just the right way to prove her love for him and that he is a better person than he ever thought he was. Usually it also the hero doing something that he never thought he would for anyone, let alone a woman. Zsadist from the Blackdagger Brotherhood is a good example. From his past, he never thought Bella would or should love him. She proved him wrong.
(Elizabeth Gray 1:05pm January 2, 2012)

I love tortured characters and my favourites are Acheron and
Zarek from Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series.
(Ilona Fenton 1:06pm January 2, 2012)

I love the tortured hero because they always have their flaws and a hero must have flaws in my book.
(Gail Hurt 1:19pm January 2, 2012)

I like reading about characters who have had tough times and come back from them stronger.
(Maureen Emmons 1:41pm January 2, 2012)

I like tortured characters because their HEA is so well
deserved and appreciated.
(Diane Sallans 1:47pm January 2, 2012)

Hi Angee! Thanks so much. I'm thrilled you've enjoyed my series. I hope
you enjoy SWEET REWARD, too!
(Christy Reece 1:48pm January 2, 2012)

I like tortured characters as long as they're working on the past not just bitching about it.
(Cheryl McEwen 2:06pm January 2, 2012)

Sounds like a great book,thanks for giving me a chance to win it. Happy New Year!
(Linda Hall 2:44pm January 2, 2012)

I absolutely love tortured and wounded heroes, they need the right woman to overcome their tragic past and to heal their wounds
(Danny BrĂĽggemann 3:09pm January 2, 2012)

I enjoy reading about tortured heroes that learn and become
stronger from the love of their mate. I study human nature and
through reading about others angst I grow and become more at
peace with others. I begin to understand what drives them to be
who they are and it helps me to help them. I look forward to
reading this series.
(Lenna Hendershott 3:27pm January 2, 2012)

I forgot to tell you my tortured hero. I just finished Gena
Showalter's Dark Taste of Rapture. Now there was a tortured
(Lenna Hendershott 3:29pm January 2, 2012)

John Murphy in Sweet as Sin by Inez Kelley is a great tortured hero. He was abused physically and psychologically as a child. Watching him overcome and deal with his pain was heartbreaking. I do love a tortured hero though.
(Stacie Deramo 3:41pm January 2, 2012)

I absolutely love tortured characters and please keep putting your heroes and heroines through horrific circumstances, I love it!
(Shirley Younger 3:48pm January 2, 2012)

I think I love them because it makes them who they are...builds their character. Makes you want to learn more about them, help them heal...hug the hurt away. And stand up for him to anyone that wants to bad mouth him...show him that there are people that care. Tortured heros I love: Wards BDB's and Fallen Angels Showalters LOTU's and Alien Hunters, Palmers Feral Warriors, Kenyons Dark Hunters...
(Barbara Battaglia 4:16pm January 2, 2012)

Sounds good to me. Happy New Year.
(Debbie Ellis 4:29pm January 2, 2012)

I have to admit that I've never read any of your books before. Where have you been all my life??? When I read the synopsis of the latest book, it struck a chord so deep, that you took my breath away!! If I have to start at the beginning of the series, so be it, but I'm sure I'm going to have a climatic ending when I get to this book!! The story is personal in nature, but parts are as if you were a peeping Tom in part. ;-) I am sincerely looking forward to reading the series. Thank you for writing books that I have put on my TBR list to get me through the reat of the Winter, and will be piled up next to my cup of hot cocoa. Have a Happy New Year!!
(Peggy Roberson 5:09pm January 2, 2012)

Harry Bosch is a favorite of mine. I would love to read your books so they are on my booklist now just waiting for the budget.
(MaryEllen Hanneman 5:11pm January 2, 2012)

Hi Cathy, I think that's one of the biggest reasons I love tortured heroes
too. That HEA is so well deserved and I'm so happy that they're finally
happy. (:
(Christy Reece 5:16pm January 2, 2012)

Love Tortured Heroes, and thanks for the contest offering!
(Dee Kridel 5:22pm January 2, 2012)

Hi Mary, I agree. Oftentimes that vulnerability is hidden and the heroine
(and the reader) has to dig deep. But it's well worth the effort. (:
(Christy Reece 5:24pm January 2, 2012)

Hi Anne. I think that's one of the reasons I love tortured characters in
romance so much. You know exactly where it's going--to a happily ever
after! (:
(Christy Reece 5:26pm January 2, 2012)

Hi Mary Lynch! Thank you. Hope you enjoy!
(Christy Reece 5:50pm January 2, 2012)

Hi MaryAnne Banks! Oh, I adored Sam. Such a wonderful hero!
(Christy Reece 5:52pm January 2, 2012)

Hi JoAnne! Love the name Dragos. Will have to check out that series.
Thanks for adding the LCR series to your wishlist. Hope you enjoy!
(Christy Reece 5:54pm January 2, 2012)

I just started reading your books and I have enjoyed the ones I read... Give me tortured characters... love to see them blossom or get past some of their blockades...
(Colleen Conklin 6:29pm January 2, 2012)

Acheron from Sherrelyn Kenyon's Dark Hunters was a tortured soul I loved to read.
(Diane Sadler 6:30pm January 2, 2012)

(Linda Bass 6:49pm January 2, 2012)

I'm with you on liking all types of romance novels. Tortured heros are OK, just shows there's someone special waiting to be part of your life. Sounds like a great series. Enjoyed your blog.
(Sheila True 7:19pm January 2, 2012)

Sounds like a great series! I'll definitely be adding it to
my TBB list!
(Elizabeth Hyatt 7:29pm January 2, 2012)

i love tortured heros!!
any of the BREEDS series from LORA LEIGH
(Jennifer Beck 7:33pm January 2, 2012)

ohhh, your books sound really good.....more to add to my TBR list or maybe I can win one (fingers crossed)
(Barbara Studer 7:36pm January 2, 2012)

I think that tortured characters add an extra dose of realism to any writing. To find someone without some kind of hurt or darkness in their past is almost impossible. Especially as we get older the more baggage we have and the more not so wonderful experiences we have it makes it harder to believe in something as pure as love. I want to believe! Your series gives hope that no matter how damaged a person is there's someone out there that cares enough to look past the damage to what's underneath all the armor. Looking forward to reading your series from start to finish without any rude interruptions like having to wait for the next release! :)
Good luck and happy writing!
(Tracie Travis 7:53pm January 2, 2012)

I really don't like tortured characters. I have too many tortured charactered in real life. Your books sound really great though and I am looking foward to reading them.
(Kathleen Yohanna 7:55pm January 2, 2012)

Hi Vikki! LOL I agree, perfection is boring. And I'll never know about that
either. (:
(Christy Reece 8:44pm January 2, 2012)

Hi Wilma! Thank you. If you try an LCR book, hope you enjoy!
(Christy Reece 8:45pm January 2, 2012)

Hi Debbie! I'm not too crazy about whiny characters either. (: Thanks for
dropping by!
(Christy Reece 8:48pm January 2, 2012)

HI I really can't wait to read this one. I keep seeing it and I want it. I love tortured characters and a couple of my favs are BDB Zsadist, Vishous and Rhage.
Those men make me wish I could fall into the book.
(Patti Paonessa 9:35pm January 2, 2012)

I would really love to get a hold of your first book in this
series! I also love tortured characters, somehow seeing their
kind of struggle really makes the happy ending sooooo much
(Amanda Medina 10:23pm January 2, 2012)

I love the tortured hero. They have to heal and their heroine gets to help them! Plus, because they are tortured they as so protective and loving.
(Jennifer Beyer 10:34pm January 2, 2012)

Sounds like a great book; can't wait to read it.
(Mary Smith 6:54am January 3, 2012)

I love all your characters, they have all come so far. LCR has saved them, would love to win your book...
(Linda Scarchuk 7:11am January 3, 2012)

Thanks everyone for your comments! Sorry I didn't get a chance to
respond to all of them. For those who love tortured characters, I hope
you'll give the Last Chance Rescue series a try. And for those who
have read the LCR books, thank you!

Good luck on the drawing and happy new year!
(Christy Reece 9:26am January 3, 2012)

I like tortured characters provided they keep their sense of innate
goodness and get a HEA! Happy New Year to you to and thanks for the
(E Felder 11:42am January 3, 2012)

Don't know if I am too late for the contest debacle but you got me
thinking ....a very scary thing to do.

There are so many tortured heroes that I love. The great thing about
these internet things is that you remember books and authors you read!
I've been reading popular books for over 30 years.

The point is I had forgotten about Jackson Rule, definitely a tortured
man. My favorite has to be Pierce Quincy from Lisa Gardner. Also, Darcy,
Jamie Fraser, all the guys in Kathryn Shay's Trust Me,and David Hunter
from Karen Rose (how many books did he suffer from unrequited love?)

I also love Morgan Tallchief from Dinah McCall/Sharon. Salas Tallchief.

"Last" but not least are your LFRAIOLI guys. I'm going to miss that
(Marijane Diodati 3:35pm January 3, 2012)

I love the way auto correct changes what I write....like I don't know what
I mean! LOL
(Marijane Diodati 3:37pm January 3, 2012)

I love to read about tortured heroes. This sounds like a great series that I haven't read yet. I enjoy all types of romance novels and am looking forward to reading these. I'm writing them all down.
(Linda Luinstra 4:48pm January 3, 2012)

Tortured characters make the story so much more interesting to see what circumstances they must deal with and what changes them through gaining the trust of another. This series sounds great!
(Rich Cook 6:29pm January 3, 2012)

Finding the way out of rough times is what we all do in real life. Thanks for a lively story with characters I can care about.
(Alyson Widen 4:28pm January 5, 2012)

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