Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Vulnerable Heroes: Guest Post by Cara Bristol

When Cara Bristol releases a book, I usually don't bother to read the blurb and just click that 'buy now with one click' button on Amazon. Amazon is clever with that little button... I read Breeder, the first book in this series, when it first came out and loved it. I then read Terran and oh wow, can I just say that? And this post kind of describes one of the reasons for it: Marlix is a vulnerable hero. He is this Alpha - and I mean Alpha - who sees nothing wrong in simply taking what he wants - literally picking up our heroine, tossing her over his shoulder and taking her home with him- absolutely not expecting what would come. 

I won't write up my full review here but I highly recommend this book as well as Breeder. I don't believe it's necessary to read them in order but I loved them both. But first, here's Cara...

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Even Superman, the man of steel, had his kryptonite. For Marlix, one of only five rulers on his planet, it’s a pink-haired spitfire from Earth.

A touch of vulnerability takes a powerful, macho romance hero and makes him real, makes him relatable. This vulnerability can be a physical trait such as an old injury that hampers him, a past hurt, a soft spot for another person, or a character flaw that can be preyed upon by the villain.

Even courage can make a man vulnerable—by making him take risks that put him into harm’s way.
Terran, book two of the Breeder Sci-fi romance series, is set on a male-dominated, misogynistic alien planet. The hero’s belief in his primacy begin to erode when he falls in love with a Terran female and realizes that all is not as his culture has taught him. Athough Marlix is a fierce, powerful warrior and ruler, his position and his attitude have, to some degree, shielded him from reality. But his curiosity, bafflement with Terran ways, and even his sexism imbue him with an innocence that softens his dominance—and makes him vulnerable.

He inspected the vendoress’s chest again. Given the breast-baring construction of the beige shifts breeders wore, female mammary glands held few secrets. But the fact that this vendoress had hidden hers aroused his curiosity. Did she have round breasts or conical ones? Long, thick nipples or small ones?
“Hey, buddy. My eyes are up here!” She snapped her fingers in front of her face.
Marlix frowned in confusion. “I am aware of the location of your eyes. Besides your pink hair, I noticed them right away. Tell me, are all females on your planet similarly hued?”
“You don’t get out much, do you?” She planted her hands on her hips. The motion drew his attention to her mammary glands again.
“I am out now,” Marlix answered in all honesty but got the impression he’d annoyed her again when she tsked.
“I’ll get the rest of your order.” She stomped away, muttering something about a pig. She disappeared behind a curtained entrance.
“What is a pig?” Marlix consulted with Urazi.

Throughout the novel, Marlix is baffled by the things Tara does and says. He has no idea that Terran females expect to consulted before one makes a decision for them. But his intentions are good.
This Terran excerpt is from one of my favorite scenes:

Marlix extracted a thin blanket from his pack and spread it over the ground, then presented lunch—small slabs of meat held between two slices of panna. Sandwiches. A couple of pomes. And a clear flask of something that could be…beer? The big baboon had packed a picnic lunch.
Naked, Marlix sat cross-legged on the blanket and patted the ground. “Sit,” he said. “Are you hungry?”
Her insides melted into something gooey and soft. “Famished,” she said, not trusting herself to utter more than a single word. She armored herself by dressing first and then sat where he’d pointed. He handed her a sandwich and a flask.
“I had this the other night at an alerina. It is good. Try it.”
“Thank you,” she said, and took a sip. As she’d guessed. Beer. She eyed the food, the blanket, the beauty of the secluded beach, and then the man beside her. Her mouth dried. “This is almost like a date,” she joked.
“A date?” Marlix raised his eyebrows.
She sighed. Really, he should have attended more briefings. “In the olden days on Terra, when a man liked a woman in a romantic or sexual way or both, he asked her to go someplace with him so they could talk and learn about each other. Often they shared food together.”
“Oh.” He bit into his sandwich and chewed. After swallowing, he said, “This would be a date, then.”
She grabbed her flask and gulped down a mouthful of beer. In what galaxy did kidnapping equate with courtship?

What traits do you like to see in a male hero? Do you like a touch of vulnerability with dominance?

Terran Blurb
After fleeing heartache on Terra, Tara Diehl has adjusted to male-dominated Parseon better than most vendors until she is kidnapped by Alpha Marlix, a ruling commander. At first her tall, muscled abductor terrifies her, especially when he doesn’t hesitate to quell her struggle for freedom with some force. When her attempts to escape fail, she decides to seduce her way to freedom.
But out of seduction and subterfuge grow a true intimacy that cause Marlix and Tara to take action that drives Parseon to the brink of civil war, threatening not only their relationship, but also their lives.
Terran, the second book in the Breeder sci-fi series, is a “capture” romance involving a domineering but hunky alien, a female with a bad dye job and an even worse attitude, hot sex, and spanking.

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Roz said...

This sounds like a interesting and intriguing series, loved the excerpt! Congrsts on the new release Cara. Thank you Natasha for hosting.


Cara Bristol said...

Thank you, Roz, and thank you, Natasha, for hosting me.

Tara Finnegan said...

I second you, Natasha. I loved this book just as much as Breeder

S.J. Maylee said...

Oh I remember these scenes. I loved his curiosity. That "Hey, buddy ..." always makes me laugh out loud. It was a good thing I hadn't just taken a sip of coffee.
I love feeling the hero's vulnerability, especially when the heroine is the cause. You do that really well, Cara. It's one of the reasons I love your books.

Cara Bristol said...

Thank you, Tara. That is so nice to know. I hope people enjoy Warrior, the third book, just as much.

Cara Bristol said...

Thank you, SJ. To me, that is the sexist part in fiction and real life--when you have this tough macho (alpha) male who has this vulnerable spot for the woman he loves.

October Woman said...

Thanks for that excerpt! This sounds like a fun read, I'll have to look for both books. I love a hero who is very much an alpha, but without a little vulnerability he would just be a jerk, so that's certainly important.