I have had so much fun writing this one. I think I can quite safely say he is not like any other hero I've written or read. He might be too much for you, but he is impossible to rein in, so I'm not going to apologize for it!
Instead, let this stand as warning to you -- in the words of my heroine, Olivia Westcott Ollerenshaw Pemberton Monday:
A properly raised young woman of good family should avoid the company of such a gentleman. In fact, many people refused to call him a gentleman at all. No one seemed to know for sure where he came from, although there was a general consensus as to where he'd end up.
Hmm. Maybe she should take her own advice!
As for our dark hero, he can't take himself too seriously, even when he's trying to. He knows there is a certain legend built up around him, but he's afraid the reality must be a bit of a disappointment when compared to the fantasy.
In his opinion,
Women build things up in their minds and see only what they want to see. When they find his tastes a little too "uncivilized", and they have their eyes opened to reality, it is he who is at fault. It is he who has broken their hearts and abused them, destroyed their innocence. As if he has proven to them that the Beast never would change for Beauty. A hard truth they cannot bear to believe.
Well, maybe he's right. As a woman (last time I checked), and an avid reader of romance myself, I always hope for a happy ending and the frog to become a prince. (Unless he's a really cute frog - note to self - frequently in real life they are better looking than princes).
Lets face it, whatever our gender, life can be pretty grim without that Happily Ever After. But the hero of this book doesn't believe in them. After the start he had in life, its a miracle he's still alive and thriving. Maybe that's enough. Even though he's a gambling man, "Love" is surely against the odds.
Will Olivia, a woman with more than a few dark secrets of her own, feel the same way? Does she want a prince? Or a cute frog (Yay). She doesn't believe in fairytales - with her past she can't afford to. Nor does she gamble. Can't afford to do that either.
So how is she going to deal the cards against this player?
Wait and see...