Romance Author Elizabeth Elliott – my first romantic hero + giveaway
Victoria Holt introduced me to my first romantic hero in the stacks of a public library. It was a Saturday morning. I was fourteen. I read the entire book sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of the shelves, too engrossed to find a chair. When the librarian announced it was time to close, I took home every other Victoria Holt book on the shelves and spent the next week immersed in the storm-swept English seaside. I’ve been a sucker for dark, tortured heroes ever since.
Do you remember the first romance novel you read?
I’ve read hundreds, maybe even thousands of romance novels in the years since Ms. Holt first opened my eyes to the world romantic fiction. I’m an addict! My favorite romance novels are set in every possible time period, past, present, and future. Eventually I’d like to write stories in every setting. For now, the medieval period really calls to my creative spirit. When I’m in the zone, the characters write the stories themselves; I’m merely the conduit. After a very long silence, that’s finally what happened with Dante and Avalene, the main characters in my new book, THE DARK KNIGHT.
Dante originally appeared in my book, BETROTHED. He is the brother of BETROTHED’s Italian heroine, Claudia, as well as the brother of the assassin, Roberto, from my first book, THE WARLORD. Don’t worry, you don’t need to read those books to know what’s going on in Dante’s book…although I hope you will like his story so much that you will want to read more about these characters and the world they inhabit!
Dante is the kind of guy who would typically fall into the role of villain. He’s an assassin who kills at the king’s command, without conscience or regret. In fact, when he made his first appearance in BETROTHED, I thought he would remain a fairly minor character. On the surface he seemed too damaged by his profession to be a hero, but he kept revealing intriguing facets of his personality. He risked his life to rescue his sister. What would he be willing to risk if he fell in love? That nagging question convinced me that he needed to have his own book.
My next challenge was to find a heroine who could accept a man with so much baggage. A lot of women, including me, would want to change him. I think the bigger challenge in life is to find someone who accepts you for exactly who you are. And if anyone deserves to find the right woman, it’s Dante. Avalene de Forshay fit Dante’s bill in ways I didn’t anticipate. He meets her in a castle near the Welsh border, waiting to be rescued from an arranged marriage that has ‘disaster’ written all over it.
The knight Avalene’s father sends to her rescue is everything she ever dreamed a hero could be; handsome, courtly, kind, and honest. At least, that’s what she thinks. In reality, the knight is Dante using an assumed identity, and he’s there to kidnap rather than rescue her. So, her perfect knight turns out to be about as far from perfect as she could imagine. However, what we want is rarely what we get, and just as often, what we think we want really isn’t what’s best for us.
After many twists and turns in my life and theirs, Dante’s and Avalene’s story arrives on bookshelves June 26th.
Visit Elizabeth on her website