by Alyssa J. Montgomery
He’s super-confident, sexy as hell and is committed to not committing! He can have just about any woman he wants in his bed—except our heroine…unless he reforms. In regency novels he’s a rake eg the Marquess of Leath in A Scoundrel by Moonlight by Anna Campbell: in Roses for Sophie, he’s Logan Jackson, a lethally handsome, billionaire playboy.
Whatever the time period, the reformed hero is frustrating as hell—making our heroine want to shake him even while she wants to kiss him, and yearning to have him as her lover even while every shred of common sense tells her to run in the other direction in world-record time!
Yet, even with all that push-pull of mental angst and physical and emotional need, there’s an overriding and intrinsic appeal for the heroine to know she has what it takes to make this strong, powerful bad boy reform. It’s empowering to know she’s so precious to him that he’ll change his mindset and his lifestyle in order to win her love.
As a writer, there’s also the appeal of being able to give the hero an emotional backstory that allows the reader to empathise with him and understand why he’s in need of reform in the first place, so that he is likeable and not loathsome!
Logan in Roses for Sophie is an unrepentant playboy who needs to appear to have reformed in order to win a custody case, but in reality he has no intention of settling down. He’s sworn he’ll never put himself in a position where he’ll make regular appearances at the divorce courts like his father did. It’s only when he meets Sophie that he realises the risk is worth it.
He has an incredible ability to make her laugh when she’s at a point where she really wants to throw something at him, and he slowly strips her of her defences—and her clothes—in his single-minded determination to gain her trust.
‘You’re deliberately trying to rattle me,’ she snapped.
‘Am I succeeding?’
The man had incredible cheek. ‘I don’t care if you offer me a two-for-one deal, there’s no way I’m having sex with you.’
He raised his eyebrows in an expression of sardonic amusement and laughed. ‘Two-for-one? Honey, I promise you, if I’m your one, you won’t need two.’
‘I’ve never met anyone who…who…’
‘Who turns you on so much?’
Damn it, if that weren’t the truth!
Like all popular tropes, the reformed hero has been written countless times. As with any trope, the challenge is to keep it fresh. The motivation for the reform is one way to mix up the plotline and emotional impact a little. In Roses for Sophie, the custody case Logan needs to win is what triggers his need to appear reformed, rather than an initial, straightforward need to change his ways to win Sophie.
I’ve aimed to make this story a little different is by making both Sophie and Logan incredibly wealthy, whereas in many romances it’s the hero who is the billionaire. In these, the heroine is often unsure how she will fit into the hero’s world. In Roses for Sophie, the fact that both hero and heroine are powerful and wealthy business people means they understand the pressures of the other’s professional and social spheres. The strength of the characters, hilarity of their initial meeting and the romance I’ve been able to weave through the tale—particularly by using the meanings of roses to show the deepening of this reformed hero’s feelings for Sophie—makes it my personal favourite of the contemporary romances I’ve written to date. I hope you’ll love it just as much.
From the polished, pacy, passionate pen of Alyssa J Montgomery come a delicious billionaire, a mining heiress, a marriage of convenience and a very inconvenient attraction.