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The Angel's Assassin
by Samantha Holt
44,000 words (eBook format)
Erotic Historical Romance
Contains Elements of Action
Heat Level: Steamy
As part of the tour I asked Samantha to share with us how the bad guy can turn into the hero.
How the bad guy became the hero
The idea of love being a catharsis for change is fascinating to me. Whether it’s possible in real life is another thing but, hey, that’s what fiction is for.
I wrote The Angel’s Assassin following the need to write an absolute anti-hero, someone who was genuinely bad. All of my heroes have had flaws but nothing so big that the heroine would begin to question her love for him. I decided I needed a challenge.
So this is where Nicholas came in. But how do you turn someone who is innately bad into a romantic hero? It was tough, I can tell you.
He didn’t like not being able to see her. He couldn’t say why, but his instincts warred within him, warning him of some hidden danger to her. Which was ridiculous. The only danger to Annabel was him.
If you haven’t guessed it, Nicholas is the eponymous assassin. Throughout his life he’s committed terrible deeds. However, his saving grace is that it was not out of a need to do nasty things. He is not evil and this is the distinction. Had he been inherently evil, there would have been no turning back from that. Instead, he lived this life because he understood no other way of existing and had a complete inability to feel remorse, hope, or even love.
This is where my heroine, Annabel comes in. She wears her emotions openly and is unlike anyone he’s ever met. It’s a complete surprise to Nicholas, whose loveless childhood had never exposed him to such feeling. Nicholas is confused and thoroughly daunted by Annabel, to the point that she begins to consume his thoughts.
What I loved about Nicholas’ confusion, is that it created some beautifully tender moments when he’s genuinely thrown by this delicate woman. I was wary of making him so bad that no-one could ever understand what Annabel saw in him but there’s a determination and focus to him, which, when directed in the right place, makes him a perfect hero.
For all his sinful deeds, he was being given a chance to atone for them. Annabel needed his protection and he would protect her day and night, even from himself. He loved her, he was sure of that now, but she was as pure as an angel and he would not sully her with his hell bound soul.
His transformation into a hero starts slowly as his love for Annabel grows. Little acts, like wrapping his cloak around her, show the start of this transformation but it is when he shows willingness to sacrifice his own well-being for her that the change is complete.
And with that I fell thoroughly in love with my own hero. I hope you do too!
A medieval story of love and betrayal.
As a rebellion sweeps England, Lady Annabel finds her home overrun by rebels. Much to her relief, a dark knight comes to her rescue, claiming to have been sent to protect her by her uncle.
But Nicholas holds a secret about the job he was sent to do and it is a far cry from what Annabel believes it to be. As the attraction between them grows, Nicholas begins to question the dark life he has lived. But is it enough to change him and will Annabel ever trust again after learning the true nature of his sinful duty?
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He had never given a woman a gift before and he had felt apprehensive when handing it to her, but her look of delight had brought a warmth into his heart that he had never experienced before. He had only intended to get her something simple and warm but the gown had reminded him of Annabel - gold and sparkling. It had cost him plenty of coin, mayhap more than it was really worth, but he knew if he had the chance he would happily spend his entire fortune on pretty gowns if it garnered the same reaction.
But it wouldn’t be up to him. Nicholas had to remind himself of that. He was to protect her, naught more.
“Nicholas?” Annabel’s voice beckoned to him, curling around his heart.
He took a deep breath, sucking in the cool, crisp air, hoping it would provide him with the necessary courage to face her. Each moment in her presence was making it harder and harder to fight the sweet temptation of her beguiling kisses. His strength to resist was steadily waning, but he knew he had to be strong. It was not intended for someone like him to receive the honour of her affections. They were undoubtedly misplaced and she would realise that if she understood his true nature. But he could not reveal it to her, for she would surely send him away and then how would he fulfil his duty to protect her?
Turning around, he dipped his head to enter through the small doorway of the hut. Though it was dark, Annabel seemed to shine through the gloom, all available light glinting off her flaxen hair and golden gown. As she heard his footfalls, she turned her head, looking at him over her shoulder.
“Will you help me with the laces?”
As if he could say nay. “Aye.”
Moving to her side, she lifted her arm as he twisted the laces up her side with trembling hands. Annabel watched him as he did so, her bright eyes never leaving his face.
“Stop.” she said softly.
He halted, his jaw ticking as he clenched it. Unable to meet her doe-eyed gaze, he stared at the ties in his hands. Annabel twisted around to face him and he let the laces fall from his grasp. Her hand reached up and grazed across his jaw, drawing his eyes to hers. The milky expanse of one shoulder was just visible and his gaze darted down, drawn to the enchanting sight of bare skin.
Nicholas’ hand shot out before he had even realised was he was doing and it hovered above her shoulder, itching to touch it. The heat of her skin seemed to penetrate the gap and his hand shook with restraint.
“Am I so repellent that you cannot even touch me?”
He looked at her in surprise and noticed a hint of vulnerability dancing in her expression. “God, nay,” he rasped.
His hand closed the gap in a sudden rush of movement, pulling a gasp from her while he groaned at the feel of soft flesh under his hand.
About the Author:
Samantha Holt resides in Warwickshire, England, with her twin girls, having followed her soldier husband around the UK for nearly 10 years. Growing up in Hampshire, she was inspired by the authors Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell, both of which lived and wrote only miles from her home town.
Samantha loves the romance genre and has been devouring romantic literature for as long as she can remember. History is another passion of hers and she loves to combine her love for history and romance into exciting and passionate tales.
Contact Samantha at: