Contemporary Romance, Royal Romances

The Love of a Tortured Hero


The Love of a Tortured Hero

by Alyssa J Montgomery

Most of us admire those who’ve endured some form of physical, emotional or psychological trauma and used those negative experiences to propel themselves into a stronger future. We generally have even greater respect for those who go on to use their experiences to help others.


As readers, this translates into our empathy for the tortured hero or the imperfect heroine. There’s something satisfying about journeying alongside a character who is deeply emotionally scarred—sharing their fears and insecurities through their healing process, and ultimately sharing their happiness as they overcome their adversities or emotional angst.

I particularly enjoy complex back stories where there is a dangerous secret or an element of intrigue involved. I think this adds greater dimension to the character, and can provide more profound internal conflict for the character to have to overcome. I want the character to move on from the loss they’ve faced and I’m satisfied when they find the strength to ensure that their lives soar instead of spiralling downwards.

In The Formidable King, both Gabriel and India are outwardly strong but have deeply scarred psyches due to tragedy and trauma they’ve endured. Be warned, this story touches on some sensitive subject matters. The discovery of one dark secret will probe the boundaries of reader compassion as it tests the depth of Gabriel’s and India’s love.


Compassion and sensitivity in a volatile and dangerous situation prove the depth of unconditional love in Gabriel and India’s relationship when serious imperfections are revealed. The stakes are high and huge obstacles mount against seemingly impossible odds as demons from the past resurface.

Gabriel’s world is thrown into chaos as he realises circumstances may force him to choose between the woman he loves and the one responsibility that has always been central to his existence—the throne of Santaliana.

Against the odds, and through the magic of romance and love, both Gabriel and India are the key to releasing each other’s burdens and the salve to heal emotional scars. As their love triumphs, they forgive each other and learn to forgive themselves.


We all face challenges in our lives, and some of us face trauma. It’s how we respond to those challenges that causes us to grow—or causes us to lose our way. As the saying goes ‘What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.’ There are so many people in our world who’ve experienced trauma and become an inspiration to others. Who are some of your favourite tortured heroes and heroines in the world of fiction and can you pinpoint just what it is that’s been so appealing and memorable to you?

32513 (1)A chance meeting, a misunderstanding, and a second chance for a royal love affair…

Once, King Gabriel was bewitched by a violet-eyed beauty at a masquerade ball, but she left the function without a trace…not even a slipper. Now, Cinderella has a name. Fate has thrown India Hamilton right in Gabriel’s path, and he’s determined to expose her as the gold-digger he knows her to be.

But Gabriel’s attempt at revenge soon loses its appeal as he spends more time with India. Her generous actions and smart control of his sister’s foundation suggest a strong, kind woman, undeserving of his scorn and anger. It soon becomes clear that this is not a Cinderella story at all: India is a beauty, and Gabriel has been behaving like a beast.

Pre-order now! The Formidable King releases on 12 December 2017

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