One of my favorite urban fantasy writers, Ilona Andrews, posted this yesterday, announcing a spinoff novel of the popular Kate Daniels series starring fan favorite villain, Hugh D’Ambray. Here’s the blurb, pulled directly from Andrews’ site:
Hugh d’Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, bowed to only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master is gone and Hugh must carve a new place for himself and his people in the post-apocalyptic world where magic comes and goes in waves. With former allies ready to tear him apart, Hugh is forced to make alliances to preserve the Order of Iron Dogs, warriors who would follow him anywhere.
Serafina Price is the head witch of the Midwestern Covens. She is powerful, devious, and smart. Her people think she is a goddess, her enemies call her Snake. Tasked with protection of her people, she is trapped between the magical heavy weights about to collide and plunge the entire region into war that human authorities have no power to stop. Desperate to preserve the covens, she would accept help from the devil himself.
They detest each other, yet they need each other to survive. How can two people famous for betraying their former allies cement their agreement without a shadow of a doubt?
It turned out to be an April Fool’s joke. Eagle-eyed fans noticed that one of the “blurbs” came from a fictional romance writer who had been mentioned within the series. How meta.
But maybe the joke’s on Andrews. Fan reaction to the fake book was largely positive, and largely disappointed when they realized it was a joke. The fans want this book. I want this book, because it sounds completely amazing.
Redemption stories are a common trope within the romance genre. One of my personal favorites is The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas. At the end of the previous book in the series, the hero, Sebastian, is a womanizer and a kidnapper who threatens to rape the heroine. By the end of his own book, he’s a devoted husband head-over-heels in love with his wife. You can’t help but root for him. So yes: it can be done.
Let’s just ignore the fact that Hugh D’Ambray is probably a sociopath. That can all be cured with the love of a good woman, right? He’s probably just misunderstood.
(Who am I kidding? I still totally want this book.)
I’d probably be able to come up with more examples of romance redemption, except this:
I’ve been working my butt off, and I’m almost done. I’ve officially passed the point on my rewrites where my editor has said, “This is how long I want it to be.” And I’m still going. This was a challenging, and exhausting, process to me in so many ways. Because of changes I made to the plot, I have basically had to rewrite about 90% of the book.
I’m almost there. Just need one final push.