Good morning everyone! Thanks so much for letting me stop by your corner of the world and hosting me for my Immortal Surrender release tour.
Tell me—how do you feel about a man who can cry?
No, I don’t mean the sniveling, whiney sort of man who cries over little things and blames the world for all his troubles. I mean the man who shoulders life until there is only one way left to bear his burden, that of tears. The man who is so confident in himself that he’s unafraid to let the world know he is also capable of pain?
Personally, there’s something hauntingly sexy about a man who’s brave enough to be weak. Maybe those tears don’t ever make it down their cheeks, but just feeling that burn on his behalf grabs me by the throat. I am more affected by a man’s tears (and often rendered completely helpless) than anyone’s. In fact, I am more touched by those soundless tears than an open sob.
I guess it’s because there’s a deeper level of heart that tears reveal, when they aren’t willy-nilly given into. For someone who’s stoic and strong as a general rule to be affected so deeply speaks to emotion that is stronger than his day-to-day existence. It makes him…human.
When I’m reading, and something poignant happens in a romance between hero and heroine, and the hero gets misty-eyed I can believe in the true bonds that have formed. It becomes a little more than fiction, takes on a little more life, and stays with me much longer after the last page is turned. And usually, I’m bawling right along with him.
So what do you all think? Are you touched when your heroes are strong enough to weep? Or does it turn you off and paint him as too soft?
Farran de Clare, loyal member of the cursed Knights Templar, wants nothing to do with predestined mates. Even the Almighty won’t turn him into a fool again—he’d rather sacrifice his soul. Yet in the scientist Noelle Keane, a devout atheist, Farran meets the seraph designed for him.
Ordered by the archangel Gabriel to protect Noelle, the possessor of a sacred relic that could give Azazel incredible power, Farran swears to do his duty—but in name only. Fighting an attraction that grows with each day, he’s determined that he’ll never pledge himself to her.
As they war over her future, their mutual passion ignites a conflict far more damning. But before Noelle will agree to eternity with him, she demands the ultimate sacrifice – his heart.
“This series (The Curse of the Templars) is explosive, sexy, riveting, and Claire Ashgrove is a master of her craft.” ~ NYTimes Bestselling Author, Maggie Shayne
EXCERPT from IMMORTAL SURRENDER by Claire Ashgrove
In the blink of an eye, his serene expression morphed into a dark scowl. “You do not believe me.”
“No,” she answered on a chortle. “Did you really expect me to? I’m sure someone else would—you’ve put so much feeling into the tale. But I’m a scientist. I don’t even believe in God.” To soften his disappointment, she reached between them and patted his hand. “You did good though. Better than some of the things Gabriel has told me.”
He abruptly pulled his hand away. “Everything Gabriel has ever told you is true, damsel. He is an archangel. Whilst he may behave most strange, he is God’s messenger and cannot lie.”
Gabriel an archangel. Oh man, the two of them were in this together. When she saw him next, she’d buy him a drink for this. She grinned at Farran and shook her head. “You two are something else. I swear, I should have known. He tries to do this to me all the time.”
“Woman,” Farran barked. “’Tis no jest! You are branded as mine.” He grabbed the hem of his shirt and yanked it over his head. “Look for yourself.”
Noelle gaped at the vision that sat before her. Smooth bronzed muscle lacked any trace of hair and bulged even as he sat still. The chest she remembered so vividly was nothing less than a wall of corrugated stone. Thick forearms led to even thicker biceps, arms so strong she felt three times smaller than normal. He could crush a man—or so her imagination said.
Her appreciative stare dropped to his belly and stopped on her gasp. Scored into his taut abdomen, a white scar ran from his ribs down beneath the waistband of his jeans. A good three inches wide, and easily three times as long, the scarred flesh assumed the distinct shape of a ring-hilted dagger. Someone had heated metal and pressed it to his skin.
“My word,” she whispered.
Drawn to the horror of the mark, she leaned in and traced a fingertip down the length of the hilt. The pain he must have felt—her heart twisted hard. “What happened to you?” She glanced up at his face.
Eyes closed, he sat utterly still. “’Twas meant to gain my confession.”
Noelle winced. Looking back at the ugly scar she couldn’t take her hand off of, her chest tightened. What sort of person could do that to a man? His stomach bunched beneath her fingertips, mystifying her even more. As deep as the wound had been, he was lucky he could feel anything at all. Whoever had done this was sick. Sick, sick. “Were you in the war?” she asked quietly.
“Aye,” he exhaled.
“Oh, Farran, I’m so sorry.” And she was—sorrier than she’d ever been for anyone. All the stories she’d heard about beheaded captives, tortured soldiers, and political screw-ups amounted to nothing when faced with the stark truth of what he’d been through. He’d suffered. Through some miracle, he’d survived a wound that would have killed a lesser man.
On sheer impulse, she leaned in and pressed a kiss to the ringed pommel.
About the Author:
Award-Winning Author Claire Ashgrove has been writing since her early teens and maintained the hobby for twenty years before deciding to leap into the professional world. Her first contemporary novel, Seduction's Stakes, sold to The Wild Rose Press in 2008, where she continues to write steamy, sexy stories for the
She is an active member of Romance Writers of America, and her local RWA chapters, Heartland Romance Authors, Midwest Romance Writers, and North Texas Romance Writers of America.
Claire lives in
with her two sons and too-many horses, cats, and dogs. In her “free” time, she
enjoys cooking, winning at Rummy, studying Ancient Civilizations, and spending
quiet moments with her family, including the critters.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
HAPPY READING! =)