The Thin Line Between Good and Evil
At my very core I am a romance author. Everything else aside, at the end of the day I believe in heroes to die for, heroines that give them a run for their money and a happily ever after.
Then The Promise crept into my mind. I was taken with the idea of writing a hero who at his essence was evil personified – a demon. How on Earth did one take an incubus and make him redeemable? How could I make my readers cheer for him at the end?
I started thinking about how so many things in life toggle that fine line between good and evil. One person's favor is another person's burden. Take The Wizard of Oz, in that story the Wicked Witch is exactly that, irredeemable, terrible to the core. Flip the camera 180 degrees and you get the musical Wicked where the Wicked Witch (Elphaba) is anything but wicked, and in fact it was everyone else around her who was truly evil.
Many times, the villain is nothing more than the hero in his own story. All you need do is look at things from another set of eyes.
So for my demon, I gave him something he never encountered as an incubus…a child. Not just any child, but a crying child who just lost a parent. I let him get to know her throughout her life. I let him experience the trials and tribulations of being human. In his world humans were nothing but useless mortal creatures to be used, but I let him encounter someone who used him right back. I gave him a human who didn't know enough to be scared of him. In fact, while my heroine couldn't even love herself, she learned to love him.
Hero to die for? I am quite in love with Dolan, my torn up and miserable demon.
Heroine that gave him a run for his money? Leora confounded him from the day he walked in on her.
Happily ever after? Hey, at the end of the day I write romance.
Kim Carmichael's newest release is The Promise:
Demon Dolan Ciar exists on three simple words: desire, denial, and destruction. Every four years, he is allowed one night of earthly passion to punish a deserving female. By the time he is finished, his victims are left as willing receptacles for demons yet to come.
Since she was four, a demon has been the only constant in Leora Desmond's life. He taught her how to seize control, to never give up, and to take whatever she wanted. At twenty-four, her self-centered existence is focused on one thing. She wants Dolan, and she won't be dissuaded.
A mistake brought Dolan to Leora. A promise bound him to her. Returning once again to ask for his freedom, he is faced with Leora demanding to be his next conquest. The ultimate retribution would be to take from her the ultimate symbol of her selfishness.
Now, Dolan must decide if he can doom her to life in living hell or face his own set of unearthly consequences, while Leora must choose between her pleasure and her heart.
The Promise blurs the line between good and evil, desire and love, and promises and commitment.
He tilted his head. "You look older."
She forced herself to blink and to remember her goal. "Then I assume I am at last old enough to be a fit for a demon." She stepped forward, stopping less than a foot away from him. The back of her throat dried out, and she swallowed.
He put his hand to his chin, his gaze taking her in. "This old song and dance. When will you use the brains you have and leave it alone?"
His words hit her, but rather than retreating, she moved closer. The energy, the tingle, the wafts of spice encompassed her and lured her toward him. "Never."
"You were smart last time. Why don't you release me so I can do what I came here for." He glanced down at her and then shifted his focus beyond her. "I have needs as well."
"Tonight I am the one you came here for." The mention of his last visit stung, but she willed herself to keep going. She ran her fingers up the buttons of his shirt. "You always told me to take control."
He shook his head. "A lesson you learned well."
She reached up and clenched his collar in her fist. "I let you go last time, but tonight I am the one you need."
He grabbed her wrist. "I spared you before. Never forget that."
She stared right into his eyes. No weakness was allowed tonight. "It's me, Dolan. Me, or you can be celibate until the decade I do you the favor of dying. I don't care about your pain." She tensed, preparing herself for his retaliation.
"I thought I taught you better than to make demands of a demon." He pressed his palm to the side of her face.
Heat radiated through her body, sending a warning to every one of her nerve endings. "A demon who comforts a child is a failure of a demon in my book."
His jaw tightened. "That was a mistake. An oversight."