Beware – some spoilers mixed in.
Who doesn’t love a hero with a problem? It could be the trouble-making heroine he’s fallen in love with or it could be the garbage he brought to the story from years before. Sherrilyn Kenyon is great at making the hero suffer as a kid and young adult. I’m sure there are other authors who do the same. Personally, I believe I pick on the heroine more than the hero, but I thought I would go over the angst that came out of my stories for the men.
In his twenties, Collin Ryker was the lead operative of the internal group of deadly mercenaries called the OS (Onyx Scepter), the heart of The Circle. When he realized his guardian, Theo, the head of the organization his father built, was insane, he convinced most of the operatives in the OS to follow him and split off from The Circle. The decision had been a hard one as when his parents had died in a car bomb, Theo had been there for him.
He’d lost his whole family when that car exploded and had to deal with survivor’s guilt. He worked at being like the father he admired by being emotionless and cold in his decision making. To him, that was a sign of a great leader. But when it came to Olivia, he loved fighting with her. They argue and actually try to kick each other’s butts, not abusively, as they love testing each other. The end results brought about some great love scenes.
I have to say he’s the only hero of The Circle series who has the least angst.
Arthur Ryker is the leader of The Circle, and mercy, he has some big time angst. Let’s start with the scar on the side of face and body, and the blind eye. They are reminders from when his life fell apart. He’d been near the car that exploded with his mother and father inside. He’d tried to save them.
Then there is the psycho old leader, Theo. He blackmailed a teenager Ryker, promising to not rape a young girl if he obeyed him in all things, including a despicable act that Ryker had thought to never experience again. He has to live with his decisions.
CIRCLE OF DECEPTION
Finally, Rex Drago’s angst has nothing to do with Theo. His is actually tied in with his height. You say, height? Yeah. His dad had the short man syndrome and resented a son who was taller than him by the time he reached high school. Even in elementary, he was taller than the other kids and adults treated him as if he was mentally handicapped. A child of that height should be older and smarter they thought.
He feels he’s not smart enough to be the second in command of The Circle.
Oh, and then there is the relationship between him and his bad ass brother, Jack. He tries to love his older brother, but with too much “water under the bridge,” it may be too late.
Side note about the series:
If you noticed in The Circle series, there is a thin string of the King Arthur legend references. The heaviest are in the first book. Psycho Theo dresses up like a knight, and he believes a sword proves he deserves to be a leader (feeling guilty much?). Of course, The Circle is in reference to the table that all the knights sat around. Last, but not least, Ryker’s first name in CIRCLE OF DANGER. Arthur.
There’s another reference to King Arthur’s legend in the books? Do you know what it is? I’ll give you a hint. It’s a name.