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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Hero of the Week: Constantine Draegon

I think it's pretty much general consensus with those of us in Romancelandia that the Tortured Hero is the best one to read about. There's just something about a man with a tortured past being brought low by love that makes our hearts melt and our spirits sing.

Constantine Draegon from Rene Lyons' The Daystar definitely fits the bill.

We first meet Constantine in Midnight Sun. I was immediately intrigued by his sarcastic, broody attitude and couldn't wait to read more of him. His dark sense of humor called to me, and his often gruff - almost mean - comments and standoffish personality made him that more lovable.

When The Daystar was released earlier this week, I snatched it up as fast as I could, unable to wait for more of Constantine. I wasn't disappointed, either.

Born in the 13th Century to 2 very unloving, cruel parents, Con fought through a nightmarish childhood, doing his best to become the best warrior he could, partially to prove himself to his cold parents, and partially so he could protect himself from the brutal lord his parents sold him to.

At the age of 15 Con is forced to make the toughest decision of his life: Kill, or be killed. Angry, bitter and disillusioned, he escapes his prison and is taken in by a lovely woman who sees great potential in him. He eventually goes on to Crusade and then becomes one of the most feared warriors in history: A Templar Knight.

But something goes terribly wrong. He and 50 other Warrior Monks are captured, and after spending three years in a French prison being tortured, are burned to death. That should have been the end, but sadly, it was only the beginning. For Constantine had lost his faith in God, though it hadn't stopped him from killing in the Lord's name. And so, upon his death, the Archangel Michael damned him and four others, piercing them through the heart and taking their souls. But God, in his mercy, offered them a chance at redemption. They were sent back to Earth with a precious burden to guard, a new set of rules, and immortality. They were sent back as Vampires, knowing if they made even one mistake, they'd be sent to Hell.

Do you see now how he captured my heart? I just wanted to wrap him up and put him in my pocket. And through each page I read, he just captured me more.

Just to show you a bit of what I saw:

He just had a look about him that screamed, “don’t fuck with me”


It was clear he wanted to bite her
.
God forgive her, but she wanted to know what it would feel like to have Constantine take her blood.
He must have been reading her mind, since he let out a sound horrific enough to chill her blood. She’d almost reached the door when his voice cut through the quiet.
“Lex,” Her name was a harsh curse falling from his lips. She stopped and turned back to him. “Lock your door.”



“I wish I could take it all away. I wish I could just make it all go away.”
He ran a hand through her hair, loving the way it flowed through her fingers. “You do.”
She shook her head. “No, I don’t.”
“Yes, you do.” He assured her. He took her cool, wet cheeks in his hands. His callused palms pressed against the smoothness of her face. “Whenever I’m near you the past doesn’t matter.”
Lex laid her head in the crook of his shoulder. Her heartbeat thundered against him. He held her close as she trembled. Close enough that she touched his goddamn heart.
“I love you, Constantine.”
He wanted to tell her he loved her too, but the words died on his tongue. She seemed to accept his silence with the quiet grace he’d come to treasure about her. He hoped she knew what was in his heart and his mind.
When Lex slipped back into sleep, she stopped shivering. Constantine closed his eyes and prayed. He prayed to God with everything he was, hoping the Lord granted him this one boon—just this once.
“Dear God, please don’t take her from me.”



Dangerously close to crying, Lex swallowed down the lump of emotion that leapt up into her throat. “Swear to me you won’t ever forget your oath to God. Don’t give up on the hope of Heaven, Constantine. Please.”
“No matter what happens, be assured that I’ve already seen Heaven. I see it every time I look at you.”
Lex didn’t even try to hold back the tears. “If things go badly and I’m—taken—know that I’ll still be with you for as long as you want me around.”
He pulled her head down until their lips were practically touching. “Forever, elf. I want you forever.”
That was all the ”I love you” Lex needed.


*sigh*

Do yourself a favor and read this book pronto, I promise you, you won't regret it!

And just because I know you want to see it, here's his picture!



Enjoy ladies!

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