Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: May 5th, 2015
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, Romance, YA
Source: For tour
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When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.
Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?
Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.
Writing a Bad Girl/Good Boy Romance
by Rosamund Hodge
Everybody loves a bad boy.
We’ve all heard this, and while it might not be true that absolutely everyone loves bad boys, they are certainly very popular. From Mr. Rochester on down to Loki, men who spit at the rules and do what they want have thrilled and fascinated audiences. And so has the trope of the good girl/bad boy romance–because what’s more exciting than the tension of the boy who’s almost entirely bad and the girl who loves him but shouldn’t?
Cruel Beauty was my attempt at playing with that trope. Nyx, with her anger problems, is kind of a “bad girl” in some ways–but in comparison to Ignifex, Prince of Demons, she looks pretty nice. And the central conflict of their relationship–“How can I love you when you’re evil and I promised to kill you?” –is the basic good girl/bad boy problem.
But when I started planning out Crimson Bound, I knew right from the start that I wanted to make it a bad girl/good boy romance.
I have a simple reason for writing about bad girls: I’m kind of bad myself sometimes. I know what it’s like to make terrible, stupid choices. So I really identify with characters like that–and I also find they often have really interesting and dramatic character arcs.
But why not a bad girl/bad boy romance? Why write about a good boy, when everybody knows that nice guys finish last and good goys are just not as sexy?
In the end, I think the answer is Luke Skywalker.
I belong to the 0.02% of the female population that prefers Luke Skywalker to Han Solo. Not that Han isn’t charming and handsome and possessed of excellent character development! But Luke will always be my special hero, and not just because I imprinted on him when I was fifteen years old.
He will always be my special hero because he is 100% amazing.
There’s an idea out there that bad boys are more sexy because they’re badass and they play by their own rules. To which I can only say: have you ever paid attention to an idealistic good boy, ever?
You want “badass who plays by his own rules”? Let me give you Luke Skywalker, the farm boy who explodes a Death Star. Who tells the entire Jedi Order as personified in Obi-Wan and Yoda to go take a hike, because he believes that there is still good in his father. Who faces down the Emperor–the Sith lord who corrupted Anakin “The Chosen One” Skywalker–and tells him to take a hike as well. Who drags Darth Vader back to the Light Side through the sheer power of stubborn, idealistic love. And BTW saves the galaxy by getting his father to bring balance to the Force and eradicate the Sith, which millenia of Jedi couldn’t do.
If a bad boy wants to get you, then possibly you could bribe or threaten him into leaving you alone. Maybe you could romance him into taking your side. But if a good boy decides you need to go down? Ain’t no mountain high enough. He’s going to find you, and he’s going to get you.
(I really love Luke Skywalker, okay.)
So in Crimson Bound, I created a bad girl–Rachelle, who once bowed to the will of the evil, magical forestborn, and who now lives with the knowledge that she will someday turn into one of them. Everyone else knows it too, which has made her an outcast, kept alive only because she uses her powers to serve the King. And I created a good boy–Armand, who lost his hands defying the forestborn, and who is now as much loved as Rachelle is hated.
At the start of the novel, Rachelle hates and distrusts Armand because she thinks he’s a fraud. She doesn’t believe that he could have really met a forestborn. After they’re forced to work together, she starts to consider that he may be telling the truth. He may actually be good. But that means she can trust him even less: because if he really is good, if he’s the heroic enemy of the forestborn . . . then he’s her enemy too. And he may be planning to use every bit of his heroism to take her down.
Thanks to Harper Teen, we’re giving away two prizes! The first prize is a bundle of Rosamund Hodge books, including hardback copies of CRIMSON BOUND and CRUEL BEAUTY, and the second prize is a giveaway for the fantastic audiobook narrated by Elizabeth Knowelden. Let us know in the comments which of the two you’d prefer, or if you’re open to either one.
Open to U.S. and Canadian residents, see entry form for complete details.
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