Monday, May 20, 2013

Meet Marco Viero from Her Forbidden Hero

By Laura Kaye

Hey everyone! I'd like to introduce you to Marco Vieri, the hero of my contemporary romance, Her Forbidden Hero, the first book in my Heroes series. Marco is one of my favorite characters I've written, maybe because there's a lot of me in him. Like Marco, I've also suffered from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that left me with a long period of recovery, so I truly felt for his struggles in this book. Here's Marco at one of his more tortured moments, reflecting on the unexpected arrival to his small hometown of Alyssa Scott, his best friend's little sister and someone he helped protect when they were kids from her abusive father.

The Scotts’ experience, wanting to stand up for other people who couldn’t stand up for themselves—that’s what made him want to join the military. Now who did he stand up for?

“Aw, hell.” A headache flared up under his left ear. He sank to his knees and closed his eyes, concentrating on the breathing exercises he’d been taught. In for two. Out for two. Over and over until his head stopped swimming.

Opening his eyes, he found himself kneading at his left arm, the one that had been torn apart from bicep to wrist by a booby-trapped explosive he barely remembered. Surgeons had rebuilt his arm as good as could be expected, especially since the nerve damage was so extensive they’d initially doubted he’d have coordinated use of his hand, but the tendon transplant never healed right. His fingers remained weak, and his elbow was stiff as hell.

But the shit with his brain was worse. It blanked out a big spot in his memory and tormented him with haunting nightmares and frustrating apraxia, the occasional inability to say a word and communicate his thoughts. And surgeons didn’t have a fix for those.

All of which gave him a one-way ticket to separation and retirement.

Do not pass go.

Do not collect two hundred dollars.

Marco ripped the box open and removed the bottles, lining them up next to him. Seeing Alyssa again made him feel trapped between two worlds but not fully a part of either. In those few short moments they’d spoken, her very presence had pulled him back in time to when he knew who he was and what he wanted. When he believed he could do or be anything.

And then she’d said how glad she was that he was home, and it was like a sucker punch to the gut—because all he’d wanted for ten long months was to be back out there, doing what he’d trained to do. Which was never going to happen.

Letting go of that man and those dreams… He’d never find his way to being okay with that.

On a curse, Marco tossed the empty box behind him.

This right here was the problem. Twenty minutes of Alyssa’s presence had him all up in his head, thinking about things he really didn’t want to be thinking about. Stack. Count. Beer. Wine. On tap. By the bottle. Red. White. These were the thoughts he could handle. These were the thoughts he wanted to handle.

Not how he could barely stand the sight of his own reflection.

Not how he’d succumbed to the pain and weakness.

Not how every fucking thing had changed.

And sure as hell not how three deaths lay at his feet.

About Her Forbidden Hero:
You always want what you can't have...

She's always been off-limits...

Former Army Special Forces Sgt. Marco Vieri has never thought of Alyssa Scott as more than his best friend's little sister, but her return home changes that...and challenges him to keep his war-borne demons at bay. Marco's not the same person he was back when he protected Alyssa from her abusive father, and he's not about to let her see the mess he's become.

...but now she's all grown up.

When Alyssa takes a job at the bar where Marco works, her carefree smiles wreak havoc on his resolve to bury his feelings. How can he protect her when he can't stop thinking about her in his bed? But Alyssa's not looking for protection--not anymore. Now that she's back in his life, she's determined to heal her forbidden hero, one touch at a time...

There will ultimately be four books in the Heroes series, so stay tuned for more! Did you have a favorite line from the excerpt?

Thanks for reading!


  1. Sounds like a great start to a new series, one I know I'm going to enjoy reading.