Lori Foster is one of the most prolific romance writers out there. Her first book, Impetuous, was published in 1996, and since then, she's released between six and 10 new books each year, landing on multiple bestseller lists along the way.
The main (and titular) character of her latest, Getting Rowdy, will be familiar to devoted readers of her Love Undercover series. Rowdy Yates is a bona fide hunk, a charismatic woman magnet—who'll have readers under his spell despite (or because of!) his bad-boy behavior.
In this guest blog post, Foster writes about how she created this delectable hero who is the perfect balance of bad boy/good guy:
Rowdy Yates, the lead male protagonist in Getting Rowdy, is a street rat. He comes from a background of neglect, and then abuse. When his parents died in a car wreck, his biggest concern was losing his little sister to the system. He was free of one worry, but faced with an even bigger concern.
When I started the first book in the Love Undercover series, I knew Pepper Yates would have a brother, and I knew he’d have a secret and be street-smart and tough as nails. But I didn’t know him until I started to write the book and Rowdy began telling me his story. He became a much more complex character than I had expected.
That’s the way it is for me. The characters reveal themselves to me almost in the same way they get revealed to the reader. Little by little. Secret by secret. I knew, no matter his harsh background and subsequent life on the edge, Rowdy would have an innate sort of honor, because I couldn’t write a non-villain character who didn’t possess positive qualities. But wow, Rowdy surprised even me.
He is a sexual animal, but that makes sense because, given the harshness of his life, he takes pleasure in carnal activity. Sex, he finds, can blunt the demons of his memories. When the ugliness of his life starts to crawl in and steal his breath, losing himself in a woman’s soft touch could give him relief. I don’t fault him for that, but you can imagine how the “right woman” might see it.
I’m a big believer that love influences us in amazing ways. For Rowdy, despite the awfulness of his life, he had his little sister, and it was his love for her (and hers for him) that kept him from total darkness. He put all his focus on keeping her safe, helping her to feel secure, making a transient lifestyle an adventure instead of a hardship. He suffered—but he ensured that she did not.
Eventually, of course, Pepper found love—but where did that leave Rowdy? At the end of the first book, his sister had a big, badass cop as her husband, which left Rowdy without the purpose of his life, the center he’d always used to stay grounded. With Pepper rooted to one spot, Rowdy found he needed to set down roots as well.
And that’s how Getting Rowdy gets started. Rowdy is faced with a whole new life, and maybe, just maybe, it won’t be as trying as he figured.
In fact, with the “right woman” around, settling down turns out to be easier than he’d ever imagined. Rowdy finds—moment by moment—that he has friends he deserves. And he has those who consider him family—like Pepper’s husband who is, of course, grateful for the way Rowdy had kept her safe. Good people, I believe, recognize other good people, regardless of their background.
Rowdy, despite his faults hewn from a harsh life, is definitely “Good people.” Happy reading!
Thanks, Lori! For those of you in need of a little visual temptation, check out the Getting Rowdy trailer here. (Warning: it's super sultry.)