Romance has always been a part of the superhero mystique, one that was buried by the shrieks of prudes and reactionary social thinkers. The suits thought likewise: there’s nothing to be gained by an archetype that substitutes companionship for raw sexuality. Though decades of pandering to little boys to sell pajamas, toys, and multi-billion dollar movie franchises cuckolded the mainstream potential to show true sexuality inherent in the genre, superheroes are inherently sexual magnets, sculpted by otherworldly forces to appeal to the latent id within each of us that longs to conquer the other gender.
The void for healthy sexual adventures involving superheroes is pronounced. And indeed, the melding of superhero tales with a full-on romance element has not been explored too much in the contemporary publishing market. While romance comics of the late Golden Age were hot sellers, they were the opposite of hot fiction, substituting chaste melodrama for passions, even from the greats of the field. In the decades since, mainstream superheroes stories opted only for titillation über alles—harmless thrills for readers still on the cusp of their sexual awakening.
That is, until now.
Angel Payne, a USA Today best-selling author of some of the steamiest romance tales on the market today, sets out to define the limits of the passion of superheroes in the new Bolt Saga series of novels. The first novel, aptly title Bolt, sets the tone and scope for a series that toggles effortlessly between Herculean feats of shocking (literally!) derring-do, triumphs against mysterious organizations hellbent on performing nefarious deeds, and, of course, some steamy encounters.
The titular hero of the tale is Reece Richards, a winsome hotelier based in Los Angeles who was once one of the world’s most infamous party boys. Through a series of circumstances that won’t be revealed here, Reece changed his ways to become Bolt, a do-gooder whose looks are as strong as his left hook. On the other side of the equation is Emmalina Crist—Emma for short—an employee at Reece’s swanky Beverly Hills hotel. Emma is young, ambitious, and finally exploring her potential after escaping from a life of enforced mediocrity. The moment Reece’s and Emma’s eyes and spirits meet, the sparks are no longer metaphorical.
As a new experiment in the hybridization of romance and superhero storytelling, readers could have no better point of entry. With many twists and turns, readers’ hearts will beat faster than a speeding bullet. Much like its Los Angeles-based setting, Bolt is steamy, breezy, aware of its melodrama, and a built-in crowdpleaser. Bolt keeps it engaging and sensual, yet with a bit of an eye towards the grittiness that superheroes often find themselves in. For those looking for a good read at the beach or convention center this summer, look no further.
DISCLOSURE: This post was written in conjunction with Waterhouse Press, but our opinions are our own.