It’s what so many books are all about. It’s one of the oldest and best-known tropes in all fiction, let alone romance. So I was a bit surprised when a Goodreads review of Erotic Amusements suggested that one of the characters, Rocky, was too flawed and had too shady a past to deserve a happy ending.
I thought, really? Now, Rocky is no angel, except maybe one of the Hell’s variety, seeing as how he’s a biker and all that. He was drafted into the service of the local Mr Big as an enforcer during his unhappy and isolated youth, and found himself unable to escape even when he wanted to – having exchanged one kind of vulnerability for another. This is something that happens to people. Most of the time, the people it happens to end up dead or in jail or escalating the severity of their crimes.
Rocky, more unusually, makes the decision to reject his criminal lifestyle. He does this knowing full well that he will be a marked man for the rest of his life. He does it for love.
The book ends before I can show Rocky making amends for his past – but he’s the kind of man that would. He’s the kind of man who’ll end up running a weekend class in motorcycle maintenance for the local disaffected youth. He’ll also probably go around the schools with a cautionary tale of how easy it is to get involved with the wrong crowd. He’ll know that there is very little he can do to atone for his sins on a personal level – though he’ll try. But, in the end, the best he can do is to live a good life.
Again, this is something that happens in reality and whenever I hear about it, it makes the world look sunnier for a moment. Redemption, forgiveness, atonement – what kind of place would we be living in without them?
It wouldn’t be a happy ever after, I think.
On a more trivial level, Rocky looks a bit like this:
I’d give him a happy ending…
It’s available on Amazon here – but very difficult to find by searching, I’m rather alarmed to find. Also – it’s my cheapest novel-length work by far…Read More