Steam Weekend with E.E. Burke

Get Lost With A Bad Boy

I admit it. I’m a fan girl. I love the television series Hell On Wheels, which follows the construction of the transcontinental railroad through the lives of characters who inhabit the moving city they dub “Hell On Wheels.”

The show is gritty and authentic, the writing fantastic, and the characters passionate, determined, a mass of contradictions, deliciously flawed. In a word: human.

Take, for instance, the protagonist, Cullen Bohannon, the ultimate bad boy. He’s a former Confederate soldier who sets out to take revenge on the men who killed his wife and ends up in a precarious role as chief engineer for the Union Pacific Railroad.
During the first two seasons, Cullen drank—a lot—and spilled considerable blood. 

By season three he seemed at last to be pulling out of a self-destructive spiral. And he was doing pretty well despite backsliding a few times. 

However, last week the final show of the season ended on a sad cliffhanger: Cullen wed to a Mormon girl he purportedly got with child and living more or less an enslaved existence behind a mule strapped to a plough—literally being ground into the dirt. These consequences, while not entirely his fault, were directly tied to decisions he’d made, never imagining they would come back to haunt him quite this way.

Flawed heroes. They’re their own worst enemies. Maybe that’s what makes them so interesting and so darn lovable.

Buck O’Connor, the hero in my newly released novel, Her Bodyguard, reminds me of Cullen. He's bent on getting justice for his family and has been after this elusive grail for years, but his decisions have only made things worse.

He might be a bad boy, but he’s not bad guy. The first thing he does upon returning to Kansas (as a wanted man—the result of a bad decision) is to rescue Amy from freezing to death in an ice storm. 

But then he accepts her offer to be her bodyguard under false pretenses because he can use the position to aid his financially strapped cousin, one of the settlers at war with the railroad over land rights.

He discoverstoo latethat Amy is the thorn in his cousin’s side, the irritatingly persistent railroad promoter he was hired to remove. Rather than shed bloodI've never in my life harmed a woman or a child, he declares to his secret employershe decides to deceive her in order to thwart her railroad.

Accompanying Amy everywhere she goes, Buck begins to admire her courage and integrity. Opposing corrupt railroad barons is one thing, but being pitted against a women he’s starting to respect and has vowed to protect? Well, that just eats away at his conscience. To make matters worse, he begins to fall in love. 

Yet, he presses onward in his quest for justice for his only remaining kinsman, convinced he can oppose Amy’s railroad and find her would-be killer, all at the same time.

Poor Buck. Not only is he deceiving Am, he’s deceiving himself. He reckons he deserves to burn in hell for his sins (past and present), but that knowledge doesn’t make him change his direction or put his trust in a woman who it seems genuinely cares for him. His rather tattered honor demands he stay loyal to his cousin, even as he puts his life on the line to protect Amy.

How do things turn out for this tortured soul? Well, I can say, without giving too much away, he isn’t left strapped behind a mule. But he’s got quite a bit of ground to plough before he can get back into Amy’s good graces after she finds out he’s been deceiving her. And that’s only the beginning of what stands between them.

Her Bodyguard, the second book in the series Steam! Romance and Rails, weaves suspense and history together in a tale of deceit, betrayal and the surprising power of love.

Through Sunday, I’m running a drawing for books in this series, so be sure to enter the raffle below. 

Also, you can go to my web site and sign up for a special promotional offer—a romantic escape to the Victorian mansion featured in Her Bodyguard

Gotta ask: Who is your favorite bad boy?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Rhett Butler is a favorite bad boy of mine.

    1. my email: mce1011 AT aol DOT com

    2. Gone with the Wind is one of my favorite stories of all time. Love Rhett. Thanks for stopping in and commenting.

  2. James Bond

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    1. Which James Bond is your favorite? Sean Connery is probably my favorite overall, but Daniel Craig was awesome in Skyfall.

  3. Sounds yummy...

    My favorite of the moment is Raylan from JUSTIFIED. Can't wait for the next season in January.


  4. I'll have to go check him out. Thanks for stopping in, Angie.