posted on May 15, 2023 by Lisa Kessler

Redeeming the Characters We Love to Hate

By Lisa Kessler

The Captain’s Curse releases today! This book features the immortal pirate captain, Ian Flynn. It’s the final book in the Sentinels of Savannah series, and if you’ve read the series, you already know that Flynn has made some questionable choices throughout his 250 years on this earth.

But here’s my confession…He’s captivated me since the series began. From the moment he stepped onto the pages of the first book in the series, Magnolia Mystic, as the villain, he has had my full attention. Yes, most of the crew had written him off, and he annoyed plenty of readers, but I’m a sucker for redemption.

Discovering the reasons behind decisions and seeing a character come to terms with their mistakes and shortcomings is always thrilling for me as a writer, and as a reader I love the hope that comes with seeing a character redeem themselves and grow into a better version of themselves.

When the book opens, the crew discovers that the Spear of Destiny is capable of killing an immortal and is potentially in the hands of their greatest enemy, Captain Flynn is eager to recover it, but he’s outvoted by his crew who have lost confidence in his leadership.

He’s a captain without a crew, and when the only woman he’s ever loved comes into town, he’ll do anything to protect her from his rival. Which leads to more bad decisions!

But Lily is stronger than he ever realized, and unlike his crew, she digs deeper into why he makes the choices he does. Her love holds up a mirror that changes him from the inside out. There is a scene in the book when he finally confesses his deepest secret to his crew. He’s carried the guilt on his shoulders for centuries and is prepared to face their retribution.

The crew’s support changes him forever, and witnessing that change our battered Captain made the whole series for me!

I think redemption and hope are closely linked. Seeing someone redeemed and forgiven play out on the page, to see them finally love and accept themselves and their partner fully makes me believe it’s available to all of us. And that gives me hope.

At the beginning of the book, Flynn considers loving Lily to be his greatest curse, and by the ending, loving her leads to his redemption…And Lily finds the unbreakable partnership she has always dreamed about.

Giveaway Question: What do you think? Can a “villain” earn your forgiveness and find redemption? (Random commenter will win a $10 Amazing gift card!)


Finally, he rested his head on her chest, her racing heartbeat like a melody in his ear. She stroked her fingers through his hair. “I tried so hard to hate you.”

He closed his eyes. “No one would blame you.”

She kissed the top of his head. “They don’t see you the way I do.”

He lifted his head, surprised to find his vision blurring as he stared down at her beautiful face. The feelings she stirred in him were unfamiliar and he struggled for words. “You make me feel…like I don’t have to be the captain. I’m enough.” He stole one more kiss and whispered against her lips, “I love you, Lily.”

She caressed his cheek. “I love you too.” She searched his eyes. “And you are enough.”

Her words were a balm to his battered soul. “Will you drink from the grail?”

Her lips curved slightly. “I’m still thinking about it.”

“All right.” He could almost hear the seconds ticking by inside his head. “Then you should stay here tomorrow night.”

She traced his lower lip with her finger. “They have a spear that can kill an immortal, remember? It wouldn’t matter if I took a sip from the grail right now. There’s still a chance that things won’t go the way we want.”

“Please, Lil.” His voice hitched and he swallowed the lump in his throat. “I can’t lose you.”

She shook her head. “And I can’t lose you again either, so I guess we’ll have to watch each other’s backs.”

“This isn’t something you can write your way out of. This is real.”

She lifted her head and brushed a kiss to his lips. “There’s nothing you can say to make me stay here.”

He hummed into her mouth as he kissed her again. “Stubborn woman.”

“Bossy captain.”

He smiled as he fused his lips to hers.

Maybe tomorrow would never come.


Lisa Kessler

Lisa Kessler

Lisa Kessler is an Amazon Best Selling and award winning author of dark paranormal fiction. Her debut novel, Night Walker, won a San Diego Book Award for Best Published Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror as well as the Romance Through the Ages Award for Best Paranormal and Best First Book. Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award. When she's not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, performing with the San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego.

One thought on “Redeeming the Characters We Love to Hate”

  1. JanD says:

    I have read many stories with “villains” finding redemption.

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