As I’m writing STRIPPED 2 it’s become obvious that Jonathan Ferro is one of my favorite characters. It’s not because he’s hot, funny, proud, or cocky. It’s his heart.
The reader is introduced to a younger Jon in DAMAGED & THE ARRANGEMENT. We also get to meet him first hand as a recent high school graduate in STRIPPED. He’s an angry young man, but not for the reasons you’d think.
No one takes him seriously, so he no longer corrects the misconceptions of his behavior. He learned to laugh it off, to not take life seriously–on the outside. Beneath the surface there’s a storm brewing. He’s pissed at Sean for leaving, angry at Peter for running off, and he blames himself for the things that happened to him. All those facets lead to an arrogant young guy who thinks sex is game, something to be mastered. It’s not until he meets Cassie Hale that things start to shift.
Jon’s one of my favorite characters because he’s forced to radically change in a very short period of time. All of a sudden his brothers come back. Both of them. He’s already been warned by his mother and risks losing his inheritance. For a guy like Jon, a kid that’s been groomed to accept his fate in the Ferro clan from childhood, the threat of getting pushed out and cut off is severe. Add in the return of his brothers and it’s like pouring lemon juice on the situation.
Jon is a nuke waiting to explode and hides it by prancing around with a smile on his face and a pretty girl on his lap. His brothers don’t see the mask he’s wearing either. For all the good Sean tries to do, he missed this. Peter knows something’s up with his younger brother, but has no idea how deep it goes or what happened to him.
Jon is someone I would have treated the way Cassie did initially. Actually, that first meeting was based on a real event. You’re thinking, no teenager would say something like that. Yeah, I did. To a hot guy’s face. I was idealistic and didn’t like players. It never occurred to me at that age that there was more beneath the surface, that the player guise is a mask like any other. I saw and understood the pining emo or goth kid. The player was too loud and cocky, playing a game of chess to get into a girl’s pants while clanging bells. It was too much, so the guy’s words turned to noise. It made me wonder what would happen if a man went through life like that, and that’s what started my infatuation with Jonathan Ferro.
Jon was the carefree kid that had his innocence stolen. He’s the forgotten brother. He’s the man with the mask that won’t come off because it’s become part of him. And for Cassie, he’d do anything.
If you don’t know Jonathan Ferro, you’re missing out.
STRIPPED 2 releases on APRIL 4. 2016
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