The real life boxing hunk behind The Siren’s Touch by Amber Belldene…guest post and GIVEAWAY




Hitman Dmitri Lisko is determined to avenge his father. Once he takes out the man he believes is responsible for his family’s tragedies, he’s done killing for good. But a mysterious woman may tempt Dmitri to change his plan.

Sonya Truss was murdered in a Ukrainian village in 1968. Now she’s reappeared in San Francisco as a rusalka—the ghost of a wronged woman. And she’s thirsty for the blood of her killer. But she has to make things right before she’s trapped between worlds forever.

Sonya’s enigmatic siren powers stir Dmitri’s long-buried chivalry, and he finds himself compelled to help her. He also can’t resist giving her a taste of the pleasures she never experienced while she was alive. Soon they discover that touch has surprising consequences. Yet when their shared mission comes to cross-purposes, they must choose between deadly sacrifice—or surrendering to the one act that can save them both.


The Real Life Boxing Hunk…. by author Amber Belldene 

I’m a sucker for a bad boy on a road to redemption, and so I went all-in imagining the character of Dmitri Lisko from my new release, The Siren’s Touch.

Dmitri is a former heavyweight fighter who suffered a humiliating defeat. Having lost his chance at that career, he winds up doing his uncle’s dirty work as a hitman and enforcer for the family business. Since Dmitri is Ukrainian, the very first thing I did was google Ukrainian heavyweight fighters, and look who popped up:



Wladimir Klitschko. Yum. To be honest, I live under a rock, especially when it comes to sports, and so I realize lots of people already know about this hotty. He’s the reigning international heavyweight champion, and he’s engaged to the adorable Hayden Panettierre. And—this is the sort of thing that makes me swoon—he has a PhD in sports psychology, he speaks many languages, he’s hands down SMART, and a big brain really is the sexiest trait on a man. He’s from a hard-working family that values education. His brother is the current mayor of Kiev, the capitol of Ukraine, which is a tough job, given the civil unrest in that country. If you want to get a sense of Wladimir, you can watch this video of boxer Tyson Fury talking trash to him, while Klitshcko, clearly not threatened, just keeps on smiling that panty-melting smile:



Sure. As a type, a brash, trash-talking thug can have appeal, but between these two, I have a clear favorite. The one with hair, who can clearly out think the other guy by a factor of ten and will, I hope, also beat the shit out of him come October when they face off. (Wow! Who knew I could get so blood thirsty? I just really dislike Fury, after watching that video.)\


Physically, and in terms of smarts, Wladimir Klitschko was the perfect inspiration for my Dmitri. But my character was not as fortunate as the real-life champion. Raised by a violent, drunk father and with few options in life, Dmitri takes a path he’s not proud of. The poor guy can’t even smell pretty scents, after a blow to the nose damaged his olfactory nerves. To make matters worse, at the opening of the book, he’s been on a month-long drinking binge, riddled by guilt over accidentally killing an innocent woman.

In my imagination, Dmitri is like Wladimir’s doppelgänger—either one might have ended up like the other in different circumstances. And from the moment my heroine Sonya meets her hero, she sees hints of the honor and kindness Dmitri has had to suppress his whole life. She sees a hero.

Have you ever had one of those moments when you realize someone loves you far more than you think you deserve? If so, you know the way it breaks you open, and humbles you, and makes you willing to do anything for that person.

Sonya makes Dmitri feel like that, and it was a delight to watch him grow into the man he was meant to be as I typed him onto the page.


Who’s your favorite bad-boy-turned-good in romance? Share a great book to enter the giveaway and win an ebook of The Siren’s Touch. Comment on this blog post!



Buy The Siren’s Touch at these online retailers:

Amazon  |  B&N  |  iBooks  |  Kobo

Siren promo graf

About the author:

Amber2014Even as a kid, romance writer Amber Belldene could never pull herself away from a book. She hid her Nancy Drew novels inside the church bulletin to read during sermons – an irony that is not lost on her when she preaches these days. Amber is an Episcopal priest who believes sexuality is vital to spirituality, love is beautifully messy, and stories are the best way to explore human truths. Evidence of these convictions can be found in Amber’s steamy paranormals and quirky, hot contemporaries, which have been published by Omnific, Entangled, and Lyrical/Kensington. She lives with her husband and two children in San Francisco and can be found at www.amberbelldene.com.









  1. I have many! But the first one that comes to mind is Caleb from the Seduced in the Dark series by CJ Roberts


  2. Hi Maria! I’ll have to check that out! Thanks for leaving a comment! And thanks to Jillian and Read-Love-Blog for having me and Dmitri and Wladimir on today!

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