No, I haven't finished the scrapbooking shut up but I'm still posting about bad boys. :o)

Some background - a good friend of mine is in a relationship that she knows is unhealthy but, so far, has not removed herself from the situation. A few weeks ago we were discussing the boyfriend and his latest weasel-like behavior (no insult intended to our real weasel friends) which includes lying (lots!), cheating (LOTS!), sponging money and further damaging her self-image.

Anyway, during the conversation (my part - to listen and make sympathetic sounds), she said something along the lines of "you know how it is with women and bad boys...they can't help themselves..." to which I replied I didn't really see the appeal, at least not for the type of guy she is referring to. But it started me thinking - always dangerous, of course. After much pondering, I decided that my friend has bad boys confused with bad men. I believe we know which one she has. Of course, I can't tell her what to do or how to feel. I can only hope she wises up...soon.

So, I decided to explore the Bad Boy (mind out of gutter, you!) - I'm talking books here! Surprisingly, a good definition is hard (again with the gutter??) to find. Everyone knows one when they read one but specifics seem to be very subjective. I found an interesting article Catherine Mann and Joanne Rock wrote on how to write a Bad Boy hero. Also, according to AAR, the Bad Boy is "the rebel, or the boy from the wrong side of the tracks. He’s bitter and volatile, a crushed idealist, but he's also charismatic and street smart. He hates authority and doesn't buckle under to anyone." When I searched BYRON (hey, do you have BYRON?? I love me some BYRON!) for books with "Bad Boy" as a plot point, the only books I recognized were Ain't She Sweet? by SEP, Daisy's Back in Town by Rachel Gibson and Falling for Gracie by Susan Mallery. I read all three of those books and enjoyed them all but are those the books that exemplify the Bad Boy? I don't think so...

Let's explore the characteristics of a Bad Boy a bit more. I tend to agree with the ladies whose articles I found, to some degree at least. In my opinion, the Bad Boy has, for whatever reasons, issues with authority. He often grew up in less than ideal circumstances. As often as not, he has been screwed over one time too many as an adult. He is often anti-social. He often has difficult relationships with women. He does not trust easily. The Bad Boy frequently hides behind his public persona. I know I'm missing some so feel free to add on with comments. :o)

What the articles didn't go into as much is why they appeal so much to the reader. Some people would say it is because we like seeing the Bad Boy fall and become like everyone else...helpless in his love for the heroine (gag). Others might say it is the appeal of taming the (supposedly) untamable beast (ohhhhh...swoon...blah). I think it is because the reader enjoys the Bad Boy thumbing his nose at authority and society. Who doesn't want to do that on occasion? :o) It's fun to see a character less restricted by rules than those around him. Another thing that I like about the Bad Boy is this - no matter how angry, anti-social, bitter, and distrustful he might be with the rest of the world, he can never seem to really pull it off with his heroine. She can see through all the layers to the goodness hidden within and he knows it and, although sometimes uncomfortable at first, wouldn't have it any other way. Finally, I think a big part of loving the Bad Boys is the knowledge that, regardless of how hostile and sometimes violent he is to the rest of the world, he will treat his lady like a princess (as he should LOL) and defend her at all costs. And really, gentle readers, isn't that the most important thing?

So, there you thoughts on Bad Boys. What do you think - am I completely offbase? What makes a Bad Boy? Who are the best (c'mon Kristie, now's your chance) Bad Boys?

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posted by C2 at 5:52 PM | Permalink |


At 7:34 PM, Blogger Kristie (J)

Now this is where Romance World and Real World go in completely opposite directions. In Real World I wouldn't go near one with a 10 foot pole but in Romance World I love 'em. I think I agree with your take on bad boys too. I read all the books you mentioned, the Phillips, the Mallery and the Gibson and I don't consider any of them bad boys either.
One of my favourites is Johnny Harris in One Summer by Karen Robards. He was in jail for 10 years for a crime he didn't commit and before he went in he had a chip on his shoulder. But that was nothing compared to the one he had when he got out!!! And is he one bad boy! Yet Rachel Grant, the heroine is the only one who can tame him.
Another favourite bad boy is Julien Langlois in Michelle Jerott's Absolute Trouble. And we also have Etienne "Lucky" Doucet in Tami Hoag's Lucky's Lady. Both of these are bad, bad boys. Real good bad boys.
I'll be back with more as I think of them ;-)


At 9:52 PM, Blogger C2


Don't you consider Derek Craven a bad boy? LOL

I agree that I wouldn't go near these guys in real life either...unless I magically could see through them to their marshmallow-y underbellies like our heroines always can. :o)

And Julien and Lucky are definitely GOOD bad boys.


At 8:20 PM, Blogger Kristie (J)

Oh yeeeeaaaaa - Derek's a bad boy all right ;-)
(still trying to think of more good examples)