He’s a duke with a reputation as a whore-monger and cad, or a heartless businessman with a murky past and rumored mob ties, or maybe he’s the guy from the other side of the tracks, who spent more time under a hot rod than in class. So what is it about these men that women find so attractive and why do readers clamor for more? Author A.O. Peart joins us today to talk about one of the most popular hero-types in fiction, the bad boy.
Welcome to RU!
What’s so undeniably exciting about the fictional book boyfriends that walk on the “bad” side? They steal the female readers’ hearts, no matter how badly they behave between the pages of a book. Sometimes the badder the better! Why are they romanticized in the fictional world? Or maybe the most important question is: would they be doomed and dissipated in real life? Who are the bad boys of fiction? The tattooed underground fighters? Check. The leather-clad bikers? Check. The arrogant shape shifters? Check. The dominant billionaires? Of course. I could go on and on, but one thing is for sure: the bad boys aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. They invoke enough romantic angst to make us swoon over the printed words, and we are not giving that up.
Travis Maddox from Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster serves as a great example of the fictional bad boy: “Travis beds girls like the rest of us eat Malteasers. As Eastern University’s walking one-night stand, he is lean, cut and covered in tattoos. Spending his nights winning money in a floating fighting ring, by day he is the ultimate college campus charmer.” There you have it—straight to the point. Bad to the bone. Interested only in fulfilling his needs and desires. But then a girl comes along and all that fun world of the bad boy comes crashing down. This, pretty much, sums up your typical “bad boy category novel”, although, like with everything else, some books execute this pattern much better than the others. Beautiful Disaster is one of those really well written books.
Another one of my favorites, the Crossfire series by Sylvia Day and its bad boy Gideon Cross: Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness… He was beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I’d never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily…
I attempted to put together a short list of the most popular books in the “bad boys” category, but there was really no way to keep it short without missing a lot of great titles. Here are a few that I recommend, although you can find many many more. One way would be to search Goodreads for the “bad boys” in books.
Here is my short(ish) list—in no particular order:
The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J.R. Ward
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst
Wallbanger by Alice Clayton
Crossfire Series by Sylvia Day
Saving Dallas series by Kim Jones
Raw by Belle Aurora
Alpha by Jasinda Wilder
Carter Reed by Tijan
Rook and Ronin books by JA Huss
Bad for You by Abbi Glines
Tied With Me by Kristen Proby
Recently, I’ve been invited to participate in a few “bad boy fan clubs” on Facebook. Yes, the female readers have a lot of fun with their fictional characters’ obsession. So, it only makes sense to get together with the other bad boy groupies to exchange hot book recommendations, giggle over some steamy excerpts and photos, and plot the ways to save those disheartened social pariahs or the extreme rebels of fiction. Do you want to know what some of the popular groups are? Try these: Fictional Men’s Room for Book Hos, Fictional Boyfriends, Rehab for Fictional Men.
But be warned—some of the content posted in there might not be suitable for everyone. Those who get easily offended may want to stay clear of these social media gatherings.
Who are your favorite fictional bad boys? Do you have a list of books in this category to share?
Amy Alessio returns tomorrow with her Reader Roundup and author Christine Merrill joins us on Monday, April 21st.
Bio: A.O. Peart is the author of a NA romantic comedy/suspense series Almost Bad Boys, and a YA paranormal/urban fantasy series the Forged. She was born and raised in Poland. She now lives in the Seattle area with her family and a chronically curious cat.
Angela describes herself as European born, American by choice. When she came up with the idea for the Almost Bad Boys, she knew this wasn’t going to be the “real” bad boy series, since it is tongue-in-cheek, full of a wacky humor comedy—thus the “Almost” in the title. There are three published novellas in the series, with a few standalone spin-off titles coming in 2014 and 2015.
Find her books here:
Book one Almost Matched was recently nominated by the readers as one of the best 50 self-published books in the comedy category for the titles published in 2013/14. The author invites you to cast a vote for Almost Matched by May 14th.
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Find the author here:
- Bad Boys: What’cha Gonna Do?
- The Making of a Bad Boy
- Weekly Lecture Schedule for April 2 – April 6, 2012
- AMM: Why We Love (and Resent) Alpha Males
- Writing the Alpha Male