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A.O. Peart on The Ultimate Bad Boy – Why Do Readers Want More?

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 [1] 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 dominantAngela's hunk [2] 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 [3] for the “bad boys” in books.

Here is my short(ish) list—in no particular order:

The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series [4]by J.R. Ward

Beautiful Disaster [5] by Jamie McGuire

The Marriage Bargain [6] by Jennifer Probst

Wallbanger [7] by Alice Clayton

Crossfire Series [8] by Sylvia Day

Saving Dallas series [9] by Kim Jones

Raw [10] by Belle Aurora

Alpha [11] by Jasinda Wilder

Carter Reed [12] by Tijan

Rook and Ronin books [13] by JA Huss

Bad for You [14] by Abbi Glines

Tied With Me [15] 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 [16]Fictional Boyfriends [17], Rehab for Fictional Men [18].

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. 


Here’s a blurb on the first book of Angela’s Almost Bad Boys series, stories of four feisty twenty-something women who refuse to let their past drag them down. AlmostMatched [19]
Almost Matched [20] (The Almost Bad Boys #1) Would you take another shot at love? Or just settle on a friend with benefits? Their heartbreaking past will move you. Their passion will make you blush. Their antics will make you laugh out loud. Twenty-five-year-old Natalie Davenport lugs substantial baggage. One boyfriend after the next has been a total disaster, leaving Natalie distrustful toward the male population in general. So when Colin Hampton crosses her path, she’s cautious. Her heart (and some other body parts!) nudges her to go for it, while her head wants her to run for the hills.
Colin is one of those gorgeous guys who attract women, no matter the age or marital status. With a successful career at a popular Seattle radio station, hard body, and charming personality, he is the complete package. But something dark lurks in the corners of his soul; some murky experience that has changed him—maybe for the better, but maybe for the worse. Will he steal her heart and stomp over it like other guys did? Will she let him into her heavily fortified world despite herself? Or will they settle somewhere in the middle—establishing the emotional boundaries to protect them from falling in love?
Disclaimer: This contemporary romantic comedy blends humor, sensuality, and angst, with zany characters and witty dialogue. You will laugh out loud while blushing in embarrassment. Warning: contains sexual situations (some quite vivid!), profanity, and a high dose of sarcasm. Oh, and there is a lot of appletini and beer drinking. May not be appropriate for readers under 18 years old. Not intended for prudes and killjoys with no sense of humor.


A.O. Peart [21]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:

Amazon US [22] Amazon UK [23] Barnes & Noble [24] iTunes [25] Goodreads [26]

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.

Vote Button [27]

Subscribe to A.O. Peart’s monthly newsletter [28]to get first-hand announcements about new releases, book signings and events, giveaways, special pricing, and more. website icon

Find the author here:

facebook [29]twitter [30]googleplus [31]pinterest [32]



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13 Comments (Open | Close)

13 Comments To "A.O. Peart on The Ultimate Bad Boy – Why Do Readers Want More?"

#1 Comment By Linda F On April 18, 2014 @ 7:04 am

We do love our bad boys, don’t we? I read the sweeter romances, but even in those books there are bad boys a-plenty. Exhibit #1, my all-time favorite fictional bad boy: Joe Morelli from the Stephanie Plum books. Sigh…

#2 Comment By A.O. Peart On April 18, 2014 @ 11:04 pm

Linda, I agree – Joe Morelli is one of those ultimate bad boys. I adore him!

#3 Comment By Carrie Spencer On April 18, 2014 @ 8:44 am

Morning Angela!

I agree with Joe Morelli – and Ranger! The ultimate of bad boys right there. Tom Cruise always plays the bad boy so well in the MI movies as well. =)

Thanks for a fun post!


#4 Comment By A.O. Peart On April 18, 2014 @ 11:05 pm

Hi Carrie, so good to see you here! Oh, yes – I have a soft spot for Ranger. If he was a real and not a fictional character, I’m sure he would make my knees buckle 🙂

#5 Comment By Jennifer Tanner On April 18, 2014 @ 2:45 pm

Hi Angela,

Cash Boudreaux in Sandra Brown’s Slow Heat in Heaven is my all time favorite bad boy hero. The best thing about bad boy heroes is the change that comes from within as the story progresses. His outward appearance may look the same at the end of the story, but he’s a changed man.

Thanks for blogging with us today!

#6 Comment By A.O. Peart On April 18, 2014 @ 11:14 pm

Jennifer, thank you for inviting me to blog at the Romance University.
The hero’s emotional and spiritual journey is what makes me root for him, no matter how broken and hopeless he seems to be at the beginning of a story 🙂

#7 Pingback By The Ultimate Bad Boy – Why Do Readers Want More? – Author A.O. Peart On April 18, 2014 @ 4:58 pm

[…] blogging today at the Romance University about The Ultimate Bad Boys in fiction. Stop by the RU blog and say “hi”. I have a list […]

#8 Comment By Alex J. Cavanaugh On April 18, 2014 @ 7:03 pm

Considering I was always the good guy, the bad guys frustrated me when I was younger!
I might’ve written an almost bad boy as my main character in my second book. Maybe. You’d have to tell me, Angela!

#9 Comment By A.O. Peart On April 18, 2014 @ 11:16 pm

Hi Alex! I’m so glad you stopped by here.
Ah, those “almost” bad boys are even more fun than the “real” bad boys 😉

#10 Comment By Becke Martin Davis On April 18, 2014 @ 8:18 pm

Oh my gosh, I couldn’t BEGIN to list all my favorite bad boys and/or bad boy romance novels. I’m a sucker for them, although I’d be hard pressed to say why. In real life, I doubt I’d want my daughter dating a guy like the fictional bad boys I enjoy, but when I was young I definitely felt their siren call.

In the meantime, I need to go over your list – there are some books there I haven’t read. How on earth did THAT happen???

#11 Comment By A.O. Peart On April 18, 2014 @ 11:18 pm

Becke, I couldn’t agree more – I would be horrified if my daughter even tried to date a guy like those fictional characters I adore.
As for the books – this is just a very short list, but I tried to choose the best.

#12 Comment By Dannie Hill On April 21, 2014 @ 12:56 pm

A normal guy doesn’t stand a chance in romance, lol. Well done, Angela

#13 Comment By A.O. Peart On April 26, 2014 @ 11:16 pm

That’s in fiction, Dannie. But honestly – in life what matters in man is pure heart, honesty, and devotion 🙂