The bad boy as a archetype makes for a great romance hero. Owen McKay in my recently released novella, Leashed is such a man. He’s played the field, too hurt at a young age to trust women, even though he had an aunt that adored him and raised him as her own.
Bad boys brood, ride motorcycles and often come from a sad, unhappy childhood. But they, as romance heroes, rise above that past, let go of their fears (yes, they have them), and give themselves over to what had once been confusing and out of their reach. Love. Instead of flaws, let’s talk about the opposite. Virtues.
Charismatic – Bad boys have it in spades. Case in point, Captain Jack Sparrow. Not only does he fluster the ladies, but he runs rings around the men. Michael Weston of Burn Notice fame. He knows how to talk his way out of almost anything. Han Solo makes Leia crazy (in a good and bad way) with that crooked smile.
Street Smart – It’s that been-there-done-that-and-punched-the-guy-out thing. The bad boy knows when you’re being conned, what situation to avoid and what alley not to go down. Captain Mal Reynolds of Firefly isn’t just street smart, he’s freaking universe smart. In any scrape he gets himself into, he relies on the experience he’s garnered from all the previous scrapes he’s been in. Memphis Raines in Gone in Sixty Seconds was a car thief. He hangs up his turbo boosters to go legit until his little brother gets himself into a bad situation that requires the expertise of his bad boy brother. James Bond takes street smarts all the way to savvy. In his world, one wrong move and he’s dead.
Intuitive – He has a sixth sense that serves him in most situations because, let’s face it, bad boys tend to get caught in life and death situations. Jason Bourne can take on many, many attackers, but it’s his finely tuned sense of danger that makes him a formidable opponent. Robert Downey Jr’s Sherlock Holmes is a much more physical version of the famous detective, but no less intriguing and definitely sexier. This sleuth relies on many cues to come to his conclusions as well as relying heavily on his heightened sense of deduction. Then there’s Aragorn. He instinctively knows he has to go into that cave that no person in their right mind would ever enter. He is so trusted that both of his comrades go in there with him. Insane bravery.
Sexy – We do like them rugged with that scruffy edge. Indiana Jones provides that with his bad boy archaeologist. He is even recognizable in silhouette with his trademark fedora. And, what woman doesn’t swoon over a man who can use a…whip. Gabriel Van Helsing hunts vampires and other things that go bump in the night. He has a cool hat, too, that makes him as sexy as Indiana Jones. He also knows how to rock the stubble and beneath that oh-so-sexy duster are muscles, lots of ‘em. This bad boy hero is all about the gadgets. No. No. It’s not Inspector Gadget. It’s Batman or his mild mannered counterpart Bruce Wayne. Of course there is always a soft spot in our female hearts for a billionaire bad boy, but it goes up a notch when he wears body-hugging latex that molds over…well…everything ladies. Yeah, imagination is over-rated. Okay, get those eyes up.
Space captains, spies, superheroes and even pirates. A bad boy captures attention with his virtues. Tell me what other virtues you see in bad boys?
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Zoe Dawson is the alter ego of Karen Anders, award winning, multi-published author for Harlequin. Her writing journey started with poetry and branched out into fiction. With a couple of college English courses under her belt, she penned a historical, then moved onto contemporary romance fiction. Today, she is happy producing romantic suspense, romantic mystery, and paranormal novels. The words feed her soul and the happily ever afters feed her heart. Leashed is the first book in the Going to the Dogs series.