Archive for September 9th, 2008

Winter Ashburn was once the toast of the ton, but now she skirts the margins of high society by stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Her latest mark is none other than Rory Jameson, the rake who dared mistake her for a lady of the evening. Winter has stolen from her fair share of scandalously handsome men in the past . . . so why does her heart beat faster as she approaches his door?

Rory Jameson is a rake, it’s true. And he’s caught many a thief while on secret missions for the Crown, but none has been this intriguing, this enticing. He will make Winter repay what she took so shamelessly . . . and melt her icy façade with the heat of his wicked touch. But her kiss sets his soul on fire—and now he will never be satisfied until he has made this alluring temptress his own.

My favorite topic of discussion lately has been centered on my favorite type of hero. I have been asking readers which characteristics are at the core of their favorite bad boy hero, and finally who is their favorite bad boy hero. I have received a diverse feedback from Rhett Butler–who I think created the mold when it comes to the bad boy hero–to many of Penelope Williamsons heroes, who are always dark and in need of redemption. There is just something too irresistible about a tall, dark, and dangerous hero.

When I first began writing my newest release Passion and Pleasure in London, (AVON August 26, 2008) Rory Jameson had been a minor character in the previous two books in my Charmed and Dangerous series. He is the only character that makes an appearance in all three books in that series. But Passion and Pleasure in London turned into quite a different story from those first two books that feature men from the Council, a Mission-Impossible-like group of men battling for country and heart. Unlike the first two books, Passion and Pleasure in London became a character-driven story featuring a man driven by his own vengeance who becomes an unlikely hero to a band of thieves and to a woman who had ceased believing in the goodness of people. The story is about two desperately lonely people who will discover love, and in the end change each other’s worlds.

Like all of my heroes, Rory Jameson is the quintessential bad-boy hero. He is the son of a disinherited future marquess , and granddaughter of a Gypsy and a Scottish duke. He is not particularly honorable in the beginning. His actions in life have not always been heroic, and he has done things for which he is not proud. I have always believed that a hero can be as bad as you can make him and still be loved if he possesses one basic quality. Nobility. This one ingredient creates the endearing, memorable essence of a bad boy character for me, and is always the reason why the heroine will fall in love with him. Though the heroine may not at first recognize her reasons, as is the case with Winter Ashburn, in Passion and Pleasure in London, they always succumb.

What makes a bad boy a great hero for you as the reader? Is it their charm? Is it their need for redemption? Many of Penelope Williamson’s heroes are men of this caliber, i.e Johnny Cain from the ‘The Outsider.’ Then there is McCady Trelawny in, Once in a Blue Moon. McCady is the ultimate scoundrel who believes in nothing until the heroine enters his life. Is the appeal of such a hero their ultimate alpha maleness? Or because they are mysterious? Or are you a reader who dislikes bad boy heroes? If you do, what kind of hero then is your favorite? Other than Penelope Williamson whom I have mentioned, Judith Ivory also created an ultimate bad boy hero in Adrien Hunt (Angel in a Red Dress). Remember Johnny from Susan Johnson’s ‘Outlaw’? Hot. Hot.

As a historical romance writer, I love featuring this kind of hero. Perhaps because he often has the most to grow. Since I am always interested in hearing what makes the ultimate hero for a reader, I would love to read your opinion on this topic. Who are your favorite bad boy heroes and the authors who create those memorable keeper books for your shelves? Then check out my website at www.melodythomas.com and read about all my heroes. Happy reading!!!

****Leave a comment to be in a random draw for the chance to win WILD & WICKED IN SCOTLAND and SIN & SCANDAL IN ENGLAND, the first two books in Melody’s Charmed & Dangerous series.

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