My New Year's resolution is to lie, cheat, steal, even seduce to get what I want. And I always get what I want.
Nigel Wallenford, rightful earl of Claradon, Cairo, Egypt, 1908
He's not a very nice guy.
He freely admits his very naughty behavior. He's lied, stolen, cheated, and has been through scores of women. He's the type to save the heroine from a nasty viper bite in the desert, and then blackmail her into surrendering her virginity.
Nigel is the first really bad boy I've ever written. He's the hero, or rather, the anti-hero, of my April historical, The Lady and the Libertine.
It was a challenge to write him, but at the same time, wicked fun. :-)
I like bad boys.
I like how they can do all these horrid things, and then turn around and do something completely out of character that makes them look heroic.
Then they go back to being bad boys.
One of my first introductions to bad boys was The Flame and the Flower. Brandon wasn't just a bad boy, he was an Alpha male, chest-banging bad boy. Not a very PC romance novel today, but he set the standard.
I loved how in the end, Heather brings him to his knees. Oh, not quite tamed, but very much in love with Heather, and willing to do anything to protect her. That's the heart of a very good bad boy.
I knew when I wrote The Lady and the Libertine that Nigel was trouble. From the minute he appeared in The Scorpion and the Seducer, I knew that Nigel wasn't a chivalrous, knight to the rescue hero. He's just as likely to steal the heroine's ruby necklace (which he does) after rescuing her.
It was challenge to write him because he's a bad boy, yet at the same time, he's the hero. So he has to change. He wants to change, but is thwarted. He knows how bad he is, and yet he can't bring himself to change.
By chapter four, Nigel is in bed with two women. However, he can't forget the heroine, try as he might. He doesn't remember the names of the women he's having sex with, but he calls out the heroine's name at the pinnacle of his pleasure. She's been branded on his heart.
In the end, he resorts to being fiercely protective of her, and will do anything for her. But before that, watch out.
One of my favorite scenes in this book is after his "friends" stand him up at his dinner party, and Anne, the heroine, comes in late to find him drunk. Nigel confesses he wishes he could change.
“Anything is possible,” she suggested. “If it is within your heart to change, you surely could. And I do not think you as cold as you believe.”
Nigel’s eyes opened wide. He struggled to lift his head, his hand reaching out as if to touch her. “You are like a fair angel,” he whispered.
She remained still,waiting and watching. His hand fell away.
“No, I shan’t. Angels deserve better than dirty jackals. Go away, fair angel. You don’t want to be near me. I am a little . . .cheerless right now.” From The Lady and the Libertine
Right after this scene, he blackmails her into surrendering her virginity. He's not that intoxicated. Nigel reverts to his usual behavior. He wants her, badly, and he will do anything in his power to get her into his bed.
He's desperate, needs the heroine's necklace to unlock a great treasure hidden in Egypt's sands. He's got good motivation because he has a secret he'll do anything to protect, but at heart, he's a bad boy.
Do you like bad boy heroes? What's your favorite from either a book or a movie?