We Love Bad Boys, but Not Rotten Ones
Hello, Book Bingers! I’m Lucy Woodhull, romantic comedy author and unicorn enthusiast. When I asked the lovely Holly for any preferences as to blog subject, she suggested “bad boys,” in honor of my rom-com The Dimple of Doom’s resident antihero, an art thief named Sam. Or Nate. One of those — he’s shifty. I was only too happy to comply, for who isn’t revved by a guy with a dirty smile and a whole boatload of bad ideas? Especially when that grin features a sexy, sexy dimple.
Here’s a blurb for the book:
THE DIMPLE OF DOOM
Never hump an art thief.
It may sound like common sense, but never hump an art thief. Turns out, Samantha Lytton’s Common-Sense-O-Meter is super duper broken.
Failed actress Samantha Lytton is getting along just fine in her lonely little life when a charming criminal called Sam or Nate or maybe even Richmond kisses her, square dances most provocatively, opens his not-so-wicked heart, and gets her in trouble with not one, but two international art theft rings as well as the LAPD.
She’s either gonna end up in jail or famous. Maybe both.
Along the way, she fights for her life and falls for this funny, sexy disaster of a man… and learns that finding happily-ever-after with yourself is the first step to real contentment. A cute dimple is just the second.
Of course, there’s bad, and then there’s bad bad. I’m pretty sure nobody wants to read a romance between an avid letter-writer and the serial killer she dreams of sharing a sweeping conjugal visit with. Even typing that sentence was gross, which is why we’re all so conflicted when we watch the sublime cheekbones of Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal, am I right?
So how wicked a man will we lust after?
Do we want a repentant baddie? My thief hero loves being a thief, and he’s not interested in changing, at least not a first. He does, however, regret all the trouble he causes for my heroine, Samantha. But only up to a point, for if he hadn’t gotten her involved with his illegal shenanigans, they wouldn’t be on the run, and, consequently, making with the sexy time in various hotel rooms.
I think what it all comes down to is heart. You can be bad without being cruel — cruelty is a deal breaker if there ever was one. Sam is (mostly) good to Samantha, even when all hell is breaking loose like Vesuvius spewing on their heads. And when Sam’s not good? She calls him on that crap, which was important to me. I try to make it clear that even though he breaks the law, he also knows what right and wrong are. I counter his misdeeds with the heroine’s own actions, who soon learns to advocate for herself in the crazed situation so that she’s not just being manipulated. Giving as good as she gets goes a long way in her own, personal journey, and is a damn fine way to “tame” a bad boy. That she might require a little taming, too, makes everything that much more fun.
What are some of your favorite bad boy tropes? Obviously, I dig a sexy art thief. I blame my adoration for Steve McQueen in The Thomas Crown Affair. Tell me yours in the comments, and you’ll be entered to win not only The Dimple of Doom, but the sequel (also starring Samantha and Sam) The Dimple Strikes Back. You can read a sample of both here.
Thanks, Book Binge, for having me!