Apr 19 2011 9:00am

Bad Never Looked So Good: Bad Boys in Romance

Patrick Swayze in Dirty DancingBad boys, bad boys,

What ya gonna do?

What ya goona do when they come for you?

Well, fan myself of course!

Sorry, I know I’ve just planted that annoying COPS theme song in your head. Let me see if I can take your mind off of that.

Frances “Baby” Houseman got brain freeze in the presence of a very naughty Johnny Cade. When introduced to him, all she could mutter was, “I carried a watermelon.”

Heath Ledger as Patrick VeronaCherry Valance hoped never to see juvenile delinquent Dallas Winston again. If so she’d, “Probably fall in love with him.”

When Sookie Stackhouse is told by the very coy and devilish Eric Northman that perhaps he’ll grow on her, she replies, “I’d prefer cancer.”

When a confident Patrick Verona tells Kate Stratford her panties are still twisted she scoffs, “Don't, for one minute, think that you had any effect whatsoever on my panties.”

Dirty Dancing, The Outsiders, True Blood, and 10 Things I Hate About You all have these bad boys vexing the most stubborn of women. These are the bad boys that have stuck with me, made me swoon, sigh, and left me wanting more.

You know when you saw Dirty Dancing for the first time you wanted nothing more than to invade Patrick Swayze’s dance space. When Dallas Winston broke with grief, you know you could save him since Cherry wouldn’t. Eric Northman would do more than just grow on me; he’d grow in other places most graciously. Patrick wouldn’t have had to sing and dance for me all by his lonesome on the bleachers, I would’ve joined him.

Every good girl has craved a bad boy at one time or another in their life—haven’t they? And since bad boys aren’t nearly as good in real life as they are in fiction, we search out those books with the baddest of them: They’re rebellious, dark, carrying so much pain, they ooze so much cool they make you hot, and they seem to love like it’s nobody’s business. Once a bad boy falls for his woman, watch out. He will get into a bar fight, duel, race, or even drain a person’s blood to keep their lady love safe and in their arms.

Bad Boys Next Exit by S. McKenna, D. Kauffman, and E.C. SheedyWhy do women love a good ol’ bad boy? Because we want to be the one to save them, make them whole again, to be the last woman they love, the only woman...sigh.

Bad boys say things like:

“Nobody puts baby in a corner.”

“Are you a real red head? Are you real? How can I find out if this is your real red hair? If this is the same red hair you have on your, uh, your, your, these eyebrows.”

“You are speaking of my future lover. Be more respectful.”

“Well, maybe you're not afraid of me, but I'm sure you've thought about me naked, huh?”

Bad Boys are a Romance staple. We have the jocks, the rakes, the badasses with tight asses, the racers, the auto mechanics, border lords, the list goes on. There are novel titles such as: Bad Boys Next Exit, Bad Boys of Summer, and Immortal Bad Boys.

My first bad boy of the romantic novel nature was Cameron Quinn in Nora Robert’s Sea Swept. Quinn was a European Boat Racer who rode women as fast as his boats. This is the first book in Roberts’ Chesapeake Bay Series. I loved the series. I was clichedly swept away, in fact.

On page two, the lovely supermodel Martine tells Cameron right out what a bad boy he is. He concurs, and asks if she’d like their coupling fast or slow, reminding her he races boats and likes all things fast.

Their hot one night stand is interrupted when a message is delivered to his room; seems his father is dying. And since all bad boys are really good boys at heart, Cameron tells Martine to pick up her panties and scram. He’s got to go.

Martine, beautiful and not used to rejection, badgers Cam to the point of annoyance. Cameron picks her up, dress in hand—not on her person, mind you—and pitches her out into the hall, bare-ass naked. Oh, Cameron, you really are a bad boy.

Sea Swept by Nora RobertsCameron makes it home, but Dad dies soon after. He leaves him and his two adopted brothers to care for young Seth. Cameron’s fast-paced life soon turns domestic. It’s pretty cute and funny to see such a tough guy unravel. It’s also pretty hot how Cameron falls for the no-nonsense social worker, Anna Spinelli. Anna has her own painful past and is hell-bent on making Cameron face his to properly be there for Seth.

When they meet, it mirrors very much like the other bad-boy-meets-stubborn-girl scenarios mentioned above. At first glance Anna muses that he is an outrageously sexy package. Cameron takes in that her skirt did zero for the great set of legs coming his way. When she asks if Cameron is prepared to be the legal guardian of young Seth, giving up his fast-paced life, he stalks away into the house for a much needed beverage.

'Mr. Quinn—'

'Still here?' He twisted the top off a Harp. 'Want a beer?'

'No, Mr. Quinn—'

'I don’t like social workers.'

'You’re joking.' She allowed herself to flutter her lashes at him. 'I never would have guessed.'

His lips twitched before he lifted the bottle to them. 'Nothing personal.'

'Of course not. I don’t like rude, arrogant men. That’s nothing personal either. Now, are you ready to discuss Seth’s welfare, or should I simply come back with proper paperwork and the cops?'

She would, Cam decided after another study. She might have been given a face suitable for painting, but she wasn’t a pushover.

The bad boy is tamed by the wounded soul…eventually. It was a great read and I look forward to more Romantic Bad Boys. Any suggestions?

Bad boys, bad boys,

What ya gonna do?

What ya gonna do when they come for you?

Beg for more and more and more!


Charli Mac, Aspiring Author, Mother, Wife & Part-Time Clown

Twitter @CharliMacs

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Heather Waters
1. HeatherWaters
Patrick Verona!!!! parts of 10 Things I Hate About You. Sad but true. Great examples, Charli Mac! I don't think of myself as someone particularly drawn to the bad boys, but I did love Patrick, of course, and Johnny in Dirty Dancing (but then who doesn't?), and I remember I loved Sea Swept too... So yeah, maybe I should reevaluate!
Megan Frampton
2. MFrampton
I *love* it when bad boys get tamed by the love of a good woman. And when they stay bad, too, even when in love (hi, Mr. Rochester!)
Regina Thorne
3. reginathorn
Oooooh, The Outsiders! I loved that book! On another note, Diane Lane is just a supremely beautiful woman - she's still gorgeous.

Not romance bad boys, but "Game of Thrones" has a fabulous bad boy whom many people fell in love with later on, and of course, there's Spike from "Buffy" and Logan Echolls from "Veronica Mars" and I could probably think of a dozen more I love after I drink some more coffee!

For me, I think it's probably my leftover thing from reading a lot of 19th century novels wherein the bad boys were the only ones with a sense of humor!

@MFrampton I don't want them to stay bad so much as I want them to stay sarcastic and sharp-witted!
Saundra Peck
4. sk1336
I have ALWAYS been drawn to the bad boys of romance. I think it is because in real life I have chosen the true good men to make a life with. But ohh the bad boys of my fantasy life... the first tv one was probably James Garner of the "Rockford Files", that may date me a little...but I will say that I had to "watch" it by laying on the floor of my room, listening and peeking down the hall while my parents watched it in the living room!!! Too many book bad boys to list, "House" is my favorite one on tv now...and "Dancing with the Stars" Maks. Last night he stripped his arrogant Russian chest bare and displayed an American flag painted onto his abs while he and Kirstie danced to "American Woman"... His grinding in black leather pants is still fresh in my mind, the goose bumps on my arms are still there. Maybe if Maks finally wins a mirror ball trophy I will move on (doubtful...but that is what I say to my daughter who hates reality tv...if he wins I will try to stop describing why she should help me vote for him by using her extra phone line to give me 16 more votes), but until then Maks will defy the judges with his unconventional and "in your face" dances, and win my continued lust and loyalty. Ohh bad boys.... PS I love the "COPS" theme song...I am married to one too!
Charli Mac
5. CharliMac
@redline you love bad boys, stop kidding yourself. LOL.

@mframpton bad boys stay bad and we still love them for it!

@reginathorn Diane Lane is a timeless beauty, I agree. The Outsiders for me is still one fo my all time fave books.

@ski336 Maks is so damned hot! Aren't are cops bad boys at heart? LOL.
Janet Webb
6. JanetW
Where's Vidal, the bad boy of all bad boys (Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer)? He kills a man, shoots a man, arranges for the daughter of a cit (sorta ... read the book to sort out the nuances) to run away with him to Paris ... I'm sure I've left something out, but this is all in a 24-hour period. He's no fake rake.
Carrie Strickler
7. DyslexicSquirrel
Oh, I totally thought about him naked...

Shannon McKenna has written some of my favorite bad boys. I would never turn down a McCloud. They're such hard asses, but on the inside, they're squishy. I love when Davy gets all freaked out because Margot is preggers! And I'm hoping one of these days she writes about the rest of the Duncan men.

That song doesn't make me think of Cops (well not much, anyway) . It makes me think of the movie Bad Boys. Will Smith was so hot. I watched the second one a couple days ago.
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