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Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Lure of The Dangerous Male

As a writer, I strive to make sure my characters are varied.  I don't want to write the same people over and over again.  But it's difficult to ignore the fact that many readers of erotic romance love the dangerous male.  I hear readers say they like the nice guy, but they seem to always come around for my bad guys. 

My novella Vampire Dreams is a fine example.  The hero of the story, a vampire named Brandon, gets mentioned so infrequently, you'd think he was the doorman I wrote in to help another character with his bags.  Brandon even has a dash of danger to him and visits the heroine each night, seducing her as she sleeps, but he's nowhere as bad as the villain of the story, Vasilije.  But who do readers always mention?  Vasilije. 

Bad boys are popular because they flaunt all the rules and ooze confidence.  They come into a room and everyone looks, immediately noticing the scene has changed and someone special has arrived.  They're usually so self-involved that they don't notice everyone else, but no matter.  If they're mad, bad, and dangerous to know, they're appealing. 

I enjoy writing bad guys. So much of what a villain is can be expressed so well in words, while often the hero seems just so...nice.  There's nothing wrong with nice, mind you, but as far as I can tell, I'm not the only romance reader who loves the ones who aren't so nice. 

For me, the parts of Vampire Dreams that involve Vasilije were so easy to write because he's so utterly hedonistic. There's little he won't do to satisfy his desires, and if those actions hurt others, he cares little.  From what readers have told me, they adore Vasilije's badness, and I've been asked so often if he'll be getting his own story that I've begun a new WIP that will be Vasilije's story.  I guess the bad guy wins again.

Here's the blurb for Vampire Dreams to let you in on the story:

Homeless and without any family, Arden Stephens must live on the streets of mid 19th century London, never a safe place for a young woman.  One night, as she is running for her life from an attacker, she is rescued by Brandon Ridley and offered a place in his home as his maid.  Brandon is enchanted by Arden from the moment they meet, but just as she has secrets, so too does he.  A vampire hundreds of years old, he yearns for the companionship she can give him.  But for that he must make her one of his kind.

Nightly, he visits her in her sleep, preparing her for the night he will finally make her his own.  For Arden, the wanton dreams she has about her handsome employer seduce her and each day when she wakes up, she finds herself more drawn to him.  But love and desire aren't enough for Brandon to sire her.  He must first obtain the approval of his maker, an ancient vampire named Vasilije who has thwarted his chance for happiness before.

But if Brandon can convince him, he may finally find the love he's been without for centuries.

So what about you?  Do you like the good guy or the bad guy?  Let me know what you think!


Anonymous said...

I have to admit the bad boys always get my attention. For instance, I always preferred Spike to Angel on the Buffy tv series. The bad boy has a magnetic pull the boy scouts don't.

User1123 AT comcast DOT net

Na said...

Hi Gabrielle! I really like it when authors create new characters. Sometimes I come across books by the same author where the stories are different but the hero seems the same. I don't mind if it's a hero I like but a change is definitely appreciated. I like the bad guy with the big heart. Despite his bad ways, he does things that show his sensitive nature. Maybe he reluctantly helps something or grudingly confesses his feelings. I like seeing the sensitive nature of a hero who is seemingly cruel.

Robin said...

How about a good guy who has some bad? I am interested in your WIP!

Robin D
robindpdx (at) yahoo (dot) com

Gabrielle said...

Thanks ladies! I like giving my bad guy a little good, too. :) I can't ever give my bad boy all bad! I love them too much.

Cathy M said...

I tend to go with the bad boys in the stories that I read. A reformed bad boy can be so much fun.

caity_mack at yahoo dot com