The Medieval Bad Boys We Love to Hate
Bad boys abound in romance novels. From the billionaire boss who learns to love to the rock star hero forced to mend his wild ways, readers love to hate these wicked men. But sometimes, to find the baddest boys of them all, one must look beyond hunky MC heroes’ tattoos to a time when a small chink in your amor could mean life or death. I give you. . . medieval bay boys.
Last week I received my current manuscript back from the editor. “Reid,” she said, “must be softened a bit.” In my quest to ensure this Scottish warrior would be as wickedly delicious as his English knight counterparts, I may have gone a bit overboard. Balancing the ideals of the chivalric code on one hand and the ruthlessness of the most skilled of all men in Scotland or England on the other can be a tricky balance. In one scene our medieval bad boy accepts the favor of a young woman, and in the next, he charges at his jousting opponent wearing 200 pounds of armor on a 2,000 pound war horse. Things can (and did) go wrong.
So which romance novelists got it right? Who are some of the bad boys of the medieval romance world? There are too many to mention in one post, but here are a few that balance charm and courtesy on one hand with power and passion on the other.
Royce Westmoreland, A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught
With lines like, “I despise hypocrisy, particular when it is coated with holiness,” readers of A Kingdom of Dreams have no flowery illusions about the hero of this classic tale. “His very name strikes terror in the hearts of his enemies,” but we fall in love with him despite it.
Lachlan MacRuairi, The Viper by Monica McCarty
An unabashed Monica McCarty fan, I could not compile a list of medieval romance without at least one of the Highland Guard heroes. As bad boys go, none are edgier than Lachlan “Viper” MacRuairi in The Viper who will have readers rooting against him even before the first page. After being mentioned in previous books in the series, the question foremost on readers’ minds is likely, “How can she possibly redeem this guy?” Fortunately, Ms. McCarty can, and she does. Quite splendidly, in fact.
Ranulf, The Black Lyon, Jude Devereux
A fierce temper, untamed jealousy. . . you know, everything you’d want in a boyfriend. Or perhaps a book boyfriend, because if any friend of mine dated a man like Ranulf in The Black Lyon, I would have her head checked. But in this first book of the Montgomery/Taggart family series, I’ll take my hero with an extra dash of medieval swagger please.
Alec Kincaid, The Bride, Julie Garwood
Some romance hereos need no introduction. But if you’ve not had the pleasure of reading The Bride before now, here is a taste of Alec Kincaid at his finest. If only all women *cough* could be introduced so eloquently as Jamie:
“By what name is she called, Kincaid?”
Bryce Waryn, The Lord’s Captive, Cecelia Mecca
In a post about medieval bad boys, I figured it was acceptable to get a bit cheeky and recommend my own book. While Bryce may not have the edge Reid Kerr will in The Rogue’s Redemption which it comes out in October, he did kidnap the heroine and is a bit of an arse when we first meet him in The Lord’s Captive, the second book in the Border Series filled with dastardly English knights and their Scottish enemies turned romance heroes.
Available August 9, 2018!
by Cecelia Mecca
Released: August 9 2018
Series: Enchanted Falls #2
**Coming August 9, 2018-- Get Book 1 in this trilogy from Emma Prince on July 26, 2018. Book 3, written by Keira Montclair, will be available August 23rd**
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When she’s sent back to the past she finds new hope for the future.
Hannah Sutton prides herself on being a strong, independent woman, perfectly in control of her career and personal life. But her orderly existence is upended when she and her sisters travel to Scotland and jump off an enchanted waterfall as a lark. After blacking out, she finds herself marooned near a castle in England, alone. Everyone she meets appears to be a devoted reenactor, dressed from head to toe in medieval gear, but soon the truth becomes undeniable. Hannah has traveled back in time.
Tristan wasn’t meant to be a lord, but his bravery and prowess in battle earned him the lordship of Saxford. Now, he faces a challenge that might very well unseat him—his ten-year truce with Saxford’s biggest enemy is about to come to an end. It’s the worst possible time for a mysterious woman to wash up on his beach, especially one who claims to be from the future. But the beguiling beauty quickly gets under his skin, and he realizes there might be something to her claim.
Hannah and Tristan have an immediate attraction that grows deeper, and the longer she stays at Saxford, the more she begins to question if she wants to return to the
future—or make a future with her medieval knight.
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