Today I’m talking about villains—those characters we all love to hate. There are villains and then there are villains. In romance, there are villains who, once we get to know them, aren’t as bad as we think and totally redeemable, then there are scoundrels who break women’s hearts, and then there are those who are truly evil, who actually engage in torture and murder etc.
Examples of a villain who is not of the murdering variety, but who is certainly a cad of the worst kind, is the dashing John Willoughby from SENSE and SENSIBILITY. I think you’ll agree he was a thorough rascal and an immoral scoundrel. Totally irredeemable.
Then there is the very evil anti-hero who is found in romantic suspense type stories. I have two very evil villains in my upcoming soon to be released Regency romantic suspense, INVITATION TO PASSION (29 July 2014). Both of my villains are slightly mad and are determinedly focused on revenge. I shan’t share who they are as that would ruin the story. Here’s the blurb:
Consummate rake, Lord Richard Craven, has his heartbroken when the woman he loves is forced into an arranged marriage to a violent brute. To make matters worse, circumstances force him to marry Lady Madeline Knight—a woman he views more like a sister-only for fate to play the cruelest of tricks. Shortly after his wedding his former lover is widowed, and Richard learns she could be pregnant with his child.
Madeline Knight thought she was doing the right thing when she saved Richard Craven from his lover’s irate husband. Now her silly schoolgirl crush has left her married to a man who’s in love with another woman. Consumed with guilt over trapping Richard, she tries her best to be the perfect wife and win his heart. Failure is not an option. For if she fails she loses everything, she loves him too much not to set him free…
While Richard and Madeline confront the reality of their marriage, Madeline’s life comes under threat. A family enemy is set on revenge. Will Richard learn the truth of his heart, and what is truly precious to him, before the unknown enemy destroys their world?
Then there is the hero who, at the beginning of the book, is a bit of a rake, and although, along with the heroine we want to hate him, it’s not long before we realize that behind his rakish ways beats a heart just longing to find that special ‘one’. Harlow Telford, Duke of Dangerfield in my Wicked Wagers Trilogy, book #1, TO DARE THE DUKE OF DANGERFIELD, is just such a mistaken villain.
I must admit I am partial to all villains if their actions fit the story. Sense and Sensibility would not have had such tension or drama without John. Plus, I’m also partial to a damsel in distress type story too. I do love a story where it starts with a very evil man, and then I love watching him get his just deserves.
I always find hidden evil far more interesting in any story, be it a movie, TV program or book! I love being able to try to follow clues or hints from the writer as to who the baddies might be and I’m extra happy when I’m surprised.
Then again, sometimes I like knowing whom the villain is from the start, so I can take satisfaction in watching him be destroyed from the very start.
In Invitation to Passion, I don’t promise to surprise you, but I hope you are at least unsure of the villain’s identity for most of the book. Drop me a line and let me know at which chapter you guessed who the murderer is in Invitation to Passion.
Today I’m giving away a copy (book or eBook) of Invitation to Scandal, the book before Invitation to Passion, which sets up the villainy. Tell me who you think is the sexiest villain (male or female) in any book or TV show or movie, and which villain you’d like to personally redeem. I’ll draw the winner on Saturday 21 June and its open internationally.
Thanks for popping by!
Are you playing the Romantic Pursuit game? Here’s today’s question: What’s the name of the heroine in INVITATION TO PASSION? Click here to answer.