Anna Randol’s Favorite Romantic Rogues
Is every bad boy a rogue? Is every rogue a bad boy?
Nope. At least not for me. To be a true rogue, the man needs not only a disregard for the rules, but also a certain charm and wit that has the matrons secretly swooning behind their fans even as they pretend to glare disapprovingly. A rogue can have a dark past, but he always hides it well. And—even more importantly—if he is going to star as a hero in a romance, a rogue needs to have a noble core under all the swagger and hijinks.
So who makes the cut? Here are a few of my favorite rogues in romance:
At First Glance: Chase pulls no punches with Sebastian. He is a rake in the worst sense of the word. He has spent his life getting into every sort of trouble he find. Most people think him a big, hulking, brute with a big nose. His goal is to make as much money as he can by whatever means he so chooses.
Why I love him: Chase had me hooked on Dain with this description of him as a child: “Though he’d never discerned any imps upon his shoulder or heard any whisper, Sebastian knew he must be wicked, because he was always being scolded or whipped. He preferred the whippings his tutor gave him. His father’s scolds made Sebastian feel hot and clammy cold at the same time, and then his stomach would feel as though it were filled with birds, all flapping their wings to get out, and then his legs would shake.”
What?!? How can anyone read that and not be dying to break through to help that wounded soul? This book has some of the best emotion I have read. When I was first learning to write, this was the book I kept coming back to again and again as I tried to learn to do it right. I adore it. Did I mention I adore it?
At first glance: Gabriel is one of London’s most notorious scoundrels with a wicked, wicked reputation only matched by his wicked smile.
Why I love him: Gabriel has a stellar wit that had me laughing the whole time. After finding the heroine in humiliated by her failure at a ball and hiding in the darkness, he steps up to make her laugh.
I dare you to not be charmed by this lord. Not only is he funny and secretly sweet, he also loves his family and is willing to do everything to help a half-sister he didn’t know he had.
At first glance: Joe is a different breed of rogue than the lords on this list. He’s a navy SEAL with a blue-collar background, a smart mouth, a cocky grin. He might be a bit more lawful and heroic than most rogues, but he’s not one to make things easy for anyone. He’s not afraid to say what he thinks no matter the waves it causes. And although the ladies love him, he’s never fallen in love and never really wanted to.
Why I love him: Joe may give off the perfect bad boy vibe, but he’s smart and never shirks his duty, not even when asked to protect a man he hates. And the scene where he meets with a sick little girl—just have a box of Kleenex ready. Trust me.
At first glance: Adrian is a trust fund vampire. He comes from money and is not afraid to flaunt it. He drinks and parties. He’s never been asked to do anything with his life, and he’s happy to live up to his father’s low opinion.
Why I love him: Depth! Mead is quick to show us what is under that roguish exterior. Humor. Self-doubt. Intensity. There’s intelligence and capability just waiting to be tapped. He can do more with a single serious look than most heroes can do with entire pages of dialogue. He’s never had to live up to expectations, but once he does, boy, we’re not disappointed! And his transformation is so skillfully handled, I never doubted that his sincerity and nobility were lurking there all the time.
Now for those days, when you’d rather find your rogue on TV than in a book? I debated on this one. There are so many delicious choices: Dr. Who (the David Tennant version, of course). Shawn Spencer from Psych. The handsome fellows from Supernatural. But in the end, I decided to go with….Nathan Fillion. Whether captaining a smuggling starship or solving crimes with the New York Police Department, he’s always ready with the perfect quip. He has the irresistible vibe that says, he might get me into trouble, but he’d be there to get me out of it as well. And in his current show, Castle, he plays a writer—and we all know what rogues they can be!
Anna Randol was raised in Southern California. When she was eight, she decided her diary was too dull and decided to write as if she lived on a raft in the Amazon with her imaginary dog, Cream Puff. At 12, Anna decided racing down rapids with only a dog for company might get rather lonely. Handsome British heroes began to appear on her raft, and her love of adventure-driven romance was born. Her next novel, Sins of a Ruthless Rogue, will be available March 26, 2013. She loves to hear from readers on Twitter @AnnaRandol or through Facebook