Who Are Your Favorite Bad Boys?

Don DraperThey’re mad, bad, and dangerous to know.  And we couldn’t live without them.  (In fiction, that is.)

From the first moment I was introduced to prototypical Bad Boy Vidal in Georgette Heyer’s Devil’s Cub, I’ve been a sucker for the Bad Boy mystique.  Though I recovered from my real life addiction (“tortured” used to be a positive guy descriptor for me in college), nothing fulfills my fantasies quite like a Bad Boy tempting a good woman.

My favorite Bad Boys?  Vidal was my first and will always hold a strong place in my heart.

I am currently swooning over Don Draper from TV’s Mad Men, early 60′s ad man extraordinare who has it all and nothing at the same time.  Men want to be him. Women want to sleep with him.  And he couldn’t be more lost and alone.  Hey, it works for me, baby.

In fiction, for the past four or five years, Eric the Vampire  from Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series (now being brought to life so splendidly on HBO’s True Blood by Alexander Skarsgard) has held top billing.  I’ve wavered a bit here and there with flirtations with J.R. Ward’s V, but for quite some time now, Eric has been my guy.  Or make that my vampire.

So, here’s the plan.  It’s a hot Friday in August.  We’re feeling languid and lazy.  And what better way to pass the time than by collecting here a list of our favorite Bad Boys of all time? Then, we’ll narrow it down to the top eight or so and poll on the blog next week to name our unofficial favorite AAR Bad Boy.

Sound fun?  So, hit me.  Who are your favorite Bad Boys?

-Sandy AAR

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80 Responses to “Who Are Your Favorite Bad Boys?”

  1. DJ says:

    Well, if we can stray from books, I vote for Spike, the vampire from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

  2. Jean Wan says:

    In order of preference and redemption:

    Francis Crawford of Lymond (Lymond Chronicles)
    Vidal (Devil’s Cub)
    Sebastian St Vincent (Devil in Winter)

    Sigh.

  3. Chris B. says:

    Roughly in order of preference:

    Leopold Dautry, Duke of Villiers, in Eloisa James’s “Desperate Duchesses” series — a wonderfully “non-pretty” hero who still dresses to the nines, snarky as all get out, and completely sexy. He is without question the best thing in the series. Makes me wish I’d been an 18th century duchess myself.

    Edward de Raaaf in Elizabeth Hoyt’s “The Raven Prince,” — big, bluff fellow with a scarred face and a horrible temper, but he’s a marshmallow underneath.

    Sebastian, Marquess of Dain, in Loretta Chase’s “Lord of Scoundrels.” Possibly the ultimate bad boy with a tortured soul.

    Valentine Wharton in Elisabeth Fairchild’s “Captain Cupid Calls the Shots” (where he’s more antagonist than hero) and “Valentine’s Change of Heart.” A man coping with his own post-war trauma and drinking problem while also learning to be a father. For best impact, read these books together.

    Alasdair MacLachlan in Liz Carlyle’s “One Little Sin” — a classic rakehell — blonde, witty, and adorably immoral — but with a virtue or two hiding in there somewhere.

    Reggie Davenport in Mary Jo Putney’s “The Rake” — ex-wastrel trying to turn his life around, sure to steal the reader’s heart.

  4. Nancy says:

    What I’m finding interesting in the comments – is that authors are disagreeing with readers opinions of who constitutes a bad boy. When a bad boy is based on personal opinion – or a person who flouts convention.

  5. Laurie says:

    Yes – just what constitutes a bad boy? I vote for my very favorite – Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent from Devil in Winter. However, I noted others offering Derek Craven from Dreaming of You as a bad boy – I would also vote for him. However others noted that he wasn’t really a bad boy – just a very alpha male. Some of the others I had in mind might also be considered more alpha males than true bad boys – Nick Gentry from Worth Any Price, Zachary Bronson from Where Dreams Begin and Bramwell Lowry Johns from Always A Scoundrel – are my other favorites.

  6. Jess says:

    Nick Allegrezza from Truly Madly Yours by Rachel Gibson.

  7. kh says:

    so many
    spike
    lori foster books

  8. Robin says:

    What about…

    Roland from The Dedicated Villain by Patricia Veryan?
    Alan from Sunsine and Shadows?
    Definitely Vidal!

  9. Ros says:

    Another vote for Vidal, though I have to note that his father is much, much wickeder, though I personally don’t find him as attractive. In fact, I’m terrified of Avon. I love Damerel, too.

  10. Jean Wan says:

    Ooh ooh ooh! Damerel! Forgot him! Another vote for that bad, bad boy.

  11. Chris B. says:

    Oooh, I adore the Duke of Avon. And I agree with all the folks who have suggested St. Vincent from “Devil in Winter” as well.

  12. KarenS says:

    I think any and all Linda Howard heroes would qualify for bad boy status. There’s Diaz from “Cry No More,” the Death Angel hero, Kell Sabin from “Diamond Bay” and I would add Cord Blackstone from “Tears of the Renegade. Oh and the hero from “After the Night.” Is he a bad boy or what?

    I have always liked Archer Donovan from Elizabeth Lowell’s “Pearl Cove” with his take no prisoners approach to life so he’s a bad boy for me.

    Loretta Chase’s hero James from “Your Scandalous Ways” was bad and delicious.

  13. LisaSF says:

    Sebastian St. Vincent
    Roarke
    Derek Craven
    Hardy Cates, from Blue Eyed Devil

  14. Ida says:

    Well, Nick Gautier from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Darkhunter series was not really a bad boy in the early books but I think he could be considered one now.

    As for TV bad boys, I have to nominate Sawyer from Lost and Tim Riggans from Friday Night Lights. Tortured hero types are always nice…

  15. mingqi says:

    i’ve seen a lot and have liked a lot of bad boys in romances, but I don’t think they would have done anything really dastardly…except maybe St.Vincent from It Happened One Autumn (he was sort of tame during his own book, Devil in Winter) and Vidal from Devil’s Cub (he did attempt to drug the heroine at one point and intended to rape her until she shot him). Other not-really-that-bad-boy faves are Nick Gentry (from Worth any price), Villiers (from the Desperate Duchesses series), and Jack Seward (from Connie Brockway’s All Through the Night…though he was more of a good guy with a dangerous air about him)

  16. Michelle says:

    Sebastian St. Vincent from Devil in Winter
    Lucien Knight from Lord of Ice
    Damian Knight from Lord of Ice
    Chandos from A Heart so Wild

    I really love Chandos. He’s one of my favorite really bad boy heroes.

  17. Pam says:

    Cade August-Marley’s Choice

    Tv bad boy Eric- True Blood

  18. [...] Sandy AAR asks Who Are Your Favorite Bad Boys? [...]

  19. Lu Anne Scott says:

    Another vote for Vidal but I’m surprised no one mentioned Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind- he’s a privateer aka pirate, and he took a girl on an unchaperoned buggy ride and then refused to marry her- tame by today’s standards but in 1939 definitely hot.

  20. mustlove11 says:

    from everything else i’ve read so far, sebastian st vincent from ‘devil in winter’ is definitely the ultimate badboy. he’s smooth, slick, hedonistic and unapologetic about his bad behaviour. thats a true badboy. its usually rare to find a true badboy in romance novels (historical or otherwise), usually they’re just alpha males. so dont get confused.

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  22. autumn mae says:

    Dallas Winston from The Outsiders. The fact that Matt Dillon portrayed him in the 1983 movie helps a bit *drools*

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