I first met Anna at last year’s RWA conference in Orlanda. She’s funny, enthusiastic, amazingly generous and she writes wonderful, sexy historicals, to boot. Don’t know what I ever did without her. Please welcome Anna …
Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know by Anna Campbell
Oh, no!!! At the last Romance Writers of America conference in Orlando, two really EVOL people told me I was stalking them. And would you believe they’re BOTH here at Riding with the Top Down? I wonder if they know I’ve tracked them down to their lair. Bwahahahahaha!
who are those evol people? Cindy Gerard and Helen Brenna! Sheesh! I’d better watch my back and synchronise watches with my extraction team tracking me from the sidelines.
But yanno, I’m not sure I count as a stalker anymore!
The wonderful Helen invited me here as her guest and I’ve not long ago spent a whole weekend with the marvellous Cindy at the Australian Romance Readers Association convention at Bondi Beach in Sydney. Cindy was a huge hit with the Aussies. We seriously want to adopt her. People in the U.S. – we’ll swap you two neutered koala bears and a constipated wombat for one Cindy Gerard. Deal?
Anyway, enough of this absurdity – a
nd all jokes aside, if only temporarily, I’m very happy to be here, Riders, thank you for asking me – although all that nonsense kind of leads into what I want to talk about today.
Perhaps not precisely evol, but definitely a bit dodgy when it comes to the moral compass – or at least until they’ve completed the journey of redemption this particular topless car means to take them on.
My sixth historical romance for Avon, MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION, is out on 26th April and it features my first genuine rake hero in Nicholas Challoner, Marquess of Ranelaw. I’ve done guys people THINK are rakes before but honestly, Kylemore was pretty much a one-woman man, Matthew had no chance to be a rake, Erith played up a bit but really was acting out grief and anger, Gideon was a knight in shining armor and Ashcroft was just misunderstood.
Which leads me to Ranelaw, the hero of MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION.
He’s not at all misunderstood, and while he has cause to hate his enemy Godfrey Demarest, when he focuses his revenge not on Godfrey but on Godfrey’s innocent daughter Cassandra, he’s not acting in a principled manner. And he’d probably succeed in his vengeance, too, if not for Cassie’s spirited and mysterious companion Antonia Smith. Yeah, with a name like that, you just KNOW it has to be an alias, don’t you? Ranelaw has finally met his match and falling in love with Antonia will drag him kicking and screaming back into the human race. I love it when they don’t surrender willingly!
Ranelaw was great fun to write. He’s smart and self-aware and sardonic – and as the author, I loved to foil his machinations. He’s also enormously self-confident which is appealing in a hero, especially when our heroine starts chipping chinks in that elegant armor. By the end, he’s been through the wringer and he’s a better, wiser man for the experience.
For me, that’s a huge part of the appeal of the bad boy story. The fact that the story arc allows for major change in a man who at the beginning isn’t worthy of his happy ending. In chapter one, he mightn’t justify the description ‘hero’, by the end, he definitely does. Big sigh of satisfaction from the reader! Well, THIS reader anyway.
You can read an excerpt from MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION here: http://www.annacampbell.info/wildpassion.html
So are you a fan of the bad boy hero? Any favorites? I’ll pick one commenter to win a signed copy of MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION featuring the evol Lord Ranelaw. Good luck!