Guest Author: Anna Campbell

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:

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!


About Helen Brenna

Helen Brenna is the RITA award winning author of romances for Harlequin's Superromance line. Three more books in her popular Mirabelle Island series will be release in July, August and September of 2011. For more information, check out her website at
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72 Responses to Guest Author: Anna Campbell

  1. Hey Anna, I’d have to say my fav bad boy from one of your books would be Julian Southwood from Tempt the devil. He’s most def a Bad boy! 😉 Can’t wait to read this book it sounds great!



  2. Hey, Stacey, lovely to see you! How cool you picked Julian as your fave bad boy! Excellent stuff! If you like Julian, I think Ranelaw will appeal to you 😉 Thanks for swinging by and good luck in the draw!

  3. Hi Anna! Your friendly stalker here! *grin* I love reading all about you and your books as I follow your book tour. I must say, I learn something new at every blog! That is a very good thing as I’m never bored. *wink*

    Bad boy, huh? I like my men how I like my toasted marshmallows. Hard and crusty on the outside, but soft as butter on the inside. Charming image, huh? I guess if I have to pick a fav out of the world of fiction (because you haven’t meet my hubby *smirk*) it would have to be Vin Diesel. Hubba, hubba! Yep! I like a man who can drive car hard and pack a punch when he needs to. *grin*

    • Danielle, love the marshmallow image! Yum! Works for me. And thanks for swinging by all the blogs – I’ve got about 10 days of fairly heavy blogging ahead, you may flag. You know, they don’t make stalkers the way they used to 😉 This one was fun to do, especially as I know Helen and Cindy.

      • WOW! Ten days still… well, I’m going to try to hand in there. At least at the conference (in August) I’ll be able to tap you on the shoulder and introduce myself in person. I’ll try not to giggle like a school girl…. but no promises. *wink* Or perhaps I’ll just sit in the back while I attend one of the seminars, too embarrassed to meet you in person. Hmm, perhaps that’ll set me up as a stalker somewhat more…. Better think on it.

      • Hey, cool you’re coming to conference. Is it your first one? I LOVE conference – it always makes my brain buzz (in a good way!). And definitely introduce yourself – I’m actually not THAT scary, snort! Well, actually, now I think of it. Did you see Christina Brooke and I are doing a workshop on writing single titles? Hope you can make it. And I’m now up for an author chat – Go down to B-9

  4. Amy Conley says:

    Hello Anna, I LOVE bad-boys! If you knew me you’d know just how true that statement is! I’ll put it to you this way, when I married my hubby all those many years ago, everyone in my family said, “He’s nothing like anyone I would ever see you with!” And why was that? It’s cause my hubby was a “good guy” and they all knew I ALWAYS picked the ‘bad boys’!

    • Ooh, Amy, how interesting that you went against type with your hubby. I must say I can see the appeal of a bad boy and at least in a romance novel, he’s always redeemable. Not ALWAYS the case in real life, sadly. It was huge fun to play around with the bad boy archetype when I was writing Ranelaw. He really is BAAAAADDDDDD at the start! 😉

  5. Pingback: Guest Author: Anna Campbell (via Riding With The Top Down) | Conley Corner

  6. Debra says:

    So many bad boys I have read about over the years.Rakes,Pirates,Knights,Highlanders and even an Indian or two.From atop a horse, to astride a harley.Each found to have a heart even if it almost killed them.I can’t wait to read Your latest bad boy.From what I have read All of us will have a new favorite Bad Boy. 😉

  7. Kylie Brant says:

    Welcome Anna! I think the bad boy hero has universal appeal. I have a couple proposals in the works and in one the hero really is bad. He has a long way to go to redemption, which is what I love about him! My favorite hero to write was the head of a criminal empire in The Business of Strangers. Good times 🙂

    • Kylie, watch out! I clearly have a penchant for stalking you gals! Thanks for having me as your guest today! Ooh, the hero of a criminal empire – what a challenge. Actually I think the challenge of the bad boy is part of his universal, enduring appeal, don’t you? We want his road to redemption to be tough. We want him to suffer! And yum to all that sexy angst on the way 😉

  8. Helen Brenna says:

    Hi, Anna!! Thanks for coming to visit with us today!

    I love bad boys, both to read and write! Congrats on the new release. Love the gorgeous cover and can’t wait to read it!

    • Thanks, Helen! I LOVE that cover too – the Aussie cover is quite gothic and delicious too. Feel very spoilt! Thanks for the congrats and thanks so much for having me as your guest today. As you know (all stalking jokes aside!), you’re one of my favorite authors and I”m so excited about you being up for a RITA this year! Congratulations!

  9. pjpuppymom says:

    Hi Anna!

    Ooh, Bad Boys! One of my favorite topics! Ranelaw is most definitely a very bad boy and, after devouring MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION, one of my favorites. You always manage to make me fall in love with your heroes. 🙂

    High on my list of favorite bad boys is Adrik Wilder from Christina Dodd’s INTO THE SHADOW. Love that man, even though half-way through the book I still wasn’t sure how Dodd was ever going to redeem him. Kind of like how I felt about Ranelaw!

    • PJ, thank you so much for your wonderful support for this book. It means a LOT!!!! You have no idea how happy I was when you emailed to say how much you loved this story! Mwah to you! I haven’t read that CD. I’ll have to check it out. As you can tell, I like a difficult redemption story! Ranelaw doesn’t want to be dragged into the light, does he? But Antonia manages it, more power to her right arm!

  10. Desere says:

    Hi Anna,

    Wow another giveaway you are on a serious roll !!

    I am going to have to also say Julian Southwood from Tempt the devil is my ultimate favorite bad boy all the way !!

    • Desere, how lovely! Thank you! He’s not that BAD. Well, he’s good when he’s bad if you know what I mean. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink! I’m blogging all over the universe for ten days or so! I hope you’ll continue to stalk me – it’s always lovely to see you.

  11. May says:

    Wow… it seems like you are having a book give-away daily. 🙂 Not that I am complaining…. 🙂

    Your excerpt sounds interesting and your hero seems like a great bad boy! 🙂 Looking forward to reading it.

  12. MIchele says:

    Welcome, Anna! I love my boyz bad. And your cover! Gorgeous!

  13. Kathleen says:

    Are there any other kind of boys to like… I love to read about the BAD BOYS.. And I think I may have had a Bab Boy or two in the past….

    • Kathleen, thank you so much for having me as your guest on the blog today. I’m having a wonderful time. Clearly bad boys are EVERYBODY’s favorite flavor! Ooh, confesssions of past indiscretions? Tell us more! 😉

  14. Kathleen says:

    Whoop for got to me mention that I am kind of partical to Cindys bad boys of the Black OPS… now there are some really yummy bad boys…

  15. leannebanks says:

    Welcome to the vert Anna! I’m sorry I missed you in Australia, but I left early from Cindy’s merry traveling band because of a speaking engagement back in the states. Your latest sounds FAB, and I do so love a woman strong enough to take on a bad boy and make him human! LOVE IT!:) Leanne Banks

    • Leanne, I was really sorry I missed you too. Kept hearing of you popping up where I was NOT!!!! ARRA was huge fun – I’m sure Cindy’s told you. She was a major hit down with us. Maybe both of you can come to the convention next time. What fun! Hope you enjoyed your visit! And thank you for having me here today. Yeah, it’s the turning bad boy human that’s the delicious part of all this, isn’t it? Yum!

  16. donna ann says:

    What’s not to love about a bad boy hero? Watching them fall (and so very hard and usually rather unelegantly too) is always a pleasure. I think they appeal to most women. A bad boy reformed by love is the best of both worlds — they bad boy for play, the reformed for home & hearth 😉

    Congrats on the new release 🙂

    • Thanks, Donna. It’s been a really fun couple of days! Oh, love your description of what happens to our Mr. Cool when he falls in love. It’s such fun, isn’t it? And as you say, then our lucky heroine ends up with the best of both worlds!

  17. Stonehawk says:

    Well I’m not sure if I remember which book I favored due to having a bad boy in it. Oh well. I figured that your book would be vveerryy interesting worth reading. Can’t wait to get it and see how your bad boy turns out. You got me curious.

    • Hey, cool, Stonehawk! My work is done. I can just sit back now, drink champagne, and let the Riding girls take over! 😉 I think my bad boy might JUST discover he’s human – hope you have fun on the journey!

  18. lois greiman says:

    Hey Anna, thanks so much for joining us at Top Down. What a gorgeous cover!!

  19. Angelique says:

    I love bad boy heroes! There’s something about the alpha male that just works for me.

  20. Minna says:

    I have many favorite bad boys, but only one I can think of is Roarke from in Death series.

  21. Yes, I am following you, nipping on your heels, got my walking shoes on as you suggested! You know I love the bad boy. Lord St. Vincent from Lisa Kleypas’s winter book (can’t think of the whole title) sticks out in my mind. And of course, Julian from your own Tempt The Devil. And just to go all paranormal, all of the Black Dagger Brotherhood guys from JR Ward and the Demon hunks of Larissa Ione. Tortured, bad beast-men. Love it.
    Again, all the best for your smash release!

    • Ooh, the Devil in Winter! Great choice, Karyn. By the way, I think that’s one of the most beautiful titles ever. I get serious title envy whenever I think of that book! Yes, he was definitely a bad boy! Actually another one in that vein is the Duke of Avon from These Old Shades. Love the bit where Leonie tells him she won’t be his first love but she’ll be his last love. Sigh. Paranormals are full of bad boys! And how cool you mention my Earl of Erith! Thanks so much for the good wishes – always lovely to see you, even if the soles of your shoes are showing signs of wear! 😉

  22. Hellion says:

    Anna’s getting around today!! Hello, Anna!! I’d have to say my favorite bad boy is…Hugh Grant. (Is he a faux bad boy?) I know this is not a literary example, but for some reason the movie stars were coming to mind. Colin Farrell is a little too much; and Jude Law sometimes gets on my nerves, but Hugh…Hugh I always like, even if he’s caught picking up prostitutes.

    And yes, I’m a huge fan of bad boy heroes. The arc is so clear! *LOL*

    Besides aren’t most bad boys the “tortured souls”? I love tortured souls!

    • Helly, you can tell I’ve started my blog tour, can’t you? Lovely to see you again! I actually agree with you about Hugh and I think he’s delicious when he’s playing a rakish character like he does in Bridget Jones. Ooh, Mummy! Snicker! Yeah, I think all my bad boys have some torture (well, sometimes a LOT of torture, Ranelaw’s one of the less tortured ones) in their background.

  23. gamistress66 says:

    Anna — you’re misbehaving everywhere these days 😉 You know I love those bad boys types — they are just too yummy for words. Only problem with them is they steal my heart and then go and fall for some herione and reform on me, leaving me with only pleasant memories and a broken heart. Luckily my heart tends to mend quickly with the next book 😉 Looking forward to repeating the cycle with Ranelaw. Congrats once again!

    • Gamistress, I hope you’re keeping that wascally wooster in check! Yeah, blogging all over the universe for the next ten days! Snort at the heroes breaking your heart before moving onto the heroine. I hear you, my friend. I had such a crush on that rascally Ranelaw when I was writing him and then he darn well fell for that hussy Antonia! Sheesh! As you say, plenty of bad boy fish in the sea! 😉

  24. Delia Daza says:

    Hi Anna, as always I try to be here for you my friend 🙂
    I found your book at Target! I even took a picture which I will post on your Fan’s page today LOL
    I don’t know if you are still here but wanted to say hi and that I’m looking forward to reading your new book. Keep them coming 😉

    • Ooh, Delia, I’d LOVE to see the pic. A couple of the Aussies have sent me pics of the local edition on the shelves but I am yet to see the American edition out anywhere. Great news about finding it at Target! Thanks for picking it up. I’m definitely still here!!! Thanks for the support – it’s always wonderful to see you! x

  25. cindy gerard says:

    Okay – FIRST let’s get something straight. I will NOT be swapped for a mere pair of neutered koala bears and a constipated wombat. You’d have to toss in all of Anna Campbells books to seal the deal. BUT, having said that, it wouldn’t take much more than that for me to agree to becoming an ‘unofficial’ Aussie. Those ladies know how to rock the house! I loved them all.
    And I love Anna – even thought she does have this little stalker problem.

    So glad you’re riding with us today, Anna! And as for bad boys … is there any other kind??

    Much luck with your new release. I’m sure it will sell like American hotcakes!!

    • Snort, Cindy! What about TWO constipated wombat and I’ll chuck in a scrofulous bandicoot to seal the deal? And OK, I’ll throw in a book or two! But what if you decided you preferred the scrofulous bandicoot? I’d be crushed, crushed, I tell you! It was so WONDERFUL spending time with you in Australia – you’ll have to come back and SOON! Hey, did you see we had a little swoon over your heroes further up in the comments? That Raphael, sigh! Thanks for the good wishes!!!! And thanks for having me as your guest today.

  26. Kirsten says:

    Ah the bad boy… You know he’s all wrong for you and yet you love ‘m anyway. I myself am a huge fan of the (fictional!) rake/scoundrel etc. Wouldn’t want one in reality but on the page he’s more than satisfying.

    • Kirsten, I’m not convinced I’d want one in reality either – and I can definitely understand my heroines being wary of the bad boy (even if they can’t resist him!). They’re a fun archetype to play with!

  27. Maureen says:

    Congratulations Anna on your new book and first real rake! I would pick St. Vincent from Devil in Winter as my all time favorite rake.

    • Maureen, St. Vincent was getting some love earlier, did you notice? Still envy that title!!!! Perhaps I could call my next book the Devil in that Season that Comes After Autumn? Nah, I don’t think so either!

  28. catslady says:

    Oh, another lover of bad boys here! One warning though – they are a lot easier in romance books than in real life – I married mine. We are such total opposites but that’s the attaction lol. I love your books and you have such great covers!

    • Catslady, actually they’re not that easy in books either, snork! Love the sound of your romance – lots of sparks there! Thanks for saying you love the books – and isn’t that cover beautiful?

  29. chey says:

    I like bad boy heroes. I can’t remember any names right now.

  30. Deb says:

    Congrats, anna, on the release of MWP!

    My fave bad boy is Saint from Suzanne Enoch’s London’s Perfect Scoundrel. He was a BAD boy that redeemed himself at the end of the story.

  31. Deb, I love, love, LOVE that series. My fave was England’s Perfect Hero. The lead guy in that just broke my heart. Beautiful story. Great choice! Thanks for the congrats.

  32. Barbara Elness says:

    I’ve always enjoyed the bad boy hero – they’re always so much fun, especially when they meet their match and realize they want to mend their ways for her. One of my favorite bad boys is Jo Beverley’s Robin Fitzvitry, the fun-loving Earl of Huntersdown in A Lady’s Secret.

    • Hey, Barbara, great choice! Yeah, I think that’s the fun of the bad boy – when he meets that one woman he can’t twist around his little finger and he finds himself unable to break the fascination. Sigh. Always works for me!

  33. Welcome, Anna! I’m checking in late today. We have a birthday diva in the house. It’s her last single digit year, and you’d think she was about to be crowned Princess of Wales.

    I love a good bad boy. Oh, you mean the fictitious kind? Love those, too!

  34. Snort, Kathleen! I’m still giggling about ‘Indian humor’ when you visited the Banditas. You were a fantastic guest. I hope you’re going to come back and see us again. We loved having you! Yeah, I’m talking about the fictitious kind. Well, maybe… Thanks for having me as your guest on Riding today. Laughed at the birthday diva – wish her a very happy day for me!

  35. Quilt Lady says:

    Well I will just pop in and we all love the bad boy, just can’t help ourself.

  36. Quilt Lady, he seems to be universally loved! All of us appear to be a pushover for the bad boy!

  37. Leanna Morris says:

    Bad boy heroes in books….of course I’m a fan, although I can’t say I have a favorite.

  38. Leanna, seems like everyone’s a fan. It’s a bit like asking if people like chocolate, if today’s any indication, LOL! Thanks for swinging by!

  39. Thanks, girls, for a wonderful day here! Helen, thank you for inviting me to visit. It’s been such fun. Don’t forget to check back to see who won the signed copy of MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION! Good luck!

  40. Desere says:

    Thank you Anna, and yes I know what you mean about bad when being good! And I ll stalk you all the way !

  41. Amy Conley says:

    Have you choosen the winner yet?

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