Bad Boyfriends in Literature

I’ve had several reviewers and fans say that in the Ripper series they do not like Abbie’s love interest, William Siddal. Apparently, there are A LOT of Simon fans--I’ve received several e-mails from Ripper and Renegade readers saying that they don’t understand why Abbie picks William over Simon. The answer is simple and is nothing new in literature: Abbie knows that Simon would be better for her, and yet, she cannot conquer her feelings for William. Ever. In Abbie’s defense, many heroines in literature don’t always pick sensible boyfriends. Here are a few examples. Case #1: Heathcliff

Heathcliff in Emily Brontё’s Wuthering Heights, is perhaps the worst boyfriend Cathy could pick. A “fierce, pitiless, and wolfish man” (to use Cathy’s own words) when he can’t have her, he ruins the lives of everyone around him, even abusing her own daughter. And although I love to get sucked into a wildly dysfunctional Brontё love story, by the time he tries to hang Cathy’s dog, well…I can’t summon up any sort of literary bad guy crush.

Case #2: Mr. Rochester

In Charlotte Brontё’s novel, Jane Eyre, Mr. Rochester has a pretty strong argument for being bad boyfriend material. Falling in love with him as she cares for his illegitimate daughter, Adele, Jane has to endure all of Rochester’s snotty neighbors and his manipulative games. He feels the need to tell Jane about all of his romps with former mistresses. And he’s keeping a little (ok, a gargantuan) secret in his attic.  St. John Rivers, the handsome but cold-fish theologian seems like a safer bet. But alas…when Jane stands at a crossroads as two men vie for her heart, she, without regrets, follows her heart.

Case #3 Mr. Darcy

In Jane Austen’s masterpiece, Pride and Prejudice, arrogant beyond belief, Mr. Darcy is rude to heroine Elizabeth Bennet upon first meeting her; he convinces his friend Bingley to forget about the girl he loves—Elizabeth’s beautiful sister Jane, and he asks Elizabeth to marry him in perhaps the most condescending proposal in the world: “I have fought against my better judgment.” Finally, it’s very hard to get over the fact that his name is: Fitzwilliam. Fortunately, Lizzie Bennet is no wallflower. She angrily refuses him and dresses him down for ruining her sister’s happiness.  But he earns back her love, paying off the rake Wickham to marry Lizzie’s ruined sister Lydia, easing Bingley back into the arms of Jane, and eventually winning back Lizzie’s heart.

GIVEAWAY: Go to my Facebook page wall and write the name of your favorite bad boyfriend in literature. It can be from any book: young adult, romance, or mystery, and I will enter your name in a drawing for a signed copy of RENEGADE. The contest ends at 5:oo next Friday (July 26).