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Who is the worst hero to be successfullly reformed?
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PWNN



Joined: 11 Apr 2010
Posts: 912

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm doubting their hearts were much involved. Razz He appealed to their libidinous desires and they got what he promised. From what I recall he didn't offer more and he didn't pressure, coerce or stalk women into capitulating. He is quite honest about his desires and intentions. He's physically beautiful, sensual, charming and attentive which is what makes him a temptation but being deliberately tempting is not the same as being ruthless. It might not be fulfilling or be hollow in the long run for the women and him but he wasn't making false promises. Similarly even though his seduction of the heroine is deliberate she knows this is all it is (though not the true reason) and she is still greatly tempted.


My candidate for best written reformed villain - how "reformed" is up for debate though I do believe in the HEA - Edith Layton's marvelous Duke of Torquay in The Duke's Wager. Now this is a true anti-hero that played ruthless hard ball. He gets the heroine fired believing her to be a part of the "game" but even when he realizes she's not he doesn't offer to help but rather pursues and hounds her - hoping she'll turn to him as a last resort and become his mistress. He not only plays on her desires but her financial and social weaknesses. He's a very wicked man.
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Viking Princess



Joined: 22 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My candidate for best written reformed villain - Sir William in Kate Hill's The Chieftain Bride. Sir William at the end of the book goes over the side of a cliff during a fight. The hero Wyborn looks for his body but never finds it.
Author Kate Hill brings Sir William back as the hero in The Mad Knight's Bride. Elaine finds Sir William on the beach and nursed him back to health. He has no memory so he picks the name Gabriel for himself. Gabriel retained his skills as a healer and a warrior and uses both to aid the people who saved his life, building a new life for himself in Rockland. Elaine and Gabriel fall in love.Time passes and he get's his memory back but his past catches up with both of them and threatens to destroy them.
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limagal



Joined: 17 Jul 2010
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Location: lima, peru

PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a villian, but a really notorious rake who doesn't apologize or want to get married when he deflowers the virgin is St. Aubyn, in "London's Perfect Scoundrel" by Suzanne Enoch. Love him!!!
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LFL



Joined: 05 May 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a great thread! Many books I have loved have been mentioned.

My top choice for "Worst hero to be successfully reformed" is Sebastian from Gaffney's To Have and to Hold which is probably the hero mentioned most often in this thread.

I also second (or third or fourth) Adrian from Uncommon Vows, and the hero of The Duke's Wager.

And I'll add Sheridan from Kinsale's Seize the Fire and Jered from Karen Ranney's Upon a Wicked Time -- I did believe in their ultimate redemption, though it was touch and go there for a while.

In general I agree with the comment that Anne Stuart's heroes aren't exactly redeemed, but the exception for me is Bastien from Black Ice, I loved him and believed in his reformation.
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Nana



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Benedict Nesbitt from Carla Kelly's Libby's London Merchant, who reappears as the hero of One Good Turn. He wasn't an evil person in Libby's or at the beginning of OGT, he was just quite affluent and self-centered - one of the few duke heroes who actually thinks the way most dukes of the time probably thought. (ex: at the beginning of One Good Turn, he is riding in his carriage in the rain, sees the heroine struggling by the roadside with her small son, and keeps right on going because it would be inconvenient to stop and share his carriage.) I liked his transformation because it was gradual and credible, and because it was a different type of flaw from the many world-weary rake antiheroes I've read before.
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Nicole



Joined: 23 Apr 2007
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Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico

PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad this thread got resurrected because I just read a book with two heroes as a candidates for this criteria. It was Shades of Gray by Brooke McKinley. Firstly it's a M/M romance, but both of the protagonist's I think need to be on this list. They both started in a moral low ground, and during the course of the book made some decidedly unethical decisions. However, by the end of the book I felt that they both earned their new start and HEA.
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Moriah Jovan



Joined: 18 Feb 2012
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Location: Kansas City, MO

PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@iluvarake That looks fantastic. Just put it on hold at the library. Thanks!
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LFL



Joined: 05 May 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nana, I loved Nez in One Good Turn. He definitely isn't the worst hero to be successfully reformed but I loved his book.
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Lillian Sulivan



Joined: 05 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sebastian from Devil in Winter gets mentioned, but I remember him as a pretty decent chap - well, as romance heros go. Of course, I've never read the prequel, where I understand he was mad, bad and dangerous to be around. Which brings to mind...

I thought Castleford was deliciously awful in Ravishing in Red, but I felt cheated with the reform. By Dangerous in Diamonds his character profile had just 'gotten better', if that makes sense.

I suppose "worst rake to be reformed" is different from "best reformation".

Best,
Lilly
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jaime



Joined: 23 Sep 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lillian Sulivan wrote:
Sebastian from Devil in Winter gets mentioned, but I remember him as a pretty decent chap - well, as romance heros go. Of course, I've never read the prequel, where I understand he was mad, bad and dangerous to be around. Which brings to mind...

I thought Castleford was deliciously awful in Ravishing in Red, but I felt cheated with the reform. By Dangerous in Diamonds his character profile had just 'gotten better', if that makes sense.

I suppose "worst rake to be reformed" is different from "best reformation".

Best,
Lilly


I remember Sebastian was an attempted kidnapper in "It Happened One Autumn". That's pretty bad, and what made it worse was that he tried to make off with Westcliff's fiancee, who was his good friend. But he was a good guy in Devil In Winter, right from the beginning he treated the heroine well and was never an asshole to her.

As for Castleford, was he ever really a bad guy doing evil things? He was very promiscuous and had a raging alcohol problem but he went always all out helping his friends, and he didn't seem to have mistreated the prostitutes he was with. I had always wondered though how he avoided getting STDs - well, until we found out in "Dangerous In Diamonds" that he was a condom user.

This is a great thread with such good books mentioned in it....
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Lillian Sulivan



Joined: 05 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jaime wrote:
As for Castleford, was he ever really a bad guy doing evil things?


No, not really. That's why I described him as "deliciously awful" rather than "disgusting awful". Smile

Best,
Lilly
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JudyZ6666



Joined: 07 Jul 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iluvarake wrote:


There was also a book in which the hero coldbloodedly set out to seduce the heroine in spite of the fact she lived in a small village and would be completely ruined and lose her home if he did and in spite of her begging him not to. I can't remember which book (in a series) this was but I know I posted about his unrepentant nature when reading it, so I'll find the title eventually.


When I saw this thread many months ago, I hadn't read this particular book, so I couldn't chime in with a title. I see that no one else has, so here it is:

Indiscreet by Mary Balogh

When Viscount Rawleigh attends a house party in the country, he plans to amuse himself with a beautiful young widow from a nearby village. He refuses to believe she is unwilling until it is too late. For her part, Catherine Winters has been living quietly in the village for several years, trying to keep a secret that could yet destroy her. She dare not give in to her attraction to the viscount. As her world falls apart, Rawleigh has to try to make amends and win her love at the same time, while Catherine has to face up to her past and take a hand in rebuilding her life once more.


Judy
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JudyZ6666



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lillian Sulivan wrote:


I suppose "worst rake to be reformed" is different from "best reformation".




I guess it depends on the context. I see a rake as different from a bad boy or a former villain. They can all be reformed, but I think the villain one is the hardest for an author to pull off (particularly if he was a really good villain <g>).

Castleford is a dissolute rake. However, he does everything he is supposed to do (on Tuesdays, mind you <g>), and he always supports his friends, whether they think they need him to or not. Really, the big problem with him was that, while his behaviors were extreme, there really wasn't much to fix (No more booze. No more whores. Done.). He didn't even struggle with it that much, which is why I think some people find his transformation disappointing.

Sebastian from "Devil in Winter"? Former villain, if you've read the previous book, so that's a pretty good reformation. However, since it was a planned evolution on the part of the author, we already know at that point that he was under duress of his own, so the reformation isn't quite as hard as it could have been.

St. Aubyn in "London's Perfect Scoundrel"? Rake/bad boy. He doesn't go to Parliament. He has no friends and makes fun of the ones he did have. He's mean to orphans. But, he's not a villain. He's self-centered and just doesn't GAS. Smile

Judy
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jaime



Joined: 23 Sep 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JudyZ6666 wrote:
Lillian Sulivan wrote:


I suppose "worst rake to be reformed" is different from "best reformation".




I guess it depends on the context. I see a rake as different from a bad boy or a former villain. They can all be reformed, but I think the villain one is the hardest for an author to pull off (particularly if he was a really good villain <g>).

Castleford is a dissolute rake. However, he does everything he is supposed to do (on Tuesdays, mind you <g>), and he always supports his friends, whether they think they need him to or not. Really, the big problem with him was that, while his behaviors were extreme, there really wasn't much to fix (No more booze. No more whores. Done.). He didn't even struggle with it that much, which is why I think some people find his transformation disappointing.

Sebastian from "Devil in Winter"? Former villain, if you've read the previous book, so that's a pretty good reformation. However, since it was a planned evolution on the part of the author, we already know at that point that he was under duress of his own, so the reformation isn't quite as hard as it could have been.

St. Aubyn in "London's Perfect Scoundrel"? Rake/bad boy. He doesn't go to Parliament. He has no friends and makes fun of the ones he did have. He's mean to orphans. But, he's not a villain. He's self-centered and just doesn't GAS. Smile

Judy


My friend who read "Dangerous In Diamonds" just recently maintains that Castleford is a villain and I have never understood why she would think that. His drinking and whoring hurts only himself. Unlike many rakes he doesn't go after virgins and he isn't one of those borderline rapist romance heroes either. But my friend says his seduction of Daphne is villainous. I don't see it. Maybe because I have read so much worse in "seduction techniques" when the hero is trying to get the heroine into bed. Sure, Castleford is sly and manipulative but those traits are not enough to make someone a villain IMO.
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JudyZ6666



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jaime wrote:
\
My friend who read "Dangerous In Diamonds" just recently maintains that Castleford is a villain and I have never understood why she would think that. His drinking and whoring hurts only himself. Unlike many rakes he doesn't go after virgins and he isn't one of those borderline rapist romance heroes either. But my friend says his seduction of Daphne is villainous. I don't see it. Maybe because I have read so much worse in "seduction techniques" when the hero is trying to get the heroine into bed. Sure, Castleford is sly and manipulative but those traits are not enough to make someone a villain IMO.


I have read this book twice. Once because I read a review here and saw it lauded on the board. And again after reading the first three before it.

I guess I've read worse, too. And, having seen Daphne in the other books, defending her friends, I can believe that, if she REALLY wanted to ditch him, she could have confided in her friends, who would have made him go away.

HE doesn't know her secret. He's not using that particular secret (trying not to spoiler this <g>) against her. He always knows that, if she complains to their mutual friends, he'll probably get crap for it, and have to give up.

Truly, though, I would not recommend reading this book to anyone who hadn't read the first 3. It is definitely not a read-alone. Smile

And, I have to say that the destroying of the bed is one of the better bromance scenes I've read. Smile

Judy
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