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Who is the worst hero to be successfullly reformed?
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iluvarake



Joined: 26 Jan 2009
Posts: 799

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 7:31 pm    Post subject: Who is the worst hero to be successfullly reformed? Reply with quote

Who is the hero you despised the most at the beginning of the book but by the author's alchemy ended up stellar HEA material? The baddest of the bad boys who believably becomes Mr. Right. How do you think the author pulled it off?

I'm still thinking of my definitive answer but there is more than one Sebastian on my list already.
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Manda



Joined: 23 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are quite a few murderers who get reformed in romantic suspense. I'm thinking of Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer's AGNES AND THE HITMAN. Though, oddly, he didn't seem like such a terrible person.

My own choice would be Ismal AKA Comte d'Esmond from Loretta Chase's CAPTIVES OF THE NIGHT. At the end of THE LION'S DAUGHTER I *hated* that guy. I rejoiced when Varian beat him to a pulp, and I am not a violent person. So Chase had some serious work to do in making me accept Esmond as heroic. But she did it, IMO.
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Wendy AAR



Joined: 22 May 2010
Posts: 368

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, Zsadist, definitely, although his metamorphosis takes place over two books.
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Nicole



Joined: 23 Apr 2007
Posts: 468
Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that Sebastian from Gaffney's To Have and to Hold had a long way to go.
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iluvarake



Joined: 26 Jan 2009
Posts: 799

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nicole wrote:
I think that Sebastian from Gaffney's To Have and to Hold had a long way to go.


He's one of my Sebastian s. So is Kleypas' from Devil in Winter but he's starting to look like a juvenile delinquent in comparison to these guys.

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.
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely Sebastian from To Have and to Hold. He was a terrible person for the first half of that book, and he knew it and did it anyway. I also agree with Esmond in The Lion's Daughter/Captives of the Night as well, the main difference to me being that much of Esmond's transformation took place off-stage between the books, while with Sebastian it's an integral part of the story.

It's not quite the same level of nastiness, but Michael Kenyon is pretty bad in Thunder and Roses before redeeming himself nicely at the end of the book and becoming a good guy for the rest of Putney's Fallen Angels series.
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iluvarake



Joined: 26 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remembered one more - Rex, Viscount Rawleigh in Mary Balogh's Indiscreet. His determined and dishonorable pursuit of the heroine pretty much destroyed her life. She was in a pretty precarious social and financial situation and even though she begged him to leave her in peace he kept pursuing her until her reputation and livelihood were ruined.

He did eventually realize what he had done and really worked hard to make amends and by the end I think he was redeemed.

I may have to reread that one. It got me all worked up. Laughing
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Nicole



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

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the novella Unlocked by Courtney Milan the hero Evan taunted and mocked the heroine Elaine causing her to become an object of ridicule and be scorned by the ton. His redemption was not only handled really well, but was also extremely believable. I just recently read it and it was an A read for me.
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CD



Joined: 15 Sep 2007
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Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yulie wrote:
Definitely Sebastian from To Have and to Hold. He was a terrible person for the first half of that book, and he knew it and did it anyway. I also agree with Esmond in The Lion's Daughter/Captives of the Night as well, the main difference to me being that much of Esmond's transformation took place off-stage between the books, while with Sebastian it's an integral part of the story.

It's not quite the same level of nastiness, but Michael Kenyon is pretty bad in Thunder and Roses before redeeming himself nicely at the end of the book and becoming a good guy for the rest of Putney's Fallen Angels series.



Definitely second/third Sebastian from TO HAVE AND TO HOLD. I love CAPTIVES OF THE NIGHT but have not read THE LION'S DAUGHTER so can't speak to Esmond's reformation. He is one of my favourite heroes though so I obviously have some reading to do... Can't see Michael Kenyon as "bad" though but maybe that's because I read the other books before THUNDER AND ROSES.

I would also suggest Adrian from Putney's UNCOMMON VOWS. What he does to the heroine is utterly unconscionable but his repentence is so heartbreakingly sincere. Similar is Christian from Robinson's LADY GALLANT although I always think of him as a spoilt bad boy as his reactions just seem so immature. If you like trad regences, another is Roland from Veryan's GOLDEN CHRONICLES. This is a guy who is basically a villain/main antagonist in the first 5 books of a series only to be redeemed in the 6th book. Completely bought it especially as his redemption is drawn out over a few books - in the first book, he actually tortures the hero for money if that gives you an idea of how bad he was.

The worst of the worst to me is Stephanos from Michelle Sagara West's THE SUNDERED. He's essentially the incarnation of darkness/evil in the world and the author doesn't skimp on the nastiness - I'm talking acts of genocide and mass murder here - none of that little stuff... The point here is that he's not human so doesn't have the choice between good and evil - he just is. The romance with the Erin/Sara is a very dark one - not because of the relationship itself or how he treats her (which is actually extremely sweet) - but because of who he is. What I find amazing about the series is how you can simultaneously see how terrifying he is but also truly believe in the love story.
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noork85



Joined: 08 May 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about Adrian from uncommon vows? I loved his mean streak, but then i have a thing for bad boys.

Any other bad boys recommended?
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iluvarake



Joined: 26 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just finished The Seduction by Julia Ross and Alden should definitely be on this list. He is a genuine hardcore rake and goes through a very painful growth process that reminded me a little of Valmont in Dangerous Liaisons. He not only changes in his attitude toward the heroine but with all the women in his past.

I stayed up all night to finish this one. Going to try to sleep now and hope my daughter sleeps in this morning. Laughing
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Manda



Joined: 23 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally agree about Alden from THE SEDUCTION. He was a true rake with all of the unpleasantness that it entails.

So glad you enjoyed it. Though the mention of it makes me sad that Julia Ross isn't writing anymore.
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JaneO



Joined: 17 Feb 2008
Posts: 783

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't read many of Anne Stuart's books, but her "heroes" seem to be pretty bad guys. I can't say I saw enough of a redemption for any of them to believe in any HEA, however.
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PWNN



Joined: 11 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, I never felt Alden truly needed redeeming so much as he learns to trust romantically again. I liked him from the start and then as more of his back story was unraveled I adored him even more. He may have been a rake though I'd call him more a true sensualist but he wasn't a user (the most important woman in his past used him) and it seems he gave more pleasure than he received. I found him rather honorable except for what happens initially with the heroine and that isn't because of how he treats women but being caught up in a scheme that was out of his control and being stuck between a rock and a very hard place. As bad as it was he did not act out of selfish reasons.
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iluvarake



Joined: 26 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alden seduced a lot of women without consideration of the effect on their lives. He wasn't evil but he was very very thoughtless and careless with other peoples' hearts. Remember there was the woman he seduced because she wanted to be a nun and he wanted to prove she was a hypocrite. He even says that he didn't even like her. He doubtless gave a lot once the woman was in his bed but he was pretty ruthless about getting her there no matter her concerns.
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