Sara Daniel Romance Author: The Bad Boys in Chick Lit and Romance Novels @alissa_baxter @DecadentPub

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Bad Boys in Chick Lit and Romance Novels @alissa_baxter @DecadentPub

Guest post by Alissa Baxter

Bad Boys often feature as heroes in romance and chick lit novels, but with an important caveat… by the end of the book, the love of a good woman inevitably changes them into Goodish Guys. However, I must admit that I wonder about this… Do men really change simply because they fall in love? And if a man does put aside his “bad ways”, isn’t it usually because he sees something beneficial in changing his lifestyle (ie. wanting to start a family), rather than changing simply to please a woman?

I personally like to create male characters that actually have good character to start off with. That’s not to say that the hero’s ideals might not have become tarnished somewhere along the way, and it’s always romantic to write about how the love of a good woman can enable a man who has a hardened attitude towards the world to once again see the positive, gentler, more noble aspects of life; but I’m a lot more sceptical about the idea of a Bad Boy becoming angelic simply because he falls in love. If leopards really do change their spots, they’d simply change into black panthers… and there’s nothing tame about that!

In my novel The Blog Affair, my heroine, Emma, writes a blog outlining why women are attracted this type of man, which I have attached below:


Bad Boys

There’s a reason bad boys are called bad boys. It’s because they’re bad. The Oxford English Dictionary defines “bad” as “of poor quality or a low standard; unwelcome and unpleasant.” Yet, for some strange and utterly bizarre reason, a lot of women, including myself, find bad boys attractive.

Perhaps it’s not necessarily the unwelcome and unpleasant aspects of bad boys women find attractive. Rather, it’s the other characteristics that accompany the bad qualities that blind us to the fact bad boys are essentially not good for us at all.

There’s no denying bad boys are challenging. They’re also unpredictable, exciting, exhilarating, intriguing, and definitely not boring—all very attractive personal qualities when it comes to dating.
However, bad boys are also selfish, inconsiderate, egotistical, and downright horrid.

In spite of all this, they’re a bad habit that’s very difficult to give up.

The general advice dished out for breaking a bad habit is you need to stop doing it for two weeks, 
and then the habit is broken. Unfortunately, when it comes to bad boys—the only advice that works is you mustn’t start doing them in the first place, because it’ll take much longer than two weeks to get over them.

I was unfortunate enough to get involved with a bad boy, and yes, he broke my heart. But, in spite of this, bad boys are the most honest serial datists you’re likely to encounter, and you’ll find no matter how much they might hurt you, deep down, in a dark shady corner of your heart, you will, more than likely, maintain a soft spot for them.

Why? Because they never try to be anything they’re not. They’re unapologetically bad, and it’s only the stupid females they attract who believe somehow they will end up changing those boys. Bad boys never actually indicate they will change. And that is why, out of all the serial datists, bad boys are the least sinister.

It is the women who are attracted to them who have the real problem.

I’ve come to realise this after a long, painful exploration of my own motives for falling for a bad boy. 

You see, I was stupid enough to believe the fallacy was The One who would change my own particular bad boy; that he would choose me over all the other girls, and I would heal his dark, wounded, tortured soul.

This fallacy is irresistible, as it appeals to the essence of a woman’s femininity. It also appeals to our egos, and our competitive natures. “If he chooses me over all the other girls, what does this say about my power to attract a man?” is the hidden motivation that spurs us on.

So although bad boys only care about themselves, the women they end up attracting also, in a way, only care about themselves. They care about being the queen bee amongst all the other bees who tried unsuccessfully to attract this unavailable drone. They want to be the one who succeeds, where their sister bees failed. And so we come back to bees again. But in this case, the queen bee is the one who ends up dying.

Posted by Penelope on Monday, August 18 at 07:01 p.m.


Twenty-something, white, South African Emma Bradshaw has a pattern of falling for unsuitable men and starts a blog about these so-called “serial datists”. Her search for new beginnings takes her to Cape Town, where she gets a job working for sexy author, Nick Reynolds. Romance with her boss is a no-no, but slowly, Nick works his way around her defenses. Trust him, or not, especially with her awful track record with men?

When an anonymous male reader of the blog challenges her on her ideas about the male species, Emma realises she must confront her past and find her true self before she can move forward...and love can blossom again in her future.

Alissa Baxter was born in South Africa, and grew up with her nose in a book on a poultry and cattle farm. After school and university, where she majored in Political Science and French, she published her first novel, The Dashing Debutante. Alissa travelled to London, England, and did an odd assortment of jobs while researching her second novel, Lord Fenmore’s Wager, which she wrote after she moved back to South Africa and settled in Durban. Alissa then relocated to Cape Town where she wrote her third novel, Send and Receive, before moving to Johannesburg, where she currently lives with her husband and two sons.


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