Since Halloween is just around the corner, it’s time to take a look at the scary side of romance. No, not Gothic romances, although we’ll get to more soon. We’re talking about villainous heroes in romance novels.
The Harlequin Presents line was notorious for the cruelty some male protagonists could inflict upon their heroines. Most of these books are surprisingly well-written. Yet the horrific truth is that the hero could be the villain in a romance.
Villainous main characters were popular forty years ago, and they still continue to be popular with readers to this day. Why would anyone ever want to read romances where heroes are the bad guys?
Well, why not? So long as we understand we’re reading fiction, at times, it’s hypnotizing to take a peek at the darkness that lurks beneath the human surface. To witness what sadistic torments twisted love can create.
And then, thankfully, close the pages on that romantic nightmare.
Harlequin Presents’ Villainous Male Main Characters
At Sweet Savage Flame, we’re equally about the Sweet… And the savage.
We’ve compiled a list of 6 villainous heroes from Harlequin Presents romances. We have placed them in order of publication. It would be near impossible to rank which male main character is the evilest.
Trick or Treat.
Andreas, Storm Centre
Only Charlotte Lamb could create such a despicable hero as Andreas and still make the story so hypnotizing! Storm Centre is a car wreck read.
Burke, Mansion For My Love
Mansion For My Love was a hard book to review. I’ve both hated and loved many of Robyn Donald‘s Harlequin Presents.
Nicholas, The Guarded Heart
Another cruel Robyn Donald hero! Now this book, The Guarded Heart… I despised Nicholas so much. He was irredeemable!
Hugo, Shattered Dreams
Sally Wentworth created yet another hero who in a crazed, jealous lunatic. But the writing was compelling in Shattered Dreams!
Anne Mather usually wrote reliably entertaining books. Indiscretion was like a gory car crash I couldn’t look away from!
Mark, The Marriage War
And finally, here’s Charlotte Lamb with another detestable hero with The Marriage War. Even Lamb’s stellar writing couldn’t make the villain hero, Mark, likable.
Your Opinion on Villain As the Hero in Romance
Do you think these villainous heroes are too cruel for love? What other heroes in romance could qualify as villains? Please, drop a comment, and let’s talk romance.