Bookish Ramblings · Discussions

The Appeal of the Fictional Bad Boy


When it comes to romance it doesn’t matter if you read YA, NA or adult, or if it’s Contemporary, historical, fantasy or paranomal. You’ll always find that character that it’s standoffish, closed off, arrogant, cocky and even a bit of an asshole that surprisingly will make you swoon over him, root for him to get the girl (if the story involves a love triangle). We can’t help ourselves, I know I can’t, I fall into the bad boy trap over and over and eat it up like candy, sometimes the more bad the better.

I know that the relationships with this type of characters are most of the time unrealistic, doomed to failure and even potentially damaging but for me that’s the beauty of fiction. It’s not real and that’s why I think we feel so free to enjoy our bad boys there. We are able to indulge and experience something that we wouldn’t get near of in real life. The point it’s to keep the line between reality and fiction very well defined.

The draw of the bad boy in fiction I think it comes down to a few points:

  • The Possibility of Redemption, helping a person grow or change for the better (the manwhore who suddenly becomes monogamous, the demon who sees the light).
  • The Alpha Male Protection, nothing will hurt you when you’re with them, they will risk even themselves to keep you safe
  • The Allure of the Forbidden, that attraction to something that it’s so out of your comfort zone. (characters that are unrepentant criminal and still we love them)
  • The Aesthetic of them, it might be cliché and a little bit shallow but black leather, long hair, beards, tattoos, piercings, it’s the look of the bad boy.
  • The Aura of Power and confidence it’s always there surrounding them and who doesn’t love self-confidence even when it comes across as a bit of arrogance.

In the end it all depends on what each of us find appealing and attractive, simply a matter of personal opinion. In my case here are some of the bad boy types that I’m complete trash for and the books that go with them.

The aesthetic bad boy

I love long hair, tattoos and the works. A bit cliché? I know it is but I love it anyway.

jo raven

The Anti Hero

That character which moves in the morally grey areas, and what can be more attractive than someone who doesn’t pull any punches to get what he wants.

caraval    leigh-bardugo-six-of-crows-new-book-01    flame in the mist  shatter me.jpg

The Bully

I know it’s twisted but since one of my favorite tropes it’s enemies to lovers this fits the bill. However I do have limits, I have found a few that really crossed the line. But all in all It’s the redeeming point at play


The Manwhore

Poor thing it’s just looking for the right girl, am I right?

sara ney 2        this is war      hotshot

The Criminal

I’m sticking in this category MC club members and Mafia books. They are bad, really bad to the core, they kill, they steal, they lie, but even within the ruthless world they live in they find some bit of light.


The Alpha

Over protective even to point of risking his own life to stop anything from happening to his significant other, adorable even if a bit butt headed.

SHADOW-FALLING_rev-626x1024     Born of night     breath of fire

The Brooding bad boy with a heart of gold

Something in his past made him closed off, distrusting to the point of rudeness but inside he has all that qualities that make the perfect book boyfriend.

the gravity of us   revelry   be my hero  mr romance

Do you love bad boys or can’t stand them? What are your favorites or more hated bad boys? Let me know in the comments

As always

Happy reading


shatter me.jpg

11 thoughts on “The Appeal of the Fictional Bad Boy

    1. I like a well written bad boy (guilty pleasure of mine) And If you’re interested in Shatter me I would suggest you binge read the series, The first book was a bit slow but if you push through it the other two get so much better

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s