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New Romantic Fantasy Delves into Sensuous World of Ancient Carnival

READERS NOTE: Seductive New Romantic Fantasy The Chamber of Curiosities is now available. Be the first to read, review and discuss the provocative book. The love story between a charismatic carnival giant and a beautiful aerialist blends the romance of Beauty and the Beast and intensity of Game of Thrones. Many taboo themes and sinful acts are explored including:

  1. Cheating hero
  2. Adultery and infidelity
  3. Older woman/younger man
  4. Crazy Love
  5. Obsessive/Possessive/Jealous alpha men and women
  6. Forced Love
  7. Murder
  8. Betrayal
  9. Treason
  10. Bondage and Torture

It is an erotic tale, a love story, and filled with adventure and self-empowerment.

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Teaser Chapter of New Mythical Romance - 'The Chamber of Curiosities'

The Chamber of Curiosities

The Chamber of Curiosities, by Anastasia Blackwell, is a tale of obsessive, passionate love set in a carnival on a bastion overlooking the seaport of a mysterious land. It tells the tale of how a single act of faith can transform lives and change the course of destiny.
 

THE CHAMBER OF CURIOSITIES

Chapter One 

The Night of the Two Blue Moons

   “It feels like something terribly wonderful or wonderfully terrible is about to happen.”

  

       The two moons were tinged blue that night, a remarkable, but not unheard of event in the ancient port town of Tressaria. The twin sapphires were a sign of supernatural intervention by many, and a reminder that the cosmos cannot be trusted to remain constant. Yet, its beauty was undeniable.

         Snow flurries fell from the heavens, drifted languidly and lent a dreamy romance to the hush of anticipation. Only those with keen senses could hear the nocturnal creatures take their shifts in the dark rotation. The usual sounds that emanated from the freak’s cages in the ‘The Chamber of Curiosities’ were curiously still.

           Darney Veska, featured as The Human Beast in the carnival freak show, The Chamber of Curiosities grasped onto the bars of his cage and crouched beneath the low ceiling to peer up into the sky.

          He had spent most of his life living outdoors and was well attuned to the musings of nature. But, he had never experienced such a mysterious winter night’s scene.

        “It feels like something terribly wonderful or wonderfully terrible is about to happen” he whispered beneath his breath.

         Darney had been a resident of the carnival through a balmy season, but the weather had abruptly turned cold.  Mrs. Beedro, the carnival owner’s wife had delivered a blanket stitched from wild animal pelts to keep him warm through the cold times. Darney had no other garments, other than the pair of raw threaded trousers and shirt he had worn for years.

          He took his day’s tips from his pocket and reached beneath the nest of his pet, Kavas, to deposit the change beneath a loose plank where he kept his coins hidden.  The mouse squealed at the intrusion and the silence was breached.

         There was the sound of a key entering the lock to his cage and a small figure, cloaked in a cape, stepped inside. A tiny hand drew back the hood and Darney glimpsed a flash of sharp steel.  

          He lunged forward, stole the weapon, and grasped the intruder by the throat. Sheets of silky blonde hair fell to his chest, as the crimson lined hood fell away.

            He held a beautiful young woman in his arms with a razor to her neck.

            “State your purpose.” he demanded.

            “When did you learn to speak?” the girl asked in a voice strangled with fear. His size dwarfed her and the cramped cage gave no room for escape.

             “As a child.”

            “But, you’ve never spoken.”

            “It did not suit the job.”

            “Don’t hurt me,” she begged, as he tightened his grip.

            “Who are you and why are you here?.” Darney demanded.

            “I am Clare, the aerialist, she answered.”

             The girl’s reply unnerved Darney.  On the first day of his incarceration, she had passed his cage and thrown back her mane of hair to turn back and catch his gaze.  She wore a pale green suit stitched tightly to her lithe body.  The only woman he had seen before that day was his Mother, so Clare left a powerful impression.

             “You’ve stolen a key and broken into my home with a weapon. Tell me your purpose or I’ll end your life.”

            “Release me and I will tell you,” she said.

            “Move into the corner, so you can’t be seen by the other freaks,” he ordered.

            Claire backed up against coarse wood, and Darney hovered over her, with the blade poised at the hollow of her neck.

           The two moons spied through the bars, devious blue eyes, conspiring to set the stage for a darker struggle.

            “Are you an agent sent to exterminate me?” he asked.

            “I would never kill.  Please don’t think me so terrible.”

           “Then what is your purpose? I have never seen a woman of the carnival carry a razor; although I have witnessed more than one enter a cage.”

            “I had a dream.”

            “You dreamt of killing me?” he asked.

            “I dreamed of shaving you.”

            Darney’s eyes were reduced to slits as his mouth turned cruel, and it appeared he might bury the blade in the girl's neck.

            “I have an unbearable compulsion to see your face," she said.

        She looked up into his eyes, beyond the pale façade that belied an unfathomable depth, and sought the bond she experienced the first time she saw him peering through the bars of his cage. He was an innocent then, and his loneliness and fear were heartbreaking. A season of carnival cruelty had hardened him, but she felt the sense of a kindred spirit and her desire for meaningful companionship had intensified her obsession.

            “Each night, since the day I laid eyes on you, I have dreamed of breaking into your cage and shaving off your beard so that I could see your face. Tonight the urge became unbearable. I brought the miserable 'little man', Croque, a bottle of spirits, waited until he passed out, and stole his keys.”

            “You came here to cut off my beard.”

            “I did.”

            “You are aware I am billed as ‘The Human Beast’, and it is my livelihood to appear as such.”

           “I am.”

            “Then why would you strip me of my work?” he asked, his voice growing deep with indignation.

             “I was terribly compelled, that’s all I can say. Then, tonight, it was utterly out of my control, impossible to stop, as if I was the catalyst of a chain of events that was pre-destined.”

            “One more lie and I’ll slice your throat.”

            “It’s true.”

            “I won’t be tricked with words from a book,” he seethed.

            “Since when do freaks read?”

            “My mother brought them occasionally, when she dropped off my slop in the animal coop where I lived behind my parent’s house.”

            “You remember every passage?”

            “There is no waste in my perceptions.”

            “I was never taught,” she said, with a tinge of shame shining through a determination to show no self pity.

            “Yet, you’ve stolen words, and used them for your own purpose.”

            “My landlady often reads to me when her husband is not in sight. It is my favorite story. I admit I have memorized every line.”

             “They don’t survive, you know.”

             “But, they do, she shared with me the forbidden version.”

            “You nasty boy,” a voice shrieked from across the through-way.  A faintly distorted image could be seen peering through the bars of a red striped cage set on wheels.

          Darney turned his massive back to the bars to protect Clare from observation and drew himself to his full stature.  He towered over her, a creature of stunning power and strength, and she shrank beneath his gaze, shaken, broken, near giving up.

         “I will not serve your compulsion,” he stated emphatically.

         “Then, serve your rights, sir, “she answered in a thin voice that seemed to trail away from her, lost as it left her mouth..

          “There are no rights in the carnival.”

          “You can empower yourself by feeding their superstitions.”

         “Leave my cage, before it’s too late.”

         “The town’s people will believe you have been transformed by the gods into a magical being. And, since you have no access to a razor, it will be considered a miracle.”

         Clare observed a glimmer of intrigue awaken in his luminous pale blue eyes. The mirrored reflection from the twin moons deepened the affect and made them even more mysterious and compelling 

          Darney, in turn, was mesmerized with Claire’s vivid green eyes, shaded in dark lashes, quivering red stained lips, and the fierce determination that leaked from the shadows of her luminescent beauty.

            Both realized the danger of the act in a realm where the coin ruled supreme.

           “Silly idea. You can keep the razor. Likely, you will need it as a weapon in the future” she said.

           "Do you refer to a particular individual?” he asked with renewed suspicion.

            “The carnival is a vicious place; no one can be trusted.”

             Darney struggled to contain an internal conflict that twisted his face into a mask of ruthlessness.

            “In this dream of yours, how do you shave me?” he asked.

            “I kneel before you, as a servant, and remove the hair from your face, section by section. I am gentle - careful not to cut your skin with the sharp blade”

           Darney’s response to Clare’s confession was not what she had imagined. In fact, it was a shock.  His face blanched, as though he might faint.  Then, he fell to his knees, covered his face, and began to sob, like a heartbroken child.

          Clare had never seen a man cry and the spectacle swept her away from the storm of her own emotions. She did not move or speak until he had fully recovered from his outburst.

          “Tell me why my desire brings you to tears,” she asked tenderly.

            “I have never been touched and I have never seen my face,” he confessed.

            A heavy blanket of snow began to fall, affording a veil of serenity and obscuring the two blue moons and the outside world.

            “Do you have a Mother?” she asked.

            “I do.”

            “Did she touch you?”

            “I don’t remember.”

            “Was there a name, before they cursed you with the vile title?”

            “Darney Veska.

            “Lovely.”

             He wiped his tears with the torn cloth and a slight smile tugged at the corner of his lips,

            “Tomorrow the carnival will be closed, with mounds of snow to shovel from the streets. I will wake Croque from his stupor and tell him there as been a miracle. The Human Beast has been transformed by the gods, on the night of the two blue moons. The townspeople are terribly superstitious. Once word gets out, you will be the highlight of the show.”

            “A cage, no less.”

            “Perhaps you will earn enough to escape.”

            “I wouldn’t know where to go.”

            “Have you ever imagined a different world?”

            “I dreamed of a house in the country, where animals and children run free.”

            “I had a vision of the same.”

            Darney lowered his head and sheets of lustrous dark hair fell hair fell to cover his face. She marveled that it was not caked and matted as the other freaks, and longed to draw her fingers through the silken strands.

            “May I approach you?” she asked.

            His struggle to respond was more a fight against the weight of relief than the desire to maintain his image as The Human Beast. To relinquish power and place his life in the hands of a young woman with a razor took courage. But not as much bravery as was required to maintain poise as fellow beings passed his cage and judged him as subhuman.

           The worst of the humiliation was not that they threw coins and food and taunted him. It was that they walked hand in hand, families, lovers, none alone. None alone, except for Darney and the perversities of nature that inhabited ‘The Chamber of Curiosities’ - the freak show staged in the shape of a human heart.

           “Swear to me you come with good intentions,” he said in a voice laced with solemn resignation.

            “I shall offer a token of trust, a strand of my hair for you to take the first cut,” she said and offered a lock for him to cut.”

            He roughly sheered the lock and secured it beneath his water bowl.

           “Loneliness is not always a bad thing. I have been touched and taken, but never with love,” she said.

            Their vaporous breaths met and melted into the air, then faded through the bars.

            “Fear is not your friend, Darney. It will destroy you, if you allow it. I stand on the pedestal, every night, terrified that I will fall to my death. And perhaps I will. But, at least I experienced the exhilaration of the jump. I did something to excite the audience, to inspire them to take a chance. If we don’t take the leap, then there is no hope for the others. There is a moment in time when you must have faith, believe in yourself, and relinquish fear.  If you don’t, you will be chained inside this cage for the rest of your life.”

            “Hand me the blade,” she said.

            Darney’s hand shook, nearly uncontrollably, as he relinquished the weapon.

           “Do you have a cloth to dip in water to soften the root and make a closer cut?”

            Darney tore a piece of cloth from his shirt, dipped it into his water bowl, and pressed it against his face.  He had never been shaved or groomed by another.  The stigma and shame of his appearance had caused him to be banished to live amongst the animals, and groom himself as one of them.

             Clare kneeled before him in the wood shavings that covered the floor, enveloping him in her intoxicating smell, and began to cut away the mask that separated him from humanity.

            A heavy snowfall obscured the outside world and time slowed to the eternal. Darney relaxed against his cell wall, held captive to the sensuality of the moment, and gave over Clare’s divine touch.

             He prayed she would not notice the affect on his body. He had matured in the company of animals and believed the acts were the same between man and woman. Carnivals workers often sneaked into the cages of the freaks, and he heard lustful sounds continue late into the night. But, his feelings for this young woman were far more exquisite. He had read of finer forms of courtship, and instinct told him she must be treated with care.

           Clare had never experienced physical attraction to a man – only disgust and revulsion. She could not understand the thrill of girls her own age, but now had a taste of the intoxication -- a feeling both terrifying and delicious.  On the day of Darney’s arrival she had seen him nearly naked, and was astonished by his physical appearance.

           No man in her land carried such an enormous frame. But, it was his hands she found most appealing. They were large, heavily veined, with long fingers, and carried the potential of both a brutal warrior and sensitive lover.

            “I’ve scarred you”, she said as a trail of blood oozed down his cheek. She cut a horizontal line across his upper cheek, as he shifted his weight and his thigh brushed against hersl.

           “You don’t need to be gentle. I’m accustomed to bites and claw marks.”

              Darney held the cloth to the cut, while Clare finished the last of the job, and wiped his face clean with water from his bowl. Darney felt her move dainty fingertips across the contours of his facial structure - eyelids, cheekbones, and lips. 

            The snow storm abated and the moons now afforded enough light for her to see his face clearly.

            “Dear God – it is sacrilege – the most horrible imaginable. How could they do this to you?" she uttered.

            “Worse than Croque?”

            “That would be impossible” she laughed, and tears collected in her eyes, as though she might weep at his misfortune.

           .”You have been misled, my dear friend. You are not a human beast. In fact, you are the most ideal man I have ever seen,” she said.

          Clare admired the perfect symmetry, features unlike those of her countrymen. The average Tressarian had a large nose, protruding eyes and ears, pocked skin, and coarse, unruly, balding hair, as well as crooked teeth, full gut, short limbs, double chin, and small appendages. Men’s bodies were covered with coarse hair, front and back, while Darney’s  skin was smooth and hairless. 

           “You agree I am not of normal size or stature. I am a freak of nature,” he said, seeking to ascertain if her words were mere flattery.

            “Your frame is unusually large and certainly unlike the men in our township, or even the fittest seamen from other lands I’ve seen dock at the port. But, you are perfectly proportioned, and your face is exquisite. Even your teeth are straight and white, despite your deprivation. Perhaps if you lived in another land, you would have been a king.”

           Claire reached into her satin satchel to remove a small mirror.

           “Take a look for yourself.”

            Darney accepted the reflective glass to peer at his face for the first time. He observed high cheek bones cradling a well formed nose, full lips, and deeply set pale blue eyes. A faint cleft gave definition to his chin, and the shadow of beard perfectly outlined a masculine jaw. There were no mars on his skin, other than the recent cut, and his skin color looked healthy, flushed and radiant.

            “Cut off my hair.”

            “Not yet.  I will braid it like the horses,” she said and moved behind him to tie his hair away from his face.

            “Some men take when they have no right to steal. It doesn’t mean you have given yourself. So, I consider myself as pure as you.  I hope you do not view me as soiled.”

          Claire leaned forward and afforded Darney a tender first kiss.  The virginal gesture drew a wildly erotic response, a stab of longing like a sharp pick slammed into a slab of ice. He was not a boy, he was a fully grown man, past his second decade, and had been starved of affection for far too long.

          “Love means complete trust in another. You must earn my trust, Darney.”

            “The two moons are nearly spent, and so is our night together,” Darney replied, and drew himself up to nearly full height, the ceiling constraining his stature.

           “In the morning, stand at the bars and speak to whoever approaches. Offer quotations from the books you have memorized. I will set the gossip in motion, and tell them miracle occurred on the night of the two blue moons. The Human Beast has been transformed into a Godlike creature, with the powers of a prophet and healer.”

          “Remember, no matter what happens, you are a supreme being in this world or any other,” she said, and departed his cage.

           Darney lowered himself to the floor and drew himself into a fetal position. He wrapped his fur tightly around him and fell into a slumber, disturbed by startling dreams, both erotic and violent.  

          The power of faith had unlocked Darney’s unclaimed legacy. He was no longer a savage innocent held in abject servitude, bereft of identity or the hope of a meaningful future.  A robust manly power struggled to be born, and unleashed, would wreak havoc in the land of Tressaria, as he claimed his right to express his humanity.

          The Human Beast had awakened.

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Anastasia Blackwell Interview on Taming Alpha Males

In a series of interviews set in Jacksonville, Oregon I was asked about the character of Ramey Sandeley and my experiences and thoughts about alpha males.  Here is a segment of the interview.

 

 

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Author Anastasia Blackwell Interview on Taming Bad Boys

 

In a series of interviews set in Jacksonville, Oregon I was asked about the bad boys in The House on Black Lake. Here is an excerpt from the interview:

 

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Crazy Love: Most Dangerously Jealous, Obsessive, Possessive Alphas in Romance Novels

Please Note: The House on Black Lake has been adapted to screenplay. Go to Home Page to view provocative trailer filmed by award winning cinematographer.

Scene From "The House on Black Lake" Trailer

The story of The House on Black Lake teems with jealousy and obsession.  World-weary Alexandra Brighton travels with son Samuel to visit the man who has haunted her heart for years. She seeks resolution to an obsession that has brought her former life to ruin. But the fire is only stoked by charismatic Ramey Sandeley. Ramey is a man who has never heard the word "no" and expects life to give him everything he desires. But he has never tasted the drug of love or any desire beyond the physical. The feelings awakened in him by Alexandra are twisted to jealous rage when he learns she has given herself to seductive young French artist Andre Labat.  When she returns to the house he confronts her and threatens to administer a whipping for her discretion. This is only the beginning of a battle of wills that will lead the couple to the edge of destruction and threaten the safety of those caught in their orbit.

Yet, they are not the only ones driven by obsessive feelings. The lake's inhabitants are caught in tormented web of frustrated desire and and the drive to create unity at any cost.

Christian Grey, of Fifty Shades of Grey is the latest in a long line of dark lovers.  Crazy in love, jealous, obsessive, possessive males make intense romance heroes.  The top alpha picks (taken from personal surveys and popular romance forums) can be found in the following novels, in no particular order.

1. A Rose to the Fallen by April Bostic

2. The Smoke Thief  by Shana Abe

3. Queen of Dragons by Shana Abe

4. Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

5. Dark Desire from the Carpathian's Series by Christine Feehan

6.  Halfway to the Grave Night Huntress Series, Book One by Jeaniene Frost

7. The Game Series Complete Collection by Christine Feehan

8.  Guild Hunter Series by Nalini Singh

9. Dangerous Games Tempting Seals Serices by Lora Leigh

10. Killer Secrets by Lora Leigh

11. Darkyn Series by Lynn Viehn

12. KGI Serices by Maya Banks

13. Dangerous Secrets by Lisa Marie Rice

14. Bitten, Women of the Otherworld, Book 1 by Kelley Armstrong

15. Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison

16, Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

17.  A Hunger Like No Other  by Kresly Cole

18. Forever Mine The Moreno Brothers 1 by Elizabeth Reyes

18. Always Been Mine The Moreno Brothers 11 by Elizabeth Reyes

19. Under the Cowboy's Control by Lynda Chance

20. Blackmailed into Bed by Lynda Chance

21. The Madness of Lord Ian McKenzie by Jennifer Ashley

22. Tempt the Devil by Anna Campbell

23. Playing Easy To Get Immortals After Dark 1 by Kresly cole

24. Pleasure of a Dark Prince Immortals After Dark Series by Kresley Cole

25. Clockwork Angel The Infernal Devices, book 1 by Cassandra Clare

26. One Bite With A Stranger The Others Book 6, by Christine Warren

27. Submissive Desires by Carolyn Faukner -  SD chronicles a woman's journey of complete submission under control of dominant ex navy seal. The book is erotic and too extreme for most, but well written  for those who enjoy or desire insights into world of BDSM.

I was recently interviewed about obsessive, possessive love.  Here are my thoughts.

 

 

 

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Novel "Beautiful Disaster" Poised to Eclipse "Twilight"

Please Note:  "The House on Black Lake" has been adapted to screenplay. Go to Home Page to view provocative trailer by award winning cinematographer. The story chronicles a  woman's journey of self discovery and transformation in the French Canadian underground. There are three tattooed charmers in HOBL, and a woman ready to leave her "perfect" life behind.

An obscure new book by an unknown indie author is set for a major breakout. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie Mcguire is a simple tale, the story of a good girl and a bad boy.

"The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend America, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the charming college co-ed. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his charms, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’ apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match."

Jamie McGuire was raised in Blackwell, Oklahoma, and now resides in Enid, Oklahoma with her two  daughters. The author began her writing career in 2009 when she finished the first  of the Providence  series (young adult paranormal) in eleven weeks.

Ms. McGuire, like Stephanie Myers, author of the Twilight series, has struck an immediate and deep cord with readers. The cover of Beautiful Disaster  has created quite a controversy, but it is the tattooed bad boy Travis that has thrust the novel to the top of book and e-book sellers lists.

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20 Best Tattooed and Pierced Bad Boys in Romance Novels

Please Note:  The House on Black Lake has been adapted to screenplay. Go to Home Page to view provocative trailer by award winning cinematographer.

All three of the central male characters in The House on Black Lake sport tattoos. Charismatic Ramey Sandeley  has "In One Man Lie All the Mysteries of the Universe" in ancient script across the high arch of his perfectly formed backside. Ramey's cousin, Georgie LaPointe, the decadent Montreal rock god, has an intricate tribal band encircling his immense triceps. And sensuous French artist Andre Labat has a vicious rattler inked up his arm. There is also a tattooed and pierced Oriana, who has a taste for both sexes and hidden rooms in the back of her Old Montreal salon where taboos are broken by discreet adults.

In a dream sequence (or perhaps a look into her future) protagonist Alexandra Brighton dreams she is tied to a four poster and about to receive a branding of her lover's initials as part of her wedding ceremony. The finality of the ceremony will have her branding the groom in turn, followed by consummation of their unbreakable vows. A ring may be removed - but a branding is forever. Alexandra has lived her life as "the good girl", the perfect daughter, wife, and mother. But society does not reward her efforts as she seeks freedom from a suffocating marriage. She is about to turn "bad" and the trio of men will aid in her journey to self actualization.

I have researched romance forums (thanks to Amazon community and others) and the following novels feature the best of the tattooed and pierced heroes/anti heroes  in romance novels.  The novels featuring the marked bad boys are as follows:

1. Ink Spots by Lissa Matthews

2. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

3. Rock Hard by Olivia Cunning

4. Backstage Pass (Sinners on Tour Book 1) by Olivia Cunning

5. Nauti Boys Trilogy by Lora Leigh

6. Rock Me (Ross Siblings Book 2) by Cherrie Lynn

7. Making Chase (The Chase Brothers, Book 4) by Lauren Dane

8.Obsession Untamed (Feral Warriors Book 3) by Pamela Palmer

9. Squeeze Play (Richmond Rogue Series)  by Kate Angell - for those who prefer it "light"

10. Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 5) by J.R. Ward - a number to choose from

11.  Lead Me On (Tumble Creek) by Victoria Dahl

12. Rough Edges by Ashlynn Pierce

13. Redeeming Characters by Jennefer L. Hart

14.Tempting Alibi by Sylvannah Stuart

15. Cracklin' Rosie: Blue Jeans and Hard Hats book 2 by Lissa Matthews

16. Carnal Ecstacy by Lisa Matthews

17.What the Librarian Did by Karina Bliss

18. ICE (The Elite Forces Series Book 1) by Anne Stuart

19. Lady of Desire by Galen Foley

20. Lords of the Underworld series by Gena Showalter

The sexy male model  featured on Pamela Palmers cover of Hunger Untamed  is featured in The House on Black Lake trailer, which may be viewed on Home Page.

 

 

 

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20 Best Bad Boys in Romance Novels

Scene from "The House on Black Lake" trailer

Please Note:  The House on Black Lake has been adapted to screenplay. Go to Home Page to view cinematic trailer.

The House on Black Lake has three bad boys who push the boundaries of "good girl" Alexandra Brighton. Preternaturally good looking Ramey Sandeley was  born to wealth and power, rides a horse like a native, shoots wild game like a professional, and seduces every creature that crosses his path. He has never heard the word "No". Georgie La Pointe, Ramey's cousin, is a tanned and  muscle bound Canadian rock star who has never dated the same woman more than once and grooms his hair in the eyes of his admirers. Andra Labat is a seductive French Canadian artist who woos conservative Alexandra Brighton to his bed within hours of meeting her, and remains charming and seductive as he lures her into a web of deadly intensions.

Most women have loved a bad boy at least once in their lives. My personal favorite bad boy boyfriend was a 6'7" New Zealander with wavy dark hair to his shoulders. The perfect man to date after a messy divorce.  He was utterly primitive, an outlaw, and untamable. One day I plan to hunt him back down and write a non fiction account of our reunion. But until then... here is my list.

I have chosen the top twenty best bad boys in romance novels based in input from fans and forums (thanks to Amazon community).

1. Lucky's Lady by Tami Hoag - Lucky Loucet is a diamond in the rough Cajun.
2. One Summer by Karen Robards - Johnny accused of murder as student, gets involved with teacher when on parole.
3.  Coming Undone by Lauren Dane - Brody is tattoo artist drives motorcycle.
4. Crazy series by Tara Jantzen -Creed Rivera is surfer/pick pocket turned SDF agent.
5. Born of Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon - Nykyrion is human/alien assassin.
6. Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward - Wrath is vampire warrior.
7. Behind Closed Doors by Shannon McKenna - Seth Mackey is sexy detective.
8. Ice series by Anne Stuart - Serafin is a mercenary, assassin, and the most dangerous man in the world.
9. Breeds series by Lora Leigh - Callen is a genetic experiment - half man/half lion.
10. Night Play by Sherrilyn Kenyon - Vane is a werewolf with magical powers.
11. Demonica series by Larissa Ione - Wraith is a Seminous demon with a death wish.
12. Archangel's Blade(A Guild Hunter Novel) by Nalini Singh - Raphael is intense archangel.
13. Mackenzie's Mountain by Linda Howard - Wolf is powerful, mysterious, sensuous, flawed vet.
14. My Immortal Highlander(McNachton Vampires Book 3) by Karen Marie Moning - Adam Black is immortal, arrogant, and  an intensely sensual seducer.
14. Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas - 30 seconds alone with Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent, will ruin any girl's reputation.
15.  Heart of Fire by Linda Howard.
16. Midnight Secrets(Men of Midnight Book 3) by Lisa Marie Rice - John Huntington is sexy ex Navy Seal
17. Night Huntress Series by Jeannine Frost - Bones is sexy ancient vampire with agenda.
18. Midnight Awakening: A Midnight Breed Novel(The Midnight Breed Series Book 3) by Lara Adrian - Lucan is detective/leader of elite vampire warriors.
19. Truly, Madly Yours by Rachel Gibson - Nick is a motorcycle riding love 'em and leave 'em kind of guy - second chance love with bb.
20. Breathing Room by Susan Elizabeth Philips - Ren is movie star/playboy.
In a series of interviews author Anastasia Blackwell talks about bad boys. Here is an excerpt: