My Ultimate Crush: A Bad Boy

Harlequin Romantic Suspense author Addison Fox gives us the low down this week on her Ultimate Crush… and we’ve got to admit, she makes a convincing case! 😉 

Addison Fox - Ultimate Crush - Bad Boy Wanted

When the Harlequin editorial team first posed this question to me – Who is your ultimate crush? – I immediately began searching my mind for a specific character. I love to read and have had favorites for years – Matthew Farrell in Judith McNaught’s Paradise, Malcolm Kavanaugh in Nora Roberts’s Happy Ever After, Killian in Anne Stuart’s Ice Storm (Oh…FANS SELF thinking of Killian) and so many others.

While I could wax on and on about each of these heroes and each of these books even more, I realized there was something deeper at play in all of them. I adore a bad boy. I love those men who are just a bit rougher around the edges. Men whose life experience is stamped in their edgy swagger and a subtle, stubborn tilt of their jaw. These are men who have scars – both inside and, often, out – and have a view of the world that’s been forged in the fires of life’s challenges.

While it’s incredibly easy to romanticize pain and suffering, reality is far different and I think the stories that present the bad boy as a truly rounded human being are the ones that get it right. The human experience is vast and deep and it’s the author’s job to build that on the page. All the muss and fuss, all the bright blazing joy and the deep, soul-wrenching sorrows.

Often, it is our characters’ back stories – the trials they endured prior to the start of the book – that shape and mold the ultimate tale that unfolds on the page. As an author, it’s my job to understand how to bring that out – in small bits and pieces and experiences that shape the romance.

Does an introduction to my heroine’s family strike fear in the heart of my hero? Why? Is he afraid he won’t be enough? Does he miss his own parents, both of whom died much too early, leaving him an orphan? Do large gatherings make him feel inadequate? Or does he feel somehow like he’s on display?

Whatever the reason, it’s my job to motivate those scenes with the correct emotional resonance to make the reader believe.

For me, there is something so satisfying in seeing the bad boy finally meet his match. A woman who will go toe-to-toe with him, despite his outwardly crusty shell. A woman who makes him stretch and grow. A woman who forces him to acknowledge his own pain so that he can move on to something more positive and full of hope. So he can have a future.

For me, that’s the ultimate crush. The person who has forged a life and come out the other side battle-scarred, a bit weary but so very ready to give and receive love.

Happy Writing and Reading!


Are you all about the bad boy? Which sinfully seductive character (or person!) is your bad boy crush? Tweet @AddisonFox or comment below and let us know! #UltimateBadBoy