Or, in short, a bad boy wearing either a cravat or a top hot, sometimes with a riding crop or gloves, but always with a wicked smile.
One of the reasons many romance writers choose to create works set in the past is to invoke a time when social mores were not as they were today. There were proper ways for a gentleman to court a young lady, and equally respectable ways for a proper lady to appeal to a gentleman. We create this environment and then, quite often, we blow it all to hell. Our young lady becomes a brazen flirt or an outspoken, opinionated rebel. And our dear good sir becomes a rakish, roguish brute.
And the reason is simple. It’s the same reason J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brothers have a rough edge and a Texas-sized ego. It’ s the reason we like to see the evil-battling witch fall for the vamp. Ladies, can I hear it all together? We love the bad boys, am I right? Because, we know secretly, he can’t be that bad. There’s a reason, a hidden pain he keeps buried that we with our feminine ways can excavate and exorcise. All he needs is the right kind of love, and it transform him in to the ideal lover we’ve always dreamed of.
In fiction, that’s the way it goes.
In A Love by Any Measure, the part of the rogue is played by Lord August Grayson. When our heroine, Maeve O’Connor, finds herself face-to-face with the dashing, ebony-haired Englishman, she feels “two inches tall and made of mud.” But Maeve’s constitution isn’t made of sand. She stands up against the landlord of her Irish tenancy with as much tenacity as a bull. As Maeve and August learn more of each other, Maeve discovers that there is indeed more to August than his roguish ways. In fact, she finds herself falling for him, despite the fact that she’s very engaged to a proper Irishman already, the honorable and adoring Owen Murphy. Owen is a good man, and Maeve knows he’s worthy of her love and that most girls in Killarney wouldn’t mind being in her position. She should love Owen. She should be overjoyed that she’s to be his wife. She should, but marrying Owen means displeasing August. And when you’ve tamed a rogue and made him yours? Well, it’s like taking in a loyal dog – you can’t just throw him back in the street, can you?
Monday, 7 November 2011
Rogue /rōg/ (n): A dishonest or unprincipled man.