What good is a villain?
He’s all that the hero is not. He’s devious, lying, plausible, selfish and violent. So we hate him on sight right? Wrong. Sometimes we do, but nobody wants a carbon copy villain, and often the most effective and intriguing ones are those of whom we aren’t sure or better still the heroine isn’t. We sit reading the story shaking our head at the heroine’s inability to see how she’s being deceived, but sometimes we are just as gullible and the reveal of the villain makes us gasp. The best villains keep us guessing. Mr Wickham in Pride and Prejudice is a superb example of this. Only very slowly do we begin to doubt.
The villain can be just a baddie, kidnapping the heroine and allowing the hero to be just that, riding to the rescue in true 7th cavalry style. Let’s not underestimate that. We were all brought up on such books and films. However there’s a lot to be said for leading the reader up the garden path, presenting two alternatives, first one seems to be the villain then the other. I had a lot of fun in “Dragon’s Mate,” with two possible evil geniuses. The fun was in having two candidates for the honour and hopefully keeping the secret until the last chapter.
So does the villain stay a villain? Often he does, it’s interesting to have him won over by the innate goodness and nobility of the hero, the staunch loyalty of the heroine or by the power of love, either the love between the two principal characters or his own love. It’s a good plot device to use one of his own character defects to get him out of the picture as Angel does in “Angel in Hell.’
One of my favorite baddies is the hero’s own mother in ‘Catriona’s Golden Angel,’ are there no lengths to which she won’t go to part them? Can’t she see she’s risking losing her only son? No she can’t. Not until her husband reminds her of her own past, but is it too late?
Catriona expects just another night of whips and bondage at the opening night of Prometheus in Chains. Then her blond Angel walks in the door. Tall, slim, and athletic with a luscious body. It is lust at first sight for both of them. Catriona and Angel meet outside the club, and he woos her. She introduces him to Kinbaku bondage, and in the process they fall deeply in love. Forceful in their private lovemaking, he is still very much her submissive in the club. His mother dislikes her on sight. Someone is circulating damaging rumours about Catriona. In his public persona of Adrian Webster, Angel discovers who is behind the attempt to damage Catriona and it rocks his world. Will this split them up? He is going to have to make a difficult choice. Ready for a confrontation, instead, she has a surprise in store for him, and a happily ever after. ** A Siren Erotic Romance
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Catriona gathered her hair in a French pleat. Her dress was a simple, dark green, but it clung in all the right places, and showed off her figure to perfection. She wore only a pendant and matching earrings in rainbow moonstones. Her heels were three inches and a lighter green patent-leather, as was her evening bag.
“You look so beautiful, Mistress!” he said. He took her in his arms and kissed her, leaving her knees weak and her knickers soaked. She wished they didn’t have to go out. She wanted him inside her again and was going to have to wait until the evening was over.
When they got to the restaurant where they were to dine before the pottery exhibition, Angel’s parents were waiting. His mother was very like him, Catriona thought, or should that have been the other way round? She noticed that Mr Webster’s hand was on his wife’s shoulder as he rose. His look was appraising, and she’d been around enough men to know that he was pleased, at least with her outward appearance.
Angel held her chair until she was seated. There was an awkward pause. Angel and Mr Webster started talking at the same time, then they stopped and laughed. Mrs Webster was a faded blonde, of medium height, approaching fifty, and showing some slight signs of ageing. Catriona thought that she must have been a real beauty in her day, because she was still good-looking. It wasn’t hard to see where Angel got his looks from. MrsWebster radiated disapproval as Angel introduced Catriona.
“Mother, this is Catriona Guthrie. Catriona, this is my mother.” She was cold and polite but distant.
“Miss Guthrie,” his mother said, inclining her head slightly.
“I’m very pleased to meet you. Please call me Catriona, Mrs Webster.”
“This is my father.”
Mr Webster shook hands with her. “Pleased to meet you, Catriona, my dear. That’s a lovely name, Scottish I assume?”
“Yes, Mr Webster, I was born in Glasgow.” Catriona felt the cold gaze of Angel’s mother’s eyes. Catriona put up her chin, she wasn’t going to be intimidated. Catriona felt she was being weighed in the balance and found wanting. Her clothes were too ordinary, her hair too bright, and her Glasgow accent too pronounced. She’d lost the broad Glasgow accent, but had enough left to betray her origins.
“Please call me Richard. I was in Glasgow, just last week. It’s a very lively city.”
Catriona was grateful he at least was trying to put her at her ease. It was fortunate he’d not asked which part of Glasgow she was from, and wondered if they already knew.
“Indeed it is. Do you go there often, Richard?”
“No, just the occasional business trip. Have you lived in Sheffield long?”
“About seven years.”
“What do you do for a living?”
“I trained as an accountant.” Richard Webster was tall, graying and distinguished. His manners were impeccable, and every bit as polished as his son’s. He tried to counteract the icy waves of disapproval they all could feel flowing from his wife, but even his practised urbanity was not up to that task.