Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Eloisa on the Mysteries of Taming Men

To me Taming Men is one of life's greatest mysteries. We want our men tame, right? If you're me, you definitely want your husband or partner to be tame enough to put himself in front of the sink, and if he knows how to separate colors, and how to make a bed...baby, we're getting orgasmic here!

But then...is that really what we want?

Don't we also want the archtypal bad boy, the one who whistled outside your bedroom door when you were fifteen and the world was dewy and new, the kind who leans against the wall in a podunk bar and takes you out to dance with hands that span your waist? The one with a look in his eye that says: "I will never be any good at dishes...but Damn, I'm good at other things..."

Yet we want a husband to hold us when we cry. So we fall in love with an annoying man with bad habits -- he throws his boxers on the bedroom floor, or worse--he drinks too much. Eats too much. Talks too much. In other words...he's a real man.

At the same time, we occasionally still think about the one we can't have, the one we wouldn't even like that much (maybe), the one who would scorch the sheets and the imagination and likely doesn't wear boxers anyway.

TAMING OF THE DUKE, my new novel, is all about that divide. My heroine, Imogen, is torn between two men: one strong, silent, and illegitimate -- a Regency bad boy from the wrong side of the blankets. But then there's her guardian, Rafe. He drinks too much, fights with her, holds her when she's miserable. Who will she choose?

Did this ever happen to you? Did you ever have to choose between the obviously delicious wild one, and your neighbor, your friend, the boy you squabbled with?


"The Taming of the Duke" hits the shelves today and it's simply wonderful! Hop on over to
Romance: B(u)y the Book for an Eloisa feature AuthorView and review.


Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Welcome Eloisa!

We've been eagerly awaiting your blog and now you're here! Hooray.

I can't wait to check in to see what everyone writes. Just an aside...

AAAAAGH! I'm stuck in Jamaica where it's really sunny and beautiful and I couldn't get online except at a weird little kiosk thing with a stiff keyboard. I was nuts.

When I asked the staff if they could help me get dialup in my room, they were very nice, but looked at me as if most people didn't worry about getting work done on vacation. Humph! I've never heard of such a thing.

amy kennedy said...

Hasn't that always been our (my) problem--wanting it all rolled into one package. Wanting to date this one, but sleep with that one.

I married a bad boy who was so unbelievably not a good husband that I am no longer married to him.

Now I'm married to a guy who does the laundry (and folds it and puts it away)sometimes, who makes dinner lots of times, who holds me when I cry, and is not ashamed to cry himself.

He's a gentleman when it's called for but still knows how to be a "bad boy"--I am not saying he's perfect, 'cause he's not. he drives me nuts sometimes--lots of times of course I drive him nuts right back. Okay, I'm getting all gooshey.

I could go on and on about bad boys and I probably will later on.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Oh, how I wish some bad boy had called for me outside my window when I was fifteen. With my luck, I'd have accidentaly dropped my copy of A Tale of Two Cities on his head in my shock.

But, before I got engaged, I was dating a guy who was kinda rougher, muscly and stuff. And I remember this older woman I really respect telling me, "Oh, that guy's a cutie, all right. But Dave's the kind of guy you marry." She was right. Even through ups and downs of marriage I made the right choice.

But that doesn't mean, as I may have mentioned before, that I don't love a rough-and-tumble bad boy romance hero.

Thanks for all the good wishes for my vacation. I appreciate you're not letting the place go to pot while I'm gone. Remeber: no bad boys in the house while I'm out.

amy kennedy said...

P.S. Eloisa--I adore Rafe, seriously. I loved him in Kiss Me, Annabel and I'm LOVING him in The Taming of the Duke.

I adore damaged men--in fiction.

amy kennedy said...

Michelle--we've been good, I promise.

I always longed for the bad boys in high school and then when I actually "dated" (I use that term loosely--no smirky comments)a bad boy I was surprised at how I was treated...imagine that. But then I didn't learn my lesson and married one--talk about really learning my lesson.

amy kennedy said...

Please tell me Eloisa that we can expect to see the baddest of the bad--Mayne in the next book...please

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

I love that Mayne is so dissolute he's even disgusted with himself.

OK, I really need to get out of the hotel room and into the sun. But Chris is sick, and now that I can get internet, I've got a column to finish. Drat.

Here's something I love about Eloisa's heroes. They're so flawed in real life ways. Wait til you read Rafe. :):):) (Means I'm gloating cause I've read it already)

Yes, Amy. I'm smirking, too

Amanda said...

Oh, the bad boys....I've never had to make the choice between bad boy and good boy because when the bad boy comes along I have serious tunnel vision---the good boys don't stand a chance...of course this is probably why I'm not married yet;)

In my books I like bad boys too, especially because unlike real life, the fictional ones can be tamed!

I liked Rafe from the first, Eloisa. There is such a sweetness under that gruff exterior! Can't wait to get started on the book Amazon just shipped it today...so I'll have to wait until tomorrow, but it'll be worth it...

Michelle, hope you're having fun on your trip...

amy kennedy said...

Yes! I love it that Mayne is just so tired of it all.
I loved how Rafe and Imogen interacted in KMA.
I love your secondary characters Eloisa--I never want to hurry through their scenes--which is what happens with some books, I just want to get back to the hero and heroine.

And Michelle, do you know the meaning of the word vacation. Seriously.

I am sorry that Chris is sick though.

amy kennedy said...

Hi, Mandacoll--yes those bad boys do make you lose sight of everything else.

Anonymous said...

Hey Eloisa! Bad boys come in all sorts of guises! Sort of wolf in sheep's clothing! Never had to make the choice myself since I picked the best one for me...sort of a mix of good and bad but at all the right times!

amy kennedy said...

Santa--sometimes a sheep in wolf's clothing, a good guy underneath it all.

ColleenInGA said...

I was in severe puppy love with my bad boy in high school...got tongue tied when he came around, butterflies in the stomach. All he had to do was look at me and I was mush, and he was two male types in one..the bad boy jock :)

After I had moved to another state and finished high school, I came back to my hometown for a visit during a break from college and ummm...well...had some great times with my "bad boy" and then left it at that. I had always known that he was not one I could tame, but I didn't want to. Being bad is what made him good to me.

I will be 80 and will still smile when I think of him.

amy kennedy said...

Oh, Colleeninga, I love your story--you had the right attitude with how to deal with a bad boy--let him be bad.

"Being bad is what made him good to me." should be framed somewhere, what a great quote.

Lucy Monroe said...

Checking in from Disneyland...and you all are having way too much fun! (Um...Louisa...I am no you...I find D-land totally overwhelming and cannot wait to move on to my fave place, Sea World.) The book sounds totally fab, Louisa and I know I'm going to end up ordering it. LOL

As for bad boys...I love the Tim McGraw song, "I'm a bad boy, but a real good man." It's delish. I don't know if that's the title or just a line in the song, but I love it.

I did the bad boy / good boy thing in Junior High and the bad boy told me one night that I had to stay inside so I could remain innocent. I kid you not. He was a very *good* bad boy. He wanted to keep me safe. LOL I'm glad he did, but I don't regret the time I did give him. I think of him a lot and wonder if he ever found himself - because my bad boy was hurting and that's what made him so bad. Sounds like one of your heroes, huh?

I'll check back in when I can, but really...Michelle...working on vacation? I'm so appalled. ROFLOL

amy kennedy said...

Lucy, I've been trying to remember that Tim Mcgraw song since I read Eloisa's blog--
"I might be a real bad boy...but honey, I'm a real good man."
I kept thinking it was 'I might not be a good man, but I'm a real bad boy--so not it.

Hope you're having fun in DisneyLand.

avgirl said...

colleeninga, wow! That is such a good line..."Being Bad is what made him Good to Me".......(hissing sound)... Well, I'm not married yet....so, many more Bad Guys ahead....hehe.

Anonymous said...

I quoted Tim McGraw's "Real Good Man" lyrics on another board this week where the subject was bad boys. One couplet from the song sounds a warning though: "I take all the good times I can get /
I’m too young for growing up just yet." Some of my favorite heroes--real and fictional--are bad boys who matured into truly good men. But not all bad boys make that journey,

irisheyes said...

What an interesting blog, Eloisa! When I was much younger (teens), I was drawn to bad boys. Beer drinking, pot smoking, glue sniffing, certified bad boys. Most of whom I’m sure are behind bars as we speak. I married a naughty boy! I’m glad I realized the difference between the two and ended up with my husband.

My husband is a fun loving, prankster, with a wicked sense of humor who loves nothing better than to make his Catholic school girl wife blush (it’s getting harder as the years go by), and who marches to the beat of his own drummer! I think when I was younger I thought I could save my bad boys. When, in reality, they would have just brought me down with them. My husband doesn’t need saving, he just needs to be reined in every once in a while! He’s a great father (a real turn on), he holds me when I cry, and he does the housework. He also winks at me across crowded rooms, whispers really inappropriate things in my ear at family parties, calls me during the day from work breathing heavy, and he slow dances with me in the family room while the kids are getting ready for bed! So, I guess I like the naughty (rogue) type!

I absolutely love tortured heroes in romances, but not in real life! In romances they always reform for the love of a good woman. In reality, they usually end up on America’s Most Wanted! So, keep writing and reforming your bad boys, ‘cause I love to read about them! Although, I really don’t see Rafe as a bad boy, kind of a wounded boy who will turn into a great man when he’s healed!

amy kennedy said...

Irisheyes, what an important distinction you brought up between a bad boy and a naughty one--I'd have to say that's closer to what or who my second husband is--not a bad boy but a naughty one.

Bad boys end up making you cry, naughty ones always make you blush and giggle

Amanda said...

Hey Amy, meant to add that you are so right about the secondary characters in Eloisa's books. I loved Esme and Sebastian as much as any of the primary couples in the Duchess series. And am very much looking forward to Gillian Pythian-Adams and Gabe in TOD.

As for Mayne, I'm trying (unsuccessfully) not to let myself start longing for his book already. After all, it doesn't come out until December and...aw, who am I kidding? I cannot WAIT for Mayne...it will be so fun to watch his reformation!

Amanda said...

Great distinction between "bad" and "naughty," Irisheyes...maybe that's where I've been going wrong all these years;)

Anonymous said...

the bad boys I dated in highschool are still single. i'm married with a baby~! married to a bad boy, who also happened to hit summa cum laude... 4.0... white collar, blue on the side. and steamy sheets in the middle... think tractor with a briefcase! think sexy in the country meets business on the yacht. Can someone really have it all? I didn't have to give up anything and got the perfect man, and since I am bragging I am going with anonymous. haha.

Anonymous said...

ooo irisheyes.. i should say naughty, not bad! good comment~!

amy kennedy said...

Mandacoll, Gillian Pythian-Adams is such a cool character...

And anonymous...wow!Your line about the tractor and the briefcase--well, wow.

Amanda said...

Wow, anon! Does your husband have any brothers?

Vivi Anna said...

I love bad boys! I dated them all. But then again, I was the Bad Girl so it was manditory that I do this for all the other ladies out there...LOL

I did date a couple of nice guys too...but they were unfortunately too nice for me at the time...

Now, I'd kill for one of those nice guys...

amy kennedy said...

Okay, Vivi Anna, you said you'd kill for one of those nice guys--are you still dating bad boys or were you talking more specifically?

And more importantly are you still a bad girl?

Stacy~ said...

Oh yes, like any good girl, I longed for my own bad boy. 7th grade history with a boy that was irresistibly bad - he was one year older and absolutely gorgeous. Then he moved away. The next year brought into my life a bad boy that I wanted for years. His name was Dean, and even at 14, he was HOT! 8th grade algebra was exquisite torture, having him sit so close to me, and I bet he knew it. He had the swagger, the intense eyes, the muscles - he was yummy. I was infatuated with him for years, until he got a girl pregnant and refused to take responsibility. Then and there my bubble burst.

Now I like 'em more wicked than bad. A man that can have a good time but still take care of his family and friends - now that's a man. A bad boy who turns into a "real good man" is definitely a turn on. A bad boy that stays a bad boy kinda loses his appeal after awhile, like he's stuck or something. I guess those are the ones you just like to dream about, not marry or commit to.

Eloisa James said...

Hi everyone!

I've been filming a documentary for BBC Canada all afternoon and now I'm still made up and tired out. But I had to weigh in. I adore bad boys. In high school, I feel deeply in love with a boy who had black curls and was voted best dancer...oh, he was gorgeous. He smoked (at that point, a cardinal sin). He was delicious and yet he could talk to women. He took me to the prom and I almost died --although he was the perfect gentleman. So...what's happened to him now? Wait for it!
He's gay.

I love that distinction between naughty and bad boys. But if you find a bad boy who can really talk to women...well, look out (grin)


Lucy Monroe said...

Oh...I feel like an idiot. Eloisa...I am so sorry, but I woke up in the middle of the night having this conversation in my head. "You called her Louisa on the blog."..."I did not!"..."You did."

Just checked...I did! I'm so sorry. My only excuse is that my brain is fried. (I did mention I find this whole Disneyland thing tres overwhelming...and then trying to get my pages in on top of that...what, me working on vacation? Well, okay...maybe.)

I don't even know a Louisa, much less one that you are a ringer for...so I've got no excuse there. I've lost my mind and I truly am sorry. :)

I really do know who you are. I do. We've even met (though I'm sure you won't remember) and yes I have you on my keeper shelves. It truly was just a brain lapse. :)

Love those naughty boys...yes, I'm married to one too. I call him my alpha at the end of the book. He's been tamed...mostly. LOL

Hugs to all,

Monica Burns said...

Lucy, THANK GOD! I'm not the only one around here who wakes in the middle of the night with these types of things!!! {{{Luce}}}

Eloisa, Great topic here. I've never had to choose between a bad boy or good boy. In fact, the only bad boys I was ever involved with were just that TOTALLY bad and with no honor or any redeemable quality.

I think that's why I love Bad Boys in Romance. I know that they are redeemable.

And your book sounds FAB, I'm gonna go order online. BTW, Potent Pleasures was the first book I read of yours and I loved it!!! I loved when the heroine (sorry I'm really LOUSY with names) murmurs at the second love scene something to the effect that it was as good or better than the first time and the hero is destroyed by it. GREAT moment in the book, very memorable for me.


Teresa Bodwell said...

Don't you think the attraction in bad boys is their strength? But when that strength is used selfishly it really isn't all that attractive--not for long.

So it is the tamed bad boy--the reformed rake--that really appeals to us. When all that strength and spirit is put to the task of protecting his loved ones--that's sexy.

And as a practical matter it is wonderful when that desire to protect and take care of his family extends to washing the dishes, changing the diapers and giving fantastic back rubs (that maybe become front rubs).

Eloisa James said...

I'm agonizing today because readers have already discovered TWO incorrect names in Taming of the Duke. Well, I can't even keep my children's names straight (and there's only two of them), so what do I expect? And I didn't even notice being called Louise, so there you go...names just glance off me, but I definitely recognize faces--yours included!

And Teresa, I think you may be right. We never have to worry whether a bad boy Knight will be strong enough to defend the castle! Joanna Lindsey used to do amazingly terrific bad boys.

Eve Silver _www.evesilver.net_ said...

Mmmm... bad boys. Definitely yummy to read about, but I don't think I'd actually want to marry one.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Oh, Eve. I'm thinking of your bad boy doc in DD, leaning in the doorway, biting into a grape. Whew!

I just read all these posts, FINALLY, and I can't believe I missed this. It's also good to know I'm not the only one who can't stay away on vacation.

Thanks everyone for stopping by, regular Bellas, and new. And, I recognize lots of you from Squawk Radio, too!

We'll be having a couple guestbloggers a month here, looks like. Eve Silver's coming up April 18th. Maybe she'll tell us more about her son's book report on "Dark Lover," and her new book contract, too...

Talk to youz soon, and thanks again, everyone.