Heartbreaker: a person, event or thing causing heartbreak.
When I looked these words up, I was surprised to find out the first one dates back to 1575; the second one came into usage about a hundred years later.
So we’ve had heartbreakers for more than 500 years! That’s a boatload of bad boys for sure!
And in the 16th and 17th century they had another word for heartbreaker–rakehell. A licentious man who is sexually unrestrained and immoral. Yes, just because it’s history doesn’t make it boring. These guys were anything but! They lived the high life, going from woman to woman and leaving heart break in their wake.
During the English Restoration rakes were quite popular and dashing aristocrats, witty fellows who were sexually irresistible. My favorite Restoration rake is Jack Horner from Wycherly’s play The Country Wife. Horner, a charming and notorious rake, puts the rumor about that he’s now a eunuch due to the “French pox” (syphilis) in order to put suspicious husbands off their guard and give him access to their wives. What ensues is a steady stream of women into Horner’s chambers and a series of very funny encounters. You know that heartbreak is just around the corner for these women, but who can blame them for their folly?
There’s nothing so irresistible as a bad boy!
I have a bad boy of my own making in my historical romance, Only Scandal Will Do. Duncan Ferrars, Marquess of Dalbury has a hellacious reputation as a rake (rumor has it he’s slept with over 500 women!). Out for another night of sport, he tries to charm one more woman–and finds he’s met his match!
Blurb for Only Scandal Will Do:
He has the woman of his dreams, but what price will he have to pay to win her heart?
Kidnapped and sold at auction in a London brothel, Lady Katarina Fitzwilliam squelches an undeniable attraction to the masked stranger who purchased her, pits her wits against him, and escapes him and the scandal that would ruin her life.
Unable to resist temptation in a London brothel, Duncan Ferrers, Marquess of Dalbury, purchases a fiery beauty. She claims she’s a lady, but how can she be? No lady of his acquaintance in polite society is anything like her. Then he discovers she is who she says, and that this latest romp has compromised her reputation. He knows how that is. One more scandal and he’ll be cast out of London society, but he needs a wife who’ll provide an heir to carry on his illustrious family’s name. He seeks out Katarina, intending only to scotch the scandal, but instead finds his heart ensnared. He’s betting their future he’ll capture her heart, but does he have what it takes to win the wager?
WARNING: A blade-wielding heroine who crosses swords with a master of sensuality.
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