Thursday, July 12, 2012

ROCK STARS—The Quintessential Bad Boys of Romance

My guest is erotic romance author, Olivia Cunning. She's here, today, to talk about bad boys and making them hero material. We all love them, or at least, we love to read about them. Olivia is also introducing her new series, One Night With Sole Regret 

As an author (and a woman), I never really questioned the appeal of dating a bad boy. Romance with a bad boy is never dull. It’s fun. Dramatic. Hard on the heart. At first, the excitement fuels the romance—what is he going to do today?—but usually that excitement wears off and you realize he’s not a bad boy, he’s just a jerk. That’s a fine line to toe when you’re writing a romance novel. Readers love the bad boy hero—it’s fun to fantasize dating one—but no one likes a jerk.

So how do I take a man who has thoughts like this
Gabe caught movement out of the corner of his eye, and he turned his gaze on the sweet piece of ass beside him at the bar. Long, brown curls fell to the middle of her back, and her jeans clung to her curvy backside in a most distracting fashion. High-heeled sandals accentuated her long legs, which would look perfect wrapped around his hips. If the front of her looked half as spectacular as the back, he was definitely interested in hanging around a while longer. He wasn’t that exhausted. 
and turn him into someone the heroine and the reader can fall in love with?


Introduce him to the right woman and turn his world upside down.

The ultimate bad boy fantasy is not to turn him into a good boy, but for him to show his hidden good side to one very special woman. He won’t change for her (that never works), but he will find all that’s good in himself because of her. At least, that’s my bad boy fantasy, so that’s what tends to happen in my rock star erotic romances.

It’s even more interesting when you start with a heroine who is not attracted to the bad boy type and he has to win her over. In my most recent novella, Try Me, that’s what happens when Melanie meets Gabe. She doesn’t realize that she’s talking to the drummer of a famous rock band.

Melanie relaxed into the sofa cushions, glad she’d found a normal person to talk to. She’d thought she’d have to spend the entire night pretending to be invisible. “Melanie Anderson.


He laughed. “You really aren’t enamored with the band, are you, Melanie?”

What did that have to do with telling her his name? “I like their music, but they’re not my favorite band or anything. A bit too heavy for my tastes. Nikki is the one obsessed with them. She dragged me here against my will.”

“ I’m Gabriel Banner.” He grinned at her and suddenly overwarm, she wondered if someone had switched off the AC. “Call me Gabe.”

A totally normal name for a totally normal guy. She would have felt uncomfortable talking to any of the other men in the room—tattooed, pierced, strange haircuts, chains and leather—but Gabe looked as normal as she did. She smiled and offered her free hand in greeting. His hand slid into hers. Though he clasped her hand with a gentle grip, she could feel the strength in those long fingers. Her heart fluttered when his fingers brushed the back of her hand. “Nice to meet you, Gabe. How did a normal-looking guy like you end up backstage with all these, erm, interesting folks?”

He hesitated and then laughed as if he thought she was joking. “They’re great, aren’t they? Are you from Tulsa?”

She shook her head. “Kansas. Nikki wanted to meet Shade so badly that she made me drive here with her. She couldn’t get backstage last night. I guess she got what she wanted tonight though. Where are you from?”


She did recognize a hint of a drawl in his speech, but she wouldn’t have pegged him as a Texan—his jeans weren't tight enough to cut off the circulation to his balls. She supposed the Rangers ball cap should have given her a clue. “Did you drive all the way from Austin just to see Sole Regret?”

He laughed again and tugged on one earlobe. He was certainly easy to amuse. And the deep, rich sound of his amusement had her considering clown school to keep him laughing regularly.

“Yeah, I guess you could say that,” he said.

Gabe took the final draw of his beer, extended the empty bottle, and gave it a little shake. Within twenty seconds it had been replaced with a fresh brew.

Sipping her water, she wondered why the bartender was so eager to do Gabe’s bidding.
“So, do you know the band?”

He smiled again and Melanie feared she’d melt. She was very interested in putting a permanent smile on his handsome face.

“We’ve met…

When she does figure it out, that’s not what attracts her to him. What attracts her is all of those parts of him that he hides from the world because they don’t fit his bad boy image.

“Tell me something else that makes you less cool,” Melanie said.

“Gee, Mel, do you have all night? Don’t you know that most rock stars began life as outcasts who didn’t want to be weird but found a bunch of kindred outcasts to make music with? A few of us somehow manage to make a living off it. Most of us have to supplement our music habit by delivering pizzas.” 

"But being an outcast makes you normal."

He shook his head in confusion. “If you say so.”

“What were you like in high school?”

He groaned inwardly and considered making shit up. He’d been a walking disaster. “Braces.”

“That explains your perfect smile.”

She thought his smile was perfect? Maybe all those painful visits to the orthodontist had been worth it.

“What else?” she pressed.

“Tall and skinny.” Was she trying to talk herself out of sleeping with him or what?
She lifted the hem of his shirt to flash his belly. “Not an ounce of fat on those abs, but not skinny. Fit. And you are tall. I suppose that’s a benefit for a drummer.”

“I was so not attractive, Mel, I didn’t touch my first boob until I was twenty.”

“And how many boobs have you touched since?”

He grinned. “I don’t grope and tell.”

I love to dig deep into my rock star characters’ pasts and show that there is more to them than what the public is exposed to. Take a rock god and make him human. Take a bad boy and let him be bad, but have him treat his woman oh-so good.


TRY ME by Olivia Cunning

For the five sexy rock gods of Sole Regret, finding love is easy, keeping it is hard.

Melanie has no desire to meet the members of the rock band, Sole Regret, but her groupie of a best friend gets them both backstage and then rushes off with the band’s lead singer. Left alone at an after party with a bunch of scary tattooed and pierced metal-heads, sheltered Melanie is relieved when the only normal-looking guy in the room insists on keeping her company.

By the time Melanie discovers that Gabe is the band’s drummer and not as normal as she assumed, she has already made a complete fool of herself. She can’t help but be interested in him, not as a rock star, but as the sexiest man she’s ever encountered. Strangely attracted to his hidden tattoos and body piercing, she wonders what it would be like to spend a night with a bad boy.

Gabe is more than willing to show sweet Melanie there’s more to him than meets the eye. All she has to do is try him. Will they only share a single night of passion? Or will their hearts entangle as quickly as their bodies?

Try Me is the first erotic novella in Olivia Cunning’s One Night with Sole Regret series.
Contains explicit sex, graphic language, and a hot rock star with a naughty and inventive mind. 

Available in ebook format only

Combining her love for romantic fiction and rock 'n roll, Olivia Cunning writes erotic romance centered around rock musicians. She also writes romantic fantasy under the pen name Olivia Downing.

Raised on hard rock music from the cradle, she attended her first Styx concert at age six and fell instantly in love with live music. She's been known to travel over a thousand miles just to see a favorite band in concert. As a teen, she discovered her second love, romantic fiction—first, voraciously reading steamy romance novels and then penning her own. For more information visit


Kat Sheridan said...

YAY!!! More Olivia Cunning to love! And Gabe sounds soooo yummy! Good luck with this series!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Olivia, welcome back to Over Coffee.

I love this new series. I like the premise of a *normal* girl falling for a what she thinks is just a regular guy and finding out he's a rock star.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Wonderful Olivia, this was a great post. My first to read this morning.What a way to start the day.


Dona said...

Coffee has always been my favourite drink. It seems to boost my energy. But truly speaking, I never knew that coffee has such an amazing history. Thanks lot, for sharing it.

serenigy coffee,slimming coffee

Janette said...

Great post! All your points about what attracts us to bad boys are so dead on, and I think the way you save them from jerkiness is why we love them.

Thanks for so many amazing stories!! Looking forward to more in the future. :)

~Sia McKye~ said...

Janette, Olivia has great stories. I love her writing!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Olivia, just popping in again briefly before dashing out this morning following my to do list. Sigh.

I'll stop back in later this afternoon when I get home!

BTW when is Take Me coming out?

Olivia Cunning said...

GRRRR! My lengthy comment is lost in the internet ether forever.

So I'll just say 'hi'.


Anonymous said...

I love ALL of your misfit, bad boys. So when do we get to meet the rest of Sole Regret? hmmm?

Anonymous said...

I love ALL of your misfit, bad boys. So when do we get to meet the rest of Sole Regret? hmmm?

Carol Kilgore said...

*“I don’t grope and tell.”*
Love that line!
Nice to meet you, Olivia.

Waving to Sia :)

~Sia McKye~ said...

I love that line, too, Carol. I love authors who use clever expressions like that. :-)

Sherilyn, I'll admit to a fondness for Olivia's misfits too, lol!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Olivia, I don't understand why blogger is picking on you. Now days I copy and paste for most blog comments whether your beloved Word Press (lol) gather, or blogger. That way I don't lose anything.

Hey, I can put some nice tea in that guitar cup if you want. Something to soothe the growling. Least I can do.

Btw, Like Kat mentions, Gabe sounds yummy and fun.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I think all good relationships do that. The other person brings out the best in us.

Good luck, Olivia.

ali cross said...

I love that book blurb! I also loved the idea that what readers really want is for the bad guy to show his "hidden good side" to the right woman. That resonated with me as being SO TRUE.

Now I'm off to check out Olivia's books!

~Sia McKye~ said...

True, Ali. The power of love is a wonderful thing to see. It gives each side something special. As a woman, I like to know I'm special enough to bring out that hidden side of a man.

Thanks for stopping by!