Bad Boys… with a Heart of Gold

I’ve always had a soft spot for that fictional bad boy; be in it TV, movies or books. Not just any bad boy though, it’s the bad boy with the heart of gold. The one with the tough exterior, but he’s got a vulnerable side that comes through as the story progresses. One that the other characters may or may not be aware of, but us as the reader or viewer is privy to.

While reading a book the other night, one with a particularly good bad boy character that fits the bill to this post, I got talking to Wendy (A Cupcake and a Latte) and we started thinking of other guys who would fall into this category.

My #1 bad boy pick is definitely Sawyer from Lost.

Obviously (as you can tell by my blog name), I’m a huge fan of the show. I actually just thought he was a full-on  jerk initially and it wasn’t until his back story (ep. 8 Confidence Man), that it gave us a glimpse into this man, beyond his tough shell. Annnnnnd I was hooked. Granted, the show did develop his character quite a bit throughout the 6 years, giving him a lot more depth and a lot of the best throwaway lines.

Honestly, whose heart didn’t break a little watching him read that letter he kept with him??

A few of my other notable picks were:

  • Chuck Bass | Gossip Girl – Oh, I couldn’t stand this guy until he showed his softer side with a particular love interest (which I won’t spoil for people here)… then all of a sudden, it’s like his appeal skyrocketed through the roof when he could still be a bad boy with others, but immensely romantic and sweet with his lady love.
  • Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell | Prison Break – Okay, his character was TOTALLY creepo, but there was always something about this guy that I loved right from the beginning. When the show developed his story more, I knew I was right about there being more to him than meets the eye.
  • Adrian Ivashkov | Bloodlines series – The very bad boy that stirred up this topic initially. I was reading Golden Lily and while he didn’t really hit my radar in the first book, this sequel brought him right to the forefront of my fictional crushes.
  • Eric Northman | True Blood/Sookie Stackhouse series – This is a late addition… how could I forget this guy?! He’s all about the bad boy status until around book/season 4… 😉
  • Draco Malfoy | Harry Potter series – Among many others, he is right up there for both Wendy & I, so I’ll let her tell you all about this bad boy!

Wendy @ A Cupcake and a Latte | Draco Malfoy (Harry Potter series)

Michele’s mentioned topic of a bad boy with a heart of gold instantly had the name “Draco Malfoy” come to mind. As a fellow Slytherin myself, my choice would undoubtedly be the cocky, obnoxious, but utterly irresistible Draco with his captivating silver colored eyes and fair hair. As a character often deemed as a villain, Draco Malfoy beneath that arrogant facade did, in fact, have a heart of gold. The silver-eyed hottie, despite the pressures of his family, visibly showed concern for his actions, and in his own little way often attempted to do right on what he wronged, though they weren’t always quite visible to the unanalytical eye.

With concern over his misdeeds in check, it saddens me to discover that many readers misunderstood Draco Malfoy as a no-gooder with an evil agenda. If anything, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is one installment that truly slams down that very notion. In fact, it’s where I, for the first time throughout the series, clearly saw a full picture of a guy who wanted nothing more than to pull himself out of the craziness and better himself. As a rarity among bad boys, Draco Malfoy is by far my absolute favorite!

Draco Malfoy:

  • Insanely gorgeous?
  • A kick-butt Quidditch seeker?
  • A bad boy with a heart of gold?

My verdict for all of the above: YES!

(He also happens to make a rather adorable ferret!)

Lindsey @ Reeder Reads | Logan Echolls (Veronica Mars)

What can I say, I like a man that can go from smashing out your headlights to protecting you from sleazeballs in dingy hotel rooms, evidently so does Veronica Mars. Logan Echolls was Neptune’s resident bad boy turned sweetheart and I couldn’t get enough. In most episodes of Veronica Mars, he seemed angry and jaded by the cards he was dealt (crappy sister, suicidal Mother, horrible Father), but there was a glimmer of hope in his bad boy ways when it came to the loveable, sincere Veronica Mars who was able to help Logan see the light. I think that when it comes to bad boys, girls like to “change” someone, in Logan’s case, we watched Veronica shape him into a better man for three seasons and I’d loved watching every single minute.

Jenn @ Lost in a Great Book | Karl Marsten (Otherworld series)

When Michele and Wendy started discussing their favourite fictional ‘bad boys with a heart of gold’, I was left in kind of a dilemma – which bad boy to choose? Should it be Damon from Vampire Diaries? Logan from Veronica Mars? At the end of the day, however, there was only one logical choice: Karl Marsten from Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series.

Karl is a mature werewolf, raised by his father outside of the Pack and trained from a very young age to be an exceptionally adept jewel thief. He uses charm and wit to finesse his heists, but he’s just as capable of using his supernatural strength to get the job done when threatened. When we first meet Karl in Bitten, he’s working against Jeremy, Clay, Elena and the rest of the pack in order to try to grab territory from them. In the end, however, Karl double crosses his former partners and, despite remembering how the former Pack leader killed his own father, makes the decision to protect Clay for Elena.

In later books, we learn more and more about Karl, and we come to realize that this suave and sophisticated werewolf is much more than the superficial façade. He’s smart and sensitive – and lonely, which is why he falls so hard for Hope Adams, the half-demon reporter who challenges him at every turn. In the most recent book, Karl has proposed to Hope and she is seven months pregnant with his child. He’s still pulling museum jobs and sharing chaos memories with Hope (who’s a chaos demon who needs them in order to survive), and he’s a very reluctant member of the Pack – but make no mistake. There’s an edge to Karl that will never be entirely tamed, and we as readers are glad of it! 

In the eternal struggle for “who should play my favourite bad boy”, I considered a bunch of excellent candidates – David Gandy, Michael Fassbender and a slightly younger George Clooney were all viable options, but I ended up with Rufus Sewell. Having just seen him in Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, I know that he can pull off menace and charm with equal aplomb.

Karl’s described like this:

“A recent addition to the Pack, after several years of “fence-sitting,” … Karl was a jewel thief, and looked like Hollywood’s version of one. Dark haired with sharp features and sharper blue eyes. With his pressed pants, a linen shirt, Italian loafers, faint tan and manicured fingernails, he looked like an action hero, idling on the sidelines while his stunt double worked up a sweat for him. But from what Elena said, he was quite capable of working up that sweat all by himself, and those expensive clothes did little to disguise a powerful build. A dangerous man hiding beneath the veneer of a bored sophisticate.”

– Jaime, from No Humans Involved

Rufus Sewell is a great fit!

Angel @ Mermaid Visions | Seth Morgan (Wicked Lovely series)

Seth Morgan is not your typical bad boy. Adorned as he is with studs and rings, it might be easy to assume that he’s just as heartless and tough as the stereotype, but throughout Melissa Marr’s Tattoo Faeries series, Seth constantly surprised me with his selfless heart. Even as Aislinn begins to realize that her fate may lead her away from what she wants, Seth is always there for her. He supports her, he comforts her and he is strong for her. It takes a lot of inner strength and self-confidence to be what he is: Aislinn’s best friend and eventually her boyfriend. Seth knows who he is, he knows who he can be with or without Aislinn, and he still picks Aislinn in the end. He could live a perfectly normal life without Aislinn and yet he chooses to put himself in danger because she needs him. It’s precisely his bad boy attitude that keeps him alive, and Aislinn and me enthralled.

(screenshot from the Fragile Eternity book trailer)

And some of your Twitter/Facebook poll picks:

  • Mr. Darcy (Pride & Prejudice) – @EvilAndie, @neonkiss
  • Spike (Buffy/Angel) – @neonkiss
  • Damon Salvatore (TV’s Vampire Diaries) – @IndigoTeenBlog
  • Emile Khadaji (The Man Who Never Missed) – @TheDarkPen
  • Shawn (Boy Meets World) – @rocapri
  • Bones (Night Huntress) – @CatheeBooks
  • Marcus Flutie (Jessica Darling series) – Kaley S.

Do you have a favourite “Bad Boy with a Heart of Gold“?


  1. Great write up! And I definitely have to agree with Adrian and Spike.

  2. NOM! Draco…Sawyer…ooooooh….I’M IN HEAVEN! Excellent idea for a guest post feature on your blog, Michele. Totally loved being a part of it!

  3. Laughing at the thought of Mr. Darcy as a bad boy. No. Just no.

    However, I so agree with Draco, Adrian and Logan Echolls!

    Also, remember when that photo went around the internet of the HP boys with the caption “That awkward moment where Neville becomes the hottest one”? I totally always thought Tom Felton was the hottest. Sexy and British. Hell to the yes.

  4. Damon Salvatore! He’s totally the one and only reason I watch The Vampire Diaries. Very much like Chuck Bass, he can be a total jerk but this softer side comes out when he’s around the woman he loves. Plus those eyes! *swoon*

  5. Great post! Though Sawyer was one of my most hated characters on Lost! Definitely not the one I wanted Kate to be with …

    I can’t believe Damon from TVD didn’t make it to your list! I’ve only read the first few books, but love the TV show and probably only watch because of my love for him. :) Chuck Bass is on my list, too! Glad he’s included!

  6. What a fun post!! I love Draco, and OMG Prison Break was one of my favorite shows. I love Wentworth Miller. *sigh*

  7. I love ALL THESE PEOPLE. Okay, not ALL of them, since I don’t actually know all of them, but a significant portion. Sawyer, Draco (so much love!), Adrian, Chuck (circa Season 1 and early Season 2), and Logan. Not to mention Mr. Darcy (although I do find it a little odd that he’s on this list, as I don’t think of him as a “bad boy”), Spike, Damon, Shawn, and Marcus Flutie from the runners up.

    My favorite bad boy that’s not on this list? You definitely got a good chunk of them already, LOL. But I do have some others…

    From books: Wes from The Truth About Forever (although he’s not really a “bad boy” so much as he holds the reputation of one), Ranger from the Stephanie Plum series, Conrad from The Summer I Turned Pretty series, Zach from Heart of the West, and others. But in lieu of going through my entire list of books read on Goodreads, that’ll have to do for now.

    From television, #1 is definitely Jess from Gilmore Girls! Runners up include Dylan McKay from Beverly Hills 90210, Pacey from Dawson’s Creek, Hyde from That 70’s Show, and Wade from Hart of Dixie.

    Oh, and Han Solo from Star Wars. Love!

    So. Apparently I have a thing for Bad Boys. Although to be fair, I have a huge thing for the Good Guys, too. It really is ridiculous, how easily I fall for fictional characters.

  8. I am SO upset I wasn’t around on twitter for this poll! There are so many bad boys I absolutely LOOOOVE! hehe. Adrian obviously a great pick! Draco never really found him too attractive but I do love Tom Felton so score one for the Slytherin hottie 😉 haha. I think my favourite “bad boy” though is still Patch Cipriano (or Jev) from Hush Hush series by Becca Fitzpatrick! He totally is a bad boy fallen angel with a heart of gold … down to a “T” in my opinion lol. But I couldn’t help laughing literally out loud when I saw Mr. Darcy was on the list … I definitely would have voted for him – haha!

    Fantastic post girls!! 😀

  9. I totally giggled about Mr.Darcy being called a bad boy too! So funny! 😛 He’s not a bad boy at all. Wickam would be the bad boy…albeit I don’t think he had a heart of gold, but for Lydia’s sake hopefully he did. 😛

    I totally agree about Draco, Logan and Damon Salvatore! 😀 I’m a huge Draco fan. 😀 And Logan Echolls will always be one of my top TV crushes, although I wouldn’t say Veronica changed him. I’d say she allowed him to be a better person, and she made him want to be better. I’m still sad that we never got to see more of them. *sigh* And Damon. I love that guy, in the TV show and the books. To be honest, in the books he was pretty much the only thing that kept me reading…so I’ve been rather reluctant to read any of the newer ones. 😛

    Great post idea! 😀 Thanks for sharing your bad boys with a heart of gold with us! 😀


  1. […] topic day, so I decided to pick this one! (especially since I had posted just last week about favourite fictional bad boys!) I didn’t intentionally start making this list with the same theme as my previous post of […]

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