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Five Romance Heroes to Avoid

Sonal Panse,

5. Dominic, Marquis of Vidal


Dominic, the protagonist of Georgette Heyer's 'Devil's Cub', gets his 'Bad Boy' genes from his Papa, the Duke of Avon, who, in the previous book 'These Old Shades' was considered, by everyone, to be a most terrible character, although he is never actually shown doing anything that horrifying. Anyway, so Dominic is a chip off the old block, but a stronger one, he has a 'fiery and uncontrolled temper' and he does display it. He kills people with fine unconcern - highway men that try to rob him and would-be duelists deserve no consideration, of course – and he is more than willing to rape too.


When the heroine, Mary Challoner, thwarts his dishonorable intentions towards her sister by tricking him into eloping with her instead, he forces her onto his yacht – by threatening to force alcohol down her throat and made her senseless drunk and then by threatening to strangle her if she makes an outcry - and then, once they are in France, he tries the rape card. She saves herself by shooting him in the arm, and that is the start of his reformation. Mary now finds many excuses for his bad behavior. As she later tells his own skeptical father - “He has a dreadful reputation... but he is not wicked at heart. He is nothing but a wild, passionate, spoiled boy.” and “He is quite easy to manage, if – if one only knows the way.


It turns out well for Mary, but these have been 'famous last words' for many other equally deluded women.


You might want to avoid these kind of individuals in real life. I understand it is possible for some people to reform. I saw a video once about a Mafia hit-man who was reformed by the love of a good woman. So it's possible. It's still risky though.