Guest Post

Season Vining’s Favorite Unlikely Heroes in Romance

We all love a good underdog. In romance that means the guy who is a jerk or too damaged for a relationship, the man who seems unredeemable or heartless. These characters bring forth the deepest emotions, sometimes empathy and hope, but more often anger and hurt. We want to cheer for them, but often they make it impossible.

Somehow, through trial and error, they become the hero we want them to be. These are my favorite characters. Nothing shows love and devotion like a man willing to turn himself around, face his fears, tear down his walls, and give in to the notion of finding his soulmate. Let’s take a look at a few of the guys who’ve made a big impression on me.


  • Snape in the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling

Snape is the ultimate anti-hero. He’s cruel to our favorite wizard, he’s shifty, we don’t trust him. And in the end, he sacrifices himself to protect the son of the woman he’s loved—always. Snape got us right in the feels.


  • Nix in Mercy by Debra Anastasia

Nix is dark and damaged. He’s a badass who hides behind his ink and stays anonymous in his line of work. All of this in the name of love for a girl who doesn’t know he exists. I’d say that’s dedication.

  • Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades of Grey series by EL James

Christian, to the outside world, is powerful. Inside, the man is a tragic mess—fifty shades of mess to be exact. He is comfortable in the emotionless life he’s built until one woman changes everything. For her, he stops burying his past and confronts it head on. I dig that.


  • Ponyboy Curtis in The Outsiders by SE Hinton

Ponyboy is a poor kid who’s been orphaned and is being raised by his older brothers. He lives on the wrong side of the tracks, labeled a “Greaser.” He’s not particularly book smart, but he’s street smart. Catching the eye of Cherry Valance sends his world into a downward spiral of unfortunate events. Yet, Ponyboy is able to find beauty in all of it.


  • Margaret Tate in The Proposal

Okay, so not all unlikable characters in romance are men. Margaret is an awful boss. She takes advantage of her willing assistant, using him to stay in the country instead of being deported. Even while visiting his family, she can’t let her hair down and enjoy life. But eventually, the kindness of Andrew (smokin’ hot Ryan Reynolds) and his doting family cracks her ice-cold heart.


  • Sebastian Valmont in Cruel Intentions

Sebastian is the literal worst. This spoiled, rich kid is used to getting anything he wants. So when he sets his sights on the new girl, she becomes a challenge he can’t wait to conquer. She’s not easily won over by his popularity or money, or even his deceptive charm. Instead, she conquers Sebastian and his ego without even trying. In the end? Lesson learned.

ChaosAndControl-500ABOUT THE BOOK: 

When Wren Hart returns to her sleepy little Midwest town after years on the road, she finds the last thing she’d ever expect—a reason to stay. And that reason has a hard body, a knowledge of vinyl, and a crooked smile that sends her reeling.

Preston is a gorgeous, mysterious man, whose life is ruled by routine and order. Yet somehow, he finds Wren and her wild ways captivating. While their relationship grows in a delicate dance of chaos and control, the danger Wren thought she’d left behind during her travels is inching ever closer…and just may destroy them both.


Season Vining is a romance author, penning adventurous and sexy stories with a dash of humor. She grew up in southern Louisiana where food, culture, and family mean everything. She has lived in Houston, San Diego, and NYC—all of them providing colorful experiences and tons of writing material. She is a graphic designer by day, a complete font snob, and enjoys all forms of art. Her obsessions include live music, tattooed bad boys, vintage cars, and people who know the difference between their, there, and they’re.

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