Villains We Love to Love with Alexis Duran

November 2, 2016

Villains We Love to Love with Alexis Duran

Hello! It’s great to be here on the Dreamspinner blog for the first time. My name is Alexis Duran and my novel, Matthias: Order of the Black Knights, is being released today!

Matthias was both fun and challenging to write. Challenging because it’s my first foray into the genre of contemporary thriller, and fun because—well, writing is always fun for me—but this story was especially enjoyable to craft because it features two of my favorite elements; a sexy bad boy and a scorching enemies-to-lovers relationship.

When Thianna Durston first approached me with an invitation to write a book in the series, Order of the Black Knights, I said yes without thinking too hard about it.  How could I resist the idea of a man cursed to be a killer with one chance at redemption?  Add to that the twist that there was only one person out there who could save him from this fate—a person he considered his mortal enemy—let’s just say this m/m writer’s imagination set fire.

As soon as I signed on to the project, Matthias began to take form.  The idea of a charismatic cult leader had been simmering in the back of my mind for a long time, and this seemed like the perfect vehicle for him to finally emerge and take center stage.  I liked the concept of the “villain” also being the protagonist.  I usually start from the view point of the man who’s destined to fall in love with said villain, but this time the crux of the story revolves around Matthias and whether he will succeed in overcoming his past (and there’s a lot to overcome, with several lives as a killer behind him!) or if he’s doomed to repeat the same violent cycle yet one more time.

So what is it about sexy villains we love so much?  Personally I think it’s the power and confidence they exude, and the fact that they can break all the rules and behave in ways nice people like us wouldn’t dream of doing.  In a relationship, they create a fantastic amount of conflict. This challenges their dueling partner and potential lover to the utmost, creating a dynamic that forces both parties to either grow or be crushed.

The stronger the villain, the tougher the “good guy” has to be.  Once Matthias strolled onto the page and announced himself, I knew I would have to create an opposite who was worthy of standing up to him.  Dylan might have started out as an innocent college boy crushing on the mysterious Matthias, but he quickly developed an interesting past himself, with a military family and a constant need to prove himself.  Not only is his natural goodness offended by Matthias’s activities, but he’s got this law-enforcing, honor upholding background to answer to. He’s no one to be steamrollered by Matthias and it wasn’t long before I found him to be just as interesting a character, with complexities and pitfalls of his own.

And this is why I think the enemies to lovers trope is so enticing.  While meeting someone closely aligned to you is of course the natural way to go, and can strengthen both members of the couple, falling in love with your polar opposite makes for a true test of love vs. will.  It is quite the conundrum to decide to enter a relationship with someone who you know is bad news. Worse if the person is possibly dangerous. The good news from a writer’s standpoint is that the more the good boy has to wrestle with his own inner demons, the more fully realized and fascinating he will be. It’s easy to get lost in the shadow of a personality as large as Matthias so I gave Dylan lots of good reasons to put up a fight.

Then comes the fun part.  I get to place these two guys in a room together and see how they behave. If I’ve done my job and created the right characters for the part, their scenes together just flow out of me and I can hardly write fast enough to keep up with them.  This is sheer joy from a writers’ perspective and I hope it reflects on the page.  Sometimes I felt like all I could do was get out of the way as Matthias and Dylan sparred, lied, manipulated and fell in love, then dealt with the potentially deadly consequences.  I hope you enjoy reading Matthias as much as I enjoyed writing him.

So who is your favorite bad boy villain? Do you have a favorite couple who started out as enemies? One lucky commenter will win a gift certificate to Dreamspinner Press! Simply enter your answer along with your email address (can include name [at] email [dot] com) and a winner will be chosen!

Check out Matthias today!

Matthias by Alexis Duran


From Louisiana swamp rat to revivalist huckster to skilled con artist, Matthias Krall clawed his way out of poverty using his natural gifts of grift and manipulation to become the leader of an exclusive retreat center. Exploiting the guise of spiritual guru, Matthias seduces the rich and powerful into turning over their lives and fortunes to his control. But wealth and a small cadre of loyal followers can’t protect Matthias from the betrayal he knows is imminent. Everyone wants what Matthias has, except for one man who wants to destroy it. Dylan Connelly is a reporter who’s determined to prove the charismatic recluse is not only a fraud but a murderer.

Irresistibly drawn to Dylan despite the warnings in his gut, Matthias lures Dylan to his island retreat, determined to destroy his enemy once and for all.

About Alexis Duran:

Alexis Duran was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. At the University of Oregon, her fascination with people and relationships led her to major in sociology, but her main love has always been creative writing. She’s worked in museums, finance, film production, and for several performing arts organizations. Her favorite job so far has been inventorying the collection of a haunted Victorian Mansion. She is the author of the Masters and Mages and Edge of Night m/m fantasy series as well as several standalone romances. Her fiction has won several awards including the Rupert Hughes Award from the Maui Writers Conference and first runner-up from Love Romances Cafe. She lives with one dog and four and a half cats. She is always working on the next novel and has several new ideas brewing at all times.

7 Responses to “Villains We Love to Love with Alexis Duran”

  1. Trix says:

    I remember the short-lived (and rather horrendous) hockey-themed nighttime soap MVP. Most of the actors seemed rather dead-eyed as they went through it, so the villain Damon Trebuchet (played by MAMBO ITALIANO’s Peter Miller) was the only character I liked, partly because I understood why he wanted to thwart everyone and partly because he really COMMITTED to the godawful material, dammit! (I admit that I still would have hate-watched a second season, only because the producers claimed they would FINALLY have added a hockey husband to the cadre of hockey wives…)

  2. H.B. says:

    Sounds great. I’m kind of drawing a blank for villains (woke up way too early) and also for enemy to lover stories. I guess, Timing by Mary Calmes could count as one with Rand and Stephen?

  3. Ami says:

    Hmmm, to be honest, I have a hit-and-miss experience with enemies-to-lovers trope. I am a reader who relies so heavily on emotional connection between myself and the characters, and between the characters themselves. More often than not I found the switch between enemies to lovers to be not so believable for me. I love friends-to-lovers better.

    Favorite badboy/villain? I seriously cannot think of one!! I guess good boy/boy-next-door/nerd/underappreciated boys are more intriguing for me than bad boys XD

  4. Alexis Duran says:

    H.B., I can totally relate to liking the villain best because everyone else deserves whatever evil he has planned for them!

  5. Alexis Duran says:

    Ami, I do love my nerds & overlooked good guys too- I just have a tendency to pair them with bad boys. I love to watch them blush.

  6. susana says:

    Congratulations on the new release. I love a good villain, one of my favourite ones ever is The Kurgan, the bad guy in the Highlander movie (Russell Mulcahy, 1986). I loved him because he was genuinely wicked, a really bad guy without any chance at redemption. You see, I like my bad guys really bad! ;)

  7. Alexis Duran says:

    Susana – Ooh, that’s a good one. You know, I think that’s why Dracula remains so popular- the personification of sexy evil.

Leave a Reply