When the idea for my contemporary inspirational romance, Mended Heart came to me, I knew I wanted to take a bad boy and turn him good (within the confines of 200 or so pages). What a daunting task! So, how does one 'change' a bad boy to good? First, one must understand the recipe for a bad boy:
Bad Boy Stew:
1 Cup Hidden Secrets
2 Heaping Tablespoons Reckless Activities
1 Swollen Ego Mixed with a Rounded Teaspoon of Pride
A Bit of Insecurity
A Dash of Good Looks
A sprinkle of Humor
Just a Pinch of Conscience
Take the above ingredients and stir them well. Then add the girl he spurned in high school, who's back in town with a vengeance. Blend them together and bake at high temperatures until he realizes she's developed a backbone—and a sharp tongue. Throw their hidden secrets into the mix and let them churn for a while, then peek and see what's developed. Continue to let the contents mingle, watching for new developments. When the ingredients appear to be fully meshed and tender, remove from the heat and enjoy!
Now, it's my firm opinion that every woman is drawn by a bad boy, but we also entertain the idea that deep down, somewhere in the depths of his reclusive heart, there's a good boy just dying to get out. That's what happened with Mended Heart. When the story opens, Shane Calkin is the proverbial rich kid in town. He runs with a wild, reckless crowd that shuns Jade McAllister…the poor girl from the trailer park whose father took off when she was a child.
But the passage of time—and a host of life-altering circumstances—set into motion subtle changes in both Shane and Jade. When they meet again, ten years later, on the steps of Pineyville Church, the ingredients they both bring to the recipe make them ripe for travel down a new path…into a fresh and exciting direction.
The most important ingredients in the Bad Boy recipe are the Hidden Secrets (what woman doesn't like a few juicy secrets) and the Pinch of Conscience…for this is what sets the desired change into motion. The sharing of secrets creates a strong bond between a man and a woman. And without at least the slightest Pinch of Conscience—which leads to a sense of loyalty when blended well with the other ingredients—there can be no real development or change.
Of course, it's important to remember that a true Bad Boy always harbors just a hint of his wild nature along with the deep tenderness and loyalty that develops along the way. He's willing—and ready—to fight to the death for the woman he's grown to love. And, after all, a hint of Bad Boy, even when he's good, is what keeps the excitement flowing!
Check out Mary Manners' featured book interview on MENDED HEART here.