One of my very favorite romances is Anne Stuart’s Reckless. Not only does it have lovers for the ages–Adrian and Charlotte–AND a stellar secondary romance, it has a truly evil villain in Etienne de Giverney. By the book’s end–spoiler alert–readers thrill to see Etienne dead and gone. He is, from the moment we first encounter him, irredeemably dreadful. As isVadim Zhoglo, the uber bad guy in Shannon McKenna’s Extreme Danger (McKenna’s book almost always feature a truly horrible human being doing horrific things). Zhoglo deserves to live in all of Dante’s circles of Hell and even the most soft hearted may find herself thrilled to see him sent there.

There are absolutely horrid women in romance as well. (Although I can’t think of any as black hearted as Cathy from Steinbeck’s East of Eden who is, for me, the most vile female in literature.) Melisande Shahrizai from Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Dart made me shudder when I encountered her.

Whom do you find utterly loathsome in romance? And why?