Saturday Smutty Six: You Are So Extra

Sometimes, you’re just looking to read about a character who is dramatic and over-the-top and perhaps a little bit ridiculous but you love them anyway. Therefore, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite protagonists who are very, very extra.

Mal in Play by Kylie Scott

There is basically nothing about Mal that is not the most extra. Everything he says is calculated to be as outrageous as he can be while still toeing the line of cute. Cute? Sure, cute. Never will I ever forget the scene when Mal and Anne first have sex, and Anne doesn’t tell Mal what she wants and doesn’t come, so Mal crawls down and has a conversation with her vulva. It was epic.

Dalton in Smash & Grab by Maz Maddox

Golden retriever dino shifter Dalton has a pink mohawk (“Do you know how hard it was to get this exact shade of pink? They don’t sell it.”), aaaallll the tattoos and piercings, a black jacket fully decked out with spikes and patches, skin tight black skinny jeans, and bubblegum pink Doc Martens. And he very reasonably tells the paleontologist he’s rescued/kidnapped, “If you’re not shopping like an unsupervised toddler when getting your road trip snacks, then you’re doing it wrong.” True, Dalton. So true.

Angeline in The Secret Mistress by Mary Balogh

Angeline has two outrageous older brothers, so she is singularly unimpressed by rakes. Rakes are simultaneously boring and a serious trial for her nerves. Plus she wears the most impressive hats. (Note: her hats are canonically hideous.) So who better to utterly charm Angeline than the most staid, civil, rule-following man in the ton?

Erika and Cristof in Midnight Duet by Jen Comfort

The only way to make a gender-swapped retelling of The Phantom of the Opera work is to have both protagonists be as extra as possible. Erika is a melodramatic former broadway star who is atoning for her past sins. Cristof is the frontman in a German hair metal band. Comfort leans way way way in to the premise, and the end result is delightful. And very very extra.

Vince in Pregnant by the Playboy by Jackie Lau

Vince does nothing by half measures. He’s been living the playboy lifestyle, complete with orgies on his yacht, but when Marissa gets pregnant after a one night stand, he is all in…maybe a little too all in. The great thing about this book is that Vince’s actions are not all that different from the standard alpha hero in an accidental pregnancy book, just less domineering—but Lau makes it clear what emotional hole he’s trying to fill by acting this way. 

James in The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James

When James’ wife finds out he married her for her money and sends him away, he doesn’t just travel the world like a proper disgraced aristocrat. No, James becomes a pirate, buys a bunch of beautiful fabric for his wife and then chucks it overboard because of his feelings, and gets a face tattoo. And in his most extra move of all, he returns to England and appears before the Lords on the exact day he is being declared deceased—so he can win his wife back after not contacting her for seven years.

Bonus: Arabella Tarlton in the Something Something series by Alexis Hall

Arabella is not the main character in either of the first two books of this series—but she is (arguably) the most important secondary character in both, in that she sets the course of events into motion. She bases her actions on how the world works in stories. She is vain, dramatic, self-absorbed, desperately searching for happiness, stubborn, emotional, and very, very, very entertaining to read about. And in books in which the fabulous, spectacular, extra-ness of the main characters is a central part of the story, Arabella is the most extra one of the whole lot. 

Lest you doubt her extra-ness, here she is in Something Spectacular making a dramatic declaration about how she’s going to change her life:

“I,” she announced, “am done with books. They have never steered me right.”

“I’m not sure they’re trying to steer you at all?” suggested Peggy.

 “Aren’t they, though?” Belle’s tear-stained face was set. “Romantic love was supposed to bring me happiness. Loving my friend was supposed to save my friend. Books either teach us that who we are is wrong, or they promise us things that cannot be. And, right now, I do not know which is worse.” 

Valentine gave a small, helpless hand flap. “Belle…”

“No,” she said, sharply. “I am done. I am going to become a nun. That’s what heroines always do in stories when—oh.” She growled. “Goddamn it.”

Fingers crossed that Arabella eventually gets her own (suitably epic) happy ending!

3 thoughts on “Saturday Smutty Six: You Are So Extra”

    1. I also loved the whole series, but I think in terms of characters I loved, Mal will always be the winner.

      I read a novella by Alice Winters in an anthology, and I think a lot of her characters are OTT, so I might give her a try, because I also love that little bit extra. lol


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