Worst 80's Romance Hero, Contestant #1: Jay Courtland, Rules Of The Game

Illustration for article titled Worst 80's Romance Hero, Contestant #1: Jay Courtland, Rules Of The Game

It's on! Who is the most loathesome, arrogant, sadistic, chauvinistic hero in the whole canon of early-80s romance, that hot-bed of appalling manhood? For out first contestant, we have a rapey, manipulative former footballer with a will of iron!


The "Plot": Shy virgin Vanessa is an aspiring photographer who just happens to bear a Patty Duke-style exact resemblance to her cousin, top model "Nadia." When Jay Courtland, a former star footballer turned manager, comes to her photography studio, she mistakes him for a male model, and he mistakes her for Nadia. "Sparks" fly. For reasons that are unclear, Vanessa's brother insists she continue to impersonate Nadia and pose for a calendar with Jay's team (in which Jay "jerks off" her swimsuit and insists she pose topless.) Jay and fake-Nadia begin a tempestuous romance. Before they do the deed, though, the real Nadia materializes and exposes Vanessa. Jay repudiates her cruelly and starts sleeping with Nadia. Vanessa, obviously, is forced to travel with the team as official photographer. Jay is abusive and cruel to her for about 50 pages, constantly taunts her by talking about his sex life, then sleeps with her, admits he loves her, and kicks Nadia out of his house. Happily ever after!

The Qualifications:
At their first meeting: "Beautiful and clever," he murmured softly, "the dove fleeing from the hawk, not knowing that her very flight promotes his pursuit, unlike you, who I am sure knows very well the effect she has on the male sex."

After the reveal: "Now that I see you together, I think I must have been blind. You're very much the dross, aren't you, Vanessa? Very much a pale imitation of the real thing."

When he sees her hanging out with another guy:

"Well, well," Jay taunted softly. "Still trying to get rid of your precious virginity? What's the matter, won't he take it either?...Did he take it? Because if he hasn't, tonight I will. That's what you want isn't it Vanessa? To lie in my arms, my body possessing yours?"

Then a five-page attempted rape ensues in which he pushes into her room and rips off her clothes. "No? I think you mean yes...In fact I'm going to prove to you that you do mean yes!" When she "gives in" and they start fooling around, he delivers this charmer: "Touch me, Vanessa. Can't you see how much I want that? Nadia wouldn't need to be asked." This particular time he ends up thrusting her aside in disgust and stalking out; no, when they do have sex, it's because he says, "Shut up, Vanessa. Tonight I'm going to make love to you."

How We Know He's Actually A Good Guy: He gives a lot of money to charity, he doesn't relocate the team, and he's only such an asshole because he was an orphan.

The End: "Stop talking woman and let me make love to you."
She laughed softly then agreed demurely, "Anything you say, my love, anything at all."


Advantages: Jay Courtland's maltreatment of two women in the course of the book (even if Nadia's terrible, so that's okay) gives him a slight leg up on the competition.

Handicaps: Does not attempt any blackmail, use financial leverage, or attempt to force her into marriage.



Please, Sadie. Make this a regular feature. I love this crap.