"He Hardly Ever Called Her A Vicious Little Bitch Now…"


Is The Road To Forever‘s Owen Tudor the Worst 80s Romance Hero of All Time? I don’t see how it can possibly get any worse than this creepy, incestuous, lecherous veterinarian from 1983!

The Plot: Now, pay close attention, because the plot is very complicated and very stupid. This is all background: Lallie has been Owen’s stepsister since she was four. When their parents died, Owen raised her and her younger siblings. They had a contentious relationship. When Lallie was a young woman, she was framed as having an affair with an older married man, in fact a publicity stunt that the tabloids went wild with. Owen believed the lies, and banished her from the family home. He also forced her to live with some horrible couple in lock-down. She escaped, and hasn’t spoken to him in six years. Got it?

Now, Lallie comes home from work one day to find Owen waiting for her. He informs her that the family housekeeper has suffered a heart attack and wants Lallie to come home and care for her. He’s already informed her boss. Oh, and by the way, it’s necessary to the housekeeper’s recovery that the step-siblings pretend to be engaged. And also because Owen’s assistant is trying to trick him into marrying her. They return to the family home, where they fight all the time, Owen constantly brings up the fact that she’s a woman with a past, and whenever they need to “fool” someone, he manhandles her against her will. Obviously, she realizes that she’s always been in love with him. So then, it turns out Owen’s younger brother is living in sin with some woman. Because he was also always in love with Lallie and because they have to set a good example for the unmarried couple, Lallie and Owen have to go through with their marriage. They do, he realizes she’s a virgin, and confesses he’s always loved her and just ostracized her and sent her away so his brother wouldn’t marry her instead. Yay!

The Evidence:

When she wakes up to find Owen lying on the couch with her: “Don’t look so offended, I was too tired to make a pass at you, and if I had, what are you complaining about? This won’t be the first time you’ve been in bed with a man.”

When she sprains her ankle: “Shut up!” he warned her, “or I’ll slap your backside, you aggravating little madam.”

When she tells him she’s not hungry: “You aren’t getting anything to eat,” came his brutal reply. “I don’t want you throwing up in my car.”

When he kisses her to fool someone: “You’ll be used any way I choose. And don’t look so outraged – you liked it!”

When she tries to shop within her means: “Trying to impress me with your sense of economy? Don’t waste your time and mine, I know you too well.”

When they’re engaged: “I’ve the right now and I’ll have you down on that couch and carry out my own inspection. Taste and try before you buy, that’s my motto. Even if the goods are a bit shopsoiled.”

During a detante: “She had marvelled at his good temper; he hardly ever called her a vicious little bitch now, just sometimes it was there in his eyes, that suppressed anger, but she ignored it.”

On their wedding night, when he sees her nightgown: “Not glamorous, or very seductive. Is this the best you can do, or don’t you think I’m worth any better?”

How We Know He’s A Good Guy: We don’t.

The End: “[I’ve loved you] ever since you were a kid, and I wanted you when you were sixteen, even before that, but you were too young. [The housekeeper] knew about it and she warned me off. You had to be given time, she said, so I backed off and cracked down hard on you. You needed it, you tempestuous little witch…other women were just something to keep my mind off a black-haired little terror who ripped up my peace and had me walking the floor at night wondering if she’d scream blue murder if I went into her room and made love to her.”

Advantages: What, besides the lust for the underage stepsister, the misogynistic abuse, the casting her out of her home, and the sexual harassment? Let me think…

Does not appear to be a self-made mogul.

Earlier: Worst 80’s Romance Hero Contestant #2: Dr. Ralph Culver, Stormy Springtime.

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

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