I love talking about romantic heroes. Whether you love billionaires, sheiks, dukes, single dads, or military men, romance offers a selection of heroes hot enough to make any reader swoon. But what about the smart, fesity women who bring those men to one knee? Today I want to talk about them, and I want to know: what do you look for in a romantic heroine?
Some readers seem to enjoy placing themselves in the role of the heroine and experiencing a story through her eyes. For those readers, it may be important for the heroine to have a relatable lifestyle, family, or outlook on life.
While I of course want to sympathize with the heroine on some level, I'm not in the vicarious living school of readers. I don't care if the heroine is someone whose life I want to experience. I want my heroines to be kick ass and edgy -- Eve Dallas in J.D. Robb's In Death series is a good example. I've also been enjoying Tess Gerritsen's Rizzoli and Isles series. Rizzoli and Isles may not be romantic heroines in the traditional sense, but they are bad ass women with brains and flaws. Sometimes the flaws are annoying, but that's cool. I can handle imperfect. I was also crazy about Cecilia Grant's heroine in A Lady Awakened, prickly as she could be, and Sarah Mayberry's heroine in Her Best Worst Mistake.
I confess to struggling a bit with Mary Sue heroines, though I'm not sure if it's because I find them dull or because I lied earlier about living vicariously through heroines. I can't relate to characters who are perky and kind and inexplicably have no idea how beautiful they are. Something about that is grating. But hey, I also struggle with a lot of alpha male heroes, so maybe I'm strange.
So let's hear it: Do you like to live through your heroines? What do you love in a romance heroine, and who have been some of your favorites?