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Monday, April 5, 2010

The Evolving Romance Heroine


I fondly remember snatching an hour to read while my sons were taking their naps. That's been many years ago and I admit that the memories have as much to do with my children as the virginal historical heroines being saved and the domineering males who finally admitted they couldn't imagine life without them.

These days our favorite heroines are smart enough to save themselves and the heroes they end up with are more apt to admire them for it than be perplexed. How much of this has developed because of our own satisfaction at figuring out our problems and having the freedom to do something about it? Reader expectations have changed since the days when many heroes were at least fifteen years older than the heroine and expected to guide said heroine into releasing her feminine power.

Today's heroine is also more apt to be ten years or older than the hero and has discovered her feminine power many years before finding him. And he's not complaining. Perhaps that's a change brought about by the evolving hero. When you think about it, these heroes are of an age to have been raised by women from a generation who believed they could do anything. And did.



Which leads me to my personal favorite, the kick-ass heroine. She can be a demon hunter, a vampire slayer or a cop. Or someone who doesn't know how powerful she truly is and ends up taking a heroes journey with a hero who is helping her.


How about you? What kind of heroine did you start out reading and enjoying and what kind of heroine do you prefer these days?

Hugs,
Paris
http://parisbrandon.com

8 comments:

Molly Daniels said...

My first romances were Kathleen Woodiwiss and Harlequins. It used to drive me crazy that heroines were either too bull-headed to listen to reason or were forever getting into trouble and needed saving.

I like reading how the H/H work together to solve the issues, and not having misunderstanding b/c they refuse to TALK to each other.

Paris said...

Hi Molly,
I know what you mean!If they'd just talk about what's going on;-)

Kathleen Woodiwiss was always a favorite and I remember waiting expectantly for each new book!

April Ash said...

I started reading Barbara Cartland romances...where the hero "saves" the heroine...and I loved those. Then, moved to contemporaries and like women who can be feminine enough to get hurt but strong enough to give the hero a chase down that path to love!

Fiona said...

My Mom gave me "The Sheik" and "Sons of The Sheik" when I was about 10...even then I was disappointed that the strong heroines were reduced to blubbering idiots once they were "tamed" by the strong men they fell in love with. I also read "The Godfather" at about the same time, and was repulsed that sex could be so brutal, with no love involved. The books I write are the kinds I like to read: strong females who don't need a man, but who like to have a few around...they meet equally strong men who aren't really "looking" either, but once the passion flares between them, they both realize they belong together. Blame my husband, for convincing me that HEAs DO exist! ;-D

Paris said...

April,
I used to read Barbara Cartland by the sack load. Literally. My grandmother and her card playing buddies used to lend them to me during summer vacation and I loved them!

Paris said...

Fiona,
Your heroines sound wonderful! Strong women can find a HEA;-)

Katalina Leon said...

I avoided reading romance novels when I was very young because I couldn't relate to the heroines at all. Later, Laura Kinsale drew me in with realistic heroines and flawed heroes. I love today's strong women it opens up a fresh horizon.
XXOO Kat

Paris said...

Kat,
My first Laura Kinsale novel was "The Prince of Midnight" and I was crazy about the flawed hero. Kinsale is a master at making a flawed hero appealing. "Flowers From The Storm" had a genius hero who had a stroke a couple of chapters into the book. I was so riveted by the compelling characters and plot that I burned dinner several times because I couldn't put the book down!

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