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Saturday, May 19, 2012

"Someday My Prince Will Come..." or 'Love Is A Battlefield"?

Which one of those songs describes your favorite heroine?  And that's Pat Benatar's song, not Jordin Sparks', by the way....

Snow White, Cinderella, Jasmine, and older romance book heroines were the 'damsels in distress', waiting for their heroes to rescue them. Today's heroines are more like Lara Croft. They strike back at the bad guys; act as if they don't need the knight in shining armor; and aren't afraid to go after what they want.

Yesterday's romance females tended to be big-breasted, usually had torn garments from something or other (hence the term 'bodice ripper'), and were always getting themselves into predicaments. Sometimes you wanted to slap them silly for the choices they make, and in some cases, wonder why the hero would even bother with a 'TSTL' female?

But thankfully, times have changed. Today's romance leads are strong women who (sometimes) know what they seek and go after it. Sometimes what they want is right in front of them and they don't discover it until the end of the book, but hey...sometimes it happens.

Since I gave you a description of a hero two months ago, here's the heroine:

Physical Attributes:
Then: Heaving bosoms, slender, beauty-queen looks
Now: Average, not-so-slim, and is beautiful to the hero. She may or may not be aware of her looks.

Character Development:
Flawed judgement, especially in family matters or their perceptions of the situation. May not want a man, but find themselves undeniably attracted to one particular man, many times entering into a 'love/hate' situation: I love to hate you, and hate it when my body betrays myself and I fall into your arms against my will...and I can't believe we just slept together even though I've sworn to never fall for your kind ever again!

Disney is catching on to today's heroines, starting with Belle, Pochohontas, and Mulan.

And I've even found myself head over heels for someone I've sworn to 'never go out with', yet ended up in a long-term, satisfying friendship with this person. Okay; two persons. Based on one disastrous childhood 'trauma', I swore to never date a jock. Well guess what? In high school, I ended up being best friends with the Number One Basketball Player. And I ended up marrying a football player who at one time was being seriously considered by the Houston Oilers. Love works in mysterious ways, doesn't it?

Never say never. It will come back to haunt you.

My upcoming book, Balancing Act, focuses on Gretchen McLaren, who is fighting to keep her new friend Troy Anderson at arm's length.  She begins dating Joe Walker, a man on whom she harbored a mild crush the previous winter.  Throughout the tumultuous year, Gretchen discovers the pitfalls of falling in love with the wrong person.  No matter how hard she tries to work toward a solution, sometimes letting go is the right choice.  And perhaps love has been staring her in the face all along....

I'm still in edits, so I cannot post an excerpt.  Hopefully next month I'll be able to tease you with one:)

And I've got a bonus for you:  This weekend, several Secret Cravings authors are interviewing certain villains in our books.  Joe's interview can be found here and my interview of Nancy (Kenzie's 'villainess' from Appetite For Desire) is featured on Kenzie's blog.  Enjoy, and don't forget to follow the links to the others!


Paris said...

I'm so glad romance reflects self-sufficient women these days who are not relying on their prince to just show up and rescue them. Of course, there are a lot of interesting choices they can make to shake things up these days and ending up with someone they never imagined makes for a great read. Good luck with the new stories and I'm looking forward to the excerpt!

jean hart stewart said...

I think the complacent heroine is pretty much gone. Can't imagine myself writing about one, even though none of my books are contemporaries..Lots of luck with the new book....

Cara Marsi said...

I love this post. Romance heroines and their heroes have certainly changed. Thankfully. I love writing about independent heroines, especially ones who are a little tortured. I never liked the old romances where the women were so dependent on men.

Anonymous said...

I'll add a fictional song: Love Can Be A Battlefield If You're Searching For A Prince. Great post, and congratulations on the upcoming book!

Molly Daniels said...

@Paris: I'm reaaaally hoping Gretchen doesn't come off as a 'TSTL' heroine, but even smart women have blinders when it comes to love:) Hoping I have a release date soon.

Molly Daniels said...

@Jean: The heroines which race fool-hardy into situations w/o thinking drive me crazy. So do the ones who refuse to TALK to the hero. Makes me want to jump into the book and in the first scenario, slap the girl silly or lock her in a room; and the 2nd, lock BOTH in a room until they either kill each other or learn to communicate.

Molly Daniels said...

@Cara: Isn't it funny to read those now? I think to myself, 'WHY did they wait for the men to do everything?'

Molly Daniels said...

@Polly: Great song title! And Thank you:)

Liz Flaherty said...

I think heroines have improved a lot, though I get tired of the ones who keep cutting off their noses to spite their adorable faces.

B.C. Brown said...

How did I miss this post? *scratches head* lol Oh, well. Can't be on top of my game all the time, can I? *wink*

Ironically, it's strange I came across this today. I've just submitted a similar (eerily) article for guest post later this month. We noticed many of the same things about the recent evolution of the heroine. Great minds think alike, I suppose. Or maybe that just means we spend too much time picking each others' brains! lol

Great article, chica. :) Always, all my best!

BC Brown ~ Paranormal, Mystery, Romance, Fantasy
"Because Weird is Good."

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