I won’t lie, I’m a sucker for heroes. Alpha or beta, bad boy or saint, cowboy or geek, I’m a total hero apologist and will turn page after page hoping for redemption.
Yet I’ve noticed a theme in my own writing: more often that not the hero redeems the heroine, and not the other way around. Which is why my heroines are my actual faves.
I don’t really have favorites…okay yes I totally do, and one of them is Tara Lambert, the tough-talking, hot-headed, unemployed bartender from Thunder Running. After he disappears from the hotel room the night after their drunken marriage vows, Tara decides to track down her newly minted husband, Chance McKinley. Even before she reconnects with him she’s not sure why she’s bothering, and once they’re reunited she’s so busy being defensive and angry and pushing Chance away that she can’t see how much he means to her – and how much she wants to love him back.
Tara is a broken heroine wrapped up in bad-girl armor so heavy she can barely move, and I love her to bits.
My other favorite (and I do mean favorite) heroine is Regan Hunter, pro tennis-playing headcase heroine of Love in Straight Sets. Not unlike Tara, Regan is her own worst enemy (do we see a pattern here?). She’s a self-flagellating perfectionist who’s wound so tightly that the smallest obstacles make her snap, from a minor change in her training schedule to a fan taking her picture in an elevator. Her refusal to yield means she churns through coaches faster than a hot knife through butter – until she meets her match in the unflappable Ben Percy.
Regan is ferocious, unforgiving, harsh and unlikeable, and I really wish she were real so we could be best friends forever. Because at her core she is someone else entirely, a marvelous secret that requires the right man to uncover.
Where do you stand on the hero/heroine divide? Can the heroine take a book from good to great for you, or is that all down to the hero?