#FridayFavorites: Strong Girls, Powerful Women

Posted April 27th, 2018 by in Blog, Features, Friday Favourites / 10 comments

Friday Favorites:

 

 

Strong Girls, Powerful Women

 
I frequently get asked the question: why do you read romance? Most people who ask me this question already have one of following come-backs ready: It’s mommy-porn. It’s trashy. Don’t you want something with some depth? Don’t you feel like it’s wasting your time?

I read __________________ (insert supposed genre that is far superior to romance). Frankly, each one of these answers is rage inducing.  I think that what people who don’t read and appreciate romance don’t understand is this:

  • I read romance as a way of celebrating the smart, kick ass women who write them
  • I read romance as a way of celebrating the smart, kick ass women we get to read about
  • I read romance because it’s incredible to read stories for women, by women, and about women.

A couple weeks back it came to the attention of some smart, hilarious women that male writers are very rarely able to accurately write from the female perspective. One author ( who shall remain nameless) claimed to have completed the ultimate feat by claiming to have written an authentic female protagonist. By the end of the first page hilarity ensued. Now, let me be clear – I don’t share this story to say that men can’t write female characters or that men aren’t capable writers.
 
For me, this is context around why I love romance so much. Not only is it amazing to see female authors succeed but it’s also a rare and beautiful thing to read characters who are reflections of us, who accurately depict our lived realities, who show us pieces of ourselves. As far as I’m concerned romance can be feminist as fuck.
 
This all leads to this week’s Friday Favourites: Strong Girl, Powerful Women.
 
Here are some of my favourite heroines in contemporary romance. They are sassy, intelligent, funny, flawed, and inspiring.
 
Beth King in Breaking Free by Cherise Sinclair:  Beth is an enigma. I truly don’t have the words to adequately describe how in awe I am of her strength, resilience, and warmth. It makes me cry each time I’m able to read her story.
 
Violet DeLuca in How to Date A Douchebag: The Failing Hours by Sara Ney. I love Violet and this book because it would have been so easy to make her a wilting flower who gets walked on. Violet has a stutter that she’s had since childhood. Despite this she manages to be assertive as all get out. I was in awe of her ability to be assertive and advocate for what she needs. I keep re-reading this book because it never gets old for me to watch someone defend themselves and make sure that their needs are getting met.
 
Isobel Chase in So Over You by Kate Meader: This book was an okay read with an incredibly likeable and realistic heroine. Isobel’s drive in life is something I can relate to each time I pick up this novel. She’s not interested in side tracking her career or downplaying how successful she is. I appreciated her refusal to feel bad or make herself appear less than her male colleagues.
 
Teresa Valentini in Follow by Tessa Bailey:  Teresa was an incredibly interesting and complex character. In fact, the first time I read this book I really didn’t like her. As I’ve had time to think about it and re-read it I can see what a powerhouse Teresa is. I think she represents the struggle that a lot of women face as far as being bound by family obligations and wanting to define herself in her own terms. Her struggle to accept her own kinks and forgive herself for wanting to focus on her own needs hit really close to home.
 
Lacey Meyers in Liberating Lacey by Anne Calhoun: Lacey’s no nonsense attitude and complete rejection of drama and angst was intoxicating to read. She was so real. When reading this book I felt like she was a friend that I was talking to. She manages to be both strong and empathetic at each turn. This is something I aspire to do in my own life. Lacey is the How To Manual that I needed.

Why do you read romance? Who are your favourite female characters in romance and why?

 

Katharine

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10 Responses to “#FridayFavorites: Strong Girls, Powerful Women”

  1. dholcomb1

    My mom always had romance books, so I picked them up and read through them quickly. I feel as if I’ve always read them. I try other books, but I always come back to romance.

    I love the strong females in Sarah MacLean’s books. Strong, and they fell the most alpha of males.

    d

  2. Tammy Y

    I love romances for the romance and happy endings. I have so many favorite female characters. I love strong women who know what they want

  3. Tonya Lucas

    I read a book by Natasza Waters that blew me away with such a string and determined girl. The book is called His Perfect Imperfection: Amazing story of courage and love:
    My review:
    All I can say is go get this book and read it. Wow, the power of love, knows no boundaries. Very few books and I mean, very few, have moved me the way this one did. It’s a must read for EVERYONE, man or woman.
    We’ve all been shunned for something at one time or another, whether it was our own doing or the hands of fate. We are all beautiful in our own way. Beauty lies within all Of us, although the world sees beauty through rose colored glasses 90% of the time, unfortunately.
    Cain and Mika’s love story is so powerful, you will never again take a person’s soul, personality, or inter-beauty for granted.
    Just grab this one and be prepared to be amazed. Natasza Waters And His Perfect Imperfection has just changed me forever.
    One amazingly written book that should be shared with everyone.

  4. Stephanie Jenkins Ortiz Cerrillo

    Who and why wouldn’t anyone love a good romance. I have to admit that as far as romance novels go my favorites are actually Historical Western Romances because the heroines are always strong amazing woman kicking butt in a very difficult time period. My two favorite authors in this genre is Linda Broday and Rosanne Bittner, although, I have many I love. I can’t stand when someone turns up their nose because I’m reading a romance book. I do not read just sappy romances. They have to have a good story line to them., great characters, preferably history lessons or at least a mystery too them. I barely started reading again in late 2016 after decades of not reading so I haven’t read many books so far that are in the romance genre and the ones I have read came very highly recommended. I’ve yet to read a “trashy” romance but I do have many among the hundreds of books on my kindle. Thanks for your list of books, I just added them to my “to read” list on Goodreads. I need more romance books in my life because they are a great escape from the more intense genres I read. We all need to escape into a great love story from time to time.

  5. Michele H

    The Romance genre is such a huge part of the literary world these days and I *hope* that fans are more inclined to proudly read and discuss these well-written, inspiring, kickass stories than they have been in the past. I love the independent women that female authors create now in so many sub-genres. I agree with Stephanie that Historical Western Romances have some truly wonderful examples of strong heroines, like with Jo Goodman and Rosanne Bittner’s books. ConRoms have some great heroines as well and I always think of Kristen Ashley or a lot of Tessa Bailey’s stories. And I’m so glad you mentioned Kate Meader as I thought both Isobel and Harper were badasses who stood up in the guys-only world of hockey and made a difference, proving that chicks rule!! 😉

  6. Amy Rickman

    I love PNR/urban fanatsy and Mercy Thompson from the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs is a perfect example a powerful heroine she’s a mechanic, per the books not a typically beauty being a bit more rough around the edges, doesn’t wear makeup, she’s a very smart and local character and I love how her characters interacts with others and the emotion feels so real.

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