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text 2014-01-22 01:14
Fierce: Best Romantic Heroines with Attitude
The Last Hour of Gann - R. Lee Smith
Big Bad Beast - Shelly Laurenston
What a Dragon Should Know - G.A. Aiken
Dream a Little Dream - Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Silver Lining - Maggie Osborne
Lush - Lauren Dane
Painted Faces - L.H. Cosway
Kinked - Thea Harrison
After Hours: (InterMix) - Cara McKenna
Kiss of a Demon King - Kresley Cole

I like all kinds of heroines--sweet, shy, nerdy, funny, loud, hyper, innocent, bawdy, practical, impulsive--just like I like all kinds of humans.


But I must admit, I have a special place in my heart for the fierce heroine. She does not need people to like her. She is basically kind but she is not nice.


While utterly lovable, these women don't go down easy instead they protect, they bite back, and are oh so much fun. They don't have to kick ass literally--this is not a physical thing but a personality thing. 


Bring on the fierce,  the mean, and the strong! 


In no particular order, here are some of my favorites...


1. The Last Hour of Gann by R. Lee Smith, practical too the bone Amber just can't let the stupid be stupid. Great Science Fiction Epic Romance. 


2. What a Dragon Should Know (Dragon Kin, Book 3) by G. A. Aiken My favorite in this series. Brilliant and Vengeful. Ah, Dagmar. oh yeah and The Queen. 


3. Dream a Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips Rachel is tenacity and grit. I adore Gabe's speech to her about why he loves her so. 


4. Big Bad Beast (The Pride Series) by Shelly Laurenston  Really, I could have chosen a large portion of Laurenston's ladies but Dee-Ann makes people uncomfortable and doesn't care and her love story was a long time coming in the series. 


5. Silver Lining by Maggie Osborne  Low Down is awesome. That is all. 


6.  Lush (A Delicious Novel) by Lauren Dane  Mary has a nice set of boundaries. 


7. Painted Faces by LH  Cosway  Freda has great advice on how to handle muggers. Take note. 


8. Kinked (A Novel of the Elder Races) by Thea Harrison  Harpy, anyone? She will kick you in the face--verbally and then with her boot.


9. After Hours: (InterMix) by Cara McKenna Erin has a steel core. 


10. Kiss of a Demon King by Kresley Cole Evil Sorceress. Yes. Yes. 


Clearly, it is harder to be historically mean and fierce, blooming in the modern age, and if you are a paranormal chick you rock it. 


Who are your favorite fierce heroines of romance? 


Vote for the best of the best on the Goodreads list: Fierce: Best Romantic Heroines with Attitude. 


This list goes out Sunny who wanted her heroines a feisty but I decided she needed fierce instead. You rock! 

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text 2013-10-15 18:15
My Cup Runneth Over: The Buxom Heroine
At Last - Billy London
Wicked Wings - Sahara Kelly
Dangerous Curves Ahead - Sugar Jamison
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake - Sarah MacLean
It Had To Be You - Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Sweet Dreams - Kristen Ashley
The Famous Heroine - Mary Balogh
Bet Me - Jennifer Crusie
Falling for the Backup (Assassins, #3.5) - Toni Aleo
The Mane Event - Shelly Laurenston

A month or so ago I was thinking about breast size in Romance Novels. I think I must have read a book with a heroine with notably small breasts like Finding Grace. 


When I think about physical traits of romance characters, I am usually wondering about which are the best books that take that characteristic and make it a real part of the character or even sometimes the plot.  Who we physically are shapes us and really good romance novels build on these outer details to create a rich round character.  


I also think that we all like to see ourselves reflected in the fiction we read. The heroes tend to be more on the scale of fantastical in Romance because men aren't the primary audience while heroines meander between the Goddess and the more down to earth because female readers like both. 


So, I was thinking about boobs...lol 


I already posted my thoughts on the small breasted in romance. Here is that lovely blog: Small Breasted Women Have Bigger Hearts.


This post is on those heroines who are much more generously endowed. 


The books named above have heroines whose large breast size is discussed or part of the plot. 

So, for example in It Had To Be You, the heroine is often misjudged as not so bright partly because of her size being large. Dez in The Mane Event gets a lot of remarks because of her bounty.  She even has trouble fitting her bullet proof vest over the girls.


These details make for that layering in a romance novel that make the characters come alive. 


A wonderful article/rant reposted by Huffington Post: Women about having large breast starts like this


If you've got C-cup or larger-sized breasts, chances are it feels like you permanently have a toddler attached to your body, and like most demanding children, they dominate your whole life. Oh yeah, you can fill out a sweater like it's nobody's business, and you certainly get male eyes on you, but with your giant ta-tas comes a life of watching your boobs pop out of bras, shirts and dresses like they're rampaging bulls on the streets of Pamplona.


                    from "Tits McGee" 



The article goes into sarcastic exploration of the impact of having large breasts on one's life. 


There is also an Amazon Discussion on Seeing Ourselves in Romance: Breast Size


I would love the know your recommendations for great heroines whose cups runneth over.  


If you would like to vote for the best of the best, go to the Goodreads list: My Cup Runneth Over: The Buxom Heroine. 


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review 2013-06-15 00:00
Review of What I Did For Love by Susan Elizabeth Philips
What I Did for Love - Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Over the last few years I have heard a lot of good things about SEP and so when I saw What I Did for Love (henceforth known as WIDFL mostly because I don’t want to keep writing the entire title out) at my local library last week I decided I would give her a try.  Never have I ever regretting starting a book the way I do for this one.  WIDFL is the novelized version of the Jennifer Aniston/Brangelina saga–and not even a particularly good novelization either.


Georgie York had it all.  She was America’s sweetheart from the time she was 15 when she began starring in the much lauded sitcom Skip and Scooter (I shit you not) opposite Bramwell Shepherd.  For 8 seasons, Georgie’s Scooter got into one crazy situation after another only to be saved by young Skip, but just as the titular pair were to get together the network canceled the show because Bram was having WAY too much fun with his celebrity status (read lots of drugs and sex).  Ah, but Georgie didn’t let that get her down.  She started starring in bad romcoms and found herself married to a movie hunk named Lance.  (Someone seriously needs to talk to SEP about her name choices.)  After finally finding happiness, her entire world came crashing down when Lance leaves her for some bimbo named Jade, who liked to engage in a lot of humanitarian endeavors–well, hello, Angelina Jolie!  But that wasn’t all.  Nope. Brad–I mean Lance–told the press that the reason they broke up was because Jennifer–I mean Georgie–didn’t want to have kids and that he did, which we are told is not the truth.


Shortly before the book starts, it comes out that Lance and Jade are having a baby (aw, hi, Shiloh!) and the press begins their Georgie pity party, which, unfortunately, isn’t anywhere near as big as the one that Georgie throws for herself.  Georgie doesn’t know what to do and so she runs to her closeted gay best friend forever (GBFF) and asks him to marry her–that way the press would leave her alone.  What a sweetheart.  She spins it as if she would be doing the friend–whose name escapes me–a favor because he needed a beard in order to keep getting the role of Frat Boy in Chief (because no gay actor has ever successfully played a straight horndog–someone better go tell that to Neil Patrick Harris).  Thankfully, GBFF turns her down, but not before Bram overhears the conversation, allowing him to be a total and complete asshole to both Georgie and GBFF, who is apparently one of his GBFF’s as well.

Next, Georgie decides to have some girl time with her friends–all of whom have starred in their own SEP novels–and it is decided that she would go to Vegas for a girls’ weekend.  Of course she gets stood up by her friend and of course Bram shows up and the two of them get completely drunk and get married.

This is where I got off the SEP train.  There were a lot of problems with this book, the least of which was the fact that it was a thinly veiled poke at the whole Aniston/Brangelina mess.  If this was written as a tongue in cheek deal, I might have been able to get through with it, but alas it was not.  SEP was totally serious with these characters and we as readers were not meant to make the connection.  Unfortunately, this reader did.


Also unfortunately, I didn’t like the main characters.  Georgie was no Jennifer Aniston.  She was a self-centered little bitch, who cared more about what the press was saying about her than about anyone or anything else.  That is so not Jennifer Aniston.  At all.  Then there was the fact that Georgie acted much younger than her age.  She is supposed to be 31, but her actions are more that of an 18 or 19 year old.  She doesn’t care about anyone other than herself and she expects everyone else to be just as concerned with her welfare as she is.  The strangest thing is that she seems to have a problem separating reality from the fictional world of Skip and Scooter.  There were a few too many instances of her referring to times that Bram had to save her from things that happened between their characters on the show.  It was very disconcerting to see someone over the age of 10 not understanding that fiction is not real life.  It also seemed as if Georgie never got over the crush she had on the self-destructive, teenaged version of Bram.  At 18, that was one thing, but at 31… Not really.  (At one point, Georgie lies to Bram about the number of lovers (inflating it to make herself look better in his eyes) she has had since the one time that they screwed at some party that he threw when he was 20 and she was 18.)


Then, there was Bram.  We don’t get much information on him at all because most of the 70 pages I managed to read were told from Georgie’s perspective, so anything we learned about him was colored by her feelings towards him–none of which were good.  I feel that if Bram had a bigger part of the narration he would have turned out to be a better guy that he was being portrayed, but we didn’t get that at all.  The only thing we got were a bunch of flashbacks to Skip and Scooter and none of them portrayed Bram in the best light.  Maybe if I was able to get passed the 70 page mark, I would have gotten more insight into Bram, but since that didn’t happen I am going to assume that we didn’t–it doesn’t fit with the way the first 70 pages were written.

Even with all of this, I was still willing to read on, but then came the line.  The line that made me go, “Oh, no she didn’t.”  It was just so offensive that it made me wonder what type of person SEP is that she thought it was okay to put it in her book.  What was the line, you ask?  Well, it turns out that Georgie doesn’t want to “drive to LA with a hoard of photographers chasing us. AS PRINCESS DIANA WOULD SAY, ‘BEEN THERE DONE THAT.”  In what universe is it okay to even joke about the fact that Princess Diana died in an awful car wreck brought on by paparazzi who were chasing her car through the streets of Paris.  Yes, it was 1997, but it is still TOO SOON.  It will still be too soon in 2097.


In the end, I couldn’t bring myself to finish reading this book, which is why I have to give it ZERO STARS.  I would really like to give it negative stars, but that would probably be a bit too much

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