I like my heroines to have intellectual curosity so the Bluestocking Heroine is a favorite of mine.
Nose in a book, messy hair, glasses, endless questions, thinking thoughts that aren't allowed? Wonderful!
Here is a little Wikipedia on the term
A bluestocking is an educated, intellectual woman, more specifically a member of the 18th-century Blue Stockings Society led by the hostess and critic Elizabeth Montagu (1720–1800), the "Queen of the Blues", and including Elizabeth Vesey(1715–91), Hester Chapone (1727–1801), and the classicist Elizabeth Carter (1717–1806). In the following generation came Hester Lynch Piozzi (1741–1821), Hannah More (1745–1833), and Frances Burney (1752–1840).
Until the late 18th century, the term had referred to learned people of both sexes. It subsequently was applied primarily to intellectual women, and the French equivalent bas bleu had a similar connotation. The term later developed negative implications, and in some instances such women were stereotyped as being "frumpy".The reference to blue stockings may arise from the time when woollen worstedstockings were informal dress, in contrast to formal, fashionable black silk stockings. Curiously, the most frequent such reference is to a man, Benjamin Stillingfleet, who reportedly lacked the formal black stockings, yet still participated in the Blue Stockings Society.
So, we are talking historical Romance.
Here are some great Bluestocking Heroines.
My lists are never in any particular order. Enjoy!
1. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
Tough minded Jessica Trent's sole intention is to free her nitwit brother from the destructive influence of Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquess of Diain. She never expects to desire the arrogant, amoral cad. And When Daine's reciprocal passion places them in a scandalously compromising, and public, position, Jessica is left with no choice but to seek satisfaction... Damn the minx for tempting him, kissing him...and then for forcing him to salvage reputation! Lord Dain can't wait to put the infuriating bluestocking in her place -- and in some amorous position. And if this means marriage, so be it -- though Sebastian is less than certain he can continue to remain aloof...and steal his heart to the sensuous, head strong lady's considerable charms.
2. My Darling Caroline by Adele Ashworth
No man's darling . . .
One by one, Lady Caroline Grayson watched her four sisters celebrate their betrothals, truly sure that marriage was not in her future—and perfectly pleased with that fact. Or so she thought.
Brent Ravenscroft, Earl of Weymerth, nearly gave his life for the Crown. He returned to England a hero with no intention of taking a bride, certain his brusque demeanor would intimidate any young ladies drawn to his good looks—or so he thought.
Bound by a business transaction, Caroline and Brent begin life as husband and wife. Utterly determined not to fall for each other, they stubbornly ignore the sparks flying between them and keep secrets at every turn. They would resist the lure of love—and the pleasures of the marriage bed—forever . . . or so they thought.
3. Cloudy With A Chance Of Marriage by Kieran Kramer
Every woman dreams of saying "I do." Jilly Jones did—and years of a deeply imperfect marriage followed. Now living in London and working in a charming bookshop, the free-spirited Jilly is perfectly content with her newfound independence…until she meets a dashing naval officer who sparks her longing for a real happily ever after.
Captain Stephen Arrow is just home after years of service, and he's in no hurry to give up his hard-won freedom. The meddlesome bluestocking Jilly Jones is exactly the kind of woman he doesn't need…But there's something about her that keeps drawing Stephen back to the bookshop. With her sparkling wit and understated beauty, she seems like a surprisingly real match for Stephen. But will a scandalous chapter in Jilly's past stand in the way of their heated attraction? For this bachelor, nothing is impossible…
4. Suddenly You by Lisa Kleypas
She was unmarried, untouched and almost thirty, but novelist Amanda Briars wasn′t about to greet her next birthday without making love to a man. When he appeared at her door, she believed he was her gift to herself, hired for one night of passion. Unforgettably handsome, irresistibly virile, he tempted her in ways she never thought possible...but something stopped him from completely fulfilling her dream.
Jack Delvin′s determination to possess Amanda became greater when she discovered his true identity. But gently-bred Amanda craved respectability more than she admitted, while Jack, the cast-off son of a nobleman and London′s most notorious businessman, refused to live by society′s rules. Yet when fate conspired for them to marry, their worlds collided with a passionate force neither had expected...but both soon craved.
5. Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Penelope Featherington has secretly adored her best friend's brother for . . . well, it feels like forever. After half a lifetime of watching Colin Bridgerton from afar, she thinks she knows everything about him, until she stumbles across his deepest secret . . . and fears she doesn't know him at all.
Colin Bridgerton is tired of being thought nothing but an empty-headed charmer, tired of everyone's preoccupation with the notorious gossip columnist Lady Whistledown, who can't seem to publish an edition without mentioning him in the first paragraph. But when Colin returns to London from a trip aboard he discovers nothing in his life is quite the same—especially Penelope Featherington! The girl haunting his dreams. But when he discovers that Penelope has secrets of her own, this elusive bachelor must decide . . . is she his biggest threat—or his promise of a happy ending?
6. How to Dance With a Duke by Manda Collins
Miss Cecily Hurston would much rather explore the antiquities of Egypt than the uncharted territory of marriage. But the rules of her father's exclusive academic society forbid her entrance unless she weds one of its members. To clear her ailing father's name of a scandalous rumor, Cecily needs to gain admission into the Egyptian Club—and is willing to marry any old dullard to do it.
Lucas Dalton, Duke of Winterson, is anything but dull. He's a dashing and decorated war hero determined to help Cecily—even if that means looking the other way when she claims the dance card of Amelia Snow, this season's most sought-after beauty. But Lucas has a reason for wanting Cecily to join the Egyptian Club: His brother went missing during one of Lord Hurston's expeditions to Egypt. An alliance with the explorer's bluestocking daughter could bring Lucas closer to the truth about what happened…or it could lead him to a more dangerous love than either he or Cecily could have imagined….
7. Rendezvous by Amanda Quick
Augusta Ballinger was quite sure that it was all a dreadful mistake. The chillingly pompous and dangerous Earl of Graystone could not possibly wish to marry her. Why, it was rumored that his chosen bride must be a veritable model of virtue. And everyone knew that Augusta, as the last of the wild, reckless Northumberland Ballingers, was a woman who could not be bothered by society’s rules.
That was why the spirited beauty had planned a midnight encounter to warn the earl off, to convince him that she would make him a very poor wife indeed. But when she crawled in through his darkened study window, Augusta only succeeded in strengthening Harry’s resolve: to kiss the laughter from those honeyed lips and teach this maddening miss to behave! How could he possibly know that it was he who was in for a lesson . . . as his brazen fiancée set out to win his heart—and an old and clever enemy stepped in to threaten their love, their honor, and their very lives?
8. Devil Takes A Bride by Gaelen Foley
n the quiet English countryside, far from the intrigues of London, Lizzie Carlisle slowly mends her broken heart, devoting herself to her new position as lady’s companion to the Dowager Viscountess Strathmore— until her peaceful life is turned upside down by a visit from “Devil” Strathmore, the old woman’s untamed nephew—a dangerously handsome man whose wicked reputation hides a tortured soul.
Devlin Kimball, Lord Strathmore, has spent years adventuring on the high seas, struggling to make his peace with the tragedy that claimed the lives of his family. But now he has uncovered the dark truth behind the so-called accident and swears retribution. He has no intention of taking a bride—until his eccentric aunt’s will forces he and Lizzie together, and Devlin finds his path to vengeance blocked by the stubborn but oh-so-tempting Miss Carlisle. Her passionate nature rivals his own. But disillusioned once by love, Lizzie will accept nothing less than his true devotion. .
9. A Scandalous Plan by Donna Lea Simpson
Strong-willed and intelligent, Lady Theresa is tired of spending her days listening to the gossipy village spinsters talk about the mysterious gentleman who just moved into the village. Known to be headstrong, and happily unattached, she takes it upon herself to call on the new resident and find out if the awful rumors about his family are true.
The Honourable Mr. Martindale welcomes life as a recluse. A widower, he’s made his fortune and now hopes to dedicate his time to working the land and raising his two young children—free of interference from the locals. When Lady Theresa comes marching up to his door, it’s the last thing Martindale wants, a husband hunter who thinks she can tell him how to raise his children and, worse, how he should comport himself.
Yet before long Lady Theresa has worked her way into Martindale’s quiet life and hatched an outrageous plan to win the village’s approval for both the man and his unusual children. But what she fails to see is how badly the plan could backfire, or how it could jeopardize her own place in a family she has come to cherish—and in the heart of the man she has come to love.
10. A Bluestocking Christmas by Monica Burns
Simon, Viscount Wycombe isn't accustomed to women rejecting him outright, and when Ivy Beecham does just that, he realizes a new method of seduction is in order. The best hope he has is to appeal to Ivy's intellect. Using words from the best literary minds, Simon carries out his strategy to seduce Ivy in the most sensually erotic way possible.
Ivy Beecham knows first-hand that handsome aristocrats like Simon can’t be trusted. But the intellectual scoundrel is hellbent on making her his mistress, using every means at his seductive disposal. Unable to resist, Ivy succumbs to his playful words and sinfully erotic touch until her past returns to haunt her. When she refuses to give Simon her heart on Christmas Eve, a ghostly specter shows her in one night why her surrender can be the greatest gift of all.
Did I miss your favorite? Let me know!
Vote on my Goodreads list: Bluestockings in Romance Novels