1. I very much enjoyed this series and I hope to goodness I have time enough to seek out all of the intriguing titles you mention.

    What struck me about your observations was the thread of how heroines have evolved/changed throughout romance history. Especially that last bit about the “almost villain” romance heroine. Love that idea (Catherine Asaro’s ALPHA had exactly that type of heroine and I couldn’t get enough of her). The Dragon book by Laurenston sounded good so I read some of the excerpt. When I’m next in the mood for a fantasy romance I’ll get that.

    It’s heady to think that as many romances there are in existence, there are still places in it yet to explore.

  2. Author

    Yes, I was rather amazed myself at how that heroine thread emerged all on its own as I was writing these posts. I had those emails that included most of the original informational links I’d sent to you last fall, Heather, as the general outline to work from so I knew where I wanted to end up.

    Or so I thought.

    But when I started looking around for books to illustrate it all, that’s when I realized it would be better to do it chronologically and probably by author. Once I made that decision, the herione thread started appearing, almost from the first, all on its own. It appears as early as Emilie Loring and Glenna Finley and it was really fighting with the sex stuff, too, for control of the narrative. I honestly was not joking in some of the posts when I acted like I was reminding myself to comment on the sexual content. So, I hope that even if I didn’t end up answering the question you asked me originally, then at least it was a fun journey. 😉

    I also hope you enjoy the Laurenston book if you get around to it. Or any of her other ones because I pretty much love all of hers I’ve read so far. The thing to remember about her writing is that she has a truly odd-ball sense of humor that balances out the intensity of those heroines. You either get it or you don’t. I don’t think my son got the joke. At all. Snicker. I keep telling him to read another couple by her before he makes up his mind but I think he may be scarred (scared?) for life.

    And this is a male who reads Robert Jordan and those females?!? (Oh, but he tells me they’re not the “hero” of the story… rrrriiiggghhhttt. Ahem. I rest my case.)

    Okay, I have to quit or my comment is going to be longer than a post. 😉

  3. Definitely a fun journey.

    I think it helps that you (or Mrs. Giggles?) mentioned the Zena aspect of Laurenston’s heroine in the Dragon story because that provided me with an immediate context. And it probably helped that I’m a Sam Raimi fan, too!

    Regarding the intensity of such heroines, haven’t there been quite a few discussions about the double standard in romance–that the heroes can be intense/dangerous but there’s an expectation that the heroines won’t be (at least on average)? Hmm, contemplating now that I want to revisit some of those discussions. Do you think we’re approaching a time where we’ll see heroines getting equal play as far as intensity? Assuming, of course, that I’m asking the right questions here. I suppose it depends on the subgenre, too.

    I’ve never read anything by Robert Jordan. Lol, are the female characters really that bad? I honestly don’t know a thing about them (although it was other stuff that’s preventing me from reading the WOT series).

  4. Author

    I immediately wanted to backtrack and say Jordan’s females aren’t all that physical but I do believe Wheel of Time series has some Amazon-like female warriors in it. What I was referring to more specifically was the way the women in the series treat the men – almost as lesser inferior beings.

    As to intense heroines, I’m honestly not sure where that’s going in romance. Authors like Laurenston and Leigh have a following but I’m not sure how large that is in the mainstream romance market since Laurenston for one is just now breaking out into print. I’ve heard some very mixed reactions to her heroines.

  5. Thanks for clarifying about Jordan’s female characters.

    Not surprised to hear about the mixed reactions to Laurenston’s heroines. Seems like it’s pretty fresh territory, and my impression is that these types of heroines tend to polarize readers. I could be wrong, though.

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