I don’t write wallflower heroines. Maybe it’s because I felt like one throughout high school, college and…now. Some writers like to write about experiences they’ve had or know, but usually I like to write about what I’d like to be. Vivacious. Bold. Kick-ass. Not the shy girl in the corner, thinking bold thoughts but never acting on them.
So, yeah, me and the shy, retiring heroines…not so much.
And then, I broke my unspoken rule. Anne Hartfield, the heroine of DEMON’S BRIDE, is the daughter of an impoverished baron. She’s got no fortune to secure herself a husband, and she hasn’t the beauty to make a suitor overlook her lack of dowry. Anne is taught to make herself quiet and agreeable, and never stand out.
Things change when she marries Leo Bailey. Anne and Leo don’t know each other well when they get married. He’s a wealthy commoner in search of an aristocratic bride, and before she knows it, she’s suddenly wedded to this handsome but intimidating—and mysterious—stranger. To both Anne and Leo, their marriage is a mutually beneficial business arrangement. Neither expect to find a surprising connection with the other. A young woman raised in genteel poverty and a self-made man have nothing in common. Or do they?
I’m not a fan of a woman actualizing herself because of a man. I don’t like the idea of a woman finding her worth because a man validates her. True strength comes from within. Yet I think we all need someone to believe in us, someone in our corner—regardless of their gender.
Leo encourages Anne to speak her mind, to assert her opinions, and that gives her confidence and strength. But their relationship isn’t a one way street. Anne is the one person to accept Leo for who he is as a person, rather than thinking of him as a saddler’s son, or a grasping upstart. They both become stronger as a result of their relationship.
Which is a very good thing, because Leo has a terrible secret—a secret of darkest magic—that could destroy not just their fragile bond, but the world as we know it. Can Anne go from wallflower to kick ass, and save Leo’s soul? Let’s hope so.
So, my question to you is, do you prefer your heroines to be the shy, quiet sort, or do you like your heroines a little more bold? What is it about the wallflower—or kick-ass—heroine that you enjoy? Leave a comment, and I’ll pick one US/Canada winner to receive a copy of DEMON’S BRIDE.
The Hellraisers, Book 2
Hell to Pay
Leo Bailey may have been born to poverty, but ruthless business sense and sparkling intelligence have made money worries a thing of his past. It doesn’t hurt that the Devil himself has granted Leo the ability to read the future.
But even infallible predictions are a déclassé commoner’s trick to some members of the ton. They’ll never see Leo as their equal – one good reason to prove himself their better. And a noble marriage is an obvious start.
Bookish Anne Hartfield, daughter of a baron, is hardly the flashiest miss on the marriage market. But her thoughtful reserve complements Leo’s brash boldness in an attraction neither can deny. A whirlwind courtship sweeps Anne and Leo into a smoldering marriage before either can believe their luck. But happiness built on Leo’s dark powers can’t last. Soon, Anne will have to save her husband…or lose her heart.
Zoë Archer is an award-winning romance author who thinks there’s nothing sexier than a man in tall boots and a waistcoat. As a child, she never dreamed about being the rescued princess, but wanted to kick butt right beside the hero. She now applies her master’s degrees in Literature and Fiction to creating butt-kicking heroines and heroes in tall boots. She is the author of the acclaimed BLADES OF THE ROSE series and the paranormal historical romance series, THE HELLRAISERS. She and her husband, fellow romance author Nico Rosso, created the steampunk world of THE ETHER CHRONICLES together. Her steampunk romance, SKIES OF FIRE, is now available from Avon Impulse, and Nico’s steampunk Western, NIGHT OF FIRE, will be available in July. Zoë and Nico live in Los Angeles.