I started writing ONE DAY TO FALL because I wanted to write a heroine who didn’t conform. Not to society, which doesn’t favour women, or to her family, who favours society’s expectations of women. We tend to call these heroines unlikeable, but I like the idea of them being grumpy. They’re too busy fighting the patriarchy to smile, thank you very much. I like the idea of them being contrary even more. Even to the expectations of the reader… I think these heroines should be celebrated, so here are five contrary heroines I adore:
One: Chloe Brown from GET A LIFE, CHLOE BROWN by Talia Hibbert
Talia Hibbert’s characterisation of the prim heroine is flawless. Chloe’s character is no exception. She’s unapologetically herself, which is contrary as hell. She doesn’t do what her family expects her to, though they love and respect her for it, and she absolutely doesn’t do what her hero expects her to (though he loves her for it, too). Chloe doesn’t even do what she expects herself to do sometimes, which is the kind of spontaneity fighting the patriarchy should be built on.
Two: Jin-mei from A DANCE WITH DANGER by Jeanie Lin
Jin-mei is an excellent example of the journey many women go through in their lives. She grows up conforming to the expectations thrust upon her, but quickly realises doing so turns her into someone she doesn’t want to be. It’s her desire for authenticity – in herself, and the people she cares about – that frees her from her obedience. Her strength of will is something to behold, especially in the face of the danger she faces. Whenever I feel the need to obey the expectations placed on me, I think of Jin-mei; she’s exactly who I aspire to be.
Three: Fay Liu from PLAYING HOUSE by Ruby Lang
It wasn’t until I read PLAYING HOUSE that I realised how rarely a heroine’s ambition is portrayed as Fay’s was. She knows what she wants and she gets what she wants. There’s no softening of her desires, or how she gets them, which can sometimes happen with heroines – and women in the real world. Moving in the world with that confidence is contrary and I love it so much. I will be channelling Fay until further notice…
Four: Elena Deveraux from the GUILD HUNTER series by Nalini Singh
I very much enjoy a heroine who upends expectations by literally kicking ass. That’s what you can expect from this heroine. Elena doesn’t have to take nonsense from anyone because she can physically defend herself. It allows her to move differently in the world, particularly in her interactions with people who should have more power. Her agency is contrary in and of itself, and with that, comes passion and heat. Can you tell I recommend this series?
Five: Nina from THE QUEEN’S GAME by Carla de Guzman
Contrariness basically translates to a heroine doing exactly what they want, regardless of what others want them to do. That’s Nina in a nutshell. Though she’ll become queen, she doesn’t allow the role to turn her into someone she doesn’t want to be. She rules on her own terms, and her people – and her hero – love her for it. She’s exactly the kind of queen and heroine I appreciate.
I’d love to hear about your favourite contrary heroines! Find me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
More about One Day to Forever, #2 (A WEDDING ONE CHRISTMAS is book #1). Available Now
Blurb: Of all the taxis in all of Cape Town, Sophia Roux had to stumble into his.
She should be at her “perfect” sister’s bedside, awaiting the arrival of the newest member of her family. But the thought of spending hours at the hospital with her suffocating relatives has Sophia hailing the first taxi she sees. Only to realise too late that the man at the wheel of her getaway car is the most unpleasant one she’s ever had the misfortune to meet.
Parker Jones, the handsome yet surly driver in question, is used to dealing with baggage of the family variety. And it just so happens he’s in need of temporary escape from his own. Witty banter with a beautiful—if exasperating—woman while chauffeuring her around the city on a gorgeous spring day makes for an ideal break from reality.
But a lot can happen in twenty-four hours: babies can be born, family can reconnect. And maybe the most unlikely pair can fall in love.Buy One Day to Fall by Therese Beharrie
About the author: Being an author has always been Therese’s dream. But it was only when the corporate world loomed during her final year at university that she realised how soon she wanted that dream to become a reality. So she got serious about her writing, entered the Harlequin So You Think You Can Write competition and got the attention of an editor. Now she writes books she wants to see in the world featuring people who look like her for a living. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her husband and dogs in Cape Town, South Africa.
You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Bookbub, or catch up with her on her writing blog. You can also learn more about her in the following interviews: Tygerburger, CapeTalk, and TimesLive.
She publishes with Harlequin Romance and Carina Press, and is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan at Handspun Literary.
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What a fun post, Therese! Thanks for sharing your favorites.