Livie, the heroine of Love and the Laws of Motion, is brilliant, shy, and just a little bit out of step with the world around her. I loved writing her, because I love quirky heroines. Give me your shy girls, your bookish geniuses, your socially awkward ladies…I love them all. When I sat down to make a list of my favorites, there were so many to choose from that narrowing it down was hard, but these are just some of the best quirky heroines I’ve read. Who are yours?
The Chocolate Kiss- Laura Florand I love everything Laura Florand has written but this one has such a great heroine. Magalie Chaudron runs a chocolate shop on Île Saint-Louis in the heart of Paris with her two eccentric aunts. She’s quiet, mysterious, and she might be just a little bit witchy. And she makes the magical hot chocolate the shop is famous for. It certainly casts a spell on Philippe Lyonais, the famous pastry chef who’s just set up shop on her block. He can’t seem to resist it…or her.
A Duke in Disguise- Cat Sebastian I read (and write) both contemporary and historical romance, and Cat Sebastian writes some of the best historical romance out there. Verity Plum is a publisher of radical books, trying to keep her political firebrand brother out of prison while keeping their struggling business afloat. She’s brilliant, unsentimental, and passionately loyal to both her brother and their longtime friend, Ash, who is not at all what he seems.
A Girl Like Her- Talia Hibbert Ruth Kabbah loves comic books and doesn’t really love people. She writes a web comic, and her house is full of more back issues of Avengers than furniture. She’s direct and unapologetic, and she doesn’t make it easy for her new neighbor, Evan, to get to know her. Once he does, he learns there’s much more to Ruth than what the town gossip about her implies.
A Week to be Wicked- Tessa Dare I love the entire Spindle Cove series, but I think A Week to be Wicked might be my favorite because I love Minerva Highwood so much. Within the first page, Tessa describes her as “plain, bookish, distracted, and awkward with men.” She’s also a geologist in a time when women weren’t welcomed in science. What’s not to love? Throw her together with a charming, ne’er-do-well scapegrace and I was sucked in from page one.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before- Jenny Han I adore Lara Jean Song Covey. She loves to bake, she loves romance novels, she has a rich fantasy life in her head… Basically, Lara Jean is me. Lara Jean might not be the most popular girl in high school but she knows herself and she knows what’s important to her. And even when she starts fake-dating the hottest guy in school, she still hangs onto who she is, quirks and all, and I love her for it.
Truly- Ruthie Knox May is a nice girl. She’s from a solid midwestern family and all she wants is a nice, quiet, secure life with a nice, quiet, midwestern boy. Unfortunately, on her first trip to NYC, everything goes wrong and sweet, kind May is sure the big city is not for her. Then she meets surly chef Ben and he shows her a side of the city, and herself, she didn’t know existed.
Astrophysicist Olivia Romano has always preferred to stay close to her family in Brooklyn—even at the expense of her academic career. But with her advisor missing in action and an unscrupulous professor undermining her work, she’s forced to rely on the reformed-hacker-turned-elite-computer-genius whose sexy smile she can’t get out of her head.
Nicholas DeSantis cut ties with his family at eighteen, running away from his old-school Italian American neighborhood to make it big in Silicon Valley. When Livie comes to him for help, he can’t resist the project or the quirky woman behind it. Moving into the Romano house in his old neighborhood seems like the perfect short-term solution, if he can just continue to avoid his own family.
But while living together makes working with Livie easier, fighting his growing attraction to her becomes a whole lot harder.
When Livie’s research is sabotaged, Nick takes a huge risk to get her the proof she needs to salvage her career. Moving forward means leaving Brooklyn and spreading her wings at last—just when Nick might finally be ready to put down some roots.
Amanda has loved romance since she read that very first Kathleen E. Woodiwiss novel at fifteen. After a long detour into a career as a costume designer in theatre, she’s found her way back to romance, this time as a writer.
A native Floridian, Amanda transplanted to New York City many years ago and now considers Brooklyn home, along with her husband, daughter, two cats, and nowhere near enough space.
Contemporary romance titles include The One I Love to Hate (Romano Sisters #1), Always, Sky High, and This Book Will Change Your Life. Historical romance titles include The Grantham Girls series (Carina Press); A Duchess in Name, A Common Scandal, and A Reluctant Betrothal.