The “standard” heroine in historical romances is a soft, sensitive soul who, through the course of the story, must find her inner strength in order to prevail over story villains or compromised situations and find her happily-ever-after with the story’s hero. She’s sometimes considered sassy and feisty. I don’t consider either a compliment. Neither speaks to intelligence, strength, or character. But usually a satisfying ending is enjoyed by all.
In my favorite HR stories, the heroines are formidable adversaries (or co-conspirators) almost from page one. They are smart, and even cunning. These women have very little time for tears and no time for running. However… for the right man… there’s plenty of time for passion!
Most HR stories take place during a time when women were second-class citizens. Not allowed to vote, own property, or even have input into their futures. They had their lives dictated to them by men and senior matriarchs “looking out for their best interest.”
Women learned fashion, food, music, and all things female. Discussing sex was unheard of, and expecting or wanting sex was even worse. They married whom they were told to – and it wasn’t uncommon for their future husband to sometimes be two or three times their age… as long as he had a title.
In the event a woman found herself the surviving widow or beneficiary of wealth, she was expected to marry so her husband could manage her wealth as he saw fit.
During the month of May, you’ll meet several women who have no time for societal mores and snub their noses at convention. They’re in dire situations and usually, time is of the essence. Of course, they were not planning on running into him, and he’s a game-changer! He either needs to get out of her way – or help her! They’ll risk life, ruin, and their hearts to save family… and for love.