Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Unlikable Heroine

Last month, I wrote about the characteristics a romance hero and heroine should have. Briefly, I mentioned that the heroine should be likable from the very beginning of the story. I have violated this rule twice, maybe three times. In the now out of print Mardi Gras Madness, my heroine is sitting at the funeral of her young husband and has a breakdown after she returns home in the opening. Before the end of the chapter, she overcomes her depression and ventures into the world to start over in a strange place which does take courage. Still, this one was rejected because my heroine wasn't sympathetic from the very first page. I'm still trying to figure that one out. I guess she shouldn't have had the breakdown but immediately packed her bags and blithely started over which would not have made sense to me if she truly loved her deceased husband.

I am happy to announce that Kicks for a Sinner is now back in print along with Paradise for a Sinner. Making progress!  But I must warn you that Kicks has an initially unlikable heroine, and did I take some flack for that! Cassie Thomas was rescued by Joe Dean Billodeaux and his wife from the clutches of an older man who took advantage of her as a teenager and left her pregnant. Joe and Nell adopted her baby at the end of Wish for a Sinner.  Now, Cassie is all grown up and infatuated with Joe as her hero and the adoptive father of her son. She rejects the advances of nice guy, Howdy McCoy, in favor of pursuing Joe who still has that bad boy aura about him. Eventually, she sees the light. Joe isn't interested, will never leave his wife, and Howdy is a tougher man than she suspected. Despite the happy ending, some readers haven't forgiven me for letting her hurt Howdy before the HEA. As I moved on to Paradise for a Sinner, I did put in a little karma for Cassie. Her firstborn with Howdy is a little red-headed girl who is just as hard to handle as her mother once was.

A Wild Red Rose just came out. This is the sequel to The Convent Rose where Renee Niles, a scheming gold-digger wed twice before is out to claim Bodey Landrum for herself--after she checks out all his financial assets. They have a long past physical history, too, so she figures she can stand to be married to him and if she must, give him a child. Bodey is having none of her and continues to pursue the artistic and religious Eve Burns.  At the beginning of Wild Red, Renee is still looking for her third rich husband but has time on her hands and takes up the offer of rodeo bullfighter, Clinton Beck, to go on a road trip. Unbeknownst to her, Clint has a private fortune but doesn't let on. He aims to tame her of all her bad habits and make her the lovely woman she should be. I enjoyed tearing Renee down, then building her up again often in comic ways, but she is definitely unlikable at the start. We'll see what readers think shortly. I hope they will give Renee a chance to become a better person.