I want us to talk about ladies, the strong and the weak; the modelesque and the curvy; the stubborn and the easygoing. The ladies we love to read about and those who make us throw a book against the wall—or turn off the display on whatever device we’re using to read it.
I realize not everyone likes the same type of leading lady. I, for example, get annoyed by cluelessness unless it fits the character’s age and/or circumstances. I don’t do wilting flowers, and I get pissed off when authors present a woman’s sexual past as some kind of pathology.
A well known and loved author of paranormal romance lost me as a reader when a tough female character more or less said she’d slept with several men—before meeting The One, natch—as a means of punishing herself, and nobody told her having sex with several partners is perfectly fine!
I have no preferences as to my ladies’ degree of sexual experience, as long as it’s their choice, and not because they’re adhering to a social construct the author has let slip in the book. I love reading about someone who remained a virgin until she met the love of her life, because that was what she felt like doing, as much as about someone being inexperienced because the community she grew up in looked down on premarital relations.
If I don’t get the sense the author agrees with said community.
I don’t read about women who are written like they should be ashamed of their sexuality, and I try not to write my ladies that way.
My favorite are real-world women, who’ve done some soul-searching and are aware of their strengths and weaknesses. I love learning about their insecurities and watching how they overcome them.
That’s why I adore Becca, who embraces her sexuality and decides one man isn’t enough for her. Becca’s story is still being written, but this is how our first glimpse of it begins, when we meet her as Amanda’s best friend in my upcoming contemporary romance, The Tenant:
“I’m just sorry I’m so busy these days and can’t take Derek off your hands,” Becca said. “He sounds fun!”
“He can be, when he’s not an unbelievable asshole.” He could be fun and sweet and sexy, and she shouldn’t be thinking about any of that.
“Like I said, too bad I’m all manned out…”
“Okay, you’re obviously dying to tell me.”
“Nah. Only if you really wanna know.”
“I really really wanna know. Will you please tell me all about this guy?”
“It’s guys, actually. And they know about each other.”
Becca beamed a wide smile. “In a relationship with two wonderful men who adore me.” She run a hand down her side and slapped one fleshy thigh. “Too much jelly for just one man, baby.”
“You did not just say that.”
The smile wouldn’t waver. “I did. I’ve said all sorts of crazy things these days, but I can’t help it. I’m happy.”
“I’m happy you’re happy. I’m just sorry for… What was that guy’s name? The one I last saw you with? Tall, dark, and handsome, seemed gaga about you?”
“You mean Brad?”
“Yes! Brad! Brad was cute. I liked Brad.”
“So do I. Luckily, so does Colin.”
“You’re impossible,” Amanda said, smiling. “Now I’m seriously jealous! But hey, maybe that’s the solution to my dilemma?” Amanda regretted the words the moment they were out of her mouth.
You’ll have to wait until The Tenant is out to see why Amanda regretted what she said.
To read the first chapter of Becca’s story, click here.
But tell me, what kind of woman do you like to read about? Any all time favorites?