If you’ve read any of our romance novel reviews, you know that if there’s one thing we hate here at Romance Rehab, it’s weak, spineless heroines. (And also country music, camping, big hairy spiders and reality TV, but we digress...) But fortunately, for every too-stupid-to-live heroine we’ve encountered on our reading adventures, we’ve found at least one outstanding, super-smart, bad-ass woman—the kind of woman who can overcome any obstacle and generally grabs life by the balls and makes it her bitch. The kind of woman who kicks the crap out of the romance stigma. So, without further ado, here are our top 12 favorite bad-ass heroines:
Any avid romance reader can tell you that the road to happily ever isn’t always smooth. Sometimes, it’s years and years in the making. But that certainly doesn’t make the journey any less exciting! For all you readers out there who, like us, can’t get enough second-chance romance reads, here are our picks for the best-of-the-best:
It's also the perfect way to hide your pain in the media. But when the ache turns to a hollow pit, and there isn't enough sex, drugs, or alcohol to fill the emptiness, what do you do?
You cut your losses and head to L.A. to mentor the latest reality talent show. You follow an old friend into a world where the art of the tease and bump and grind were perfected. Where the sound of her voice calls to every primal instinct buried within your body and makes the demand for your attention.
Jackson's an addict, and just one taste puts him back in the precarious position of falling in love with a woman who's mastered the art of ensnaring and teasing.
Writing is hard work, and it doesn’t always pay as well as you might assume. (Unless you’re Stephen King, or JK Rowling. Then we’re sure it pays just as well as you might assume.) The last thing in the world we want is for our favorite authors to lose hope and quit writing, particularly before that next book in our favorite series is finished. So, with that in mind, here are a few things readers can do to help their favorite authors and keep them motivated to write more books, faster:
Not your grandma’s historical romance
Think historical romance is all about ripped corsets and good girls who are only interested in wrestling randy dukes into matrimonial submission? Well, think again! Here are our picks for the top 14 historical romances that kick the crap out of the romance stigma.
It is the story of a silent man who lives with an excruciating wound and the woman who helps him find his voice. It is the story of suffering, fate, and the transformative power of love
My sins are my own. They keep me company. Instead, this is the true tale of how I found her, how I stole her, and how I lost her.
She was a damsel, one who already had her white knight. But every fairytale has a villain, someone waiting in the wings to rip it all down. A scoundrel who will set the world on fire if that means he gets what he wants. That’s me.
I’m the bad guy.
Though the sisters were never close, she starts to confide in Ainsley, especially when she learns her late husband was keeping a secret from her.
Despite the murky blended-family dynamic that's always separated them, Ainsley's and Kate's heartaches bind their summer together when they come to terms with the inevitable imperfection of relationships and family—and the possibility of one day finding love again.
The official list of words and phrases we NEVER want to read again in romance novels
We get it. In the writing world, few things are harder (Ha! Get it? See what we did there?) to create than an engaging sex scene. As authors, particularly you romance authors out there, you are forced to walk a dangerously thin tightrope when it comes to writing these scenes. Write a classy, “fade to black before penetration” sex scene and some readers feel cheated. Write a realistic sex scene using clinical, accurate terminology and it ends up reading like an instructional manual.
The sweet spot (Ha! We did it again. We’re on fire over here) is somewhere in between the two extremes. But in the quest for realistic and titillating sex scenes, some authors get a little too creative (in our opinion) with terminology, causing things to get...weird. Since we read a lot (like, seriously, a lot) here at Romance Rehab, we’re pretty sure we can help you authors find that sex scene sweet spot. Here is a quick cheat-sheet of words and phrases we’ve come across that we’d be happy to never see again in books (or anywhere else for that matter):