Tag: Best Heroines

Best of 2017: The Heroines

Posted January 3, 2018 by Rowena in Features | 4 Comments


Shelby Gates from Revenge (Lawless #3) by Lexi Blake. I’m not a fan of reporter heroes or heroines. When I read that Shelby was going to be the heroine of Revenge, I wasn’t thrilled. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with Shelby. Yes, she wants to write about what happened to Drew and his family, but she would never do it at the expense of the family. She knew Drew inside and out. She wouldn’t put up with him retreating into his shell.

Charlotte Taggart from Love and Let Die (Masters and Mercenaries #5) by Lexi Blake. Oh, Charlie. She really messed up with Ian and almost lost him. Determined to get him back, she will do anything he wants or asks. Charlotte is a warrior in her own right and she was always the perfect woman for Ian.

Isabel Roma from Midnight Games (Killer Instincts #3) by Elle Kennedy. Isabel is damaged goods. That didn’t mean was is useless. She was far from useless. As one of Noelle’s assassins, Isabel could turn herself into anyone she wanted. She was a chameleon and her transformations were amazing. She was exactly the woman Trevor needed to pull him out of the pit of despair he found himself in after his girlfriend died.

Cynthia Leighton from Raphael (Vampires in America #1) by D.B. Reynolds. Cynthia is my favorite heroine of 2017. She’s up there with Elena Deveraux from Nalini Singhs Guid Hunter series. I said almost. There is nothing more that Cynthia wants but to cower in front of Raphael Her pride won’t allow it and it takes all of her to remain standing when she’s in the same room with him. She doesn’t apologize for being human. She was Raphael’s perfect match.

Silver Merchant from Silver Silence (Psy/Changeling Trinity #1) by Nalini Singh. I have been intrigued by Silver ever since she came into the picture. Her family ties are strong which is an oddity because the Merchant’s are immersed deeply into Silence. The Merchants have a loyalty to one another which is rare in the Psy/Changeling world. Silver knew her Silence was failing even before Valentin came into the picture. Then she just let go and held onto Valentin as tight as she could.


Sidonie Martel from Spellbinder (Moonshadow, #2) by Thea Harrison: Oh, man. Sidonie really had a time of it. She showed a tremendous amount of inner-strength and really kept her head in terrible circumstances. I admired her a lot.

Holly Chang from Archangel’s Viper (Guild Hunter, #10) by Nalini Singh : Watching Holly grow from a broken, scarred girl to a strong, confident woman was wonderful. I really enjoyed her journey.

Lady Pandora Ravenel from Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3) by Lisa Kleypas: Pandora was such an unconventional woman. I loved that she knew her own mind and wasn’t afraid to reach for her dreams. Her quirky spirit really shone bright.

Greta Dare from Complicated by Kristen Ashley: Greta was such a great heroine. Kind, caring, compassionate…She took care of those she loved. She was independent. I really liked her.

Pru Bristow from The Leopard King (Ars Numina, #1) by Ann Aguirre: Pru was a great heroine. She was calm and level-headed under pressure, fierce and strong when she needed to be, and stubborn enough to get any job done. My heart hurt for her.


Seraphina Bevelstoke from The Day of the Duchess (Scandal & Scoundrel #3) by Sarah MacLean: At the very top of my Best Heroines of 2017 is Seraphina Bevelstoke, the Duchess of Haven. She was the definition of strong woman. When we first meet her, she’s weakened by her husband’s actions and she’s devastated and then we don’t see her at all in the remainder of the first and in the entirety of the second books of the series. What has she been up to in the time we last saw her in Book 1 and when we see her again in Book 3? She was busy being a bad ass. She was working her ass off so that she would never be that woman again.

Silver Mercant from Silver Silence (Psy-Changelings Trinity #1) by Nalini Singh: My admiration for Silver Mercant began when she showed just how smart and capable she was as Kaleb Krychek’s assistant. She was a fountain of information and a person of action. She did what was necessary and stood by the decisions she made. She was brave and she was fierce and we see so much more of that in her own book, Silver Silence.

Mercy Thompson from Moon Called (Mercy Thompson #1) by Patricia Briggs: I’m really late to the Mercy Thompson train but better late than never? This woman is all that and a bag of chips. She’s the true meaning of brave. She’s a walker, a coyote and she fights for what is right and I really admire her because of that. She could be scared out of her pants but that doesn’t stop her from doing what she needs to for those who can’t. I’m a big Mercy fan. Adam, too. ūüôā

Emma Gladstone from The Duchess Deal (Girl Meets Duke #1) by Tessa Dare: I really like strong heroines who are survivors and Emma Gladstone was exactly my kind of heroine. Like the other heroines on this hlist, Emma was strong and she was resourceful. She lived in a time where it wasn’t easy to be a woman without a husband or family to take care of her but she went out and found herself a job and she struggled and just when anyone wouldn’t have blamed her for giving up, she pulled her big girl pants up and went out and got shit done. When she shows up at the house of a Duke and demands payment for her work, I took notice of her but she was more than strong. She was also kind and she was caring and she loved fiercely and I loved the hell out of her.

Sarah Von Tittenbottom from Royally Matched (Royally #2) by Emma Chase: When we first meet Sarah and her sister, Sarah comes across as very fragile. Almost weak but as you get to know her, and get to know her background and all she’s lived through, your heart goes out to her. She’s not weak. She was never weak, just quiet. She was also fiercely loving of her family, her friends and it said a lot about Sarah that she had so many people who loved her and supported her in everything. On top of all of that, she was a character that readers could connect with because on top of being strong, she was also normal. She was a bookworm with a million dollar vocabulary and she was funny and just all around fantastic. It wasn’t hard to see what Henry saw in her. He was lucky to have met and been loved by Sarah.

Who were your favorite heroines of 2017? Anyone you admired, had a girl crush, straight up loved the hell out of that we missed?

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Best of 2014: The Heroines

Posted January 5, 2015 by Rowena in Features | 14 Comments

best of 2014 heroines

Rowena: I read about some pretty kick ass heroines in 2014. Some were grown women and some were teenagers or young adults just starting their lives. The one thing that they all had in common were, I loved them to pieces.

  1. Natalie Clayton from The Best Kind of Trouble by Lauren Dane. Natalie was an independent woman that I really enjoyed getting to know. I thought she was refreshingly real and just freaking awesome. I loved seeing her fall in love with Paddy and I really loved seeing her make room for him in her life. She was a very relatable character, one that I came to love.

  2. Hazel Grace Lancaster from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Hazel Grace was the YA protagonist that I really loved. Her story was heartbreaking and it was fun but what made her stand out from the rest of the heroines over the year was her story. She’s a cancer kid who fell in love with another cancer kid and she really lived life to its fullest with Augustus. She wasn’t one of those YA heroines that you can’t for the life of you figure out why the love interests likes them so much. She was sarcastic, witty and fun. A lot of things that even she didn’t think she was. I loved her.

  3. Clio Whitmore from Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare. Clio Whitmore was another fantastic heroine that I loved in 2014. She was known as Lady Waitmore because her fiance took his sweet ass time coming home to get married. Instead of sulking like a helpless little ninny, Clio inherits a castle and gets to work making plans for her future. I loved the way that she tackled life and the way she fell in love with Rafe. She was fierce, strong and I loved her to pieces.

  4. Scarlet Crowley from The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen. Scarlet’s story was an interesting one. It was a story that made me think. It made me take stock of the kind of person I am and the kind of mother I am. Scarlet was completely innocent in everything that happened in her life and she was extremely strong to endure what she went through. I closed her book with such admiration for her as a person because she didn’t let what happened to her turn her into a bitter and awful person. She came out of her situation as an amazing young woman and I like her a whole bunch.

  5. Iris Smythe-Smith from The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn. Iris was always my favorite Smythe-Smith cousin. She was sarcastic and witty in the other books and I had such high hopes for her book. I thought she was just as amazing in her story and my heart really went out to her. Her story wasn’t an easy one to get through because of the things that happened to her but I really, really liked Iris as a person, as a heroine and I thought she was one of the most exceptional heroines of 2014.

Honorable Mentions: Sophie Wells from The Unpredictable Consequences of Love by Jill Mansell, Lady Georgianna from Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean and Jessie from Promise Me This by Christina Lee. All three of these ladies were pretty fantastic. I couldn’t imagine coming out of the situation that Sophie found herself in with her first marriage and Chase was a straight up boss. Jessie was just great. I liked that she was just so normal and not bogged down with a bad childhood, dark background and blah blah blah.

Holly: Every year, this is the category I struggle with the most. I tend to be really hard on heroines. I have high expectations for them and, more often than not, end up disappointed. Thankfully we’re seeing a shift in how women are written in romance novels. This year I had a better selection of strong, independent women to choose from.

  1. Caroline Mendoza from Count on Me by Lauren Dane. She was strong, independent and dedicated to her cause. Yet she also has vulnerabilities, which made her seem more real. I would love to sit down and have a beer with her.

2.¬†Andie Bennett from Make-Believe Wedding by Sarah Mayberry. She was a complete tomboy who worked as an electrician, cursed more than her male counterparts and wasn’t afraid to be herself. I loved her.

3.¬†Jessie from Promise Me This by Christina Lee. Jessie is another heroine who was comfortable with herself. She didn’t have a problem owning her issues. I wish more people in real life were as self-aware.

  1. Zenobia Fox from The Kraken King by Meljean Brook. She spent most of her life in one small town, yet thirsts for adventure. She was smart, had common sense and wasn’t afraid to do whatever she needed to survive.

5. Aubrey Wellington from Once in a Lifetime by Jill Shalvis. She was on a journey of self-discovery and really grew throughout the novel. I liked how quick she was to own her mistakes and how willing she was to right past wrongs.

Were there heroines who stood out for you in 2014?


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Best of 2013: The Heroines.

Posted January 2, 2014 by Rowena in Features | 0 Comments

Best of 2013

Rowena: It’s always hard for me to put this list together each year because I don’t pay nearly as much attention to the heroines as I do the heroes but these are the heroines that stood out for me this year.

  1. Brooke Parker from Love, Irresistibly by Julie James
  2. Lady Grace Ryburn from With this Kiss by Eloisa James
  3. Johanna Walker from Down London Road by Samantha Young
  4. Lauren Grahame from Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley
  5. Mara Lowe from No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean

With honorable mentions: Lila Summers from The Temptation of Lila & Ethan by Jessica Sorensen, Ellie Carmichael from Until Fountain Bridge by Samantha Young and Miss Eliza Cade from The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright by Tessa Dare.

Holly: This is the hardest list for me each year. I tend to be really hard on heroines. These 5 were really fabulous, though.

  1. Raven Smith from Drawn Together by Lauren Dane
  2. Aryal from Kinked by Thea Harrison
  3. Tabitha Allen from Own the Wind by Kristen Ashley
  4. Mackenzie ‚ÄúMax‚ÄĚ Miller from Faking It by Cora Carmack
  5. Gretchen Petty from The Beauty and the Billionaire by Jessica Clare

Which heroines made it onto your Best of Lists this year? Any heroines we should know about?

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Best of 2012: The Heroines.

Posted December 19, 2012 by Rowena in Features | 3 Comments

The heroines.

Rowena: I’m hard on the heroines in my favorite books. ¬†They have to be pretty amazing for me to love them so this category isn’t too hard for me since if I love a heroine, I remember.

My favorite heroines of 2012 are:

  • Minerva Highwood from A Week to be Wicked by Tessa Dare. ¬†So smart and so funny. ¬†I loved getting to know her and I loved the woman she came to be in that week with Colin. ¬†So fierce was Minerva and I dug the lengths she went to follow her dreams.
  • Rylann Pierce from About that Night by Julie James. ¬†Another one of those smart heroines who didn’t take shit from the hero. ¬†She knew what she wanted and though there were some struggles in getting to that happy ending, I thought Rylann was a great contemporary heroine and I want her to be my friend.
  • Poppy Wyatt from I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella. ¬†This girl was fierce, uproariously funny and just an all around a good time. ¬†I loved her. ¬†I loved getting to know her and even though there were times when she drove me bat shit crazy, I still loved the hell out of her. In real life, we would totally be besties.
  • Mary Wynn-Jones from She Tempts the Duke by Lorraine Heath. ¬†This heroine was loyal and I admired the strength of her love for Sebastian. ¬†To love him the way that she did, to overcome the things that she did and the lengths that she went through to ensure the safety of the boy she loved and his brothers, how can she not be memorable? ¬†She was a good heroine, through and through.
  • Mallory Quinn from Lucky in Love by Jill Shalvis. ¬†If we were friends in real life, Mal would be the mother hen in our group. ¬†She loved so fiercely and so openly that it was hard to hate her. ¬†She was just overall, a great person and I liked her.
  • Sophy Noirot from Scandal Wears Satin by Loretta Chase. ¬†Sophy is a fixer and I liked that about her. ¬†She did what she had to, to get the job done and the one thing that you can count on from her is that she will get the job done. ¬†Family always came first with Sophy, even when she’d have to sacrifice her own happiness and there was just a lot to respect about her and I really liked her character.
Holly: This is always the hardest category for me each year.

Oracle's Moon (Elder Races Series #4)Cry WolfA Notorious Countess Confesses (Pennyroyal Green Series #7)Captivated (Phantom Corps Series #3)Forever and a Day (Lucky Harbor Series #6)

Grace Andreas from Oracle’s Moon by Thea Harrison:¬†Technically¬†I read this for the first time in 2011, but I re-read it several times in 2012 and one of the main reasons is Grace. She’s strong,¬†resilient¬†and so damn real I felt like I’d lived next door to her my whole life.
Anna from Patricia Briggs’ Alpha and Omega series: ¬†Anna was brutalized by the people she was supposed to trust the most, but she isn’t a victim. She starts out strong and smart, but she grows as the series goes on into someone I admire, respect and champion.
Evie Duggan from A Notorious Countess Confesses by Julie Anne Long: Evie is a courtesan and she’s unapologetic about it. She’s another strong,¬†resilient¬†heroine, but she’s also vulnerable and super street smart. I love a¬†heroine¬†with common sense.
Hannah Black from Captivated by Lauren Dane: Hannah spent a long time in captivation, which means she had a lot to overcome. I admired her determination to find herself and her inner strength.
Grace Brooks from Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis: Grace is plucky and quirky. She has a deep inner strength but also a sweet vulnerability that made her easy to relate to. Plus, she was funny. I love funny heroines.

Honorable mentions go to Lady Penelope Marbury from A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean and Annika from Riveted by Meljean Brook. Both were amazingly well-written. I would have added them to my Best Of if I had more room.

Here are the heroines that made it to the top of our guest reviewers favorites list:

  • Rachel Flores from Under Fire by Catherine Mann (Judith)
  • Yasmeen from Heart of Steel by Meljean Brook (Tracy)
  • Abigail from The Witness by Nora Roberts (Ames) She said that Abigail is hands down the best heroine EVER. ¬†
  • Minerva Highwood from A Week to be Wicked by Tessa Dare (Lori)
  • Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins (Lori)
I don’t know Rachel, Yasmeen or Abigail but I heartily agree with Lori’s choices. ¬†Both of your heroines were fabulous! ¬†Thanks so much for sharing your favorites with us ladies!

Who were your favorite heroines of 2012?

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End of the Year Book Survey: 2011.

Posted December 30, 2011 by Rowena in Features | 3 Comments

Instead of doing one of those Best of lists that everyone does at this time of year, I thought I’d participate in this end of the year Book Survey from The Perpetual Page-Turner. I thought that it’d be a lot easier since I just had to answer questions but man, this is a lot harder than I thought. I’ve been racking my brain for the last half hour trying to remember everything I read and how much I loved them and what not. It’s a good thing I kept a book log of all the books I read this year.

Anyway, let’s get on with the survey, shall we?

1. Best Book You Read In 2011?

I read 150 books this year (barely made that too, whew!) and of those 150 books, I gave 14 books an A grade. Of those A grade books, I have a top 5 favorites list and they are:

Where She Went by Gayle Forman|Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson|Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins|Past Perfect by Leila Sales|Geek Girl by Cindy C. Bennett

I loved all of these books, I can’t pick a favorite from them because I loved them all for different reasons. So I’m cheating and keeping them all on here. Deal with it, haha. =) As you can see, I’m a HUGE fan of Contemporary YA. I love getting into the heads of teens from the here and now because I can totally relate to what they’re going through because I so remember being in their shoes when I was their age.

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?

My most disappointing read of the year has to go to Tris & Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison.

I absolutely adored the cover of this book. I thought it was too cute for words and I just knew that I was going to love the book, only I didn’t. The female lead got on my hot damn nerves and I was intrigued by the male lead, but not in a good way. It was more of how stranger could this guy get? Needless to say, it was a total miss for me and I was pretty bummed about that.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?

My most surprising (in a good way!) read of 2011 has to go to The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder. I’m not much of a free verse type of reader. I’m not sure why, I get scared that I might not enjoy the book because I’m not much into poetry? I’m not sure but for whatever reason, I don’t read a lot of books written in verse. When I requested this book from NetGalley, I didn’t even realize it was written in verse but I went ahead and read it anyway and was glad that I did because I ended up really liking it.

It got an A grade from me. Woot!

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?

All of the books in my answer for #1. I recommend those books to anyone that will listen. I loved all of those books, that much. Oh wait, I also recommended The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen a lot too. That’s my #1 pimp book and I pimped it out a lot this year. My nieces all thanked me for it too, haha.

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?

There have been a few series that I began in 2011 that I absolutely adored. Like, the Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty, The She’s So Dead to Us Trilogy by Kieran Scott and the Angelfire series by Courtney Allison Moulton. All of these series were fabulous series that I’m anxious for more from, so yeah those are my choices.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

Stephanie Perkins, Morgan Matson, Elizabeth Eulberg, Lindsay Leavett, Courtney Allison Moulton, Meg McCafferty. I read a bunch of fabulous authors for the first time this year and look forward to reading more from them.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

I think this would go to Forbidden by Tabitha Suzman. I’m not a fan of books that deal with incest and stuff like that. It’s heartbreaking and it’s just not something that I’m comfortable with but man, I couldn’t put this book down.

My heart went out to both Lochan and Mia. They both had a hard time of it and they fought their feelings and just everything.

This book was one of those books that you needed to know what would happen because so many different situations went through your head while you were reading it. It was one of those train wrecks that you can’t help but look, no matter how much you didn’t want to.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?

I think this would go to I think, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I read this book twice before moving on to the next book. I loved it that much.

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. I read and absolutely adored Anna and the French Kiss and just knew that I was going to love this one as well. This book didn’t knock me on my ass nearly as much as Anna did but I did enjoy getting to know Cricket Bell. Lola took too long to come to her senses for me to be wild about her but it was still an entertaining book.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

For some reason, my mind is drawing a blank. I have no freaking clue.

11. Most memorable character in 2011?

Jessica Darling: Jessica had me cracking up from the moment I was introduced to her character. She was funny, she was quirky and she was refreshingly honest. Her voice had me turning the pages and reading more. She had me wanting to read more, I loved her!

Adam Wilde : When we first meet Adam in If I Stay, he was great. He was that boyfriend that every girl wanted by their bedside, while they were fighting for their lives but we got to know him through Mia’s memories. In Where She Went, we got to know Adam through Adam’s memories and through his POV. Reading about his journey to where he was WSW made my love for Adam grow by heaps and bounds.

Etienne St. Clair: I fangirled all over my review about how much I loved Etienne. If you need to refresh your memory, go ahead and read my review again. Everything I can say to justify St. Clair being a memorable character for me is in that review. He was fanflippin’tastic.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?

Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal. This book was a romance for a younger audience but it’s a story that stayed with me for a while and I thought it was beautifully written.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?

Sign Language by Amy Ackley. This book took me right back to when I found out about nephew RJ’s cancer and when my Mom died. Ackley was spot on with the thought processes that go through your mind when those things happen in your life. I cried a lot when I read this book because I could totally relate to Abby’s grief even though we both handled our grief in different ways. It was one of those books that you need to read to understand.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty. This book had me cracking up from beginning to end. I absolutely adored Jessica Darling and the way she thought, the way she acted and the way she obsessed over her best friend’s move. The month that I read it, the book was celebrating its 10 year anniversary. Seriously, why in the world did it take me ten years to read this book? Shame on me.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011?

Here’s another one that I have no clue. I know that there are a lot but for the life of me, I can’t think of anything right now. I’ll have to edit this when I can think of any but for now, I’ll publish this post without answering this. I know, I’m a cheater. Sorry (not really). =)

16. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012?

I’m already planning re-reads of all of the books in #1. I want to read all of those books again, soon. I think I’m going to start with Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour. That book was too freaking rad.

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

He’s So Not Worth It by Kieran Scott. The way that book ended had me gasping all over the dang place. I couldn’t believe it. I can’t wait until the next book comes out. I gotta know what happens next.

Another one is Wildefire by Karsten Knight. I closed that book on a screech. I wasn’t completely wowed by that book but I did enjoy it and that ending threw me for a loop. I had to go back and re-read something before I closed that book and screeched like a weirdo.

And there you have it…my bookish survey results. I hope you guys had a good reading year like I did. I look forward to another fabulous year of great reading so cheers to the freaking new year, I’ll drink to that (yeah, yeah).

See you next year!

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