Today I have the honor of Ahsley March stopping by today. Below you will find her guest post, a surprise giveaway & at the end my review of Romancing the Countess.
The Appeal of the Independent Heroine
Thanks so much to Babs for having me on the blog today as I continue the celebration of my latest release, ROMANCING THE COUNTESS!
Just as readers are often drawn to certain types of characters, writers are often drawn to writing certain types of characters as well. For me, I have a tendency to write about independent heroines. This term independent does not refer to the heroine’s status in life—someone who is financially secure and depends on no one but herself—but rather to the heroine’s attitude and underlying strength.
In my newest book, Leah George has been keeping the secret of her husband’s affair for nearly a year. When he dies, she discovers that she is free to pursue her own happiness if only she makes that decision and is willing to live with the consequences. ROMANCING THE COUNTESS is not a story about how an independent woman moves on after her husband’s death; rather, it is about how a woman discovers her own strength and chooses to become independent as she finds a second chance at love. It is a story of self-awareness and realization, of weighing choices and taking risks.
As we all know, women in the 19th century did not have the same privileges and rights that most of us do now. There is something immensely satisfying and empowering in seeing our heroine refuse to conform to society—or, if she does, doing it in a manner where she stills gets her way in the end. There is a strength in the independent heroine that makes us want to cheer her on. We want her to be happy. We want to see her dreams come true, and we want to see her work to make these dreams come true, too. Yes, her actions might result in consequences not necessarily wonderful (as Leah found in ROMANCING THE COUNTESS), but at least they were strong enough to take that path.
However, the strong, independent heroine only remains appealing when we see her vulnerability. If all we saw in our heroine was that she remained stubborn and strong no matter what, I think we’d quickly grow annoyed with her. But when we learn of her vulnerabilities—such as Leah’s desire for a child, or her self-esteem that has been wrecked by comparing herself to her husband’s lover—then we begin to care about her more deeply. She becomes real, because we see not only her strength, but her heart as well.
It is a heroine such as this that deserves the wonderful hero that has also stolen our hearts.
Giveaway: Ends 10-24
What is it about a strong, independent heroine that appeals to you as a romance reader? Is there an actual woman, either in the past or present, who gained your admiration? If so, why?
One random commenter will be chosen to win a copy of my newest book, ROMANCING THE COUNTESS (open internationally)! Also, find out how to win the ROMANCING THE COUNTESS Book Tour Grand Prize of 50+ romance novels by visiting Ashley March Website!
Leah George was always the proper daughter and wife. She tried to make everyone happy that is until she saw her husband being unfaithful. Again, she does what a proper woman does, sucks it up and pretends all is right in their marriage until the day he dies. Leah feels relief and free at the same time. Now she can do what she wants to do and say what she wants something she is not used to.
Sebastian just lost is wife in a carriage accident while grieving realizes she took his best friend for her lover. Heartbroken over losing her and now finding out she was unfaithful he was in morning.
Sebastian and Leah have known each other for a long time. They can relate to each other as both spouses have cheated on them. As they grow towards loving each other it was remarkable to see how they grew into a real lasting relationship. They do have their ups and down like we all do.
Ashley has done a great job with this book. I have not read her fist one “Seducing the Duchess” , but I have it down to read. This is an author worth looking into.