Great Romance Heroines and Their Stories
These are five great romance heroines from five great romances: historical, Gothic, and contemporary.
The heroine, Diamond, or Clary, is a failed actress who is dumped by her “protector” and must return to her hometown in disgrace. She’s part Roma, so her mixed heritage has always made her an outsider.
Mysterious disappearances and murders start to occur, and there are a couple of people who are suspects.
The way Clary stands up for herself is thoroughly in keeping with her time period (the 1700s). A great vintage romance heroine, for sure.
Topaze, the heroine, is a poor thief on the streets of 18th century France, trying to support her large family.
A calculating anti-hero propositions her to pose as a long-lost heiress so he can retain his family fortune. She’s young, cheerful, and despite what she’s involved in, is very innocent but with a dark past that comes to the forefront.
Topaze is quite powerless in the grand scheme of things. She carries herself with dignity, showing an inner strength greater than the aristocrats she finds herself mingling among.
“Low Down” Louise works in a mining community with men. She’s not a beauty but simple, hard-working, and positive. Low Down Louise vows to care for a child when a baby is born to a dying mother.
Lousie nursed the miners through a terrible sickness, saving their lives. So the miners feel they owe it to Lou to marry her. They draw straws, and the hero, who is already engaged, is picked. He reluctantly weds her.
When he brings her home to his family, they’re aghast at this low-class woman who talks boldly. Later, they all find she’s a wonderful human being beneath her undignified airs.
I have reviewed Temporary Wife for this site, so please see that for more details. In brief: Emily’s a practical woman in a marriage of convenience to a man in love with another woman.
Her frank, realistic attitude about the bitter truths of life doesn’t prevent her from being positive. She has a joie de vivre that’s infectious.
This is a great vintage romance.
Juliana from Lady’s Choice is a modern, independent character type. She’s different from the previous heroines listed, but still a woman of her time.
She proposes to her lover, who wants nothing to do with marriage, so she wants nothing to do with him.
Later he tries a business takeover, and she meets him head-on.
Her family is horrendously greedy. The hero is an overbearing, macho hunk who tries to steamroll her, but Juliana will have none of that! She’s secure in who she is and what she wants.
Juliana’s probably the only pick who comes under the modern definition of “strong heroine.” But she has none of their annoying traits.