Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Thursday Thirteen, Edition 8

When it comes to romance novels, I'm a love 'em and leave 'em kind of gal.

I read them and I pass them along, either giving them to friends or building up ridiculous amounts of credit at the local used bookstore (I'm too lazy to sell them).

I've referenced my memory problems more than once on this blog. I read fast, I read a lot, and I don't manage to retain a lot of detail about most books, even those I really, really like.

Lately though, I've come across a few heroines that have really impressed me with their originality and fabulous characterization. Trying to think of a Thursday Thirteen for the week I was inspired by Carrie Lofty's Meg, and I came up with: Thirteen Unforgettable Heroines.

Now, I had to put some parameters on it. These are books that are marketed as genre ROMANCE novels, not fantasy, not UF, not YA, not horror, not even General Fiction.

(Um, except for that first one. Hey, it's my blog, I make the rules and I'll break 'em if I want to.)

These are also not necessarily the most unforgettable books. There are a lot of books I adore because of the hero, or the interaction between the two characters, or a handful of other important things. These are specifically heroines that I love, not just the heroines of books I love. If that makes sense.

Thirteen Unforgettable Heroines

1. Scarlett O'Hara (Margaret Mitchell)
2. Sirena (Fern Michaels)
3. Skye O'Malley (Bertice Small)
4. Rosamond (Virginia Henley)
5. Claire (Diana Gabaldon)
6. Esme Brentmore (Loretta Chase)
7. Sugar Beth Carey (Susan Elizabeth Phillips)
8. Francesca Bridgerton (Julia Quinn)
9. Fiona (Christine Warren)
10. Lilith (Meljean Brook)
11. Annique (Joanne Bourne)
12. Verity (Anna Campbell)
13. Meg (Carrie Lofty)

I'm not going to inflict my rationale about each one on you. They're women I remember, and books I love (there are a few that are memorable for being so incredibly bad, but that's not where I'm going with this....)

I'm feeling so lazy tonight I'm not even going to do the links. Maybe I'll put them up tomorrow.

In the meantime, tell me who you think is the most unforgettable romance heroine. Who has stayed with you in your mind's eye even as you burned through new books? What makes them memorable?

The New Thursday Thirteen Site

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Shelley Munro said...

In truth I tend to identify with the hero more than the heroine, but when I thought about it I came up with a few. Claire from Diana Gabaldon's CrossStitch is one that's stayed with me.
Eve in JD Robb's In Death series. Actually Peabody, too. And a final one that's really a mystery rather than romance is Lori Armstrong's Julie Collins.

Great topic, Nicola.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Not too big on romance usually, although the Gabaldon books were decent for the genre. I suppose some of my favorite heroines from novels might be Bev, from Stephen King's "It"; Rose Madder, from the novel of the same name, also by SK; Iris, from Eligy to Iris. Oh!! I know! How about JD Robb's (Norah Lofts) gal... the cop? She rocks! Hehe. A fun TT!
Busy family! (What RPG's do you play??)
Up with 13 Thorne-Quirks
Happy TT!

Anonymous said...

Great T13 idea! I only know Scarlett O'Hara from your list though!

Kati said...

I go with Jessica Trent. She's my favorite romance heroine ever. She's smart, pragmatic and has a tremendous sense of humor. I love the way Chase wrote her.

Karen said...

I am not a huge fan of romance novels, therefore I do not recognize your titles. But I truly appreciate your love of them.

Anonymous said...

Emma from The Passions of Emma by Penelope Williamson is the first one who comes to mind.

The Bumbles said...

Another "Outlander" fan hmmm? I am trying to read some short books for the next month or so after some Tolstoy (Anna Karenina would certainly not make your list of heroines). But I do intend to get to that one at some point this year.

Also, I just discovered the Bookcrossing site and think it is a great idea the next time I have a batch of books to get rid of. You should check it out.

Anonymous said...

(I love Bookcrossing, and found one of the books a couple of years ago. I have about six I'm going to put out there one of these days.)

Meanwhile -- of course I only recognize Scarlett O'Hara. But she's certainly memorable.

Here's my own TT: My Thirteen Oddest Language-Related Books.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I don't know any of those lades; except #1 of course!

Anonymous said...

"Skye O'Malley" by Bertrice Small was the first romance/erotic series I ever read and I was totally hooked (not to mention shocked by the love scenes-at the time-oh my!). Skye is hands down the most memorable heroine I have ever read- even more so than Ms. O'Hara and her Tara. I read that series when it first came out way back in the 1980's and I still remember all she endured and all the men in her life over the years. Fantastic heroine! Great historical romance series!

Anonymous said...

Not a Thursday 13 member, but I looked at your list. I don't read a lot of regency or historical, so I only know two of your heroines. And who doesn't know Scarlett O'Hara and Claire?
My fav heroines would be:

Harriet Pomeroy from Ravished. I can't say enough good things about her. Sensible, caring, stood by her man no matter what - even before she knew him, let nobody interfere and tell her idiotic things about him and believe them. She was my idea of the perfect woman.

Tabitha from Seize the night. Another woman who has common sense and stands up for Valerius even though everybody else hates him.

Anya from The darkest kiss.
She's determined, lets nothing stand in her way and is so wonderfully silly at the same time.

Clare2e said...

I haven't read or recognized all of these, but because I so recently read The Spymaster's Lady, let me second your vote for Annique Villiers. I thought she was wonderfully written to be bold and proud and clever and strong and oh-so French, young but not overly angsty or insipid. I'm sure she's one of my most memorable of the last couple of years.

The others ones I can think of that have really stuck with me aren't strictly romance really, but more likely to be something else with a big romance, too.

Nicola O. said...

I limited my list to genre romance for myself because I'm fairly new to UF and while I kind of adore the really physical, in-your-face heroines, they are memorable to me because they are so different than the typical romance heroine, so I didn't think it was a very fair comparison, within the way my brain works, LOL.

If I were to expand into other genres, I'd have to add Jacqueline Carey's Phedre, Marion Zimmer Bradley's Morgaine, Melanie Rawn's Sioned, and possibly Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan.

Joanna Chambers said...

I just finished Laura Kinsale's Midsummer Moon and the heroine of that has now joined my list of best ever heroines.


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