Romance readers are super hard on heroines, always held to higher standards than any heroes. Flawed, flinty, flaky...and some ruder words are frequently used. But some of us like our heroines less than perfect, emotionally messy, and maybe more than little rude. Which hard-to-love heroines are your faves?
This year I have been lucky enough to read a bunch of heroines that are anything but sweet or perfect. I adored Billy in Beverly Jenkins's Destiny's Surrender. Billie is the definition of fierce, flawed and flinty for me. She expects to be hurt and to be set aside and Billie has been disappointed at lot, so she never expects much of Drew, despite his charm and affection. She is fiercely protective of their child however and will do whatever she has to do for him. I love seeing how much emotional labor Drew had to do to bring them to a place where they could build something together.
Ada Harper's Olivia an for-hire-assassin, in A Conspiracy of Whispers, is all edges and denial. She has built a nearly impenetrable shell around herself and will do nearly anything to protect herself. She does have a soft-center but really makes Galen earn it.
Portia in Alyssa Cole's A Duke by Default made the whole book for me. She was the unreliable, bad friend in Princess in Theory, and in Duke by Default we get to know her and all her messiness. I loved that she is problem drinker, whose un-diagnosed ADHD has driven her into a cycle of enthusiasm and disappointments. She has made a lot of mistakes and for me as mother of teen with ADD, she was so damn familiar, I wanted to hug her.
What "unlikeable" heroines do you love. What gets a heroine labeled as unlikeable?