Hey all! So I have to take a minute here and talk about something that I'm sure is a popular characteristic when it comes to heroines for a lot of people... For me however, it's just the kind of heroine I tend to want to avoid in my romance novels. I'm talking about overly independent heroines. I know, I know... Just thinking about a heroine with that particular quality probably has you pumping your fist in the air and shouting "Girl power!" ...I'll be the one on the sidelines rolling my eyes, of course.
Now don't get be wrong here... I think it's great for a heroine to exhibit resilience and courage... To an extent. It's just when that independence is taken to the extreme that I'm throwing my Kindle across the room. Your man cheats on you and you throw him to the curb? You go girl! There are some things that just need to be handled with a certain amount of toughness to get the point across. But when a hero has everything going for him and tries his best to land the girl, but she's too busy fighting him at every turn and throwing her independence in his face at every turn, then that's when I start to have a problem with this particular characteristic.
I may be a bit biased here, since door-mat heroines are a classic and an absolute favorite of mine. After-all, when I first started reading it seemed heroines were emerging from an age where they almost always used to be the virginal, sheltered, inexperienced woman who fell hard for the hero who didn't see her for what she was truly worth. Perhaps that's why I tend to gravitate to those types of heroines more these days. I can however, appreciate a heroine who can take care of herself. Yet, I see a lot of authors these days taking independence to an entirely new level. It's as if the heroine constantly has something to prove and is on the defensive from the moment she's introduced. I love an alpha hero- Hell, who doesn't? So what I don't like doing while reading, is scratching my head and wondering "Who really has the bigger balls here?" I'd prefer my hero to portray the most dominance in the relationship, thank you very much.
I love door-mat heroines most, yes. But that doesn't mean I only enjoy heroines if they're weak and are constantly trampled on. I can appreciate a strong female lead... Just as long as they aren't constantly trying to prove how strong they really are. When I think of a true independent heroine, I expect them to be the type of character that knows that they're smart and can take care of themselves and make decisions for themselves, but at the same time doesn't have an issue asking for help when they need it, or recognizing a good thing when they see it. Too many times I've come across books where the heroine spends the majority of her time fighting her feelings for the hero tooth and nail, just because she can. ...Because she's independent and can do whatever she wants because that's what independent heroines do, of course.
Insert my huge eye roll.
That is what I can absolutely not tolerate. The point I'm trying to make here is the fact that more often than not, it just seems that independence is a quality that can sometimes be taken a bit overboard with heroines these days and it seems to happen time and time again. I'd just like to see a little less assertiveness, and let that alpha hero we've all grown to love take the lead instead. These overly-independent heroines just need to kick off their kick ass boots for a bit, and enjoy the freedom of letting the hero take charge instead!