Congratulations to Alisha Woods. You won a copy of my book – The Medic’s Homecoming.
The Pert and Plucky Heroines of Romance by Lynne Marshall
Who they are
- If you’ve read one or a hundred romances, you’ve probably already been introduced to a particular character type presented by Tami Cowden and cohorts named The Spunky Kid in their Sixteen Master Archetypes book Heroes & Heroines. This spirited underdog not only has to sort out her messy life, but win the guy along the way.
- These characters are the unsinkable Molly Browns of the world where “I ain’t down yet” is their mantra, and they are my favorite kind of character.
Who does them best?
- My absolute favorite author of these types of characters is Susan Elizabeth Phillips. She manages to strip her plucky heroines down to the bare bones in the beginning of her stories, force them to lose everything, and leave them dangling over a cliff without a foothold. Yet she still manages to bring them back to life…one step at a time, until they conquer all, including the hero, before the end of the book.
- Isabel Favor watches her self-help empire come crashing down around her in the opening pages of Breathing Room.
- Blue Bailey begins her journey wearing a beaver suit in Natural Born Charmer.
- Meg Koranda is down to her last few bucks and, as Maid of Honor, manages to ruin a perfectly planned wedding before the end of chapter one in Call Me Irresistible.
Hmm, this makes me think of a certain young woman dressed for her wedding, standing in a strange American town in Wisconsin holding her decomposing wedding cake. Fiona Lowe wrote a splendid plucky heroine in BOOMERANG BRIDE. 🙂 Which just happens to now be available in mass market paperback at Harlequin website.
Why do we love these spunky heroines?
- Because we can relate to them.
- From where they’re standing, there is only one way to go – UP! These plucky, pert, minxes pick themselves up, dust themselves off, head into battle, and conquer both their lives and the most unlikely heroes. As readers, we believe every step of their paths. We cheer as they rebuild their lives and themselves into the women they were meant to be.
- When these pert and saucy underdogs conquer obstacle after obstacle, we believe we can do the same in our own lives. If they can come back from “there” (whatever major fix or disappointment they must overcome) so can we!
I like to think Polly Seymour, the character I wrote for this year’s NYC Angels continuity, in Making the Surgeon Smile, is also a good example of the spunky kid.
Who is a favorite spunky heroine in a book you’ve recently read? What did you like about her?
If anyone is interested, I’d like to give away a copy of The Medic’s Homecoming, to one commenter. This book is my July 2013 Special Edition, and I like to think Jocelyn Howard is one such plucky chick.