As a reader, I tend to hold heroines to a higher standard—mostly because I like to identify with them. I’ve never been a thief, nor do I think stealing is an admirable career choice, but my reasons for making my heroine a thief was based on her personal history—she needed to be able to make a living from an early age and the one tool at her disposal was an in-depth knowledge of Egyptian artifacts. Her motivations, which I won’t reveal here for spoiler reasons, rang true for me.
I also enjoy reading about heroines who aren’t perfect—because I’m certainly not—and I hoped my readers would enjoy Lena Sharpe and her unusual background, as well. Here’s a small excerpt from the story:
A quick snap of her leg against the man’s relaxed thumb and Lena cleared his grasp. A miracle, really, considering her heart was ricocheting around in her chest and her muscles barely had the sense to do her bidding. Her first kick should have been followed by a prompt second. Instead, she’d hesitated. Why? Was she really that easily undone by a handsome face?
A heart-stoppingly handsome face, to be fair, but still . . .
Punishing him for her brief enthrallment, she delivered an uncompromising kick to the intruder’s crown jewels. His eyes rolled back in his head and he slid to his knees with a faint moan. Lena wasted no time. Leaping from the chair, she dove over the big teak desk and snatched the coin box from the open vault. Any normal man would have succumbed to her sleep spell. That fact that this one hadn’t spoke volumes.
Get out, get out, get out.
There was no time to finish the job, no time to clean up, no time to collect her knapsack. In a brief, thoughtless moment, this fool had ruined all her carefully laid plans. And it wasn’t just her reputation on the line this time.
Get out now.
Box clutched to her chest, she sprang for the huge picture window overlooking the gardens. Headfirst, she smashed through the leaded glass, then rolled in midair to drop to the ground on her feet amid the shards. She shook her head to rid her ponytail of glass, then ran. The breaking glass should rouse the household, but Lena took the added precaution of flinging an enliven spell back at the house.
The alarms immediately sprang back to life, and seconds later she felt the motion sensors pulse a silent message to Duverger’s guardhouse. Her intruder had been in stealth mode, slinking about the room like a panther on the prowl. He didn’t work for Duverger. Chances were very good his intent had been the same as hers—to steal the coins—and the Frenchman’s army of bodyguards would be all over him in minutes.
Deal with that, Mr. Tall, Dark, and Annoying.
I think it’s fair to say that unless the backstory supports the choices the heroine made, and the heroine shows remorse over her inappropriate actions by the end, forgiving her would be tough. But do you think we’re more forgiving of a flawed heroine in paranormal romance and urban fantasy stories, a little more willing to see if the heroine grows in the right direction as the story progresses?
Lena’s story, Bound by Darkness, is the second book in the Soul Gatherer series and it officially goes on sale tomorrow. To celebrate, one random commenter from today’s post will receive a signed copy. Good luck!
Annette's winner will be selected and posted on Tuesday evening. Stop back by to see if you won.