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Perfectly Imperfect

Please welcome Victoria Dahl! Victoria is generously offering up a copy of Lead Me On to one lucky commenter, so be sure to drop her a line for this fab book! 

We all have our romance fetishes. Some of us like secret babies. Some like forced marriages. Some can’t live without alpha heroes. My romance fetish is a little different: the unsympathetic heroine. Those of you who follow me on Twitter already know this. I adore a hard-to-love heroine. The kind who pushes the hero away with every ounce of strength in her cold, cold heart.

Nearly all of my heroines resist love for one reason or another. They’re damaged or afraid or distrustful, or they’re simply determined to never settle down with one man. They’re headstrong and stubborn and maybe even selfish! But wait a minute, that sounds familiar. Hmm… Oh, I’ve got it. It’s usually the alpha hero who’s damaged and stubborn or just enjoying the single life too much to want love!

But see…that’s not my fantasy. My fantasy isn’t to be the good woman who manages to catch the resistant, complicated man. My fantasy is to be the imperfect, impossible heroine who ensnares the heart of the spectacularly hot hero. My fantasy is that the perfect man loves the imperfect woman just the way she is. *happy sigh*

And he should have to work for it, shouldn’t he? Okay, yes, this is part of my romance fetish too. The man chasing the woman’s heart. But think about it. He’s hot and smart and a little edgy. Is this guy truly going to fall hard if he doesn’t have to put in some good, hard work? (Yes, that was a double entendre, and I meant it.) Seriously. The faster she runs, the more he has to have her. He can’t stop thinking about her. She’s driving him crazy! And then… he’s gone. Head over heels. And she is still scared to death and fighting emotions she’s never felt before.

But you know what? He wouldn’t be much of a hero if he couldn’t see past that. And I wouldn’t like him much if he didn’t love his unsympathetic heroine as much as I did. 🙂

So that’s my not-so-secret romance fetish. What’s yours?

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28 Responses

  1. I too have the unsympathetic heroine fetish (to my detriment) I keep writing them and getting R’s oh well. Maybe someday people will love them as much as I do.

  2. Hi, Victoria – so glad you’re here today.

    I feel like you are reading my mind here ’cause I’m currently writing a sassy-mouthed, ball-busting wild child of a heroine and the writing on this one is kicking my butt like she would. I have to think what I’d do and then have her do the opposite.

    She’s so atypical for me and I think that’s why I’ve been struggling a bit with establishing some flow.

    And have faith, Kwana. I sold this one. Victoria sold hers. So someone does like alpha heroines 🙂

  3. I like the heroine who is stron and confident and a little mouthy but is hiding a secret hurt that the hero helps her work through (and of course even though there may be communication mishaps etc along the way, he always loves her anyway).

  4. Hi, Victoria (sounds weird to call you that. Ms. Dahl fits you better, like a Dom) and welcome to the blog today!

    Tell me about the heroine in LEAD ME ON.

    ETA–to fix that completely whacked up last line.

  5. I also like it when a hero has to chase his woman, I HATE it when it’s the other way round. I guess what I read has to reflect what I believe should happen in real life too!

  6. I love heroines that surprise the hero. That give him a run for his money physically and mentally. I like the feeling that she is more than a match for him. I’m not sure that’s an unsympathetic heroine, but it’s my favorite.

    Congratulations, Victoria. I can’t wait to read this one.

  7. My heroine in my current wip knows she wants the hero, but it’s on her terms only. Wanting him for keeps, she’s not so sure about that just yet. But it’s making for some fun writing. 🙂

    You’re books are awesome and I love your heroines.

  8. Hi Kwana! When I was unpubbed, I entered lots of contests and people either loved or despised my heroines. And the same thing is still true! I think you’ll find it only takes one special editor to relate to your characters. Keep trying!

    Liz, that’s so funny. I just wrote a perfectly sympathetic heroine, and I kept having to stop and say, “No, Victoria, she would not tell him to sod off in this situation. Be nice.” LOL

  9. Welcome Victoria,

    I also like my heroines to be a little smart mouthed. I like them strong and capable but also not afraid to ask for help if they need it.

  10. I love writing the stubborn, and maybe a little bitchy, heroine. Maybe that’s why I love your gals (and JD Robb’s Eve Dallas)

    My romance fetish is the scorned lover/reunited lovers. She got burned and now he wants her back.

  11. Hi Keri! Thanks so much for the invite! I forgot to thank you in the blog post and I also forgot to mention that I recommend both Carrie Lofty and Ann Aguirre as authors who write FANTASTICALLY imperfect heroines. Man. I love them.

    As for the heroine of LEAD ME ON… Hee. She’s a little controversial, but I have received the nicest emails from readers who really identified with her past and her struggles, and that makes me so happy. Frankly, I love her to death, so that should give you some indication.

    For your readers, I’ll give a little more detail: Jane is the perfect, prim secretary and runs her office with an iron fist. She dresses conservatively, only dates appropriate, professional men, and never, ever give a hint about her past. (Reviewers have called the story brave because I don’t whitewash her history, despite Jane’s frantic attempts to do so. *g* I love that she has a grimy, real-world past.) When big, tattooed Chase asks her out., she tells him point blank that he’s not the kind of man she would date. But she doesn’t tell him he’s exactly the kind of man she wants…

    Heh.

  12. I gotta admit, Heather… My heroines are often terrified of asking for help. LOL

  13. I have loved the whole series! If this prompts any of you to pick up Victoria Dahl’s books and you’re like me and want to read things in order, then start with “Talk Me Down” then “Start Me Up” and finally “Lead Me On”. All have strong heroines! Only the last one makes a person cry though (still a little miffed about that – just sayin’). Still LOVE the books and will soon venture into your historicals too.

    Hi Victoria – I know by your twitter feed that you have a lot of books in progress. When do they come out and what sub-category do they fall into?

    Thanks!

  14. My romance fetish is the couple who would never ordinarily associate with each other, who get thrown together and have to get along in order to get out of a sticky situation. Of course, I love strong, sassy, stubborn, imperfect heroines too.

  15. I love how crisp and clean this cover is and beautiful purple tones. Really striking.

    Been hearing a lot about this series! Makes me curious.

  16. I seem to have a thing for couples with history. People who’ve known each other a while, and whose lives have rubbed up against each other enough to give them common ground…and issues. Lots of issues.

  17. Hi Victoria,
    Congrats on the recent release of “Lead Me On.” I love tortured and emotionally scarred heroes who push the heroine away because they believe they’re not worthy of love.

  18. Sometimes, I enjoy the ‘bad boy redeemed by good girl’ but well, my real-life heroine is Mae West; the ‘when women go bad, men go right after them’ woman. There’s a difference between unsympathetic and hard to get/hold. Just because a woman is reluctant to commit, doesn’t make her unsympathetic.

    After all, don’t we sympathize with the woman who’s had one too many men treat her badly so she decides ‘to heck with ’em. I don’t need ’em’? I understand the woman who goes, ‘men are great, but for a longterm relationship I prefer my dog.’ It makes the final relationship so satisfying. Most men are hunters at heart, let them work for it and they’ll enjoy it more.

  19. I LOVE a heroine like that! One who has had so many bad experiences, doesn’t trust easily at first, stubborn, and plays hard to get. That is my kind of character!

    And yes, a the final man should have to work for it, but I love them to be the dominant alpha male too!
    It sounds like an AWESOME story! Will have to buy it!

  20. Thanks for the warm welcome, everybody!

    I should clarify that while some find my heroines unsympathetic, I find them entirely sympathetic, not to mention awesome. *g*

    Hi Kelly! This year I have one more contemporary release out in July. It’s called CRAZY FOR LOVE and is a stand alone contemporary. Though it’s not related to the Tumble Creek series, it’s the same style of sexy romantic comedy. Then in August, I’ll have a historical romance called A LITTLE BIT WILD. It’s a touch more light-hearted than my other historicals. Thanks for asking!

  21. thanks for the response! I’m looking forward to the new books.

  22. Oh, I’m the same way! I love it when the hero is completely, utterly, no-going-back head over hills in love with the heroine! And the chase is the best part, of course 🙂

  23. Welcome, Victoria! This is my favorite kind of heroine as well. 🙂 Their struggle to overcome the obstacles and find love is the best part.

  24. My romantic fetish is kinda lame. I like heroes who have integrity and an inherent sweetness. Totally Beta, not an Alpha girl at all. That’s why Iove Victoria’s heroes. Ben/Quinn/Chase all have these attributes to some extent plus humor, too.

    OMG, when Quinn referred to himself as a “sex ninja” I couldn’t stop chuckling for days 🙂

  25. I also like it when a hero has to chase his woman. I also like it when the hero or heroine has a secret that eventually gets out into the open and between the two of them they work out whatever the secret was.

  26. I like when the heroines are strong and independent. But also have a caring softer side that likes to be taken care of as well. I like a hero who is willing to work to get the heroine too.

  27. CONGRATULATIONS—KELLY S!

    My kid drew your name and you win the copy of Victoria Dahl’s LEAD ME ON!

    drop me an addy: keriford @ hotmail .com (no spaces!)

  28. Squee! I won!! Thank you!

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