I try to write my heroines to reflect both my parents' progressive attitude as well as reality in our world.
None of my heroines actually needed a man in their lives - oh of course the passion is a terrific incentive, but each of my gals could make it on their own.
In Bartlett's Rule Paige Andrews was raised in a misogynistic and violent household. Her upbringing caused her to make several wrong decisions, the first being needing a man named Hal to take her away from her parents' abusive home. She traveled a road of self-destruction and hit bottom, that was when she decided to take control of her life and began taking care of herself. When she met Lon Bartlett she tried not to get taken in by his seeming chauvinism, but he proved to be much more understanding than she expected.
Caitlyn Smythe in Forgotten was orphaned at an early age and even though she was raised in a relative's loving home, she thought that the only one she really could depend on was herself. When Brandon Price tries to protect her with secretiveness, she balks. Even totally angry with him when they are both held against their will, it's Caitlyn's calm head that eventually rescues them. Through the ensuing perils they face Brandon comes to realize how much he can depend on her.
Alli Davis is a lawyer in Within the Law and she takes her job seriously. Tom Hughes was her white knight on a dark city street and Alli is drawn to him, but not enough to compromise her responsibility even when she realizes that the man she is defending stole Tom's future from him. When the playing field changes and her client is murdered Alli steps in to defend Tom.
Young Davida Prescott is working her way through college when she meets playboy Adam Sherman in Courage of the Heart. Adam has a past that makes him question his own abilities and it is Davie's inner strength that restores his confidence. Her belief in him gives him the strength to get him past a threat and huge challenge from his former life.
In Final Sin Julie Jennings is a caring and competent paramedic. She meets Deputy Sheriff Jake Carlson at a horrific crime scene and it doesn't take long for the two of them to close the door on the ugliness of their careers and begin a torrid love affair. Julie comes close to the edge when she is stalked by a maniac who invades her privacy, but she refuses to give up on her job and putting herself out there to help others. More than once she finds an inner strength to keep herself going as well as encouraging Jake when his worries and self-doubts as a dad seem insurmountable.
Of all of my heroines so far, I think that Deanna Blair is the strongest in Hostage Heart. After losing a beloved family member to the floods of Katrina and then seeing her parents' home and livelihood destroyed in more hurricanes just a few years later, she takes it upon herself to find a way to help them rebuild. With a fresh high school diploma in hand she leaves her comfort zone where she has lived all of her life to come to New York City and find a job. Deanna meets Ryan Hunter during a bank hold-up and when he gets himself into hot water defending her honor she tries to reciprocate and winds up becoming a victim.
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