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Topic: Looking for abused/challenged Heroines

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Subject: Looking for abused/challenged Heroines
Date Posted: 11/17/2008 11:42 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2008
Posts: 299
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Hello! I was wondering if you guys could help me out.  *I am bumbing this back up (from like eons ago!)

 I am looking for romances like this:

1. Romances with abused heroines who learn how to live again with the help of a couragous man.


When I say abuse I just mean trying to get over some trauma in their lives (the perfect author example is Catherine Anderson)


My suggestion is Keegan's Lady by C A ----> me love it long time!



Last Edited on: 6/3/09 1:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 11/18/2008 2:02 AM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 808
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Your themes are not cheesy at all!

For #'s 1 and 2: You gotta get a box of tissues and "Regan's Pride" by Diana Palmer! (Silhouette Romance) - He blamed his cousin's widow for the cousin's death; but the husband left her nothing in his will and at the mercy of the man he had convinced she was a cold, shrewish woman. Of course, in reality, she was physically and verbally abused by her late husband.

For #3: "Acting on Impulse" by Vicki Lewis Thompson (Harlequin Blaze) - This story is too funny! When she moves from Kansas to NYC, he's recruited by his best friend's wife to help her best friend (the heroine) practice seduction scenes. You can't read this in the office breakroom... everyone will want to know why you're giggling.

For #1 in Regency: "The Romantic" by Madeline Hunter

For #1 in Paranormal: "Dawn's Awakening" by Lora Leigh

Don't dismiss these because they are small, category romances. Both have earned their spot on my keeper / re-read shelf.

Happy hunting!



Date Posted: 11/18/2008 2:55 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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Acting on Impulse is one of my favorites! I think nearly all of Vicki Lewis Thompson's stuff is...

Marianne Stillings also writes funny andmost of the women are funny except for maybe the one in 'sighs matter'. One of them  has a dream psychic woman and a sceptical cop..dangit I can remember every title but that one! but it's Nathan Darling's story I think so it's one of the later ones..maybe 3rd from the last.wouldn't say she's clutzy though. hmm...

if you like historical western erotica (and I mean spicy) sarah mccarty's promises series has 2 where the heroine was abused - promises keep and promises prevail(serious abuse mentioned in this one) and I'm reading caine's reckoning now and it has abuse mentioined though not fully disclosed  yet. she usually  has a decent storyline but very alpha males and well 'erotic romance'.

robyn carr's virgin river series has 2 stories so far that deal with a woman getting on with her life after abuse - shelter mountain (pysical and mental abuse)and whispering rock(rape) though I'd read the series in order starting with virgin river because characters overlap.

Nora Roberts does a lot of trilogies and an abused woman is a popular theme with her - dance upon the wind is the 1st in the three sisters island trilogy(witches) and the woman has faked her death and changed her name and started over. susannah's or suzanne's story in the calhouns deals with abuse and the last book in the 'dream' trilogy (?finding the dream?) the woman was abused. her JD Robb futuristic series has the cop, Eve, dealing with abuse from her childhood..I've only read the 1st 2 but Roarke loves her and is there for her(and how!)

Date Posted: 11/18/2008 9:05 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
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The Marianne Stillings book is Arousing Suspicions.  All her books are great BTW and her heroines are usually a  little kooky.  She has another one too where the heroine is a TV chef and just too perky for the hero and I'm blanking on that one. Just looked it up. That one is Satisfaction. Really all of her books would meet the 3rd scenerio you put.  The Damsel in this Dress is one of my favorite boks.  Charmed by Beth Ciotta-heroine is kooky and gets the hero into mishaps.  She's a childrens party character and casino carnival performer and drags him into her work.  Also her book Romancing the West: heroine is an Old West small town librarian who writes risque novels under a man's name.  Hero is a bounty hunter. She's a Klutz.  She mistakes him for a gay poet and chaos ensues. 

Abused heroines: Keegan's Lady by Catherine Anderson-heroine was abused as a child by her father who ruined heroes life.  He comes to seek revenge only to fall in love with the girl.  So I suppose that fits into 2 of your categories.

Outlaw's Embrace by Francine Rivers-Hero comes to seek revenge on heroine's father and of course falls in love with heroine.  This one's a tear jerker though-have some tissues handy. 

Saving Grace by Julie Garwood-this is a midievil Heroine is badly abused by first husband. If I remember right she's half-English/Half-Scots.  Her brother marries her off to a Scottish Laird to protect her assuming he won't want heirs from her since he already has son. 

Do NOT read this book:  The Rebel Bride by Catherine Coulter.  It fits the abused heroine category. But the hero is so awful to her you don't want her to fall in love with him.  She's raped as a teen and vows never to marry.  Hero forces the issue, marries her and then rapes her when she won't consumate the marriage. Then he's mad when she's not a virgin.  She doesn't know it's him who rapes her and when she ends up pregnant she's tormented with guilt.  So then he's mad that she won't tell him she's pregnant by this rape.  He's just horrible.   Worst book ever.


Last Edited on: 11/18/08 9:09 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/18/2008 9:14 AM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2005
Posts: 1,010
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I agree with J.D. Robb's Naked in Death.  Eve Dallas is a strong detective who has a history of childhood abuse.  Roarke is the powerful and enigmatic hero who is a suspect in the case she is investigating.  It is a wonderful series but you should read them in order.

Date Posted: 11/18/2008 10:12 AM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 217
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Love, love, love the "Naked In" series....and there is definitely the abuse vibe. For the heroine and hero actaully.


SoBe -
Date Posted: 11/18/2008 11:01 AM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2008
Posts: 658
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2. Romances that has a male character who is trying to enact revenge against a female character who "supposedly" did harm to him.

 This reminds me of  Stephanie lauren's new one, The Edge of Desire :-)  Though she doesn't "harm" his so  much as "betray" him.  


Edited to : ditto the love for the " ...In death" Series, though I've only just recently started it;-)

Last Edited on: 11/18/08 11:03 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/18/2008 11:29 AM ET
Member Since: 6/6/2008
Posts: 4,596
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Abused Heroines-if you want erotic look at the COURAGE TO LOVE series by Samantha Kane.

For the stern guy, cute funny girl, try any of Lori Foster's books as a rule.


Date Posted: 11/18/2008 11:35 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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For #1, I recommend:

Night in Eden by Candice Proctor

The Wives of Bowie Stone by Maggie Osborne

For My Ladys Heart by Laura Kinsale

For #2:

Again The Magic by Lisa Kleypas

Three Little Secrets and Two Little Lies by Liz Carlyle

And for #3:

Bewitching and Dreaming by Jill Barnett.  The only cute & klutzy heroines I can actually stand:P

Date Posted: 11/18/2008 1:01 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2008
Posts: 12,776
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For #3 I recommend Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh

Date Posted: 11/18/2008 5:25 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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Ohh, I have Night in Eden in the mail. I've been so looking forward to this book. :)

Date Posted: 11/18/2008 8:46 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2008
Posts: 12,776
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For #2 I think Someone to Watch Over Me by Lisa Kleypas fits the bill.


Date Posted: 11/19/2008 11:55 AM ET
Member Since: 2/14/2007
Posts: 308
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For #1 - Sweet Everlasting by Patricia Gaffney

To Kiss a Texan by Jodi Thomas

This Is All I Ask by Lynn Kurland

Maggie's Beau by Carolyn Davidson (Harlequin Historical)

Impulse by Candace Camp

A Lawman for Christmas by Pat Pritchard


For #2 - Loving Evangeline by Linda Howard


For #3 - Love is Blind by Lynsay Sands (She's clutzy because she can't see anything without her glasses and can't wear them.

Date Posted: 11/19/2008 12:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I'm going to have to read Love is Blind.  I have a copy & it sounds cute.

Date Posted: 11/19/2008 6:57 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2007
Posts: 1,334
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3 Romances with a clutzy, cutesy girl who slowly unthaws the heart of the stern hero.

 I recommend Houston, We Have a Problem  by Erin McCarthy 

Date Posted: 6/3/2009 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2008
Posts: 299
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bump ----'

Read most of the suggestions already!

Date Posted: 6/3/2009 3:49 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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The only one I can think of is Heartbreaker by Linda Howard- it's an older one, probably early to mid-80s so is somewhat dated in that respect, but I didn't really mind any of that.  The heroine has left an abusive husband and is trying to revive a dying ranch, that I think she inherited- can't remember specifics, since it's been a few years.  Anyway the hero is the owner of a neighboring ranch who she had a thing for when she was  younger, he thought she was spoiled and aloof then, and is a real alpha-male type.

Date Posted: 6/3/2009 4:24 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,484
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Kitty and the Midnight Hour.   But do note that this is more of an Urban Fantasy and less romance.  It is a story of a young woman getting over two attacks and rebuilding her self confidence.

In a similar vein is the Lily Bard mystery books by Charlaine Harris.  Again, not a romance. 

No HEA in either of these.  But they are both about women recovering from very serious trauma.

Date Posted: 6/3/2009 7:49 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2008
Posts: 299
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Thanks for the suggestions so far. I spent some time googling and found these as well. I am not sure if they are good (well I know the catherine anderson ones are) but I thought to mention them in case anyone else is a fan.

Forbidden by Jo Beverley
American Dreamer by Theresa Weir
Annie's Song by Catherine Anderson
Baby Love by Catherine Anderson
Seventh Heaven by Catherine Anderson
Cherish by Catherine Anderson
Keegan's Lady by Catherine Anderson
Sweet Nothings by Catherine Anderson
Winter Woman by Jenna Kernan
To Kiss a Texan by Jodi Thomas
The Baby Bargain by Dallas Schulze
Vows Made in Wine by Susan Wiggs
Saving Grace by Julie Garwood
The De Burgh Bride by Deborah Simmons
This is All I Ask by Lynn Kurland
From This Moment On by Lynn Kurland
Maverick Wild by Stacey Kayne (although he does say some mean things to her initially)
The Dumont Bride by Terri Brisbin
The Willing Wife by Claudia Dain
The Holding by Claudia Dain

Banner O'brien Linda Lael miller
Enchanted Afternoon Susan Wiggs

Date Posted: 6/3/2009 8:38 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 91
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I would recommend Impulse by Candace Camp. It's a historical (Victorian times) where the heroine suffered abuse by her (then) husband.

There is also Beautiful Girl a contemporary by Shiloh Walker. It's only available as an e-book though which is too bad because it's a good book.

Last Edited on: 6/3/09 8:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Price of Desire by Jo Goodman
Date Posted: 6/3/2009 10:20 PM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2008
Posts: 77
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I didn't like the book because of the heroine's background; I'm not a big fan of the abused heroine (in fact I pretty much despise it), but you might love it and other people have certainly said great things about Price of Desire by Jo Goodman. You can see my review at:



Last Edited on: 6/3/09 10:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/3/2009 10:23 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,484
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Theresa Weir wrote such wonderful wounded folks.  Oh.  Run to the keeper shelf.  What ever happened to her and her books? 

Ah.  Wiki says she's writing thrillers under the name Anne Fraiser.  Miss her romances.

Last Edited on: 6/3/09 10:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/4/2009 12:00 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 5,764
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The only one I cant think of now ( I have it on my keeper shelf)   is " I Promise" by Joan Johnston. Very emotional,

just thought of another , Blue-eyed Devil        by Lisa Klepas             the hero falls for the abused heroine, also very emotional

Last Edited on: 6/4/09 12:07 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 6/4/2009 8:27 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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Lawless by Diana Palmer - heroine was nearly beat to death by her father

Shadow Game by Christine Feehan - well, really all the Game books by her...the heroines were basically tortured as children by a "scientist"


Date Posted: 8/5/2009 2:50 AM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 808
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REGAN'S PRIDE (Silhouette Romance #1000) by Diana Palmer