Discussion Forums - Love & Romance Love & Romance

Topic: Less than perfect heroines?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Less than perfect heroines?
Date Posted: 6/12/2008 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
Back To Top

I've read lots of books with tragic hero's....less than gorgeous hero's.....some even with a mild handicap.  Are there any  out there with less than perfect heroines?  

I don't mean the ones where some idiot has convinced the heroine having big boobs is ugly or anything like that....but maybe plus size.....a handicap.....even a tragic heroine?  Even a  plain heroine who "stays" plain, if you know what I mean LOL

I'm not really into chick lit though, so none of those.


Last Edited on: 6/12/08 5:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/12/2008 5:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2006
Posts: 258
Back To Top

Try Catherine Anderson's books.  Her heroines are often less than perfect.

Date Posted: 6/12/2008 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
Back To Top

Oh... there's a Jo Beverley - and this isn't the easiest thing for me to remember, I've read so many of her books - but I think it's Hazard; the heroine actually has some sort of birth defect or something with her foot, I think (it's been a long time), and she has a limp.  Also, the hero isn't one of those tall, dark & deadly types.  I think he has a rather smaller build than the other heroes in that series (Company of Rogues), but he's still quite hunky & manly sounding.  She's been jilted twice - by two of the other heroes in the series, so that's kinda different too.  Anyway, this one is pretty good, IMO.  But I think Jo Beverley always is pretty good, with this one being slightly better than her average.

Date Posted: 6/12/2008 6:18 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2006
Posts: 749
Back To Top

I was going to suggest Catherine Anderson's books too. My favorite is part of the Coulter series and it's called Blue Skies the heroine has been blind had surgery and regained her sight but it is not a permanent fix. Two others, also part of the Coulter series are Phantom Waltz(heroine in a wheelchair) and My Sunshine(h suffered a head injury 5yrs before and it impaired her language& processing skills). Also I believe the h in Annie's Song is blind.

Date Posted: 6/12/2008 6:22 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2007
Posts: 462
Back To Top

I know there is a regency where one of the characters has one leg shorter than the other -- a younger sister of a prior book who ends up with a sick dog at a veterinarian's house and is seen leaving and has to marry him. She wears lifts. He also has a handicapped ?daughter/sister? -- Sorry I can't be more help -- possibly a Jane Feather book. I think the original book had a viscount or something finding three wards by his father and he's going to raise them -- but one is old enough to seduce...

Date Posted: 6/12/2008 6:28 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2006
Posts: 2,463
Back To Top

All About Romance has a special listing for less than perfect folks. Unfortunately it is both male and female. Here the link....



My personal favorite book is "A Nororious Love" by Sabrina Jeffries, ther heroine has a lame leg.

Last Edited on: 6/12/08 6:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/12/2008 7:03 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 6,060
Back To Top

One I didn't see on the AAR list is Laura Kinsale's Seize the Fire.  The heroine is plus-sized.  Not only does the hero love her the way she is, when she does lose weight (being shipwrecked on a deserted island will do that) he keeps feeding her because he wants her to gain the weight back - he found her more beautiful that way. 


Date Posted: 6/12/2008 7:11 PM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2007
Posts: 1,028
Back To Top

Yes, yes, yes!  One of my favorites was The Gamble by LaVyrle Spencer.  She had fall as a child and hurt her hip  and walked with a limp.  Great, great story.

Date Posted: 6/12/2008 7:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
Back To Top

Thanks for the great suggestions and links!


Date Posted: 6/12/2008 8:39 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2007
Posts: 662
Back To Top

Sherri, what about a book where the beautiful feisty heroine, loses her looks trying to save the man she loves?

  This doesnt happen until towards the end but I thought it beautiful and heartfelt when I got to it.   The hero catches the pox, heroines stays with him regardless of her health, catches it too after saving him.  She almost dies (she really does die), he breaths life back into her ( you cry some here because its just heartbreaking... or I am being too sappy again lol).    The heroine is left with a pox mark on her fact, which used to be perfection... and marks all over her body.  


I "think" this book was called Unmasked by Virginia Henley.  BUT please correct me if I got the title wrong, its been ages since I read it.  I am 100% sure its by this author though. 

Date Posted: 6/12/2008 10:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2005
Posts: 467
Back To Top

I am reading Love is Blind right now by Lynsay Sands. Although Clarissa isn't, well, handicapped, she is practically blind without her glasses which she has been forbidden to wear.

The Perfect Wife (also by Sands) has a plus sized heroine.

Date Posted: 6/12/2008 11:11 PM ET
Member Since: 9/15/2005
Posts: 319
Back To Top

I second the recommendation for The Gamble!  I generally don't even like frontier romances but that's just a great book!

Date Posted: 6/12/2008 11:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
Back To Top

He Loves Lucy by Susan Donovan has a sorta chunky woman and it's a cute book about weight loss/romance etc. The Corset Diaries is funny and she's plus size(well 14 isn't plus to me since that's well my size LOL but to others it is)

I don't suppose you're counting stupid as all get out as 'imperfect' though huh? I could fill a libary with dingbat handicaps!

Date Posted: 6/12/2008 11:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2007
Posts: 261
Back To Top

Kasey Michaels has Beware of A Virtuous Woman - the heroine had a limp and needed special shoes made for her.

There was also a book that has a mute heroine but  can't remember it right. It might have been by Mary Balogh.

Date Posted: 6/12/2008 11:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
Back To Top

Here's another one I remember, and have been racking my brains all day to think of the blasted title & who the heck wrote it:  Again The Magic by Lisa Kleypas.  It finally just popped into my head tonight:P  The synopsis & all that doesn't mention it, but the heroine gets badly burned & then turns the hero away because she doesn't want him to know about it.  And there's also a secondary romance in there involving her sister and his best friend that I thought was really sweet.  This guy is an alcoholic, and Kleypas deals with it straight on, with no glossing over.  Here's an AAR review: http://www.likesbooks.com/cgi-bin/bookReview.pl?BookReviewId=3782

And that's actually a pretty fair review.  The heroine was a real pill.  But I'll tell you this, I read this thing about two years ago, and with everything I've read & totally forgotten, this is one of the ones that got stuck in my mind.  I think the internal conflict was pretty flimsy, all things considered.  However, everything else was really good.  If she'd handled just the few minor flaws better, I think it would have made the DIK list.

Last Edited on: 6/12/08 11:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/13/2008 8:48 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 54
Back To Top

HI, everyone--

Just wanted to come out from lurking to point out that a few months ago I tagged all the AAR books in the categories "less than perfect hero/heroine" and "beauty is in the eye..."

As said above, they include both male and female characters--but it might make it easier to search for what you're looking for!


OOPS--edited to say I may not have tagged all of them---I mostly read historicals, and focused on them the most. 

Last Edited on: 6/13/08 8:53 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/13/2008 10:37 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
Back To Top

My all-time fave has to be Emma, the heroine in Untie my Heart.  Plump, widowed, a (not so) reformed con-artist/sheep farmer.  Also a great hero (Stuart) who stutters because he was abused by his father.   I highly recommend Judith Ivory.  Also, Sleeping Beauty has an aging former courtesan heroine who is losing a tooth.  Also very good. 


I, too, dislike the perfect characters, especially heroines.  Imperfect ones have a special place in my heart . 

Date Posted: 6/13/2008 11:53 AM ET
Member Since: 9/29/2007
Posts: 439
Back To Top

Mary Balogh's Silent Melody h is deaf and mute. I liked it a lot becausde both H and h aren't perfect beings. No physical handicap on the side of the hero though, more of the 'usual' psychological ones. xD

Date Posted: 6/13/2008 7:34 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2007
Posts: 261
Back To Top

Thanks, Lily,

I knew it was by Mary Balogh but could not remember the title.

Date Posted: 6/14/2008 2:44 PM ET
Member Since: 2/14/2007
Posts: 308
Back To Top

Kiss and Tell by Cherry Adair - The heroine has a heart condition.

Hawk's Way - The Virgin Groom by Joan Johnston - Heroine is crippled

Date Posted: 6/14/2008 3:04 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2007
Posts: 1,334
Back To Top

The Corset Diaries by Katie McAlister

All Jacked Up! by Penny McCall

Full Bodied Charmer (Ellora's Cave)

Too Much Temptation by Lori Foster

Last Edited on: 6/14/08 3:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/14/2008 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
Posts: 2,553
Back To Top

For something on the paranormal side, Susan Krinard has a book called To Catch a Wolf, where the hero is a werewolf and the heroine is in a wheelchair from a childhood accident.

Date Posted: 6/16/2008 2:14 AM ET
Member Since: 5/24/2006
Posts: 38
Back To Top

Suddenly You by Lisa Kleypas, the heroine is plump and older than the hero.  There's a sweet scene where she became angry after finding out through a gossip column that he was younger than her...lots of fun ensues as they "made up."

Reckless by Amanda Quick.  The heroine has a limp from a carriage accident.  Despite her disability she gets into all kinds of trouble and the hero was there to rescue her everytime.

Angie -
Date Posted: 6/16/2008 4:20 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
Posts: 3,299
Back To Top

I can't believe nobody has mentioned Bet Me by Jenny Crusie yet. If you haven't already read this yet, it is one of her best!

Date Posted: 6/16/2008 6:55 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2005
Posts: 1,012
Back To Top

For a plain heroine, I loved Debbie Macomber's Morning Comes Softly.  She's truly plain and doesn't undergo any miraculous physical transformations during the book (those just drive me bananas--where the heroine gets contacts and a makeover and suddenly everyone can see what a gorgeous babe was hidden behind those thick glasses and baggy clothes...argh!)  I love how the hero in this one recognizes that he finds her beautiful in the end because of who she is and how she is on the inside transforms how he sees her.