Amanda Forester | Smart Heroines Frustrated by Dumb Rules
November 1, 2013
Unconventional heroines are my favorite to write. They are always able to do and
say things that 'normal' people would keep to themselves. Particularly when
writing in the Regency, it is fun to write about a lady who pushes against the
social conventions of the time. What better way to introduce an unconventional
heroine than an American stuck in London society in MIDSUMMER BRIDE.
Harriet Redgrave was born and raised in America, the daughter of an American sea
captain. Her mother, however, is the daughter of an earl, and Harriet is
brought, most unwillingly, back to English society to find a husband. Instead
of focusing on matrimonial prizes, Harriet is more interested in pursuing her
interests in science, until she meets an unlikely hero in the Scottish earl,
Harriet takes the occasional lab experiment gone wrong in stride, what chemist
does not accidentally blow things up every now and again? What does irritate
her is that as a single female she is barred from scientific societies unless
she is accompanied by a male, particularly a husband. She refuses to search for
a husband for societal correctness, yet her heart is torn when it comes to her
science. If she continues as an old maid her opportunities are limited. A
chance encounter with Lord Thornton makes her rethink her plans.
Here is an excerpt from one of the first meetings between Harriet and Lord Thornton:
Following the smoke, they ran to where the sound had originated. A bedroom door
burst open and more acrid smoke billowed out. A young woman staggered from the
room, coughing hard.
Thornton caught the young lady in his arms, who appeared unsteady on her feet.
He quickly scooped her up in his arms and took her down the stairs and out
through a side door so she could breathe the fresh air.
"Stop!" The lady tried to say more but began coughing again. "I can manage."
Thornton placed her down on the stone step and rubbed her back to try to help
her breathe. "Dinna fear, just take several deep breaths."
The lady did as requested and, after several deep breaths with her head down,
looked up at him with a rueful smile.
"Miss Redgrave!" A jolt of something flashed through him. What had happened
here? Was she all right?
"I am sorry to cause such trouble," she said, trying to smooth back tendrils of
her auburn hair that had escaped her bun.
"Are ye hurt?"
"No, I am fine." She smiled, her teeth white in contrast to her soot-covered
"I do apologize. I canna understand what has caused this."
"Oh, I can tell you that. It is my fault entirely. I have been traveling so long
I simply could not wait to begin my next experiment as soon as we reached the
"Experiment?" asked Thornton.
"I dabble in chemistry."
"Yes, I do apologize, but I was slightly careless with my mixing, and I had a
tiny little explosion."
"Explosion?" Thornton realized he was copying her like a parrot, but given her
extraordinary tale, he could not find sensible speech.
"Do not worry. There's no damage, or at least I think I kept it to a minimum.
I've had many much larger explosions at home."
And now Thornton could think of nothing to say. He often lacked conversation
with ladies, but this was worse than usual. He sat beside her mute on the step.
An awkward silence engulfed them.
At length, Harriet spoke again. "I don't think we ever properly met each other.
I mean I know your title, but what is your name?"
Thornton opened his mouth but no speech emerged, his mind spinning at this
unconventional female. What kind of an introduction was this? "I am Duncan
Maclachlan, Earl of Thornton, at yer service."
"Harriet." She held out her soot-covered hand.
He smiled in spite of himself.
What are your favorite characteristics for a heroine? Smart? Spunky?
Courageous? What is important to you?
49 comments posted.
Re: Amanda Forester | Smart Heroines Frustrated by Dumb Rules
This sounds like a fun read and one that I would like! TY for the opportunity to win COPY!
(Betty Hamilton 1:00am October 31, 2013)
I love that your heroine is a chemist! Sounds like a very interesting read. Thank
you for the great giveaway!
(Khristine C Chua 4:10am October 31, 2013)
This sounds like a fun story to read. Thank you for the giveaway.
(Jean Patton 6:29am October 31, 2013)
This sounds really good I can't wait to read it! Thanks for being here today!
(Penney Wilfort 9:07am October 31, 2013)
I also like my heroine to be smart and funny it makes a great story!
(Penney Wilfort 9:09am October 31, 2013)
I like my Heroines to be smart, spunky, and funny. They don't necessarily have to be courageous, unless the story line calls for it. Of course, they should also have a bit of a romantic streak in them, so they can get their man!! I love the story line for your latest book, and can't wait to read it!! The cover to your book itself is beautiful!! Whomever did the artwork did a wonderful job!! It's a real eye-catcher!! Congratulations on your book!!
(Peggy Roberson 9:26am October 31, 2013)
Your book sounds great. And I love a heroine with characters and smarts. This sounds like a real winner. Best of luck with it. And thanks for the chance to win!
(Nancy Reynolds 9:29am October 31, 2013)
I love her to have a good sense of humor and smart. I love your books and can't wait to read this one!
(Bonnie Capuano 9:37am October 31, 2013)
i love her books this looks so good i would really like this
(Denise Smith 9:46am October 31, 2013)
I love heroines who fit the story...whatever is necessary to
make it flow.
(Mary Hay 10:00am October 31, 2013)
Smart! I love smart women!
(Sue Galuska 10:29am October 31, 2013)
Would love to read, even if I don't win!
Thank you for the chance to win it though!
(Ashley C 10:33am October 31, 2013)
I like confidant and bold heroines probably because I wish I had those characteristics myself.
(Pamela Jaenke 11:02am October 31, 2013)
I so enjoy when a book has a sexy smart woman heroine...
(Kathleen O'Donnell 11:51am October 31, 2013)
I like the idea of an unconventional heroine, especially being as she is smart. This sounds like a fun read.
(Anna Speed 12:30pm October 31, 2013)
This sounds like a good one. Keeping my fingers crossed!
(Melanie Backus 1:33pm October 31, 2013)
I like smart women. Especially in earlier genres since that was not a quality many appreciated back then.
(Pam Howell 2:11pm October 31, 2013)
Love the unconventional couple:)
(Michelle Schafer 3:06pm October 31, 2013)
She needs to be smart and brave to make it.
(Deb Pelletier 3:55pm October 31, 2013)
This sounds like a good read! But, I have to admit. I had an aunt who was just as loud and smart as Harriet! Too funny!
(Vennie Martinisi 4:30pm October 31, 2013)
Smart, inventive, and I love if she has an unusual talent or
(Diane Sallans 5:23pm October 31, 2013)
Characteristics for a heroine to be smart, spunky, to have a good sense of humor, to be honest, stand for what is right, courageous, don't back down when you know you're right, and to be helpful to those in need. Your book sounds so very good and exciting I would just love to read it. Thank you for this chance to win, hope I do. The Best To You Always.
(Esther Somorai 5:36pm October 31, 2013)
A good heart, bravery, sense of humor, loyalty, kindness, compassion. That seems like enough - a bit of foolishness, maybe, just enough to get into a little trouble but not in so deep that she can't get herself out. Maybe a vice or two - she has to be human, after all!
(Beth Fuller 6:06pm October 31, 2013)
I love unconventional heroines! Your book sounds fun and interesting, and
the cover is beautiful! Thanks for the chance to win!!!
(Linda Brennan 7:48pm October 31, 2013)
Something out of the ordinary seems like better than the same
old stuff. Your book looks like it's fun to fall into and I
may have to review my chemistry notes to keep up with all the
(Alyson Widen 7:51pm October 31, 2013)
Wow, Congrats on your new book: A MIDSUMMER BRIDE. The book
cover is very pretty too! My favorite characteristics for a
heroine is that they are honest, smart, and courageous.
Helping others and treating others like you would want to be
treated is very important too! I would love to win and read
your new book this Fall. Thank You very much. Cecilia CECE
(Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez 8:40pm October 31, 2013)
Looks like a great read! Do like the Historical stories!!! Thanks for the chance to win!
(LeAnn Knott 9:00pm October 31, 2013)
I like my heroine to be spunky and intertaining. Enjoyed your blog.
(Sheila True 9:54pm October 31, 2013)
I like the heroine to have brains, compassion and the ability
to give up control when necessary or take it if that's what is
(Karin Anderson 11:19pm October 31, 2013)
Thank you so much for a chance to win a copy of "A Midsummer Bride." It sounds like something I would definately be interested in reading!
(Courteney Moore 11:43pm October 31, 2013)
I like heroines who are intelligent and can take care of themselves most of the time. I also like it when they need a little help from time to time.
(Amy Kincade 12:33pm November 1, 2013)
Thanks for the chance to win this book. It sounds interesting. I like my heroines smart, with some gumption and also some humor.
(Carol Woodruff 10:23am November 1, 2013)
I'm afraid to bread the rules so I love to read about those that are willing to do so.
(Sue Farrell 10:33am November 1, 2013)
I like my heroine to be smart and a go getter kind of gal
(Patricia Lambert 12:41pm November 1, 2013)
I like the heroine to be smarter than she lets on so she can get the best of the hero before he knows what's happened. Women rule!
(Linda Harrison 1:25pm November 1, 2013)
I love a heroine with a witty sense of humor. A bit of snark definitely livens up a
plot and makes it fun to read.
(Debbie Burdeen 1:50pm November 1, 2013)
I like heroines to be smart, kind hearted and have a sense of humor.
(Marcy Shuler 2:53pm November 1, 2013)
Sounds like a fun book. I like heroines who are intelligent and capable, with a good sense of humor.
(G S Moch 4:14pm November 1, 2013)
A spunky, courageous nice person.
(Theresa Norris 4:33pm November 1, 2013)
I enjoy heroines that have a sense of humor, but a nice variety of characteristics make each an individual.
(Colleen Conklin 5:26pm November 1, 2013)
I like my heroines to be both smart and spunky.
(Janie McGaugh 6:00pm November 1, 2013)
My heroine has to be able to match wits with the hero and really stands out. Otherwise she would be just another character in the book.
(Kai Wong 11:22pm November 1, 2013)
I like my heroine to be smart, spunky and kind. A sense of
humor is also an important trait.
(Mary C 11:24pm November 1, 2013)
Smart, spunky and courageous!! This one sounds really great and I'd love to be entered to win.
(Martha Lawson 11:32pm November 1, 2013)
I like a heroine who can take care of herself, but is not too
prickly. Room for love!!
(Mary Preston 3:45am November 2, 2013)
I love the intelligent, kind, and willing to stand up for
herself heroine! Not the doormat, obedient ones.
(Glenda Martillotti 9:55pm November 2, 2013)
Sounds like a fun read, love that she has got spunk and is intelligent. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
(Christine LaFord 10:06pm November 2, 2013)
I loved the except and what I like best is a heroine who has a mind of her own! My favorite genre is historical romance and I love when the heroine is more concerned about what is happening around her and not afraid to do things out of the bounds of what society feels is the "norm". I love when she has a mind of her own and isn't restricted to only doing what society thinks is "proper" and instead follows her dreams.
(Jeanne Miro 12:23pm November 3, 2013)
I'm exciting to read this book. Honestly, I just want to read
it for the interaction between the Duke and the Dowager
Duchess's companion. I love them and I wished they have a
(Sandy Xiong 1:34am November 3, 2013)
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