When I think of a kick-ass heroine, I think of Angelina Jolie in the spy movie,
Salt. Sheâ€™s the equal of any man. A deep undercover spy. Able to take
a dozen men at once and shoot her way into a secure underground room at the
It's fun watching a woman like that operateâ€”either on-screen or in a romantic
suspense novel. But Iâ€™ve never felt compelled to make her the star of one of my
Iâ€™m much more likely to write a "softer" womanâ€”who ends up forced to defend
herself from bad guys intent on wiping her out, along with the hero of the book.
Usually she starts off vulnerable and uncertain, and by the end of the story,
sheâ€™s acting in ways she never would have dreamed possible. And of course her
reward is walking off into the sunset with a great guy who would do anything to
Elena Reyes in my latest Sourcebooks Casablanca romantic suspense is a good
example of the kind of heroine I love to write. And she's even more vulnerable
than most because she came to the U.S. from a Central American country where her
family was in constant jeopardy.
Elena's struggled hard to get a good education, turn herself into an American
woman, get a great job and at the same time please her parents, who have never
valued her as much as her low-life brother. Itâ€™s the brother who gets her into
terrible trouble at the software company where she works, when he tells her that
if she doesnâ€™t steal an important product in development, the mob will wipe him
out. He puts her in the position of choosing between her integrity and family
loyalty, and at first she chooses her family. Which is how she gets into trouble
with Rockfort Security Agent, Shane Gallagher, who has been hired by the company
to find out who might be getting ready to steal the software.
Shane knows Elena's in the right job to pull off the theft, which she finally
does, then has an immediate crisis of conscience. When she goes to Shane for
help, the bad guys follow her, and my hero and heroine are instantly on the run
for their lives.
At first Elena relies on Shane to save her, but by the end of the story, she's
saved his life and then proposed to meet with the mob bossâ€”to trade the software
for her brother, whoâ€™s been captured and tortured. She and Shane both know it
could be a suicide mission, but she has to try and save her brotherâ€”and redeem
herself in her own estimation. The story focuses on the way she changes during
the course of the actionâ€”while working out her complicated relationship with Shane
It was fun to write Elena and fun to give her the happy ending she deservedâ€”with
a sexy guy who will do anything to protect the woman he's come to love.
2 comments posted.