Are you familiar with the concept of “book boyfriends”? Picking out a particular hero and referring to him as your book boyfriend seems like pretty common practice among romance lovers. My first was probably the Phantom of the Opera. Even in high school I loved me a tortured hero. The reality of tortured boyfriends is much less fun though so I love the book boyfriend concept. Let my fiction-loving self deal with the drama.
But it wasn’t until recently that I ran across a heroine I loved so much that I wished she were my BFF: Magalie Chaudron from Laura Florand’s The Chocolate Kiss. The hero of that book, Philippe Lyonnais, seems to be the hero among heroes for Florand’s fans. And while of course I found him compelling, it was Magalie that kept me enraptured by this particular book. Not only is she possibly literally magical (so fun), she cooks in a teensy kitchen and loves boots.
Perhaps I was primed for this by my recent brush with another heroine I loved: Emily Bartwell from Jeffe Kennedy’s new erotic romance Going Under. But unlike with Emily, Magalie and I actually have things in common. We could go running together, hang out in her tiny, chocolate-filled kitchen, go shopping for killer boots for ourselves and sweaters for our guys. She could tutor me in idiomatic French while my dog and I hang out in the Maison des Sorcieres. And I could fill in at the counter while she visits Philippe down the street…
Um…sorry. I kinda wandered off there.
In reading through reviews trying to decide what books to buy, one of the things I’ve noticed is that many reviewers are harder on heroines than they are on heroes. For example, Laura Kinsale’s The Prince of Midnight features quite an arrogant hero, but it’s the prickly heroine who seems to bear the brunt of the character criticism. And frankly, I think that’s unfair. She’s just lost her entire family. He lost his balance and self-confidence. Leigh needs a cup of hot chocolate, a soft blanket and an Anna Kendrick movie marathon. Instead, she gets called a heart-hearted bitch? Come on, we don’t really talk about other women that way, do we?
So let’s hear about some book BFFs. What heroines have you particularly loved? Why? Do you fantasize about hanging out with your favorite romance heroine? Please tell me I’m not the only one.
July 25, 2014 at 12:53 am
Ha! This is a fun post and question. I've had to think about this. My first thought was Jane Eyre because Brontë's novel is my favourite out of everything I've read. But on second thought, Jane is too calm and subdued for me, even if she does have a gentle sense of humour. I need someone snarkier and sharper-tongued. I'd pick Min from Jennifer Crusie's BET ME! She's funny and garrulous; so independent, dedicated to her work and, if not for Cal, she'd be a spinster. She's just like me! At the end of the novel, Cal and Min remain childless by choice … wow. She's also delicious curvaceous. Gosh, we'd have so much in common. Also, I know how to make Chicken Marsala. And, as you know, I couldn't scramble an egg until this week. When I finished reading the novel six or seven summers ago, in one sitting lying on my bed, I went to the liquor store and bought a bottle of Marsala wine. Pounded the chicken … and made the dish. Have you read this novel? Because if not … well, you must! And, make Chicken Marsala and blog to us about it.
July 28, 2014 at 2:46 am
I love that you loved Emily! 🙂 So far, she's shaping up to be my best-loved erotic romance heroine. Which I also love.
July 28, 2014 at 2:47 am
Also, I met Laura Florand at RWA National this week and she's just lovely. 🙂
July 28, 2014 at 7:09 pm
I did love Emily. She brought out all my protective instincts 🙂
And I'm not surprised to hear that Laura is lovely. She seems lovely. Maybe I'll get to meet her next year!
July 28, 2014 at 10:52 pm
I love this post 😀 You're right, the ladies do get most of the brunt of criticism. My BFFs would be Cade Corey, Magalie Chaudron, Aubrey Price (Georgina Guthrie's The Weight of Words) and Jo March (Louisa May Alcott's Little Women). They're all just strong and would rather kick butt than mope in a corner when down.
August 19, 2015 at 7:41 pm
[…] Kiss brings us out to the Île Saint-Louis, a small neighborhood of Paris. Magalie Chaudron (aka my book BFF) lives and works there in her aunts’ tea-shop: La Maison des Sorcières. After a childhood […]