I’m happy to welcome Wild Rose Press author Laura Boon. Today, Laura shares her book besties and latest release, Lion Dancing for Love.
Previously on this tour, I talked about my favourite book boyfriends. In Romancelandia, authors and readers spend a lot of time talking about (and drooling over) heroes. However, we don’t talk about heroines nearly as much. We’re hard on heroines. Historical romance author Anne Gracie said once that a romance reader is a bit like a mother-in-law; she’ll forgive her son (the hero) just about anything, but the smallest defect can sink the girlfriend (heroine) in her eyes.
Outside the romance genre, heroine not a word that’s used much. Like actress it has fallen into disuse. We talk about men and women as actors and heroes. Is this an advancement, the creation of a level playing field? I’m not convinced. It seems to me that changing the language and dropping the feminine words from the lexicon elevates the masculine qualities of hero and actor above those of heroine and actress. And that annoys me.
Heroes are admired for doing – ‘acting’ if you like – for being great warriors and leaders on the battlefield, in the boardroom, on the sports field and in the bedroom. Heroines in real life and on the page have shown themselves perfectly capable of leading and kicking ass; think Joan of Arc, Boadicea, Wonder Woman, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Serena Williams, and Katniss. However, the real power of women lies in their emotional and mental strength. In their resilience and ability to endure. In their capacity to laugh in the face of adversity, find joy in everyday tasks, give birth and protect their brood. To smile when they would rather stamp their feet and scream like banshees. You underestimate the actress at your peril.
So, in honour of heroines quiet and loud, kickass and diplomatic, here in alphabetical order are fifteen of my besties from Romancelandia, none of them perfect, all of them great dinner companions.
1. Annabel Peyton, Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas – the sharks are circling but Annabel holds on to her dreams even as she alters clothes she can’t afford to replace.
2. Annique Villiers, The SpyMaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne – brave, funny, honorable and a spy who gets herself into trouble because she can’t bring herself to kill.
3. Chase/ Lady Georgiana, Never Judge a Lady by her Cover by Sarah MacLean – ruined by a scoundrel, she remakes herself as the most powerful man in London.
4. Finley Cartwright, One Night Wife by Ainslie Paton – she’s feisty and stood on a bar top and did a karaoke impersonation of Marilyn to raise money.
5. Jane Chance, The Spring Bride by Anne Gracie – Jane is the bratty younger sister who grew up to be courageous and empathetic.
6. Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – a creative and imaginative girl branded ‘sullen’. She was never very obedient and I always loved her rebelliousness.
7. Janie Morris, Neanderthal Meets Human by Penny Reid – shy, forthright, witty and not above ‘stalking’ the object of her desire.
8. Lily Chadwick, Three Nights With A Scoundrel by Tessa Dare – a good girl who gets creative and daring to get the man of her dreams and solve her brother’s murder.
9. Lily Lamprey, Pretty Face by Lucy Parker – a lovely woman who looks like a goddess, she won’t let other people’s opinions of her intelligence and talent (based on her looks) dictate her future.
10. Lydia Green, Dirty by Kylie Scott – she ran out on her wedding to face the unknown when she realised her husband-to-be was not what he seemed.
11. Lydia Grenville, The Last Hellion by Loretta Chase – commanding, tall, a scribbler and an advocate for social justice. I want to be Lydia Grenville. I really want her height!
12. Mary Challoner, Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer – she shot Vidal when he kidnapped and threatened her. Go Mary!
13. Roberta (Bertie) Fraser, Rules for a Proper Governess by Jennifer Ashley – kind and compassionate despite her circumstances, using her wits to keep herself and others alive.
14. Sal Kennedy, Ask Me Nicely by Amy Andrews – kind, compassionate and resilient, she survived a tragedy that would turn most people into bitter cynics.
15. Sophie Ross, Moonshadow by Thea Harrison – an LAPD Witch Consultant who can stand up to a warrior and rushes headlong into danger in defence of others.
What about you? Do you have a book bestie?
Licking her wounds after a bad relationship, San Diego accountant Caitlyn Summers travels to Willow Springs to help her friend gear up for the annual Maple Sugar Ball. She isn’t planning on staying long, but one encounter with the delicious Corey Duncan has her re-evaluating her plans.
Corey swore off love when his wife Annie died from breast cancer. Caitlyn is too young, too citified, and vibrates with a passion and energy that will upend the safe, comfortable rhythm of his life. Corey has to choose between playing it safe and taking a risk on love. Caitlyn needs to find the patience to let Corey lead. If not, the Maple Sugar Ball might end in a sticky mess, instead of a slow dance with the man who has captured her heart.
Will their fire burn hot enough to erase doubts and past hurts?
“You don’t have to be good at it. You have to be able to follow and count to three.”
She put her hands on her hips. It was his turn to raise a brow. “I can follow—if I choose to.”
He chuckled. “Such sass. Prove it.”
He held out his left hand, and she moved forward and placed her right inside it. He twined their fingers and pulled her into position. A heady combination of scents rose from her, vanilla and pheromones and something uniquely Caitlin. Her skin was slick against his. “Rest your head against my chest,” he murmured.
“I don’t recall that as an official position.”
“It’s the one I favor. Stand on my feet. That’s it.” He adjusted her arm, so she had a good hold around his neck and drew her even closer. “Step with your right foot first…back across, together. Forward, across, together. Back, across, together. Forward, across, together.”
Halfway through the song, he let her feet slip to the ground. At the end he kept a firm grip on her waist while he hit replay, then led her through a series of fast twirls, their bodies so close they were almost one. When the song ended, they collapsed in a heap against the wall. She was giggling.
“I get why it was considered scandalous when it was first introduced.”
He smiled and tipped her chin toward him with a finger. “It’s only scandalous if you do it properly.”
He brushed his lips softly across hers, then claimed her mouth as she breathed into him.
Laura Boon stole her first romance from her father’s bookshelves as a teenager, The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss, and was immediately captivated. After holding a variety of positions in publishing, from bookseller to sales rep and publicist, she eventually found the courage to write her own stories. She was born in Zambia, grew up in South Africa, and went to university in America. She now lives in Australia with her husband and their adorable dogs Beau and Arro. When she is not reading or writing, she enjoys sleuthing for artisan chocolate and beautiful stationery, watching tennis, and walking alongside Sydney’s beautiful harbor.
Where to find Laura…
Laura Boon will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Enter here.
Follow Laura on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.