Romance books, like any genre, have a formula:
- Meet the heroine, the female lead, the protagonist who we follow throughout the whole book
- Introduce us to the hero, the male lead who throws the female protagonist off her course and they fall in love
- A conflict arises and they break up or take time apart
- We see a resolution and they get back together
They follow a formula but each one is different. We have our favorite books and can argue for hours on which one is better but what really makes them stand out is the female lead.
Opinions differ on what makes a character “better” than one another.
Say for example, you’ve read “Ugly Love”
by Colleen Hoover (which is one of my favorites books ever), one might find Tate Collins to be strong because through everything she fights for Miles. Others might say she wasn’t a strong lead because she stayed with Miles even though she had every reason not to.
Or let’s say you’ve read “Fallen Too Far”
book one of the “Rosemary Beach” series by Abbi Glines. Is Blaire considered one of the stronger female leads that we’ve read about because she has to deal with the loss of her mother and the complicated past she has with her father or is she weaker because she falls for Rush (what a name) even when he has given her literally every single reason not to?
Is Hannah Wells from “The Deal” by Elle Kennedy strong because of the things she went through? Is she considered weaker for pining after Justin in the beginning and agreeing to tutor Garrett Graham just so she can learn how to flirt?
(Although I do have to admit that out of everyone in that series Hannah was my favorite).
Or what about Avery Morgansten from “Wait for You” by J. Lynn?
The thing is, I cannot define what makes a female lead strong and what doesn’t and that’s the beauty of romance novels. We often expect these characters to be perfect right off the bat even though all of them are flawed in some way.
And it drives us insane! When we read about the lives of these young women we think “Oh I would never be so dumb,” or “Wow, I can’t believe she fell for him.” But no matter what, when CoHo (Colleen Hoover) publishes her next book we are buying it.
We have started to accept multifaceted women in our lives through TV shows where we root for Olivia Pope and Annalise Keating every Thursday night, we want them in our movies, and we want them in our books because in any case through any media platform we can relate to these characters and want to see someone like us.
We love our romance books.