Today we're thrilled to have Megan Frampton (back) on Heroes and Heartbreakers. Megan is our former community manager, but also a talented historical romance author. Her latest release in her Dukes Behaving Badly series, Put Up Your Duke, came out on June 30. The heroine is stunningly beautiful, but struggles with her beauty and the expectations that come with the perception that beauty equals perfection. Megan is here today to talk about how beautiful heroine interact and react to their beauty. Thanks, Megan!
In the first days of historical romance—yes, back when the books could properly be termed “bodice rippers”—all heroines were perfect. They had silver-blonde hair, limpid blue eyes, and figures that defied gravity and undergarments. Or raven-black hair, verdant-green eyes, and figures that defied gravity and undergarments. You get the picture.
Even before then, however, heroines whose beauty defined them were popular with readers (and this reader in particular). I read, and reread, and reread, Katherine by Anya Seton, the fictionalized account of Katherine Swynford, the woman who became John of Gaunt’s mistress (and later wife). Their children together—born when they weren’t married—were later legitimized, but that little historical discrepancy resulted in the Wars of the Roses and then the Tudor succession to the throne (yes, I know most of my history from historical fiction and historical romances). The difference between Katherine and the two-dimensional heroines from the era of bodice-rippers is that Katherine had a well-developed personality, with fears and foibles, making her appealing beyond her stunning good looks.