Thu
Aug 2 2012 9:17am

Your Cheatin’ Heart: Romance Novels Where the Heroine Cheats?

Diane Lane and Olivier Martinez in Unfaithful

We’d like to be above it all, but we have to admit to taking more than a passing interest in the current Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson drama; she cheated, there was public exposure, and she apologized.

Which makes us wonder, since we can’t think of any:

Have there been any romance novels where the heroine was the one who cheated, and then successfully reunited with the hero of her story? Usually the hero cheats (or the heroine thinks he does), but what about the opposite?

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9 comments
Marquita Valentine
1. Marquita Valentine
In Sherry Thomas's Private Arragements, both the h and h cheat during their "marriage". BUT it's after a great big mistunderstanding and it is Victorian...so that might have been why I enjoyed the book. ST always, always rips my heart out when I read her books. :}
Marquita Valentine
2. Lucky4
In Rachel Vincent's Stray series, the herione Faythe cheats and is torn for a while between 2 men. She is reunited with her main man in the end.

Also, in Jeaniene Frost books does Cat have a relationship with someone after she leaves Bones in the beginning of the series?
Jena Briars
3. CutMyTeethOnKleypas
Normally, this is a MASSIVE turn-off for me, and the book becomes a "wall-banger" ;) HOWEVER - the ONLY exception that comes to mind is Eloisa James' Desperate Duchesses (and that whole series, I think) where there are two supporting characters (already married to eachother) and when she caught him cheating (years ago), she was devastated - fled to France - majorly got down with some French dudes, then (a couple years later) returned home and now they're "trying to work it out"...

I have to admit - Eloisa makes it work. It didn't sit well with me at first, but after reading the couple's interactions, I REALLY ended up rooting for them, and I even bought "their" book b/c I want to read about them both having the HEA.
Lege Artis
4. LegeArtis
With cheating heroines in romance there are always special circumstances, so you don't get bothered by that: misunderstanding, amnesia or she was decived or her husband/boyfriend loves to watch, or her husband is abusive sob who is written to be hated by readers... So not Diane Laine in Unfaithful.
I rememberd only one book where woman cheats on her husband beacuse she saw another man and she wanted him. It's called Playing Away by Adele Parks.Heroine has great marriage, wonderful husband, they don't have any problem in bed or out of it. Then she goes on business trip where she meets collegue who is sexy, charming, flirtacious. And she starts to lust for that man, she starts to pay attention what she eats, how she looks. She even thinks she is in love. Through all book you never have feeling it's anybody's fault but hers. It was very refreshing to read...
In Downside Ghost series, Chess has sexual relationship with Lex, but she is aware that she has something going on with Terrible. The best thing Stacia Kane did with infamous Graveyard scene is that she didn't give Chess free pass. You know there was on graveyard some strong, bad sex magic on work and that Chess was affected by it. But, never ever did she blame anything else but her alone for mess she made and the way she betrayed Terrible.
Marquita Valentine
5. Megan Winget
I don't know if this counts, but Francesca totally has sex with the Prince (I forget his name, the one who ends up with her friend in the end) - after having met and hooked up with James in Loretta Chase's Your Scandalous Ways.

But I don't know if it counts as cheating because 1) she's a courtesan, and was simply doing her job; 2) she really didn't want to be attracted to James - s0 she was trying to turn him off (I don't know if it counts as cheating if you're purposefully flaunting the cheating - cheating for me implies subterfuge); and 3) James totally didn't care - or maybe I should say he was in no way intimidated or put off by this act. If I remember correctly, it seemed like he thought it was infuriating but kind of funny at the same time. He saw it as a desperate move to piss him off, but not as a betrayal.

Is that cheating? I don't know. Loretta Chase Rocks!
Brianna
6. carmenlire
In Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas, Liberty hooks up with Hardy when she is in a relationship with Gage. Kleypas makes it work though because there's such a history between them.

And Eloisa James is the only author I could fathom who could make me accept adultery.
Marquita Valentine
7. chris booklover
I'm surprised that there are so few suggestions. This trope is not nearly as rare as sometimes believed. Here are a dozen examples, and I can easily list many others.

Kristen Ashley - At Peace
Jo Beverley - The Shattered Rose
Elizabeth Buchan - Perfect Love
Tori Carrington - Reckless Pleasures
Daphne Clair - Marriage Under Fire
Virginia Henley - Bold Conquest
Virginia Henley - The Raven and the Rose
Joan Kilby - When Love Is True
Denise Lynn - Bedded By Her Lord
Annette McCleave - Tempting The Knight
Mary Jo Putney - Silk and Secrets
S.C. Stephens - Thoughtless

There were no "special circumstances" in most of these cases. It seems that many romance readers are far more tolerant of cheating by heroines than by heroes. Cheating heroes are never allowed any extenuating circumstances, and are expected to grovel before they can attain their HEA's. Cheating heroines - not so much. Very few of them even apologize, much less grovel.
Kat Bernard
8. Abforth
I am really not in to cheating, it's actually why I didn't read to the end of Rachel Vincent's Faythe story. I just was not interested when she even contemplated it. I dislike people, not sure what that says about me... I like to be forgiving, but betrayal is a total turn off. Extenuating circumstances excluded to a certain degree.
Lindsay Beeson
9. lindsayb
Mary Jo Putney's Silk and Secrets.. the heroine Juliet shortly after she left Ross and was attempting to forget him.. not super sure I would have forgiven her, but it was a great book.
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