Jan 19 2013 2:00pm

Poll: What Quality is Most Important to You in a Heroine?

Irene Adler, aka The Woman, was strong, beautiful, smart as a whip, and totally in love with Sherlock. Are any of these qualities what you look for in a heroine though?We love our heroines here at Heroes and Heartbreakers, even when we think they make horrible mistakes, or might just be TSTL (Too Stupid To Live). A few weeks ago we asked you what quality you admire most in a hero. Turnabouts fair play, so now we want to know what quality in a heroine is most important to you. Do you look for someone who is the complete opposite of you or do you look for your romance doppleganger? Recently, we've been asking what comes next after the kick-ass heroine, but what do you look for when you pick out a book?

Let us know with this week's poll or in the comments!

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Roland D. Yeomans
1. Roland D. Yeomans
I find a caring heart teamed with a indominable spirit to be intriguing in a heroine. From Alice Wentworth, my Victorian ghoul, to Meilori Shinseen, a dimensional alien trapped on our shores, I make my heroines and femme fatales as well, full personalities with passion and angst.

I was so enamored of Ada Byron, Abigail Adams, and Margaret Fuller that I made them on-going heroines and villains in my novels. Give me strong women every time. :-)
Roland D. Yeomans
2. Libby F.
I like my heroines be be both competent and confident. Loretta Chases's heroine in Lord of Scoundrels may be my favorite.
Roland D. Yeomans
3. Katie T
Rationality, confidence, and intelligence without bitchiness. I hate strong confident heroines who consistently thwart the hero just for the sake of getting their own way no matter what.
Roland D. Yeomans
4. anieva
Sorry. A little off topic, but I had to mention it: The actress who played Irene Adler used to be married to the man who plays Charming on Once Upon a Time. Sorry if you knew. Just think it's interesting!
5. EvangelineHolland
Her intellect! I love heroines who can dish it back to the hero and tie him up in mental knots.
Allison Hickman
6. AllisonHickman
A combination of her personality, intellect & sense of humor. I couldn't pick "a little bit of each..." because her looks don't really matter to me much. Although I am getting a little tired of them all having red hair, it's become cliche!
Donna Kissam
7. The Cat Bastet
It's really more about chemistry with the hero(es), but since I value wit and intellect in heroes, I need that from the heroine, as well. I don't have to have the full-on Beatrice and Benedick, but I have a hard time enjoying anything that doesn't have some back-and-forth.

If an author has created a hero I really like, I want to feel like this heroine is the right fit for him and couldn't just be anyone. I read Courtney Milan's latest last week, and that's what I'm talking about: those two very specific people are the right fit. They are not cardboard cutouts, nor are they collections of quirks used in place of personalities.

There are some qualities I tend to have a hard time with, like downtrodden heroines. I do want good things for you, honey, and you should totally leave that guy who calls you fat and makes you doubt yourself and you can come and stay in my guest room! But I cannot identify with you, so I have to ignore the downtrodden part of you, and if the interaction centers too much on the hero saving you from drudgery and/or abuse, I just really...can't. I can't with you. It's like I'm so glad I'm not you that I can't fully give in to the story. I don't insert myself into the heroine's place when I read, but I'm a practical sort with a strong internal locus of control. A heroine to whom things just happen who gets a hero who makes bad things stop happening to her and good things start happening to her, you know, I'm happy for you, but I will always feel like the same qualities that allowed other people to run over her will allow the hero to run over her too, and it's just luck that he's not inclined to do that.
Mary Beth Bass
8. marybeth
I love especially self-aware heroines in the process of some transformation, like Calpurnia Hartwell in NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE and Amelia d'Orsay in ONE DANCE WITH A DUKE.
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