One of my pet peeves is the woman in trouble who can’t survive until a big strong man comes along and gives her a life. When it’s well done I can live with it, but this trope seems to be the case with so many romance books.
Strong, successful women can find love, too.
I began my writing career with the Safeword series, and I became known for writing strong women and even stronger men. The phrase strong submissive may seem an oxymoron to those not in the lifestyle, but I can assure you I know a whole lot more strong women who happen to be submissive than I do the weak variety.
However, I’ve switched it up a little in my paranormal romance books. For instance, in Duke’s story, Gen is used to her mom and big brother shielding her from the men who are rough around the edges, so she’s out of her element with Duke. She’s a seasoned commercial realtor who’s used to negotiating multi-million dollar land deals… and yet she’s so naïve when it comes to romantic relationships.
The Swan Princess has never left her father’s mansion. Sophia is my first virgin, but once again I didn’t write a weak woman. She has a lot to learn about the world, but she rescues herself and flies hundreds of miles on her virgin flight to reach The Dragon King, who long ago offered to help her if she ever needed assistance. Yes, she gets help from a man, but she doesn’t sacrifice her scruples to secure it. She comes into her own power, and she doesn’t take anyone’s help for granted.
In my universe, deer shifters live in their own little enclave. They’re much too timid and too easily startled to survive in human society, so the strongest of them venture out to shop when necessary, but otherwise the group stays on their property and away from humans. Bringing a deer shifter into the real world and having her fall in love with a wolf was a challenge, but I hope I succeeded. Nix is currently the only novella in my RTMC series, and I hope he’s a fun, quick little read.
My leading women know who they are, and they don’t sacrifice their principles to get what they want or need. Most are successful with enough money to live on, though some are younger and still getting their education — but they’re on their way to success. They all have faults and weaknesses because don’t we all? But they’re strong.
I’ve written one woman who is rescued from a bad situation by a big, strong, rich, ancient vampire. It isn’t a romance — it’s a dark story with a pleasing ending but no happily-ever-after. Indentured Freedom is so different from everything I’ve written before… and yet this wolf isn’t a timid shapeshifter looking for someone to rescue her. She becomes a prostitute to make money when there are no other options, but this is not Pretty Woman and the vampire who takes her on is no Richard Gere.
Those are my weakest women. Samantha from the Matte quadrilogy is an attorney and an MMA fighter. Constance from Gonzo is a research scientist for a pharmaceutical company, and she took responsibility for her junkie sister with her whole heart. Angelica from the Bash trilogy is a mechanical and electrical engineer for TVA, and she’s the daughter of the Atlanta RTMC president, which in this case means she’s a bad-ass.
As an author, I feel an obligation to stop perpetuating the weak woman who has to be rescued by a man. The world is full of strong women who’ve found their soul mate. I’d like to think there are readers who want to read about them instead of the helpless female who can’t survive on her own. I’ve been married to the love of my life for nineteen years, and he’s in my life because I want him there. I met him at 28 and married him at 30, even though I didn’t intend to marry because I liked my life. He swept me off my feet and made me want him in my life, and that’s the kind of story I want to write.
My new release is Uncaged, and Keisha has grown strong despite her early beginnings as a spoiled brat. She needs help getting on her feet at the beginning of the story, but by the end she’s with her man because she chooses to be, not because she has no other choice. I rarely delve into the second-chance romance thing because trust is such a hot-button issue for me, but as I was writing Ghost’s story, these characters insisted I tell their story and give them their happily ever after. I hope I’ve done right by both.
What about you? Do you prefer Cinderella or Anna from Frozen? Of the Disney princesses, Anna and Mulan are my favorites, though I also like Mulan and Pocahontas. Oh, and the little girl from Wreck it Ralph. I would love to see Vanellope von Schweetz all grown up and kicking ass!
Candace writes Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Contemporary BDSM Romance, and a kick-ass Motorcycle Club series.
Her urban fantasy series, Only Human, gives us a world where weredragons, werewolves, werelions, three different species of vampires, as well as a variety of other mythological beings exist.
Candace's two paranormal romance series, The Chattanooga Supernaturals and The Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club, are both sister series to the Only Human series, and give some secondary characters their happily ever after.
Her Safeword Series gives us characters who happen to have some extreme kinks. Relationships can be difficult enough without throwing power exchange into the mix, and her books show characters who care enough about each other to fight to make the relationship work. Each couple in the Safeword series gives the reader a different take on the lifestyle.
You can visit Candace on the web at candaceblevins.com and feel free to friend her on Facebook at facebook.com/candacesblevins and Goodreads at goodreads.com/CandaceBlevins. You can also join facebook.com/groups/CandacesKinksters to get sneak peeks into what she's writing now, images that inspire her, and the occasional juicy blurb.