Girl power is one of the best things about romance and a big reason why most of us read it. The heroines we meet are usually strong and independent, but some stand out for being truly badass.
These are some of my favorite stories and most-loved heroines. These are in no particular order, except for Ash. She’s at the top of the list for obvious reasons, but these women are all forces of nature.
I can’t think of another heroine as tough, both physically and mentally, as Ash. She’s been through so much already, but willingly signed up for more. She jumps at every chance to advance her mission and never shies away. No job is too dangerous for her.
Ash has dedicated her life to righting the wrongs of others and saving the innocent, kicking ass and taking names the whole time. Mired in a life of crime for a good cause, Ash’s selfless dedication was rewarded when she found the only man who could ever be worthy of her.
Henley has one weakness and the men in her life love to exploit it — and her — for their pleasure. But they mistake her desire for weakness, and nothing could be further from the truth. They think they can break her but she turns the tables.
Her story is dark and depraved but she fights her way through and comes out whole.
Viv doesn’t just lose the love of her life and her best friend when Reeve breaks her heart; It’s also public humiliation thanks to his new Hollywood role. She flees to Ireland to find anonymity again but gets more than she bargained for when she meets Dillon O’Donoghue.
Their tumultuous relationship breaks her heart for a second time but that’s nothing compared to what happens in the second book, Let Me Love You. Her strength gets tested again and again but she always rises to the challenge.
Tatiana has been tortured and blackmailed since she was a teen. She’s at the mercy of a twisted mind who’s also one of the most powerful criminals in the world. The magnitude of her suffering is incredible as she’s been forcibly separated from her family and lost the thing most important to her in the world.
But she never gives up, always fighting, determined to whatever it takes to save the person she loves most in the world.
Can you imagine waking up from a coma to learn your husband and your best friend got carried away comforting one another and are now sleeping together?
Me neither. Anna doesn’t sit around feeling sorry for herself though. She continues to live her life despite the fact that it’s a completely different life than the one she had before the accident.
Dani risks her life to save a stranger she doesn’t even like. Even when it seems that all hope is lost, she refuses to give up and finds a way. This is one of those books that will give you all the feels because these characters are everything.
Life has been rough for Anna and just as she seems to have found a safe niche, her peaceful life is turned upside down in the worst way. She’s scared and for good reason, as people work to rip her life apart at the seams. Forcing herself to trust someone again is the best way to solve her immediate problems but the prospect of trusting Mason is terrifying.
She faces that fear head-on, swallowing her pride to help those she loves.
Rena’s entire adult life has been a living nightmare until the moment her cruel husband takes his last breath. Now she’s free of him but years of abuse have changed her and she’s crippled by guilt for her joy at his death.
She’s rebuilding her life slowly but it turns out being a mafia widow is even more dangerous than being a mafia wife.
Life hasn’t been kind to Jen so she’s a pretty tough cookie already when she meets Lucio. Good thing because being the queen of the Sicilian mafia isn’t a position for the faint of heart. Her humble beginnings with her absolute nightmare of a mother have made her feel unworthy but she lets Lucio pull her into his world and comes into her own as the queen she was always meant to be.
Amelia is a sweet baker who keeps to herself but under that quiet exterior, she’s one tough cookie. She’s spent her life hiding, moving to avoid trouble, never forming attachments. It was working just fine until she met Sam. Now she’s got a bounty on her head and she’s in love with the boss of the Philly mob, so there’s danger everywhere. But she’s a crack shot and she’s done hiding because this is home now and she’s not leaving.
Mara Eldritch has it rough and it’s always been that way for her. She’s a struggling artist who never catches a break and things go from bad to worse when a serial killer sets his sights on her. But he doesn’t murder her, he tortures her and leaves her as a prize for another killer, his twisted opponent in a deadly game.
She’s scared of Cole but also intrigued so when he starts drawing her into his world, she enters freely. As he draws her out of her shell, Mara begins to realize that good and evil aren’t as black and white as she’d always believed. Her outlook is changing and it’s transforming every aspect of her life, for better or worse.
One of the most unique heroines I’ve read in a long time, Aisling Fitzpatrick wasn’t at all what I expected. She seems like the quintessential good girl in the earlier books but here we learn that we know nothing of the real Aisling. She carries the weight of the world on her shoulders and has secrets no one would ever guess.
Mal is the most feared hitman in the world and he’s out for revenge, ready to kill the people responsible for his brother’s death. When the man he wants continues to stay just out of reach, Mal decides to take someone close to him instead.
With most people, that would have worked but not with Riley Keller. She scoffs at him instead of cowering. And she stands up to the Bratva boss to defend her man. She’s hilarious and tough and absolutely perfect.