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Hero/Heroine Preference

If you had to choose right now between the following storylines, which would you buy?

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I’ve only put two choices in the poll because I really want to know, given your druthers, which story you would pick up first. Right now, because there are so many of the “hero in pursuit” stories, I tend to like the heroine in pursuit, but I’ve always had a weakness for the undeterred hero such as the ones that Helen Brooks writes about. I feel like the hero in pursuit first came to real prominence with Stephanie Laurens, but there is a difference between hero in pursuit of marriage and a hero who really loves a heroine and goes balls out to get her, no matter the roadblocks.

What about you?

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Jeanne St. James
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 10:02:57

    Wow, that was a tough decision. But I like a strong heroine who knows what she wants and goes after it.

  2. theo
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 10:15:28

    I find few heroines strong enough, in a self-contained HEA to believably pursue the hero. At least for me. I do realize not everyone feels that way. But I do.

  3. Angela James
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 10:22:12

    I’m not ashamed to say I like hero in pursuit stories. It’s one of the reason’s I love Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series. She writes them very well, while still pulling off a strong heroine.

  4. Elizabeth
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 10:37:14

    I picked hero in pursuit because it seems the romance novels I read almost always feature a heroine who pursues the hero, often because she comes to the realization sooner that she loves him. I like it when it’s the hero who has acknowledged and accepted his feelings first and then has to do the convincing and pursuing. And not pursuing her just because he wants to see her naked.

  5. Darlynne
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 10:51:04

    Strangely, I flashed for a moment on “Fatal Attraction” when I thought about women in pursuit. And then remembered a book about a successful doctor coming back to her hometown in an effort to win the high school hottie who’d ignored her, wherein she spent most of her time calling her best friend about “he said this,” “he looked at me.” Ugh. Done right, I enjoy all pursuits, but not if they’re stalker-like or juvenile.

  6. Alice
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 11:37:40

    Both. I love boths. This is too hard.
    But I completely agree with “a hero who really loves a heroine and goes balls out to get her, no matter the roadblocks.”
    So, I guess, hero in pursuit in that case. Not the pursuit for marriage, or pursuit due to instant lust.
    The heroine too. Not for some infatuation, but that fact she really cares.

  7. kirsten saell
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 12:17:15

    I voted hero in pursuit, but only because that’s the kind of mood I’m in right now.

    I’ve written and read and loved both, and from my experiences as an author and a reader, I’d have to say it’s hard to pull off the heroine in pursuit without her coming off as domineering, stalkerish, juvenile or mercenary. But when it’s done right, damn it’s good.

  8. Kay Sisk
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 13:18:53

    Hero in pursuit. But, oh, to find the book where she chases him until he catches her!

  9. joanne
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 17:28:53

    I took waaay too long to decide because I love a book where the hero is totally committed early in the story and has to work for his HEA.

    I voted for heroine in pursuit because there aren’t many of those plots done and I think that it could lend itself to a lighter, funnier story, especially in Historical Romance.

    Contemporarys could be good ……… as long as the heroine didn’t change everything about herself in a complete make-over while in that pursuit.

  10. TracyS
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 17:30:52

    a hero who really loves a heroine and goes balls out to get her, no matter the roadblocks.

    I love that phrase!

  11. Ann Somerville
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 17:38:31

    Hero in pursuit, because I imprinted early on Mr Rochester and Captain Wentworth, and I do love a man who values a woman enough to woo her.

  12. Angela James
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 17:47:25

    What are some examples of good heroine in pursuit books?

  13. Lori
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 17:56:14

    Darlynne mentioned Kristan Higgin’s book which I enjoyed so much. The heroine in pursuit of the hottie while Mr. Perfect was right there the entire time.

    And there’s Jennifer Cruisies Crazy For You where the women all went for their HEAs and all got them in different ways (including the heroine, her best friend, her mother and even the Bank Slut).

  14. Evangeline
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 18:58:14

    Heroine in pursuit! But probably because I adore screwball comedies, which tend to feature strong-willed women entangling the clueless or resistant men they want in scrape after scrape to make him see they are the one! And my favorite Victoria Holt gothics feature heroines who are fierce in love and don’t hide their attraction to the hero.

  15. willaful
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 19:08:27

    Hero, mainly because I find books where the hero is kinda “meh” about the heroine to be very unappealing.

  16. kirsten saell
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 20:19:21

    Angela James said:

    What are some examples of good heroine in pursuit books?

    I feel kind of silly recommending Samhain books to you, but I can’t imagine you get a chance to read every Samhain book, either.

    I adored Bonnie Dee’s The Countess Takes a Lover. Older, experienced woman, younger, untried man. Haven’t read The Countess Lends a Hand yet, but I would assume it is rather similar in that the woman initially sets her sights on the man she wants.

    Actually, much of Bonnie Dee’s stuff features a beta hero and a woman who is largely in charge of the courtship. I loved her Bone Deep, as well.

    My own Healer’s Touch is the story of a whore who sets out to seduce a very reluctant, almost virginal hero. I really do love the notion of a woman knowing exactly what she wants, and setting out to get it–although I won’t deny there’s a certain appeal to having the hero convince her he’s what she really wants, and making her succumb to his seduction.

  17. Angela James
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 20:29:30

    @Kirsten I like it when people recommend Samhain books to me. There’s no possible way I could read every one of them, though I wish there was. I’d never get to read anything else!

    I have, however, read Healer’s Touch and it’s a good recommendations. But I haven’t read Bonnie’s book, so I’ll check that out.

    @Lori, I’ve read all of those. Despite the fact that I loved the Kristen Higgins’ book, I’m not sure I think it qualifies as a strong heroine pursuing the hero, but I don’t think I can articulate why.

  18. KristieJ
    Dec 23, 2008 @ 05:43:42

    I picked hero in pursuit because I love seeing the hero working for the heroine and it see,s to put the heroine more in a position of power.

  19. karmelrio
    Dec 23, 2008 @ 11:26:00

    Can’t choose – it depends on the hero, heroine and the set-up.

  20. alusandrea
    Dec 25, 2008 @ 02:12:29

    Hero in pursuit. I admit I have a double standard because when the heroine pursues a hero that doesn’t want her at first she looks desperate and the hero often ends up annoying me. I especially love when the hero is rally in love with the heroine and the heroine is also attracted to the hero. When the heroine says no repeatedly it grows irritating, but I must say that a hero that goes after the woman he loves, destroying all obstacles through whatever means (short of rape) is very attractive. I agree with an earlier poster; that attitude is what makes me love the Nalini Singh Psy/Changeling series and some of Connie Brockway’s novels. It’s so romantic when the hero woos the heroine, gently (and at times not so gently) helping her get over her issues and doubts and making sure that everyone knows that he wants her and only her.

  21. ldb
    Dec 26, 2008 @ 17:47:30

    Hero, I love a man who wants the woman so much he’ll do anything to get her, so long as the heroine in this case isn’t the main obstical to be overcome, cause I get really annoyed when the heroine doesn’t see how great the hero is.

  22. SonomaLass
    Dec 26, 2008 @ 20:06:55

    Heroine! When she’s in pursuit, she’s less likely to end up being TSTL. I love a strong woman who knows what she wants and goes after it, rather than running away from a good thing (for reasons that are often hard to swallow as a reader).

  23. REVIEW: The Millionaire’s Prospective Wife by Helen Brooks | Dear Author: Romance Book Reviews, Author Interviews, and Commentary
    Dec 27, 2008 @ 14:50:36

    […] hadn’t bought this before, but alas, I had.  Fortunately I only paid $1.57 (1.07 ).  When I wrote up this poll the other day, I thought of your books or at least the ones that had this storyline:  man falls […]

  24. April
    Dec 29, 2008 @ 06:50:50

    Hero, I love a man who wants the woman so much he'll do anything to get her, so long as the heroine in this case isn't the main obstical to be overcome, cause I get really annoyed when the heroine doesn't see how great the hero is.

    Nodding head

    I’m so tired of reading romances that feature the heroine falling in love with the hero, but the hero having to realize that he actually loves her (usually after a wedding has already taken place).

    a hero who really loves a heroine and goes balls out to get her, no matter the roadblocks.

    Yes. Since romances are often told with a female audience in mind, the fantasy is that there would be some man out there that would love his woman so much that he would be willing to do anything to get her. *note* this fantasy does not include violent, jealous, woman-beater/raper types

  25. Bridget Meester
    Jul 12, 2009 @ 08:47:43

    Im writing a romance novel and at this point im at a writers block. I know what i want to write about but I dont know how to make the plot different from other books ive read such as the Twilight series, the Vampire Kisses etc. etc. In the book the hero must pursue the heroine, her life depends on it. He has a dark background and does not want her to suffer from it. I write both point of views in the book, the herione’s(first point of view) and hero’s(third person). Can anyone help me with how I should explicate on the hero’s feelings so it doesnt sound too emotional??

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