Welcome to the Name Before the Masses Tour for the Shadows and Silk series by Sofie Darling. She stopped by today to share with us her Top 10 Heroines in Literature. Do you agree with her choices? I’ve also got a sneak peek into her books Three Lessons in Seduction and Tempted by the Viscount. Please be sure to leave her a question or comment. And then visit the rest of the tour so that you can read some of her other interviews and thoughts, plus some reviews and other excerpts. Be sure to enter the giveaway along the way!
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Sofie Darling’s Top 10 Favorite Heroines in Literature:
10. Lily Bart (The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton)
My apologies for starting the list with a tragic heroine, but I love Lily Bart. In the beginning of the novel, she is very difficult to like. She can be petty, small-minded, and superficial. But as Society knocks her down, notch by notch, Wharton deepens Lily and paints a sympathetic portrait of a woman who could never catch a break. How I wept and wept for Lily Bart.
9. Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte)
Quite simply, Jane never gives up. Life isn’t easy on her, yet she always picks herself up and gets on with it.
8. Penelope (The Odyssey by Homer)
Penelope doesn’t get enough credit. Odysseus was away from home for twenty years—twenty years!—both fighting in the Trojan War and journeying home. All the while, Penelope tended house and raised their son. But that’s not all: she had to fend off some rather aggressive suitors who would take their home by force. How did she do it? By employing a cunning that more than matches that of her wily husband.
7. Becky Sharpe (Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray)
Becky Sharpe is the ultimate anti-heroine. She’s bad girl, through and through. But she’s just so darn compelling with her can-do spirit. If only she would use that power and energy for good, but she never will. She’s a true scoundrel, that one. But, oh, how her antics make me smile.
6. Anna Karenina (Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy)
Another tragic heroine who’s a bit of a bad girl. But she’s more than that, too. Anna is deep and complex and a victim of her own desire. Tolstoy admitted that when he set out to write Anna Karenina, he didn’t like her. But over the course of the novel, she changed his mind. Her final chapter before she meets her tragic end is one of the best chapters in all of literature because of the sympathy and sensitivity of Tolstoy’s portrayal. She’s a character the romance writer inside me would love to redeem.
5. Submit Channing-Downes (Black Silk by Judith Ivory)
Submit Channing-Downes is the rare heroine in historical romance: she isn’t all that likeable. In fact, her name is a delicious irony. She’s intelligent, possessed of a wry sense of humor, and the perfect match for the notorious Graham Wessit. I reread this book once a year.
4. Anne Elliot (Persuasion by Jane Austen)
Anne Elliot is one of the quieter heroines of literature. But one shouldn’t underestimate her. Years ago, she was persuaded to give up the love of her life because he wasn’t “good enough.” When he returns, she proves she’s no mouse, but rather a lioness who will have her love and happy ending.
3.Bathsheba Everdene (Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy)
Bathsheba Everdene is a beautiful, larger-than-life heroine who, when she gets an idea in her head, she just goes for it. She is flawed and doesn’t always make the right choices, but her heart is pure gold. Hardy doesn’t always give his heroes and heroines happy endings, but I’m so glad he gave Bathsheba hers.
2. Elizabeth Bennett (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)
I’m not sure I have anything to say about Lizzie Bennett that hasn’t already been said. She is, quite simply, the archetype heroine for the modern historical romance, just as her love, Mr. Darcy, is for the hero. She’s lovely, intelligent, witty, and headstrong. And she gets her man. Oh, how I wanted to grow up to be her.
1. Dorothea Brooke (Middlemarch by George Eliot)
Dorothea Brooke will always be my favorite heroine. She begins the novel as a headstrong and naïve girl on the cusp of womanhood. The type who makes grand, idealistic statements about a world she’s never experienced. Then life and a disastrously bad marriage knock her about. But, ever spirited, Dorothea doesn’t stay down for long. Eventually, she finds her way and, bravely, her love.
Thank you so much for inviting me over today. This was so much fun!
Lord Nicholas Asquith needs his wife. Too bad he broke her heart ten years ago.
Can he resist a second chance at the love he lost?
When Mariana catches the eye of the man at the center of an assassination plot, Nick puts aside their painful past and enlists her to obtain information by any means necessary, even if it means seducing the enemy agent.
Even if the thought makes his blood boil.
Only by keeping his distance from Mariana these last ten years was he able to pretend indifference to her. With every moment spent with her, he feels his tightly held control slipping…
Can she trust the spy who broke her heart?
Mariana spent the last decade forgetting Nick. Now she has the chance to best him at his own game, an opportunity she can’t resist, even as her view of him begins to shift. Increasingly, she wants nothing more than to seduce her own husband . . .
It’s only a matter of time before mad passion ignites, a passion never convincingly extinguished. A passion that insists on surrendering to the yearning of the flesh and, quite possibly, of the heart.
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London, April 1825
Lord Jakob Radclyffe left his past behind in the Far East. Or so he thinks until a ruthless thief surfaces in London, threatening to ruin his daughter’s reputation. With the clock ticking, Jake needs the scandalous Lady Olivia Montfort’s connections in the art world to protect his daughter’s future.
Olivia, too, has a past she’d like to escape. By purchasing her very own Mayfair townhouse, she’ll be able to start a new life independent from all men. There’s one problem: she needs a powerful man’s name to do so. The Viscount St. Alban is the perfect name.
A bargain is struck.
What Olivia doesn’t anticipate is the temptation of the viscount. The undeniable spark of awareness that races between them subverts her vow to leave love behind. Soon, she has no choice but to rid her system of Jake by surrendering to her craving for a single scorching encounter.
But is once enough? Sometimes once only stokes the flame of desire higher and hotter. And sometimes once is all the heart needs to risk all and follow a mad passion wherever it may lead.
Read an excerpt from Tempted by the Viscount:
“And what in this world doesn’t a woman under the protection of a duke have at her fingertips?” Her own Mayfair townhouse, she didn’t reply. Instead, she pressed her lips together and held his piercing gaze. A possibility stole in. He wasn’t only a man. He was an opportunity. She and he each had something the other wanted. And they each had the power to give it to the other. It was simple. Misgiving seized her. This was Lord St. Alban. Nothing would remain simple with him for long. She felt it in her bones. But how badly did she want her independence? It felt like a test question. And Lord St. Alban was the correct answer.
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Sofie spent much of her twenties raising two boys and reading every book she could get her hands on. Once she realized that she was no longer satisfied with simply reading the books she loved, that she must write them, too, she decided to finish her degree and embark on a writing career. Mr. Darling and the boys gave her their wholehearted blessing.
When she’s not writing heroes who make her swoon, she runs a marathon in a different state every year, visits crumbling medieval castles whenever she gets a chance, and enjoys a slightly codependent relationship with her beagle, Bosco.
Sofie Darling will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.