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Monday Puzzler > A Strong Heroine--Through the Hero's Eyes: Monday Puzzler, June 26, 2017

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message 1: by Janga (new)

Janga | 1070 comments Mod
I expect strength in my heroines, but I hate it when a historical heroine behaves as if she had all the privileges women were denied until much later in history. This heroine’s strength is subtle, and it take much of the book for the hero to realize her strength. Even after his realization, it takes a demonstration for him to see the strength she possesses. (The excerpt is from two, non-consecutive sections.)

He walked for hours, barely noticing sunset give way to twilight, twilight to darkness. Walking and thinking, questioning, holding his most basic assumptions to the fire of D____’s words, of Heroine’s eyes. Had he been wrong, seeking to shield her from the knowledge of all he had done? Been using the excuse of protecting her, when in fact all he’d really wanted was to protect himself?

By refusing to allow her to see him, all of him, not only his talents and good tempers, but also his most shameful mistakes, his worst sins, had he also been refusing to see her? By protecting her from all her father had done, had he been denying her true strength? Had he treated her like a child, a china doll, to be wrapped carefully in cotton wool, rather than like a human being with the ability to change, to grow?

To forgive?

The strength to forgive . . .

Did she have it within her?

He would never know, not for certain, unless he gave her the chance.

When at last he returned to his Bloomsbury rooms, long after the bells of St. Giles had tolled the turning of the day, he picked up his pen and recorded the whereabouts of the late Viscount S_____’s paramour. But he did not address his note to T___ P_________, as he had intended before D_____’s words had so impressed themselves on his brain. Instead, in large, elegant copperplate, he wrote:
Miss Heroine

Then willed himself the patience, this once, to allow her to be the one to act.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

But as she looked up at him and placed a palm against his cheek, she no longer seemed like a fragile child. And her words were not those of a child, but of a woman, a woman made not weak by their shameful revelations, but immeasurably strong by the trust the sharing had demanded.

“I’m so very tired of being angry,” she said. “Fair fagged with the weight of it. I want to love again, and be loved. But I am not M___ C________, Hero. You can’t save her by marrying me.” She covered his lips with her hand when he opened his mouth to respond. “I’m not M____ C_________, for I have an opportunity she never had. I have the chance to choose. You cannot choose for me as Lord J___ chose for her. I choose for myself. And I choose this— this feeling, this passion that lies between us. I choose you, Hero. You, your secrets and your faults, your anger and your pain.”

He brought his hand up to cover hers, awe and gratitude tightening his chest. But again she did not allow him to speak, rushing to finish what she had begun. “The only question that remains, then, is what do you choose? Do you choose me? Me, Heroine? My guilt and my pain? Do you choose me, Hero, as I choose you?”

The words hung in the air for a long moment as he looked into the pools of her dark, dark eyes, struck dumb by her words. Rather than be led by duty and responsibility, could he choose her simply because he wanted her? Could he, a mere second-generation baronet, choose this lovely, laughing, evisceratingly honest daughter of a viscount?

He’d spent so much time telling himself she could not want him. But had he ever spared a moment to ask himself if he might want her? Yes, he’d been amazingly oblivious to the fact that now stood, or rather sat, staring at him with indulgent patience right in the face. He, Hero, wanted Heroine, not only with his lips or mouth or his all-too-unruly cock, but with his mind, with his spirit, with his newly discovered and rather painfully vulnerable heart.

message 2: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 711 comments Mmn not sure I've read this one!

Stacey is Sassy (StaceyisSassy) | 718 comments I don't recognise this one but it sounds interesting. :-)

Aly is so frigging bored | 476 comments Mod
I don't think I've read it...

message 5: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Hill | 473 comments .....I'm pretty sure I have not read it..

message 6: by Dls (new)

Dls | 1722 comments Mod
Definitely haven't read it

message 7: by Phoenix77 (new)

Phoenix77 | 344 comments No idea, but I want to know!

message 8: by Irisheyes (new)

Irisheyes | 779 comments No clue

message 9: by Susan (new)

Susan (SusaninAZ) | 739 comments Such a raw proposal scene! This is why we read the genre.

message 10: by Manda (new)

Manda Collins (Manda_Collins) | 1637 comments Mod
No idea :(

message 11: by Janga (new)

Janga | 1070 comments Mod
Sorry, I forgot to post the answer last night. The puzzler is from A Man without a Mistress by Bliss Bennet. I think it stayed under the radar, but I liked it.

message 12: by Phoenix77 (new)

Phoenix77 | 344 comments I read the third book of that series and thought it was good. The next one looks interesting too.

message 13: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 711 comments I've never read Bliss Bennet! will have to go look her up!

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