10 Romance Heroines We Love

Written by: Carla De Guzman/Friday, Feb 09, 2018 05:30 AM

So you want to read romance to celebrate the month of love. We think that’s a great idea! There’s nothing like a romance to cuddle up with and get lost in. Immersive worlds, juicy conflict and happy endings, we know to expect all of that. The almost formulaic approach to the genre creates a space of safety and comfort, in a world where women are allowed to pursue whatever it is they excel in, fall in love with guys of their choosing. Ah, what a perfect world that would be! In this list, we talk about the ten romance heroines we love, and why they’re worthy of going to the top of your to-be-read pile. 

 

Kaya Rubio from "Beginner’s Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions" by Six De los Reyes 

Kaya has never felt like she fit in anywhere, certainly not with her family, who keep asking her about dates and boyfriends when she’s focused on Molecular Genetics and the sciences. Her Boyfriend Experiment set up is something we’ve always wanted to try for ourselves, and her quest to understand romantic relationships makes you want to hug her. It’s easy to see why cafe owner Nero, and negative control for Kaya’s experiment, begins to fall for her.     

 

Daphne Cardenas from "Better At Weddings Than You" by Mina V. Esguerra

Daphne is career goals, okay. This is the kind of girl who gets sponsors for her birthday party, which she also turns into a networking event. This is a girl who takes nobody’s shit, especially not fellow wedding planner Aaron’s. Finally, finally we get a thirty plus year old Filipina character who is just done with the dating scene and finding The One, which of course, means that she finds the one. 

 

Elle Burns from "An Extraordinary Union" by Alyssa Cole

Hailed as one of the best romance books of 2017 (and we agree!) Alyssa Cole’s An Extraordinary Union introduces us to Elle Burns. A former slave during the Civil War, Elle had her freedom. She could have lived a full and happy life away from the war. But her sense of justice is too strong, and so she puts herself at risk and goes back into the deep South. Her eidetic memory is put to good use by being a spy under Mister Pinkerton’s Secret Service. 

 

Lily Lamprey from "Pretty Face" by Lucy Parker

After playing a blonde bombshell on TV for as long as she has, Lily is feeling a little too cooped up in the blonde airhead stereotype. When she gets cast in a Queen Elizabeth I play with legendary director Luc Savage, she seizes the chance to turn her career around for the better. The witty repartee between Luc and Lily aside, we love how Lily stays firm in her convictions, and not once does she whine or complain about the hoops people make her jump through the minute she meets them, just because she’s got big boobs, a breathy voice and gorgeous blonde hair. 

 

Peyton Riley from The Takedown Series by Bianca Mori

If we’re talking literal badass romance heroines, Peyton Riley should be at the top of your list. Her red hair and pretty face shouldn’t fool you—this woman is trained to infiltrate, steal and even kill if she has to. But redemption stories never come easy, and Peyton has to make a decision now or risk losing everything. 

 

Erin Javier from Waiting in the Wings by Tara Frejas

As an actress for a local production company, Erin knows how to act like she’s falling in love. She hasn’t experienced it in real life though. Erin is a wonderful reminder that ‘awesomeness’ isn’t always about external factors. Sometimes it comes from within, where you push other people to do well, and do everything you can to make them happy. 

 

Sadia Ahmed from Wong to Need You by Alisha Rai

If you met Sadia on the street, you wouldn’t think very much about her. She’s a harried, single mom, who recently lost her husband in a hiking accident. But reading Alisha Rai’s book, Wrong To Need You, reminds you that there’s always more to someone that what you see. Sadia may be the perfect mother, but she’s struggling too. She doesn’t exactly love running her husband’s old cafe, she doesn’t like being in debt. She does like picking up shifts as a bartender, though. And she likes to use that job to find a hookup for the night, man or woman. Those contrasts are what makes Jackson Kane fall for her, and their tumultuous falling makes for a hot, hot romance book. 

 

Rose Shannon from "Submission Moves" by Camilla Sisco

If love was a battlefield, we would want Rose on our side, any day. A staunch feminist, Rose is strong in her convictions and works hard for them. But what I love most about Rose is when she surrenders to her attraction for Nick. I always feel like she’s making that conscious choice, which we so rarely see in romance or in every day life, really. 

 

Kris from "You Out of Nowhere" by Jay E. Tria

People on the Internet are calling this story the ‘ultimate tita romance’, which is probably one of the best reasons why you should pick it up. Kris is older than Ringo, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t like it when he smiles at her or flirts with her on the MRT. We love that Kris is independent and doesn’t take shit with any hint of your every day mean girl. She’s just happy with who she is, which is why Ringo falls in love with her even faster. 


Penelope Featherington from "Romancing Mister Bridgerton" by Julia Quinn

Unrequited love has never been this sweet. Penelope is the less attractive, spinster sister among the Featheringtons, but even while reading the book, you get a sense of her humor and her wit. Certainly enough for the most handsome of the Bridgerton brothers, Colin, to start falling in love with her. But when a secret of Penelope’s is exposed (making her even more awesome in our eyes) in the plot twist of the century, it’s Penelope’s wit that she has to keep about her as she faces the possible consequences. 

 

What are your favorite romance books?

 

 

About Carla De Guzman
Carla de Guzman is the author of self-published books Cities, Marry Me Charlotte B! and We Go Together. She loves to travel, coming home to her dog Kimchi and spending her weekends having dinner with her crazy family by day. By night, she’s writer and an artist, spending her midnights at her desk. Follow her on Instagram (@somemidnights) for more!
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