Monday, May 13, 2013

Five Reasons Why Moms Make the Best Heroines

Hi, all, Jennifer here!

Hope all you mothers out there had a fantastic Mother's Day!

As I was going through my bookcase, I realized something. Most of the romance books I've read involved heroines who were (or expecting to be) MOTHERS.

So I put my author's hat on and got to thinking.
Mothers really do make the best heroines and here's why:

1) they're self-sacrificing—most of the "mom" heroines in romances have given up their dreams, sometimes their families, and even their schooling to have a baby out of wedlock to raise on their own.

2) they're sympathetic—every reader can relate to what the "mom" heroine is going through because even if you're not a have or have had one.

3) they're loving—the "mom" heroine shows that she's capable of giving a lot of love to her future hero through the way she interacts with her child/children. Instant likeability.

4) they're savvy and hardworking—somehow with all the sacrifices this "mom" heroine has made to be a single mother, her children are not starving nor are they collecting food stamps. Obviously, this heroine knows how to balance a checkbook and make a dollar stretch.

5) they're independent—they all can cook and take care of themselves. Maybe the "mom" heroine is not the best cook in the world (although sometimes she is), but this character knows more than how to boil water. And her children—and future hero--appreciate whatever she puts on the table as well as the fact that she does not need to rely on anyone.

Now what hero wouldn't want to be with a woman like that?

See? They're ideal heroines.

Funny, but I've personally only written one heroine who was already a mother before she met my hero. It was my first book published: The Role of a Lifetime. But every other book I've written involved heroines who became mothers or hinted to the fact that they would make great future mothers. And isn't that the ultimate happily ever after in so many romance novels?

Some of my personal favorite romances involving a heroine who is a mother are:

Nobody's Baby but Mine—Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Expecting Royal Twins! by Melissa McClone

Crazy Little Thing by Tracy Brogan

Three River Ranch by Roxanne Snopek

Somebody to Love by Kristan Higgins

Maid for Love by Marie Force

Big thanks to my own mom on this post-Mother's Day day. She is a woman who encompasses all those traits I mentioned and more and has inspired a lot of my best heroines. :)

It's obviously very romantic to be a mother! :)

Do you think mothers make great heroines too? Do you have a favorite book that involves a mom as the heroine?

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a sweet romance author for Samhain, Montlake and Entangled Publishing who also happens to be a mom, pharmacist, Red Sox fan, P90x grad, and overall nice person. Check out her latest release: A LITTLE BIT CUPID at an e-tailer near your computer. :)


  1. I never thought about it before, but you are absolutely right. I'm going to see stories with a mom differently from now on.

  2. You are right, Jennifer. Mothers make great heroines and the kids usually are good at both relieving the tension and building it. All three of my 2013 books have mothers as heroines. :)

    I read and enjoyed both Marie's and Tracy's books. Gosh, I've read nearly a dozen Special Editions in the past month--almost all with moms--that's what I usually buy. I guess in my case, it's where I am in my life! In the teenage trenches, all the way down to the sweetness of elementary school.

    Great post. :)

  3. Great points! I agree! :) I think we need to see more Mom heroine books out there.

  4. Yay for moms! I've never written a mom heroine before. Perhaps I should rethink :)

  5. I think the most recent novel I read where the heroine was a mother was Shirley Jump's "The Beauty Charmed Santa," and it was great. My first novel (that lives buried in a drawer somewhere) had a young mother as a heroine.

  6. In romantic suspense, writing a mom with young children is tricky. When she's on the run, hiding from a killer, or dodging bullets, that's no time to have a child in tow and I don't particularly enjoy reading about a child in danger either. The logistics get to me. Like, "wait, no car seat?" or "how is that newborn not eating every 2-3 hours and/or crying from time to time?"

    Love the mom and stroller picture at the top of the post, BTW.

    1. Ha! Yes, I can definitely see where it would get tricky in suspense.

      Thanks. I loved that picture too. :)

  7. Great post, Jennifer! I hadn't thought about it, but moms do have all the right qualities. I've only written kind of a fill-in mom, in a romantic suspense, and it was quite challenging.

    Although in a contemporary, I could see where there'd be lots of room for laughs. And tugs on those heartstrings. :)

  8. I love Marmee in Little Women!! She raised those wonderful girls to be independent, strong and to follow their dreams!! yay for heroine mums!!! Take care

  9. Oh yes! My nearly completed, edited and ready for a beta reader MS has a mother heroine. :) I admit, I had fun with the baby. The mom resembled all my great heroines...which is perfect.

  10. What an insightful post, Jennifer! I agree with C.J. that moms in romantic suspense are tricky, and I personally can't handle children in jeopardy. But you're right: moms are awesome, and kids are a great way to show a different side of a heroine. I'm currently writing about a newly pregnant heroine, and the pregnancy gives me a chance to show her softer, more vulnerable side. I hadn't thought about it that way before. :-)

  11. Great points, Jennifer, but not sure I agree. Maybe because I read a lot of action and paranormal. I'm trying to think of a paranormal with a heroine who's a mom and I'm coming up blank.

    1. HA! You are right about that! Maybe you can start a new trend... :)

  12. Aww, this post makes me want to call my mommy and tell her she's my favorite heroine! All your points are sooo right!

  13. Jen, you are spot-on. I loved reading this. And I made everyone at this house read it too. :-)