By Talia Hunter
Blame it on Elizabeth Bennett. In 1813 she traded elegant barbs with Mr Darcy, and smart women everywhere sat up and took notice. Elizabeth wasn’t afraid to speak her mind, and Darcy even admitted to her, “By you, I was properly humbled.”
What a revelation Elizabeth must have been back in 1813! She laid the groundwork for all the super-smart heroines who followed. And it’s good that she did, because without Elizabeth and other role models like her, women may not have come as far as we have.
The best women’s fiction features smart women breaking down boundaries. As Aretha Franklin put it, “sisters are doing it for themselves.” These are the kinds of books I write, because they’re the books I like to read. I like my fantasy worlds to be filled with kick-butt heroines who can win a game of Halo, write a piece of software, quote the latest stock market statistics, or figure out a complex equation.
And why are smart heroines such good news for romance readers? It’s because the men who fall for them have to be worthy, and can’t be insecure. If you want to find a really swoon-worthy guy, look for a heroine who deserves nothing less. A confident hero celebrates a strong woman’s achievements, and loves her all the more for being able to program his new remote after he gave up in frustration.
In Her Hot Number, the fact that Caylee’s a successful mathematician makes her irresistible to bad-boy Blake.
She’d devour her homework with complete concentration, barely noticing him as he lay on her bed, smoking cigarettes, drinking stolen beer, and watching her study. He’d leave his empty beer cans on the floor of her room, draw dirty pictures inside her textbooks, and flick ash into her drawers. And the whole time, she’d be totally absorbed in her work, figuring out long equations full of Xs and Ys with a tiny frown imprinted between her eyebrows. That was probably why he’d tried so hard to get her attention. If she’d given it easily, he wouldn’t have wanted it so badly.
These days, geek girls can have it all. Smart is sexy, and you never know the depth of passion that might be smoldering beneath a geek’s white lab coat or conservative business suit.
When I’m not writing, I work for a company that makes computer games. It’s geek central, and when I first started out in the industry many years ago, I’d often be the only woman in a daunting sea of men. Now I’ve been joined by more female software developers, 3-D artists, and game designers. We’ve still got a way to go, but with our fictional heroines helping encourage us, I’m confident for a bright and geeky future.
Now, anyone for a quick game of Halo?
About Talia Hunter:
Talia Hunter likes writing about smart, funny women, and the men who set their hearts on fire. Her motto is, If you aren’t laughing, you aren’t doing it right. A formerly committed city dweller, she’s recently moved to the country. She’s put in a veggie garden, learned how to make bread, and is now the proud owner of a pair of gum boots.
Make sure you check out Talia Hunter’s latest release, Her Hot Number.
One bad boy billionaire, plus one sexy geek equals one hot fling…
It’s a travel nightmare for mathematician Caylee Reynolds. It’s bad enough that her luggage was lost en route to her conference, but when she arrives at the Australian resort and learns that she’s also lost her reservation, Caylee’s ready to break down. Then things get even worse. The resort is owned by Blake Sampson―the bad boy who once took everything from her…
Blake thought he’d left his troubled past far behind him. Then the sexy-but-proper math guru he’s never been able to forget walks into his lobby. Hoping to show Caylee he’s changed, he offers to share his suite. Except the attraction between them only grows in such close quarters―exponentially.
Even though Blake’s incredibly successful—and hot—Caylee’s not sure she can risk her heart again. Not after the way he destroyed her trust when he disappeared years ago. But if she’s wrong in her calculations, she could lose everything…