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Vonda Sinclair | Strong and Unusual Heroines

October 14, 2011

I confess, I love creating heroines in my Scottish historical romances who are extraordinarily tough, resilient, and a bit outside the norm for historical romance. My heroines need to be strong in order to stand up to my Highland warrior heroes. These women have lived through difficult times or traumatic events before the opening of the story and are stronger for it.

Though Gwyneth, the heroine of MY FIERCE HIGHLANDER, is only twenty-three, she’s well beyond the school-girl stage. Caught in a horrible scandal, she’s forced to leave her home in England and journey to the Highlands of Scotland. There she has a child out of wedlock and marries a man she wishes she’d never seen. Now a widow, a mother and a healer, she’s become a survivor and a resourceful woman any of us might admire… all for the sake of her young son, so that he might have a better life one day. But when she saves the wounded chief of an enemy clan, she risks her life for the first time. To her, this man is worth the risk because she knows he wants peace as she does, and there’s something about him she can’t turn away from. She can’t let him lie on the battlefield and die. This shows her strength of character. She’s brave and believes in saving a life if she can. She feels that’s her responsibility as a healer, no matter who the injured person is.

Alasdair, the hero, is incredibly grateful to Gwyneth for saving his life when he was knocked out, and he’s more than willing to return the favor if he needs to. He can’t help but admire everything about Gwyneth. She is beautiful to him, strong and flexible as a willow tree, a good mother, a gifted healer. Can he help it that he falls for her?

In my second book, MY WILD HIGHLANDER, Angelique is only twenty but she’s had it with men. The year before, she’d thought she was in love and had planned to marry a man who turned out to be not only unfaithful but also brutal. Now, being forced to marry a roguish Scotsman is the last thing she wants, but she has little choice. Having survived a traumatic event, Angelique now carries weapons with which to defend herself. And those weapons come in handy on more than one occasion. Might she even save the life of her charming but too-trusting husband?

Lachlan, the hero, finally witnesses the vulnerability behind Angelique’s prickly, steel-hard façade. She can take care of herself–and he loves this about her–but he’d also like to be the one protecting her… and loving her, once he breaks through those walls.

You can’t help but root for strong, resourceful heroines who pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, try to make their own way in life despite it being the 1600s and a man’s world. There were limits to how much a woman was allowed to accomplish by herself back then, but I like for my heroines to test those boundaries and see how far forward they can go before they need a man’s help. And even then, sometimes it is the woman who saves the day.

Do you enjoy reading about strong heroines?

I’m giving away a copy of MY FIERCE HIGHLANDER to one commenter.

Vonda Sinclair’s favorite indulgent pastime is exploring Scotland, from Edinburgh to the untamed and windblown north coast. She also enjoys creating hot, Highland heroes and spirited lasses to drive them mad. She is a past Golden Heart finalist and Laurie award winner. She lives with her amazing and supportive husband in the mountains of North Carolina where she is no doubt creating another Scottish story. Find Vonda on, Facebook, and

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