As the late Helen Gurley Brown said, “Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.” And they do it on their own terms. What’s not to love about a bad girl? A woman who can fight, win, survive, triumph and usually score the love of a hot guy along the way? Who knows her way around a gun, a lock pick, a grimoire, a hell dimension and a bedroom? Who can slay a vampire or seduce one, as the situation demands?
Now, I understand the allure of the bad boy. The loner. The rebel in black leather. But bad girls will beat out bad guys any time. A woman who kicks butt has to be stronger and faster and just damned smarter. Women are usually smaller than men, so they have to learn to think in a tight situation. They can’t always rely on physical superiority. So they make sure they’re the best they can be. Bad girls can outgun and outfight their opponents but they can outsmart them as well.
My heroines in both Shadow Kin and Blood Kin are bad girls. I loved writing them. They are strong, strong women. They have survived their circumstances and learned to prosper. They use the skills they’ve honed and the brains they were born with. They are fight for what they want. They live fiercely and do their best not to be dragged over the lines they draw for themselves. They’ve learned the hard way that the world isn’t black and white, that evil exists and that there are few people they can trust. And yet, they’re not hopeless, they keep trying. They bend but they don’t break and when they fall in love, they bring all that fierceness, that passion, that will to have what they want to the one they love.
It takes a strong man to love a bad girl. To accept her for who she is and what she’s done. To be willing to stand by her, to stand strong, to know that together, both of you can be stronger and better. A good man. Bad boys can sweep you off your feet. Good men help you stand on your own two feet. Good men can show a bad girl how to be even more. And bad girls can show good men a whole ‘nother world. Help them loose that inner bad boy when he’s needed.
After all, relationships can be like a battle sometimes. You have to fight for what you want. You have to fight to protect what’s yours. To keep going when things get tough. To hang in there until you win. Bad boys will climb on their motorbikes and ride off into the sunset. Bad girls will stand their ground and stake their claim and refuse to retreat. They’ll keep what’s theirs come hellbeasts or high water. They’re not always easy but they always fascinating. At least, my heroes seem to think so…and I tend to agree with them.
I was born in Melbourne, Australia but grew up in various green and grassy parts of Victoria. I moved back to Melbourne for uni and have stuck here ever since, apart from a brief sojourn in London. My life, apart from the day job, revolves around books, writing, the odd sewing, knitting, spinning or quilting binge and taking orders from my feline overlord.
My two great reading loves have always been fantasy and romance. I grew up reading Tolkien alongside L.M. Montgomery and Susan Cooper, Diana Wynne Jones and David Eddings mixed with Heyer, Austen and all the Harlequin and Loveswept books I could find. So I guess it’s inevitable that I wound up writing books that incorporate both genres.
I’m currently writing a dark fantasy trilogy for Roc.
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Welcome to the Half-Light City.
Imagine a city divided. On one side, the Night World, ruled by the Blood Lords and the Beast Kind. On the other, the elusive Fae and the humans, protected by their steadfast mages. A city held together by nothing more than a treaty-and even then, just barely…
I was born of a Fae mother, but I had no place amongst her kind. They called me “soulless.” An abomination. Perhaps they’re right…I’m a wraith, a shadow who slips between worlds. I was given into the service of a Blood Lord who raised me to be his most feared assassin. Still, I’m nothing more than a slave to my master, and to the need that only he can fulfill…
Then he orders me to kill Simon DuCaine, a powerful sunmage. In the blaze of his magic, my own disappears. Instead of seeking revenge, Simon shows me mercy. He wants to free me. But that’s one thing my master and his kind will never allow.
And even if I thought I could trust Simon, stepping from the shadow into the light isn’t as simple as it sounds…
Imagine a city divided. A city where human and Fae magic rests uneasily next to the vampire Blood and the shapeshifting Beasts. A city where a fragile peace is brokered by a treaty that set the laws for all four races… a treaty that is faltering day by day.
I didn’t plan on becoming a thief and a spy. But options are limited for the half-breed daughter of a Fae lord. My father abandoned me but at least I inherited some of his magic, and my skills with charms and glamours mean that few are as good at uncovering secrets others wish to hide. Right now the city has many secrets. And those who seek them pay so well…
I never expected to stumble across a Templar Knight in my part of the city. Guy DuCaine is sworn to duty and honor and loyalty — all the things I’m not. I may have aroused more than his suspicion but he belongs to the Order and the human world. So when treachery and violence spill threaten both our kind, learning to trust each other might be the only thing that saves us.
But even if a spy and a holy knight can work together, finding the key to peace is never going to be easy…
Read Jennifer Harlow’s ROMP post and then VOTE via the poll on my sidebar on who you think should win today’s showdown!