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Customer Discussions > Romance forum

Looking for a heroine who is unattractive, but DOES NOT suffer from low self-esteem

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Showing 1-19 of 19 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 5, 2012, 4:50:42 PM PDT
Hi there. This is my first time starting a recommendation thread, but something has been bothering me for quite a while now.

I love romances where a gorgeous hero falls for a heroine who is physically plain/unattractive. Unfortunately, books with this theme often shackle the heroine with such low self-esteem that I find it unbelievable the hero can fall in love with her. For heaven's sakes, will it kill someone to write a story where the heroine is confident in herself? Someone's worth is not completely determined by looks. I hate it when characters wallow in woe for not being born with stellar genes.

Can someone recommend me stories where the heroine is unattractive, but is still confident in herself and gives the hero a run for his money? I want the hero to genuinely fall for her because of her personality.

A good example of what I'm looking for is Lady Libertine by Kate Harper. The heroine here is a woman with pride in herself and does not cower from the hero just because he's gorgeous and demanding.

Posted on Apr 5, 2012, 4:58:52 PM PDT
elleoco says:
Slightly Scandalous (Bedwyn) by Mary Balogh. It's one of her Bedwyn series, but can be read by itself.

Posted on Apr 5, 2012, 5:17:05 PM PDT
I agree that its time to shake up the formula -- and they always have fantastic jobs, tons of money (heiress, trust fund, etc) and are still so *unfulfilled*.

Posted on Apr 5, 2012, 7:21:57 PM PDT
Yahaira says:
Dark Wager by Mary Spencer

Posted on Apr 5, 2012, 8:04:25 PM PDT
Amanda Quick has books along this line. The books are historical with heroines are not attractive by standardsof the day might be considered atractive by our standards. They wear glasses, are not thin,

Posted on Apr 6, 2012, 7:50:27 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 6, 2012, 7:50:59 AM PDT
Jean says:
In the Patricia Veryan "Jewelled Men" series, one of the main characters is petite, plain, and has a limp. She's definitely overshadowed by some of her beautiful friends, but never, ever feels sorry for herself or exhibits low self-esteem. Gwen appears in all the books in the series, but the final book, The Mandarin of Mayfair, is "her" romance. (But I seriously encourage reading the whole excellent series. I dare you-- DARE you-- not to fall in love with one of the recurring characters!! I won't give his name away, but by the 2nd or 3rd book, you'll be hooked on him.) ;-p

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 6, 2012, 7:56:02 AM PDT
tealadytoo says:
Yes, her JAK contemporary titles are often like this. The h's aren't ugly, they are just ordinary looking. And usually have better things to do than worry about it. She occasionally has a "stunningly beautiful" h but they are pretty rare. Usually short, or wear glasses, or have hips bigger than their boobs, or something less than runway model standards.

Posted on Apr 6, 2012, 10:24:33 AM PDT

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 6, 2012, 11:51:09 PM PDT
Manda M says:
I was thinking about JAK/Amanda Quick/Jayne Castle as well. It's very rare for her to have a beautiful heroine. They're usually described as intelligent, interesting, and usually with some kind of "energy." Often, the hero has been involved with a more beautiful woman in the past, but he always ends up preferring the heroine. And, if I'm not mistaken, none of her heroines are ever well-endowed. I love her work, but it I always think it would be great for her to have a heroine with big boobs for a change!

Posted on Apr 7, 2012, 7:22:15 PM PDT
Pamela says:
How To Hook A Husband (And A Baby) (Daddy Knows Last) (Harlequin Yours Truly) by Carolyn Zane - the h is considered unattractive because keeping up with her looks and appearance were never her priority. She was happy with who she was and had a job she was content with. It was only when her thirtieth birthday was approaching did she realize her desire to start a family and settle down. In order to go about it, she seeks the help of her good-looking neighbor for tips on how to attract men. The story does involve the h going through a "makeover", but it's actually not what you'd expect and very comical instead. It's a very cute read, as the H ends up falling for the h simply for who she is and not her looks. I also loved how the H and h were friends first.

Runabout by Pamela Morsi also features a plain h, with "a gap between her front teeth". The book starts off with the h being jilted at her engagement party. The H, who is her best friend, hatches a plan to support her by pretending to court her. Needless to say, they fall in love. I adore how the H, did not at any point, find the h unworthy because of her looks and if I remember correctly, I don't believe the thought that she was unattractive ever crossed his mind even while the rest of the town thought she was. Instead, he loved her for her personality, her sweetness and willingness to help others. There are also scenes peppered throughout the story that demonstrate how much the h's friendship means to the H. I highly recommend this book!

Posted on Apr 7, 2012, 7:39:32 PM PDT
There's a book of two stories, When He Was Bad that might fit. The first heroine knows that she is "average" but she has "more important things to deal with" and I think it might fit your bill. I enjoyed it.

Posted on Nov 12, 2012, 9:24:57 PM PST
Sorry for bumping an old thread, but I really want more of this theme. Does anybody else have any suggestions?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012, 11:23:45 PM PST
BethB says:
For fantasy, try Nalini Singh - Lord of the Abyss (Harlequin Nocturne). h is downright ugly. She does have issues, but they're for a different reason. And the end of the book did irk me regarding her looks, but overall I liked it.

Two provisos - (1) It is the last part of a trilogy. I stumbled across it unknowingly instore and read it as a standalone, which worked for me but others might hate. (2) The style of the book is fairytale (though not childish). I found the voice quite different from her Changeling and Guild books.

Posted on Nov 13, 2012, 6:23:28 AM PST
Jean says:
I just finished reading and reviewing Pieces of Rhys (a really funny book, by the way) and the heroine wasn't exactly unattractive, but she was overweight - and she has absolutely no self esteem issues about it.

Posted on Nov 13, 2012, 6:26:21 AM PST
The Heir by Johanna Lindsey - I feel like I don't remember this heroine being some great beauty

Posted on Nov 13, 2012, 4:52:31 PM PST by Pauline Baird Jones. Free from All Romance Books website. Great story. She is plain; he is seriously rich. He asks her out and the part about the dress is a hoot.

I loved this. I wished it had been 100X longer

Posted on Nov 13, 2012, 6:01:18 PM PST
Doug and Carlie fits to a degree. Carlie is self described as being freakishly tall, heavier set, and having a big behind: (" I weigh 37 lbs. more than the chart says I should.   But I'm done with the chart.   At 32, I've decided I'm stunning. I would only date a man who agrees." )

But she is very confident and loves herself : (" I don't want a man who doesn't care what a woman looks like.   I want a man who thinks I'm beautiful.   A man who can't live without me.   A man who wants me in every single way.   And I don't care what Dr. Crusoe says either.   I found myself... and the woman I found wants to wake up next to a man... a good man.   If the good man is good lookin' that would be a plus.")

and, Doug is quiet the character himself: ("Carlie, that's a height ruler for criminals... not for deciding whether you should date a guy.   That height chart is so that when someone runs out of the store with a case of pork n beans under his arm you can say to the officer, `He was about 5'10 according to the big ruler on the door.")

I don't usually read faith based romance, but I really enjoyed this book (it's not shoved down your throat). It's a quick read, and really funny.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012, 6:11:21 PM PST
Love Me Forever is the prequel to The Heir. It's an older story and you might have already read it but the h is plain and strong-willed. I don't remember any major self-esteem issues based on her appearance.

Posted on Oct 29, 2013, 2:53:39 AM PDT
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Discussion in:  Romance forum
Participants:  18
Total posts:  19
Initial post:  Apr 5, 2012
Latest post:  Oct 29, 2013

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