Gikany and Una read a LOT of urban fantasy and fantasy since it is our preferred genre (although paranormal romance rates right up there as well). But something we’ve noticed this year in our reading is the increase in women that are not just heroines in the classic Gone With the Wind style, but more like…well, check out our list:
- Xhex (Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward)
- Kate Daniels (Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews)
- Elena Deveraux (The Guild Hunters series by Nalini Singh)
- Lessa (The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey
- Catherine “Cat” Crawfield (Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost)
- Mercedes “Mercy” Thompson (Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs)
- Tie between Kitty Norville (Kitty Norville series by Carrie Vaughn) and Agnes Crandall (Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie)
- Tie between Mercy Smith & Indigo Riviere (both from Psy-Changling series by Nalini Singh)
- Jaenelle Angelline (Black Jewels series by Anne Bishop)
- Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins)
We find ourselves drawn to these women, some that choose their “rough” lifestyles and others that find themselves in situations and the inner kick a$$ spirit rises like a phoenix within them. The most delightful part of this is that the majority are in series! So we not only see them in one aspect, one adventure, but see some of the evolve, grow, find love and yet remain scary women you do NOT want to cross. Here is our excerpt from our #1 kick butt gal!
Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward
“You will leave now,” she said softly, “or I will drag you out of here by your hair.”
The man had breath like a day-old tuna sandwich. “I hate dykes. You always think you’re tougher than you really—“
Xhex grabbed the man’s wrist, turned him in a little circle, and cranked his arm up to the middle of his back. Then she clipped her leg around his ankles and shoved him off balance. He landed like a side of beef, the wind getting knocked out of him on a curse, his body plowing into the short-napped carpet.
In a quick move, she bent down, buried one hand in his gelled-up hair, and locked the other on the collar of his suit jacket. As she dragged him face-first to the side exit, she was multitasking: creating a scene, committing both an assault and a battery, and running the risk of a brawl if his buddies in the Hall of Fucktards got involved. But you had to put on a show every once in a while. Every one of the entitled assholes in the VIP section was watching, as were her bouncers, who were edge characters to start with, and the working girls, most of whom had totally understandable anger-management issues.
To keep the peace, you had to get your hands dirty every once in a while.
And, considering all the hair product this bigmouth used, she was so going to need to wash up after this was over.
When she got to the side exit by the Brotherhood’s table, she paused to open the door, but John got there first. Like a total gentleman, he swung the thing wide and held it that way with his long arm.
“Thanks,” she said.
Out on the alley, she flipped the bigmouth asshole over on his back and went through his pockets. As he lay there blinking like a fish in the bottom of a boat, the search was another infraction on her part. She had police powers on club property, but the alley was technically owned by the city of Caldwell. More to the point, though, the zip code of this hand job was irrelevant. The search would have been illegal, as she didn’t have probable cause to believe he had drugs or concealed weapons.
According to the law, you couldn’t frisk someone for just being a cocksucker.
Ah… but, see, this was where instinct paid off. In addition to his wallet, she found a nice load of coke on him, as well as three tabs of X. She dangled the cellophane bas in front of the man’s eyes.
“I could have you arrested.” She smiled as he started to stammer. “Yeah, yeah, not yours. Don’t know how they got there. You’re innocent as a two-year-old. But look up over that door.”
When the guy didn’t respond quickly enough, she clamped a hand on his jowls and pushed his face around.
“See that little red blinking eye? That’s a security camera. So this shit…” She jogged the packets at the camera, then flipped open the wallet. “… this two grams of cocaine and three hits of Ecstasy that came out of the breast pocket of your suit, Mr. … Robert Finlay … has been digitally recorded. Huh … check this out, you have two nice-looking kids. Bet they’d rather have breakfast with you tomorrow morning than eat with a babysitter because your wife is trying to spring you out of jail.”
She put his wallet back in his suit and held on to the drugs. “The way I’d like to suggest we handle this is to go our separate ways. You don’t ever come into my club again. And I don’t send your dime-sized balls to jail. What do you say? Deal or no deal?”
As he pondered whether to take what the Banker offered or open another case, Xhex got to her feet and backed up a little so she had a clear kick shot if she needed it. She didn’t think that shit was going to be necessary, though. People who were going to fight had tense bodies and sharp eyes. Bigmouth was loose as dishwater, clearly having run out of gas and ego.
“Go home,” she said to him.
And he did.
As he lumbered off, Xhex put the drugs in her back pocket.
“You enjoy the show, John Matthew?” she said without turning around.
When she looked over her shoulder, her breath stopped in her throat. John’s eyes were glowing in the darkness . . . as the kid stared at her with the kind of single-minded focus males got when they wanted sex. Hard-core sex.
Holy… shit. This was no little boy she was looking at.
Without being aware she was doing it, she reached into his mind with a lick of her symphath nature. He was thinking of … him on a bed in tangled sheets, his hand between his legs on a gigantic cock, his mind picturing her as he pumped himself off.
He’d done that a lot.
Xhex pivoted and walked over. When she came up to him, he didn’t step back, and she wasn’t surprised. In this raw instant, he was no awkward youngling to cut and run. He was all male animal, meeting her head-on.
Which was … oh, fuck her, it was not attractive. It. Really. Was. Not.
As she looked up at him, she meant to tell him to go train those glowing blue marbles on the human women in the club and leave her out of it. She meant to say that she was beyond off-limits and to let his fantasy go. She meant to warn him off, as she had all others except for the hardened, half-dead Butch O’Neal before he’d become a Brother.
Instead, she said in a low tone, “Next time you think of me like that, say my name when you come. It’ll get you off even better.”
She let her shoulder brush across the front of his chest as she leaned to the side and opened the door to the club.
His harsh suck of breath lingered in her ear.
As she went back to work, she told herself her body was hot because of the effort she’d just expended dragging that dickhead out to the door.
It had absolutely nothing to do with John Mathew.