Listicle

Saturday Smutty Six: Bad-Asses

To celebrate Women’s History Month, every Saturday in March we’re posting a top-six list of some of our favorite heroines. Since we’ve got history on the brain, books are in loose chronological order by setting.

This week: Bad-Ass Heroines. You know: the ladies who shoot guns and throw knives and can kill a man with a hatpin.


Desire Lines by Elizabeth Kingston

Nan is a commoner with knife skills who saves a young man from certain death (remember: knife skills) and then travels with him. She is taciturn and closed off, and so may be hard for readers to connect with initially, but when she falls, she falls hard. Bonus feature: Kingston can write; this book is an especially good fit for those who love bad-ass heroines and like to dabble in literary fiction as well as smut. 

Read our review  | Buy the book

A Duke to Remember by Kelly Bowen

Elise deVries works for an elite private investigative firm doing…all sorts of useful things. She is a crack shot. She can become a doctor or a countess or a servant with a bit of make-up and a costume and her acting skills. And she’s a tracker – so she’s sent to find a duke who’s been missing since he was a child. 

Read our review  | Buy the book

An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole

Elle Burns is working undercover as a slave in the house of a Confederate Senator in Richmond, using her position to pass information to the Union. Honestly, I don’t know what else you need to know to confirm that this woman is a serious bad-ass. Maybe I should mention that she teams up with another undercover agent, and that they thwart some Confederate plans and talk about race and fall in love. 

Read our review  | Buy the book

Shadowdance by Kristen Callihan

Mary Chase is, uh, an undead cyborg who can send her spirit out of her body at will. She works for a supernatural police force and spends a lot of her time fighting demons. Shadowdance is a solid paranormal enemies-to-lovers romance with steamy sex scenes and lots of hand-to-hand combat.

Read our review  | Buy the book

Hidden Legacy – Nevada Baylor Trilogy by Ilona Andrews

Nevada Baylor thinks her truth seeker magic is pretty lame until she realizes it’s her inactive power, and that her active powers involve being able to paralyze people and make them tell her the truth with her mind. Fortunately she only uses her powers for good as she solves crimes with her family’s private investigation business (and the most powerful mage in Houston). 

Read our review  | Buy the book

Acting on Impulse by Mia Sosa

Unlike our other bad-ass heroines, Tori Alvarez doesn’t kill anyone. She’s a personal trainer and she can definitely kick your butt (metaphorically and literally, if she really had to). She definitely whips the hero into shape. (Metaphorically, guys.)

Read our review  | Buy the book


Honorable Mentions

Wolf Rebel for a werewolf/cop heroine processing trauma from a horrific clown attack and I’ve Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm for a heroine who faked her own death by blowing up a boat. 


Looking for more recs? All the books we’ve reviewed featuring bad-ass heroines can be found here

Want more stellar smut with awesome heroines with other skills? Check out last weekend’s list of our favorite Scientist Heroines!

6 thoughts on “Saturday Smutty Six: Bad-Asses”

  1. I’ve read both Kelly Bowen books on this list, and I remember loving her and wondering about how underrated she is. I also love Ilona Andrews, though I haven’t been in an urban fantasy mood for awhile, and that Kristen Callihan series is on my TBR! Bumping it up now. I love this feature. Keep it up! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! We have two more lists planned, but might try to keep it going beyond March.

      And I had the same reaction when I first stumbled across Kelly Bowen! (TBH, whoever does her covers and titles does her a grave disservice, because I almost didn’t grab the first one because the cover was too cheesy for words.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yay! And yes, that first book was very misleading. I thought it was a Christmas book because of the title and the cover, but it wasn’t even set during Christmas. Her later books were better packaged, though, thankfully for her!

        Like

  2. Yay! And yes, that first book was very misleading. I thought it was a Christmas book because of the title and the cover, but it wasn’t even set during Christmas. Her later books were better packaged, though, thankfully for her!

    Like

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