Contemporary Romance’s Top Fierce Females

Posted September 14, 2019 by Kate

hello, lovelies! 

Today, we’re going to chat about Fierce Females in Contemporary Romances. Specifically, my favorite ones! I’ve compiled a list of several females in this genre, and it was actually much harder than I thought. Not because I was wanting for any, but to narrow it down! I finally had to limit it to one book featured per series. (*sweats*) ?

This post is part of the Fierce Female Featurette, something that Ashley @ Falling Down the Book Hole put together after the success of Fierce Female February! Please check out her website or the designated twitter @fiercefemreads for more information and to stay up-to-date on the fun!

First, what is a Fierce Female?

This is a hard question to answer. The pioneers for me have always been from the Harry Potter series. It may sound silly, but they were the first hallmarks of what it means to be a fierce female for me. Look at Hermione Granger, Professor McGonagall, and Molly Weasley? They’re certainly caring and compassionate, and aren’t afraid to stand up for their beliefs. But they’re also complete badasses, without eschewing all the qualities that make them feminine.

Celaena Sardothien / Aelin Galathynius are also great examples of this. Celaena was a complete badass – is there anyone more badass than her? – but she also treasured beautiful clothes and was loyal to the bone for those she cared for. She is wild, independent and willful, but she’s undeniably her own person and kicks major ass. Not to say that Fierce Females have to be badasses, but everyone on this list finds a way to do what needs to be done, what’s necessary for them or their loved ones to survive. 

Contemporary romance females have it harder than those of their paranormal/urban fantasy counterparts because their level of ?FIERCE? is a bit more subtle. They’re not walking around with swords, daggers and general badass equipment, talking down monsters and fighting them if necessary, but that doesn’t make them any less fierce. 

Charlotte “Charlie” Baird
from Rock Hard by Nalini Singh

Contemporary Romance’s Top Fierce FemalesCheck out on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Also by this author: Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss, #1), Rock Hard (Rock Kiss #2), Heart of Obsidian (Psy-Changeling, #12)
Series: Rock Kiss #2,
Publisher: TKA Distribution
Source: My shelves

In New York Times Bestselling author Nalini Singh’s newest contemporary romance, passion ignites between a gorgeous, sinfully sexy man who built himself up from nothing and a shy woman who has a terrible secret in her past…
Wealthy businessman Gabriel Bishop rules the boardroom with the same determination and ruthlessness that made him a rock star on the rugby field. He knows what he wants, and he’ll go after it no-holds-barred.
And what he wants is Charlotte Baird.
Charlotte knows she’s a mouse. Emotionally scarred and painfully shy, she just wants to do her job and remain as invisible as possible. But the new CEO—a brilliant, broad-shouldered T-Rex of a man who growls and storms through the office, leaving carnage in his wake—clearly has other plans. Plans that may be equal parts business and bedroom.
If Charlotte intends to survive this battle of wits and hearts, the mouse will have to learn to wrangle the T-Rex. Game on

[ Read my review here ]

Rock Hard follows Gabriel Bishop, who is *stealthily* pursuing the cripplingly shy Charlie, who he recently promoted as his executive assistant when her previous job became obsolete. We get to watch sweet Charlie, who, at first, locks up, shaking and unable to talk whenever Gabriel is near, slowly become a woman who can hold her own against the fierce Gabriel. It takes a few weeks, but soon she’s giving back as good as she gets, throwing muffins at her boss’s head when he becomes too growly and intolerable. Watching Charlie grow from a place where a tiny step outside her comfort zone sent her scurrying into the corner, to a FIERCE woman who continually exists outside her comfort zone and learns to live with her reactions is empowering. Singh did a wonderful job at handling the issues in this book, and honestly watching Charlotte’s growth is amazing! She goes from “Charlie Mouse” to a FIERCE female who deserves to be at the top of this list. ? (My Review)

from Beard in Mind by Penny Reid

Contemporary Romance’s Top Fierce FemalesCheck out on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Series: Winston Brothers #4
Publisher: Cipher-Naught
Source: My shelves

NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, & USA TODAY bestselling seriesSemi Finalist: Goodreads Choice Awards, Best Romance 2017
All is fair in love and auto maintenance.
Beau Winston is the nicest, most accommodating guy in the world. Usually.
Handsome as the devil and twice as charismatic, Beau lives a charmed life as everyone’s favorite Winston Brother. But since his twin decided to leave town, and his other brother hired a stunning human-porcupine hybrid as a replacement mechanic for their auto shop, Beau Winston’s charmed life has gone to hell in a handbasket.
Shelly Sullivan is not nice and is never accommodating. Ever. She mumbles to herself, but won’t respond when asked a question. She glares at everyone, especially babies. She won’t shake hands with or touch another person, but has no problems cuddling with a dog. And her damn parrot speaks only in curse words. Beau wants her gone. He wants her out of his auto shop, out of Tennessee, and out of his life.
The only problem is, learning why this porcupine wears her coat of spikes opens a Pandora’s box of complexity—exquisite, tempting, heartbreaking complexity—and Beau Winston soon discovers being nice and accommodating might mean losing what matters most.

Shelly Sullivan lives with OCD – and is actually the first character (or person) who taught me what that really meant. It’s not that throwaway phrase “Don’t mind me, I have OCD” as an excuse for having severe attention to detail, but a real disorder that makes Shelly’s life very difficult. This book was enlightening for me, not only with learning about OCD through Shelly’s experiences, but Shelly is very much her own person. Very unique, very genuine, and quite fierce. I adored getting to know her and can’t wait to reread this one soon! (Review of Beard with Me)

from Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Contemporary Romance’s Top Fierce FemalesCheck out on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Source: Owlcrate Book Box

Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.
In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.
Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.
But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

[ Read an exclusive content love letter from this book! ]

Eliza Mirk is one of my favorite fictional high schoolers I’ve met. You can probably understand why me, a book blogger, can relate to someone who has a secret identity online. I’m not famous like she is, but that didn’t make her any less relatable. I picked Eliza for this prompt because … well, it’s true! Here’s a social hermit who has pretty crippling social anxiety and has to deal with some tough blows through the events of this book. It was heart-wrenching at times, but my fierce, beautiful Eliza got through it. 

from A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole

Contemporary Romance’s Top Fierce FemalesCheck out on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon
Genres: Young Adult, High School Romance
Source: My shelves

One kiss lasts a moment. But a thousand kisses can last a lifetime. One boy. One girl. A bond that is forged in an instant and cherished for a decade. A bond that neither time nor distance can break. A bond that will last forever. Or so they believe.
When seventeen-year-old Rune Kristiansen returns from his native Norway to the sleepy town of Blossom Grove, Georgia, where he befriended Poppy Litchfield as a child, he has just one thing on his mind. Why did the girl who was one half of his soul, who promised to wait faithfully for his return, cut him off without a word of explanation? Rune's heart was broken two years ago when Poppy fell silent. When he discovers the truth, he finds that the greatest heartache is yet to come.
A stand-alone young adult tearjerker romance, recommended for ages fourteen and up.

Oh my god, talk about Fierce Females! I can’t say much about this, but the term “tearjerker” has never been so perfectly to a book. My gorgeous, precious Poppy was dealing with some shit, okay. Jesus Christ. She handled it with grace and poise and was a heart-warming (or heart-wrenching, depending on the scene) character throughout the book. Honestly, honey. Just thinking about this wonderful book ???

from Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines

Contemporary Romance’s Top Fierce FemalesCheck out on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: My shelves

To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.
Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.
As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.
West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…

This one isn’t nearly as sob-inducing as A Thousand Boy Kisses, but my girl Maggie here also dealt ?? with ?? some ?? shit, okay?! With what she went through, I’ll print off the damn Fierce Female Sticker and tape it to her forehead myself! Maggie witnessed and dealt with horrible trauma two years before the events in this book (see blurb for more details), and is selectively mute. But when she comes across a very sad West, she finds that she can find her voice to talk to him. I SALUTE a female who can set aside her insurmountable pain in order to help another through his. FIERCE ?

from Rock Chick by Kristen Ashley

Contemporary Romance’s Top Fierce FemalesCheck out on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Series: Rock Chick #1
Publisher: Kristen Ashley
Source: My shelves

Indy Savage, cop's daughter, rock chick and used bookstore owner, has been in love with Lee Nightingale, once bad boy, now the man behind Nightingale Investigations, since she was five years old. No matter what ingenious schemes Indy used to capture his attention, Lee never showed an interest and Indy finally gave up. Now Indy's employee, Rosie, has lost a bag of diamonds and bad guys are shooting at him. When Indy gets involved, Lee is forced to help. Complicating matters, Lee has decided he's interested, Indy's decided she's not. But she can't seem to keep Lee out of her life when she's repeatedly stun gunned, kidnapped and there are car bombs exploding (not to mention she's finding dead bodies). Indy's best bet is to solve the mystery of the diamonds before Lee. Lee's challenge is to keep Indy alive and, at the same time, win back her heart.

Indy Savage is the definition of a Fierce Female. Or, as they refer to it in this series, a Rock Chick. She’s a complete badass (of the determined, but no-fighting-skills variety) who sticks her nose into everything and somehow improves the situation (usually). This is the modern version of a cozy mystery, and it never fails to deliver a good time with lots of laughs – usually because of the trouble Indy and her posse gets up to. 

from Play it Safe by Kristen Ashley

Contemporary Romance’s Top Fierce FemalesCheck out on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Kristen Ashley
Source: My shelves

No connections. Play it safe. These were the rules Ivey lived her life by. Until she hit Mustang, Colorado, a perfectly imperfect town where the citizens were welcoming and one of them included the tall, beautiful, macho man rancher cowboy, Grayson Cody. On the run for a decade, Ivey knew she was supposed to play it safe. But she was tired of being on the run. She wanted a normal. She wanted real. She wanted a home. And she wanted Grayson Cody. And Grayson Cody wanted Ivey.No one who looked at them couldn't see they belonged together. There was one man in this world for Ivey and one woman in this world for Grayson Cody. So they fell in love. But just as quickly as they fell together, they were betrayed and torn apart. Separated for years, Ivey was certain her life would not include her rancher cowboy. Until the town of Mustang reached out to her when Gray was in trouble. Even though she thought he broke her heart, she charged in to help. Then Gray and Ivey discovered they were betrayed and, not only that, Gray had an enemy who would stop at nothing to defeat him.

[ Read my review here ]

Ivey is twenty-two years old when she and her younger brother roll into Mustang, Colorado. They have nothing and live by two rules: No connections, play it safe. But this time, she falls in love. But it’s not enough to keep her in town when her brother get’s in trouble. Seven years later, they get their chance again ? I honestly love this one so much. I always forget just how much until I reread it again. Ivey is nothing but Fierce. Making a living – or surviving – in order to support herself and her brother, and doing anything she can to protect her family, be it only one member or not. I have nothing but respect for this lovely woman, although her journey breaks my heart. 

from Hold on Tight by Abbi Glines

Contemporary Romance’s Top Fierce FemalesCheck out on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Series: Sea Breeze
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: My shelves

Six years ago, Dewayne Falco's life changed. He lost someone he never expected to lose. Resigned to punish himself for something he felt he could have prevented, he goes through life without getting too close to anyone.
What he didn't expect was for the girl across the street to move back home and remind him of what they both lost: Dewayne's younger brother Dustin. However, when a miniature version of Dustin opens the door to greet him, Dewayne realizes he might not have lost everything after all.
Sienna Roy loved Dustin Falco most of her life. He was the boy next door, the high school basketball star and her best friend. But when his life was cut short, she realized he left a part of himself behind.
Now, she's back in Sea Breeze, thankful to have a home for her and Dustin's son, but not sure if she can ever forgive the people across the street who abandoned her when she needed them the most — The Falcos.
Betrayal, lies, and forbidden attraction might end Dewayne and Sienna's story before it's even begun.

[ Read my review here ]

Sienna Roy gives up everything for her little boy, and there’s nothing more I respect than a teenager willing to fight and create a life for her child, no matter that she wasn’t even out of high school yet. Her parents, strictly religious with very black-and-white views, lock her in her room, leaving meals outside her door and refusing to speak with her until they send her to her aunt’s house to have the child and put it up for adoption. But she refuses to give up the child, despite her parents disowning her and carves out a tough but beautiful life for herself and her little boy. FIERCE ??

from Walk Through Fire by Kristen Ashley

Contemporary Romance’s Top Fierce FemalesCheck out on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon
Genres: Adult
Series: Chaos #4
Publisher: Forever
Source: My shelves

The flame never dies . . .
Millie Cross knows what it's like to burn for someone. She was young and wild and he was fierce and even wilder-a Chaos biker who made her heart pound. They fell in love at first sight and life was good, until she learned she couldn't be the woman he needed and made it so he had no choice but to walk away. Twenty years later, Millie's chance run-in with her old flame sparks a desire she just can't ignore. And this time, she won't let him ride off . . .
Bad boy Logan "High" Judd has seen his share of troubles with the law. Yet it was a beautiful woman who broke him. After ending a loveless marriage, High is shocked when his true love walks back into his life. Millie is still gorgeous, but she's just a ghost of her former self. High's intrigued at the change, but her betrayal cut him deep-and he doesn't want to get burned again. As High sinks into meting out vengeance for Millie's betrayal, he'll break all over again when he realizes just how Millie walked through fire for her man . . .

[ Read my review here ]

Walk Through Fire is one of my all-time favorite reads. I read it at least once a year, never planned, but always find myself with a hankering to read it at least once, usually twice. I can’t say too much without giving the book away, but Millie is the definition of a Fierce Female, at least in my book. Millie and Logan’s romance was hard, fast, and perfect twenty years ago. But for reasons I won’t reveal, Millie breaks off the relationship, unable to be the woman he needed. But for all the right reasons. Their story always breaks my heart (and I cry several times), but Millie is a shining star in this beloved romance. She is everything a Fierce Female should be ? (My Review)

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What books have you read recently that feature Fierce Females? Who are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you! 

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