Admit it. At some point, you've put down a book and thought this about the main character — "Wow, I wish she was my friend!" It happens to all of us. We all have our dream literary heroines we wish were in our squad.
It's no surprise. When you're exploring the universe of a good book, you're inside the main character's head. Ergo, you're forming a super strong bond with them. Sure, it might be a one-sided bond, and one party might be a fictional character, but that doesn't make it any less real!
Particularly in a historical novel, it feels like you're extending an olive branch to the past through a friendship. A historical literary heroine is like a good friend who lives in another city, only the city is a different time. But it's always great to know a local.
Because you can never have too many fictional friends, we've teamed up with Kensington Books to bring you a selection of some characters that exemplify your dream girl gang. Get these girls together and you'll be achieving those squad goals in no time.
1. The Loyal One
In Mary Jo Putney's Once a Rebel, we meet ride-or-die Callista Brooke. Despite years apart, she never stopped loving her childhood best friend and first love, Lord Gordon. When Gordon finally reenters Callie's world, she welcomes him back, despite sacrifices she must make to keep him in her life. Whether near or far, we all need that friend who's got our back for the long haul, no matter how much time you spend apart.
2. The Classy One
The classy friend is the necessary yin to the outrageous friend yang. With her refined English accent and posh education, Emily Stanton is the touch of class your gang needs as we see in The Scotsman Who Saved Me by Hannah Howell. She certainly brings elegance to rugged Scotsman Iain's life, as the two enter a romance between lovers from different worlds.
3. The Wit
Every squad needs a friend who's got that perfect combination of wit and humor. You know, that friend you rely on to both proofread your papers and bring on the banter. In Madeline Hunter's The Most Dangerous Duke in London, Lady Clara Cheswick is just that kind of gal. Set in 19th Century London, Clara's ambitions to write rather than to marry put her ahead of her time. But Clara is still game enough to match wits with Adam (who, oh yeah, happens to be her family's sworn enemy!). This girl doesn't mess around when it comes to work and play.
4. The Diplomat
When it comes to navigating sticky situations like awkward run-ins with frenemies and exes, your group will definitely want the coolheaded Susan Rutlegde around. In Janey Dailey's Texas Fierce, Susan finds herself caught between two families at odds with each other. She's engaged to a Prescott, in love with a Tyler, and in a total bind. But Susan is no damsel in distress, she's got the skills to handle things herself. And most importantly, she's great at avoiding awkwardness, even if her situation is inherently awkward.
5. The Maternal One
Every squad needs a mom. This is the kind of indispensable character we see in Mairead of Never Kiss a Highlander by Michele Sinclair. Her childhood friend Haimish left home when Maired was only ten. But when he returns, he finds quite the grown-up woman in her place... and he's intrigued. In their flirtation, Maired shows herself to be the mature friend and maternal presence of the group; the one that makes you text to say you've gotten home safe. Sure, sometimes she meddles. But like all good motherly figures, her intentions are nothing but good.
6. The Decisive One
When the group text is lit but nobody can decide on a plan, everyone needs that one friend who can say "Guys, this is what we're doing." In Sally Mackenzie's When To Engage An Earl, Jane Wilkinson is exactly that kind of friend. With the help of her feisty matchmaking cat named Poppy, Jane masterfully sets up her single roommates with husbands so she can live alone. And when an Earl tries to woo her out of her own spinsterhood, Jane shows him just how unyielding she is in her independence. This girl knows what she wants and she knows how to get it. Plus, she has a cat that you can play Aunt to.
7. The Wild Card
As we see in Vanessa Kelly's Three Weeks With A Princess, Lia Kincaid is definitely the kind of friend that will push your clique's limits for a wickedly good time. Lia, the illegitimate daughter of a Royal Duke (aka a prince), is no stranger to mischief. From a long line of courtesans, she enters the profession that seems to be her destiny. However, she and Jack — a Marquess and her best friend —end up getting thrown together in crazy situations. He feels protective over her, and with the clear attraction they have to one another, he certainly doesn't mind the new bond.
This article is sponsored by Kensington Books.