The warrior woman in Harlequin’s Bombshell Athena Force series

Publication year
Australasian Journal of Popular Culture

Here's the abstract:

The theme of the warrior woman – the woman prepared to fight – appears in popular romance and in multiple time settings. This article will explore the way in which Silhouette Bombshell’s Athena Force series presents a series of romance heroines who are professional, trained warrior women. Rather than presenting these characters as a radical alternative to the more ‘traditional’ romance heroine, it will be shown that they attempt to accommodate a range of ideas about gender; they extend rather than reverse conventional ideas about femininity. There are, however, significant implications for the conventional romance plot as gender roles are unsettled and reconfigured. How are relationships between male and female warriors in the novels characterized, and how does this distinguish them from other contemporary romance fiction? Warrior women in fiction may be seen to subvert gender characteristics traditionally linked to biological traits and the conventional binary opposition between male and female gender roles. By stepping outside the accepted behaviour of females, the warrior woman makes us question those norms we may take for granted and provides another intriguing sub-genre for romance fiction.