Not all the heroines in historical romances love going to balls and attending soirees. There are some that prefer the quieter things in life; like reading a book. There have always been women (at least in the pages of romances) who would rather be reading!
Bluestockings were educated, intellectual women. Romances featuring bluestockings as heroines are great fun, because it can be easier for 21st century readers to identify with a heroine who is bent on having, not merely a mind of her own, but an intellectual life and sometimes career of her own as well, even in the face of censure or ridicule.
Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove series isn’t just one bluestocking romance, it’s an entire series that takes place in a village the ton has nicknamed “Spinster Cove” because so many women who don’t fit the mold of amiable marriageability have set up their own community in this seaside town. The heroine of the first book, A Night to Surrender, is responsible for the economics of the resort that is keeping the entire town running. The heroine of the second book, A Week to Be Wicked, is a geologist who has fooled the Royal Geological Society into admitting her to their august ranks—by the clever stratagem of only corresponding with the old dinosaurs using her initials. This series is not to be missed if you enjoy romances with strong, intelligent heroines who are bent on reforming the men they might possibly love.
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean is a historical romance that is also just plain laugh-out-loud funny. The bluestocking heroine with the absolutely awful name of Calpurnia has always followed the rules of society, and at 29 she is firmly on the shelf. So she decides to have a go at everything fun before she settles into confirmed spinsterhood, and that’s where the title comes in. But she doesn’t start out romancing said rake; he starts out as her partner and bodyguard in breaking the rules. He thinks it’s just a lark, but the more he discovers of the real woman under the society mask, the more captivated he is.
The bluestocking romance has a long and illustrious history. After all, Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice was somewhat of a bluestocking. After a bit of family drama, she finally won her Mr. Darcy. Even in the version with the zombies (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith), Elizabeth still gets a happy ending!