Once upon a time, author Tamsen Parker wrote a series about Heroines in STEM professions for Heroes & Heartbreakers. With her permission, we're giving them a new online home!
When I set out to write School Ties, my student-teacher romance (sort of), I knew I wanted Erin, my heroine, to be a math or science teacher. Not because I didn’t have fabulous history, English, and French teachers—I absolutely did—but I liked the image of a woman standing up in front of a classroom full of guys not all that much younger than herself and quite literally schooling them in calculus. And statistics. And…well, you get the point.
When Shep, her hero, returns to teach at the boarding school where they first fell for each other, they’re in the same department and have a lot of respect for each other’s intellect and ability to teach, which don’t always correlate. Their professional regard for each other is part of what makes their romance work, because despite the other see-saws of power in their relationship, once they’re both at the front of their classrooms, they’re equals.
I then set out to find other heroines in STEM professions (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), and was pleasantly surprised to be inundated with recommendations on social media. Which means that instead of one post on STEM heroines, Heroes and Heartbreakers has been indulgent enough to let me write a series of posts—yay!
In the first, I’m focusing on mathematician heroines, not only because my most recent heroine happens to be one, but also because who didn’t have a massive girl crush on Danica McKellar in the Wonder Years? And she just happens to be a real life math genius.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Saving the CEO by Jenny Holiday
A sweet, funny category romance with a heroine who can teach her hero a thing or eight about his own business. If you like winter cabin antics and planetariums, Jack and Cassie may be just your cup of tea. And if you like Saving the CEO, you’re in luck. There are three other books in the 49th Floor series.
Talk Sweetly to Me by Courtney Milan
A historical novella that features a black mathematician heroine? Sign me up! Milan doesn’t gloss over the difficulties faced by a woman of color in this context, nor does she allow the hero to ignore them. I loved Miss Sweetly’s intelligence and fortitude, and Mr. Shaughnessy’s charm—which he uses to convince Miss Sweetly to tutor him—and incredibly terrible puns. Seriously, if you’re a fan of puns, I recommend this book on that basis alone. They’re outstanding.
Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale
One of the first historicals I ever read, and I still count it among my favorites. While I’m sure Maddy wouldn’t call herself a mathematician, I will here. To assist her father, she had to have far more knowledge than anyone (including herself) gives her credit for. Add to that the Duke of Jervaulx, an utter rake and one of the most fascinating and enigmatic heroes in romance, and you’ve got yourself a winner.
A Gentleman Undone by Cecilia Grant
This. Book. Will, our hero, is dazzled by Lydia from the beginning, even though (or perhaps because?) she fleeces him in a game of cards. What follows is much scheming, and the heroine thoroughly schooling the hero (do you sense a theme here?) in the art of being a card sharp. I also loved this book for its ending, which while true to the romance promise of an HEA, does not end easily. And for me, a realistic conclusion which requires sacrifice and not just some magical fairy tale finale is all the sweeter. Also the sexy times, because those are pretty smoking too.
Other recommendations I received:
- Solving For Nic by Lexxi Callahan
- Truth or Beard by Penny Reid
- The Duality Principle by Rebecca Grace Allen
- A Study in Seduction by Nina Rowan
Bonus Recommendation:If you haven’t started reading Emma Barry and Genevieve Turner’s Fly Me to the Moon series, you really need to consider your life choices. They’re smart, stylish, and sweet, and the last one, Earth Bound, totally blew me away.
Anyway, I think the above is proof that arithmetically-inclined heroines plus their partners add up to HEAs. It certainly does for Erin and Shep in School Ties. And this girl’s got some sweet chalkboard tricks to prove it:
Did I miss any mathematician heroines? Let me know below!
Learn more about or order a copy of School Ties by Tamsen Parker, available now: Amazon, iBooks, Kobo
Tamsen Parker is a stay-at-home mom by day, USA Today bestselling erotic romance writer by naptime. She lives with her family outside of Boston, where she tweets too much, sleeps too little and is always in the middle of a book. Aside from good food, sweet rieslings and gin cocktails, she has a fondness for monograms and subway maps. She should really start drinking coffee.