I’ve recently discovered a wonderful author of historical fiction. I love historical fiction because I learn something in the context of a great story. I especially like Elizabeth Camden’s novels because each one centers around historical events while at the same time features a strong, intelligent, and capable female. The women in Ms. Camden’s novels are respected for their character, abilities, intelligence, and strength. Ms. Camden’s female characters are not valued because of their beauty or usefulness to a man. The female characters overcome great difficulty with help from others (including the male hero) but do not define their self-worth by the men’s opinions of them. The women are not “shown love” by forced kisses, bullied interactions, or having their “no” ignored as “romance”. The women are not pitted against each other over a man. The ladies don’t melt in puddles of insecurity, inferiority, or inadequacy to be lifted up by a man. The men look up to the heroines for the people the ladies are not because they are physically attracted to them. Most of the historical fiction novels (especially romances) are insulting to the women and spend more time on the lust between the characters than any substantial attraction based on mutual respect. When I read Ms. Camden’s novels I am left with a curiosity about historical events (and look them up to learn more). I am also left with the feeling that women can and should be valued for more than their physical attractiveness or their ability to earn validation by a man in some way. I love seeing heroines who don’t hate men but don’t hate themselves either. It’s possible for men and women to relate with respect for each other as well as admiration of each other’s qualities as humans. I highly recommend reading Ms. Elizabeth Camden’s novels if you want a great story, with admirable characters, healthy relationships, and the opportunity to engage your mind and your morals.