Southern Girls are complex. Is she a Southern Belle or a proud Redneck Girl? Or a little of both? It doesn’t matter if she’s wearing white gloves or a camouflage vest, here are six things to know about winning female hearts south of the Mason-Dixon line, courtesy of Ryan Tanner, the hero of Something to Prove.
1) Be nice to her family. This is just common sense, y’all. Southern families can be big and complex — we claim our third cousins twice removed and can explain what that means — and there’s bound to be at least one really odd duck in the bunch. Just roll with it.
2) Use your manners — even the ones you think are outdated. While your Southern Girl probably won’t be offended if you don’t stand up when she enters a room, rest assured she will notice if you do. Her grandmother has told her for years how that’s the mark of a gentlemen, and it’s rooted deep in her psyche. Removing your hat, opening her car door, helping her with her coat — they’re very small things that won’t break a relationship, but it will impress upon her that you are a quality man.
3) Don’t expect her to dress your deer. There’s a very good chance your Southern Girl is a better shot than you are — especially if her daddy is a hunter. The rule is “you kill it, you clean it.” (Although a gentleman might offer to clean her kill for her.) If she doesn’t hunt, do not bring home your deer, birds, or fish and drop them off in the kitchen expecting her to do the rest. In fact, after you clean them, fire up the grill and cook dinner yourself.
4) Respect her football team. College football is a religion all its own, so treat it as such. If you were dating a girl of a different faith, would you mock it? Then keep the trash talk to yourself. You don’t have to go as far as to root for her team — especially if they’re playing your team — but feel free to watch the game in another room. A divided (football) house can stand, but it takes civility. Win or lose, be gracious about it.
5) Do not underestimate her. She may speak with that lovely soft drawl, and she may seem as sweet and harmless as butterfly, but the term “Steel Magnolia” didn’t come out of nowhere. Southern Girls can (and will) rip you a new one or chew you up and spit you out and not even burp daintily afterwards. Just think Scarlett O’Hara. She seemed fluffy and harmless enough — a little silly, even — but that girl was taking no crap from anybody — including the entire Yankee army.
6) Remember, she is a princess. Or possibly even a queen. She probably has the sash and tiara from her reign as Miss Delta Queen to prove it. (And it’s a lot harder to win your royal title than it is to inherit it at birth. She worked for that honor.) At the very least, she is a lady, and you should treat her as such.
Because she’s totally worth the effort.
Something To Prove by Kimberly Lang
Series: Magnolia Beach (# 1)
Former wild child Helena Wheeler was happy to leave behind her hometown—and her sordid past—for Atlanta twelve years ago. But when her grandmother suffers an injury, Helena has no choice but to return, even if it means facing down all the people who have shunned her.
Ryan Tanner went from being a football legend in high school to Magnolia Beach’s young, hot bachelor mayor. As a teenager, he never wanted anything to do with a girl like Helena. But when she hires Ryan to do some construction in her grandmother’s house, he finds that she’s grown up into a different person—one he quite likes.
For Helena, confronting her past has its share of surprises—and falling for the resident golden boy was definitely not on her to-do list. But will her reformed ways be enough to get her back in the town’s good graces, or will her reputation keep Helena and Ryan apart for good?
Kimberly Lang isn’t one of those people who always knew she wanted to be a writer. She actually wanted to be a ballerina, but puberty failed to deliver the required swan-like elegance. That dream scuttled, she went on to get her Master’s Degree in English – and she has the bartending skills to prove it. At her husband’s insistence, she quit teaching in 2007 to write full-time, and in May 2008, sold her first book to Harlequin’s London office. That book, The Secret Mistress Arrangement, debuted at number nine on the Borders Series Bestseller list and won the 2009 National Readers’ Choice Award for Best First Book.
She’s married to her college sweetheart, whom she affectionately (but appropriately) calls her Darling Geek, and is Mom to the most brilliant and beautiful child on the planet (aptly nicknamed Amazing Child). She started taking yoga-based fitness because she eats way too many jelly beans while writing, and became an instructor once she figured out that spending time with her butt over her head helped spark her creativity. More than one sticky plot point has been solved in the Down Dog position. She has no hobbies because she doesn’t have time, but if she did, they’d include knitting, skiing and ballroom dancing, because they sound like they might be fun.
Visit Kimberly at www.booksbykimberly.com for the latest news–and don’t forget to say hi while you’re there!