I think I was about fourteen years old when I put away my Judy Blume’s and picked up my very first historical romance novel, GLORIOUS ANGEL by Johanna Lindsey. The book inspired me to collect book after book, but I always came back to Lindsey. Over the years I have read every single one of her stories, many as much as three to four times, and still do a little happy dance every time a new release is announced. Even though the books take up a considerable space in my personal library, each title remains firmly locked in the category of “Do NOT get rid of”, whenever I do some weeding for yard sales or trade-in’s at the local used book store.
Johanna’s stories pull you back to the time that men were real cowboys, rogues, knights, Viking warriors and not-so proper gentlemen. To the days that feisty woman struggled against the bonds of inequality, devious villains, feudal lords and the rigors of frontier life. In the “Ly-San-Ter” series trio, she takes us to a futuristic world where a highly skilled security agent, Tedra De Arr soon finds herself an unwilling captive on a barbarian planet ruled by uber-male warriors. The stand alone novel UNTIL FOREVER, tells the story of present day heroine Rosaleen White who discovers that the ancient Scandinavian sword she’s acquired comes with a curse that brings forth the handsome Viking warrior, Thorn, whenever she touches it. (The scene introducing Thorne to the joys of modern motoring, had me in stitches)
But, historical romance is what Johanna Lindsey truly does best and there is no better example than her long-running Malory series. Her tenth book revolving around this intriguing family of big-hearted rakes and adventurous ladies, THAT PERFECT SOMEONE will arrive in hardback at a bookstore near you on June 15th.
Here is the synopsis…
[quote]Nine years ago Richard Allen fled England when his avaricious father, the Earl of Manford, betrothed him to Julia Miller, the young daughter of London’s wealthiest merchant. Having seen how his father’s ambition ruined his older brother’s prospects for happiness with an arranged marriage, free-spirited Richard takes to the sea determined to live his own life. In the Caribbean, he joins a band of treasure-hunting pirates and adopts the persona of a Frenchman named Jean Paul. When he dares to slip back into England to carry out an urgent task for his captain, Richard falls in love with a married woman, Georgina Malory. Despite Georgina’s indifference to him and her husband James Malory’s threats to harm him, Richard is smitten. His next attempt to woo Georgina at a masked ball turns out to be a terrible mistake because it brings him face to face with another beautiful woman.
Grown-up and sophisticated, Julia Miller, a friend of Georgina’s, is charmed by the masked Frenchman Jean Paul until she discovers he’s really her detested fiancé! Julia has hired solicitors to have Richard declared dead so she can free herself from their betrothal and move on with her life. But when the Earl of Manford learns his son has returned and can fulfill the marriage contract, he sets in motion a chain of events that places Julia on the high seas with her fiancé who is not merely an irresponsible nobleman but a seductive, adventure-loving pirate![/quote]
Georgina “George” and James’s story GENTLE ROGUE ranks high among my favorites in the Malory series, only second to the story of his brother Tony and his fair Roslynn in TENDER REBEL. Each story in the series has its own unimpeachable charm and when there are Malory’s afoot, even as secondary characters, you are guaranteed it will be brilliant.
The true magic, that is the heart of every Johanna Lindsey novel, is the blending of humor, gut wrenching drama and chest pounding romance that permeate the pages making it impossible to put down the book until every last word is read, no matter how many times you go back and read it again. For me, her books will always be the example from which all others are judged by and as long as she keeps writing, I will continue to faithfully wait to read them.