Friday, June 14, 2013

My Love Affair with Johanna Lindsey

      We all have our guilty pleasure authors. Authors, no matter how terrible their material may have gotten over the years, we are still loyal to. I have always loved reading but my love of romance novels can be pretty much summed up with one author: Johanna Lindsey. The first book I ever read by Lindsey was Gentle Rogue (Malory Family #3). I picked this up at the grocery store when I was in junior high. I had just started reading romance novels, but nothing prepared me for Johanna Lindsey. Gentle Rogue hooked me in forever. Georgina’s and James adventures, family,  and love story captured my inner romantic. I became addicted to her novels. This was right when the Internet was really taking off for the masses so I began scouring whatever I could find on her works. Since I was in middle school when all this started, I was too embarrassed to check out her novels at my local library (this was waaaay before the days of the privacy of self-check out). I had to get my mom to get them at the grocery store or dig through boxes at my local used bookstore. When I discovered Ebay, I was in Johanna Lindsey heaven! 

           So what makes Johanna Lindsey’s writing so wonderful in my opinion? Her characters. All are filled with their own unique characteristics and the way she compliments each couple with pinches of humor, steaminess, and chemistry is utterly awesome. 

       Over the years, I have eagerly awaited every new novel. I always manage to be the first on the hold list at my library or will abuse my librarian power to have cataloging give me the book before anyone else.
       About a year ago, my book club read One Summer by David Baldacci. This was my first Baldacci book so I was very intrigued to see what all the fuss was about. I read it and  I loathed this book. By page 10 I wanted to gouge my eyes out at the predicable and terrible storyline. I ended up discussing my disgust with the person who recommended this book to the club. He said that everyone has that one author who they will read everything they put out because you remember that feeling of how amazing their work can be. This really struck a cord with me because I had been pretty disappointed in the last 3 Johanna Lindsey novels: Let Love Find You (Reid Family #4)  (2012), When Passion Rules  (2011), and That Perfect Someone (2010). All earned 3 stars according to my Goodreads. Each deserved a 2 but my love and dedication to Ms. Lindsey’s previous work guilted my conscience into giving each that last additional star.
     So when I read that her 50th novel would be coming out this year (6/11/13), I was excited. I prayed that she stepped it up and would return with a comeback novel that would make me fall in love with her writing all over again.
      Once I discovered One Heart To Win on the processing cart yesterday in the cataloger’s office I begged for her to immediately process it. I went straight home and dived right in. To my joy, I discovered that the Johanna Lindsey I remember was coming back! Though it wasn’t up to par with my favorites, One Heart To Win did a great job of stomping over Ms. Lindsey’s recently novels. The characters had chemistry, humor, and a wonderful sparkling repartee.
     Though it was a well improved step above her recent works, Ms. Lindsey did forget one teeny tiny part in One Heart To Win: the sex.  No I’m not saying that Ms. Lindsey went all conservative on me and left out the sex. The characters do have sex…well I’m pretty sure they did…it was super short (about one paragraph) and so vague I had to reread that one scene a few times to make sure I comprehended what was going on. I’m not saying that Lindsey’s work is up there with the descriptiveness of some of today’s erotica, but it definitely wasn’t flatlining either. I was quite surprised that Lindsey just copped out on this. I felt that by skipping a love scene(s) Lindsey was shortchanging her fans. Don’t get me wrong, I still stand by my statement that this novel is a definite improvement over her recent ones. Cake is still good without the icing, but icing always makes it so much better.
      Every summer, I completely forget everything on my to-be read list and indulge in nothing but smutty romances. My summer, I do what I want! That being said, I have included a list of my favorite Johanna Lindsey novels. If you never have read anything by Ms. Lindsey I encourage you to dive on in. Though she has had her ups and downs, most of her novels are truly wonderful and I cannot recommend them enough.
Top Favorite Johanna Lindsey Novels
  1. Gentle Rogue(Malory #3) – Though this is the 3rd in the series, you can easily figure out the family structure without reading in order.
  2. Once  A Princess (Cardinia’s Royal Family #1)
  3. Man of My Dreams
  4. Paradise Wild
  5. Tender Rebel(Malory #2)
  6. Secret Fire
  7. Fires of Winter
  8. You Belong To Me(Cardinia’s Royal Family #2)
  9. Angel (Wyoming #3)
  10. Prisoner of My Desire
  11. A Gentle Feuding
  12. Glorious Angel(Southern #1)
  13. Captive Bride 


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