Albert, Michele

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Albert, Michele

(Michelle Jerott)

PERSONAL:

Born in WI; married, 1998; children: son, Jerott; three step-children. Education: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, B.A.; attended a University of London Institute of Archaeology summer program.

ADDRESSES:

Home—WI. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer and archaeologist. Has worked in a research lab.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Golden Heart Award for manuscript written by an unpublished writer, Romance Writers of America, 1997, for Absolute Trouble.

WRITINGS:

Absolute Trouble, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1998.

All Night Long, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1999.

A Great Catch, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Her Bodyguard, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2001.

Getting Her Man, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Off Limits, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2003.

One Way Out, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Hide in Plain Sight, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Tough Enough, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

With a degree in archaeology, Michele Albert, who began writing as Michelle Jerott, spent time at digs in the United States and Great Britain before switching careers to work in a research lab and begin her family and writing career. Her first novel, the award-winning Absolute Trouble, is set in Louisiana bayou country. All about Romance online reviewer Ellen Micheletti wrote that Absolute Trouble "is not just a steamy romp in the swamp" but "a wonderful book … a book to get lost in." Dulcie Quinn was forced to leave the police force when drug dealer Jacob Matsumi's gang beat her, injuring her spine. Dulcie now lives on a houseboat and hand crafts dolls. Detective Bobby Halloran asks Dulcie to hide a man who witnessed a killing by Matsumi until the witness testifies in court. Dulcie has a score to settle and agrees. The witness is Julien Langlois, a Cajun hunk, who arrives at the houseboat wearing nothing more than a sequined bow tie and a black G-string. The male stripper has his own agenda, which is to kill Matsumi, who is responsible for the death of his younger brother. Julien plans to draw Dulcie into his agenda through seduction, but as the pair are confined on the boat, passion develops and turns to love. A Publishers Weekly reviewer said what Albert does best "is create memorable characters." Morgan Paige wrote in the Old Book Barn Gazette that Julien is a "mix of sensitivity and toughness" and called the love scenes "intriguing and touching." The book is "a provocative, thrilling read with a dynamic ending," said a Rendezvous reviewer.

All Night Long chronicles the turbulent romance that develops between Annie Beckett, a researcher, and Wisconsin farmer Rick Magnusson, who rents Annie a room while she investigates the story of a soldier who disappeared during the Black Hawk War of 1832. Library Journal contributor Kristin Ramsdell called the novel a "fast-paced, sexy, compelling story."

In A Great Catch, Albert places her heroine, Tessa Jardine, in the macho environment of Great Lakes shipping. After Tessa jumps at the chance to become first mate on a passenger ship, she discovers to her deep dismay that her boss will be her former lover, Captain Lucas Hall, who left her without explanation ten years earlier. Forced to work together, the pair discover that there is still a spark between them.

The inspiration for Her Bodyguard, Albert told a reviewer for All about Romance, was a photograph of a shoe from the 1920s. "I was so taken by that shoe," she said, "that I built an entire book around it." Protagonist Lili Kavanaugh is a shoe designer in Chicago who, after barely fending off a kidnapper, hires handsome Matt Hawkins as her bodyguard. As they hole up in the woods for safety, they eventually work out that a pair of antique shoes once owned by a Chicago gangster's girlfriend are at the heart of the danger that is surrounding Lili. At the same time, Lili and Matt discover they are falling for each other. Harriet Klausner, writing on Best Reviews, called the novel Albert's best book to date.

Getting Her Man pits private investigator Diana Belmaine against suave ladies' man Dr. Jack Austin, who is indeed the thief she is trying to nab but who has used his immense charm to construct an ultra-sophisticated and respectable life. Jack guesses that the only way to stop Diana from exposing him as a dealer in the illicit trade in ancient artifacts is to seduce her. Desmond Chan, writing in Best Reviews, praised Albert's "nifty grip on her subject" and commended the novel as "classic escapist fun at its best."

In Off Limits, which Best Reviews contributor Rashmi Srinivas deemed "a powerful and emotional action-adventure yarn," rookie cop Emma Frey is assigned to work with maverick detective Bobby Halloran. It's a classic "opposites attract" situation, complicated by the fact that the work partners have some nasty bad guys to deal with on the job. Harriet Klausner, again writing on Best Reviews, found the novel insightful and exciting.

Opposites attract again in One Way Out. The novel places paleontologist Dr. Alex Martinelli in conflict with commercial collector Cassie Ashton, whom he has long detested for trading in fossils for profit. They are drawn together when Cassie enlists his help in confirming her hunch that the bones she has recently found are those of an intact infant Tyrannosaurus Rex. But to their extreme consternation, they arrive at the spot only to find the bones stolen. Recognizing their mutual attraction at last, they set out to recover the find—a quest that places them both in peril. The novel briefly introduces Avalon, an underground mercenary organization that recovers stolen art and antiquities.

Avalon plays a more prominent role in Hide in Plain Sight, which brings readers into the world of rare manuscripts. Specialist Fiona Kennedy, an expert in spotting forgeries, is asked to authenticate a potentially priceless manuscript for sexy Griffith Laughton. The trouble is, someone is willing to use deadly force to obtain this artifact. Griffith tells Fiona that he has lied to her—he is really a mercenary, hired to protect her. But is that a lie as well?

Tough Enough is the first novel in Albert's "Avalon" series. Ex-detective Will Tiernay expects an easy assignment when he arrives in Boston to investigate the forgery and impending theft of the Eudoxia Reliquary, an object of priceless worth. But his prime suspect turns out to be Mia Dolan, an ex-flame who still has seductive power over him.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 1, 2006, Shelley Mosley, review of Hide in Plain Sight, p. 25.

Library Journal, August 1, 1999, Kristin Ramsdell, review of All Night Long, p. 70.

MBR Bookwatch, April 1, 2005, review of One Way Out.

Old Book Barn Gazette, August, 1998, Morgan Paige, review of Absolute Trouble.

Publishers Weekly, August 3, 1998, review of Absolute Trouble, p. 82.

Rendezvous, July, 1998, review of Absolute Trouble.

ONLINE

All about Romance,http://www.likesbooks.com/ (August 19, 2008), Ellen Micheletti, review of Absolute Trouble; (July 23, 2008), interview with Albert.

Best Reviews,http://thebestreviews.com/ (July 23, 2008), Harriet Klausner, reviews of Her Bodyguard, One Way Out, Off Limits, and Getting Her Man; Tammie Ard, review of Off Limits; Rashmi Srinivas, review of Off Limits; Desmond Chan, review of Getting Her Man.

Michele Albert Home page,http://www.inkalicious.com (July 23, 2008).

Romance Reader,http://www.theromancereader.com/ (July 23, 2008), Susan Scribner, review of A Great Catch; (August 19, 2008) Jean Mason, review of All Night Long.

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