Andersen, Susan 1950-
Andersen, Susan 1950-
Born 1950; married; children: one son. Hobbies and other interests: Skiing, in-line skating, cats.
Home—Seattle, WA. E-mail—[email protected]
Nominated for Lifetime Achievement Award for Contemporary Romantic Suspense by Romantic Times, 1996; Best Contemporary Romance, Romantic Times, 1998, for Baby, I'm Yours.
Shadow Dance, Popular Library (New York, NY), 1989, reprinted, Avon (New York, NY), 2002.
Present Danger, Zebra (New York, NY), 1993.
Obsessed, Zebra (New York, NY), 1993.
On Thin Ice, Zebra (New York, NY), 1995.
Exposure, Zebra (New York, NY), 1996.
Baby, I'm Yours, Avon (New York, NY), 1998.
Be My Baby, Avon (New York, NY), 1999.
Baby, Don't Go, Avon (New York, NY), 2000.
All Shook Up, Avon (New York, NY), 2001.
Head over Heels, Avon (New York, NY), 2002.
Getting Lucky, Avon (New York, NY), 2003.
Hot & Bothered, Mira Books (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2004.
Skintight, Mira Books (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2005.
Just for Kicks, Mira Books (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2006.
Susan Andersen's best-selling contemporary romance novels combine elements of humor and suspense. Her characters, frequently finding themselves ensnared in unusual situations, propel plot and characterization through their conversations. Andersen's novels have been compared to those of prominent romance writers Rachel Gibson and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Andersen admitted in an interview posted on the Siren Books Web site that her earliest novels are darker than her more recent work, though all her writing is unquestionably romantic in nature. But her flair for suspense was eventually eclipsed by her love of humor, and she now concentrates on the humor because "the changing market" for romance writing appreciates the lighter tone.
A cross-country road trip is the setting for Baby, I'm Yours. In a case of mistaken identity, Catherine MacPherson is abducted by bail enforcer Sam McKade. On a Greyhound bus from Seattle to Miami, Catherine pleads innocence, claiming that the person McKade wants is her reckless twin sister, Kaylee. The plot turns sinister when Kaylee realizes that a dopey-but-capable hit man has been hired to kill her. Conservative Catherine's best defense is to start thinking more like her sister. Jean Mason, writing in the Romance Reader called the book "fast-paced, non-stop, action-filled, breathless, [and] exciting," noting also that Andersen's "love scenes sizzle."
In Be My Baby, Boston-born socialite Juliet Rose Astor Lowell moves to New Orleans and opens a hotel, hoping to gain freedom from her conservative family. After receiving mysterious death threats, she hires Beau Dupree, a police officer, to be her bodyguard. Their relationship initially proves to be less than ideal. Dupree is typical of Andersen's male characters. Though Andersen admits that he is not a typical American male, Dupree "embodies a lot of guys I know in his humor, that everlasting male drive for sex, and those moments of sweetness and tenderness," she told the Siren Books interviewer. Beau ultimately brings out a wilder side in the straight-laced Juliet that she never knew existed. A Publishers Weekly reviewer complimented the novel's depiction of "the undeniable attraction of opposites."
In Baby Don't Go, former policewoman Daisy Parker finds herself taking on Nick Coltrane as a client. A former flame, whose father was briefly married to Daisy's mother, Nick has a long history of interfering in Daisy's life. Now Nick's life is in danger and Daisy finds herself protecting him from a couple of thugs known as Blunt Face and No-Neck. Susan Scribner, writing in the Romance Reader, commented that "Andersen excels at writing snappy dialogue and screwball comedy scenes" and admitted fondness for Daisy, who "may not know how to pick the right shade of lipstick, but she can definitely kick some butt."
In All Shook Up, J.D. Carver finds himself unexpectedly inheriting part of a vacation resort. Having been raised as a foster child, he becomes suspicious of his new life, which seems impossibly good. Along the way, he falls in love with his new business partner, Dru Lawrence. Like some of Andersen's previous novels, the book's conflict revolves around a "good girl, bad boy" relationship, which Romance Reader reviewer Scribner said results in lots of "sexual tension … heavy breathing, [and] verbal and physical foreplay." A Publishers Weekly reviewer applauded the "well drawn, saucy characters and witty exchanges" and compared the novel to the television series Ally McBeal and Sex and the City.
With Head over Heels, Getting Lucky, and Hot & Bothered, Andersen developed a trio of related novels all "featuring hunky former Marine buddies who find love—or rediscover it—in unexpected places," according to a Publishers Weekly reviewer. The first of the trilogy, Head over Heels, features an ex-Marine bartender, Cooper Blackstock, who ultimately finds real love with Veronica Davis, daughter of the owner of the bar where he works. Veronica is a designer who is helping out with waitressing at the bar after the murder of her sister. Mistrust on both sides is ultimately replaced by romance. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly praised the novel's use of "upbeat dialogue, strong sexual chemistry, a touch of suspense and a dash of humor."
In Getting Lucky, initial mistrust also leads to romance. Zach Taylor, a Marine, is home on leave, and discovers a beautiful female chef, Lily, has moved in with his sister. Zach initially thinks she is only after her sister's inheritance, but when Lily is kidnapped, Zach realizes that a strong bond has grown between them. Another Publishers Weekly contributor commended the "perfect pacing, steamy sex and a fun cast of secondary characters" in this work. The final installment of the three Marine books, Hot & Bothered, brings a one-night stand couple together again when Victoria Hamilton hires an ex-Marine private investigator to prove her brother innocent of their father's murder. The PI turns out to be a long-ago lover and the father of her daughter. Again, the protagonists must work through initial mistrust of one another to not only find the real killer, but also to get close to one another again. A Publishers Weekly writer found the book to be a "zesty novel."
With her 2005 novel, Skintight, Andersen portrays Treena McCall, a showgirl and widower, and her stepson, Jax, a gambler in debt to an angry Russian. Treena has a baseball card from Jax's father worth enough to get him out of debt. But when Jax and Treena finally get together, it is not as mother and son. A Publishers Weekly reviewer felt that Andersen "injects magic into a story that would be cliched in another's hands," while Booklist critic Shelley Mosley praised the "sass and sizzle" with which the book was written. Las Vegas is also the setting for the 2006 Just for Kicks, in which unlikely opposites—an independent-minded showgirl and a practical-minded security guard—become lovers despite their initial dislike for one another. A Publishers Weekly reviewer praised the "deft characters, smart dialogue, laugh-out loud moments and sizzling sexual tension" that inform this romance novel.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, July, 2005, Shelley Mosley, review of Skintight, p. 1907.
Publishers Weekly, January 25, 1999, review of Be My Baby, p. 93; December 18, 2000, review of All Shook Up, p. 62; December 2, 2001, review of Head over Heels, p. 46; February 10, 2003, review of Getting Lucky, p. 168; July 5, 2004, review of Hot & Bothered, p. 42; June 6, 2005, review of Skintight, p. 46; July 17, 2006, review of Just for Kicks, p. 142.
Romance Reader,http://www.theromancereader.com/ (May 1, 2007), Jean Mason, review of Baby, I'm Yours; Susan Scribner, reviews of Be My Baby, Baby, Don't Go, and All Shook Up.
Siren Books,http://www.sirenbooks.com/ (May 1, 2007), interview with the author.
Susan Andersen Home Page,http://www.susanandersen.com (March 20, 2007).