Bond, Stephanie (Stephanie Bancroft)
BOND, Stephanie (Stephanie Bancroft)
PERSONAL: Female; married Christopher Hauck (a businessman and artist), 1990. Education: Morehead State University, graduated 1987 (computer programming); M.B.A.
CAREER: Small business owner (shoe store); worked as a computer programmer for a petroleum company; full-time writer, 1997—.
AWARDS, HONORS: Career Achievement Award, Romantic Times, for Your Wish Is My Command; RITA Award of Excellence, Romance Writers of America, 2000, for It Takes a Rebel.
Irresistible ("Love and Laughter" series), Harlequin (New York, NY), 1997.
Kids Is a Four-letter Word ("Love and Laughter" series), Harlequin (New York, NY), 1998.
Wife Is a Four-letter Word ("Love and Laughter" series), Harlequin (New York, NY), 1998.
Manhunting in Mississippi ("Temptation" series), Harlequin (New York, NY), 1998.
Naughty or Nice ("Love and Laughter" series), Harlequin (New York, NY), 1998.
Club Cupid ("Temptation" series), Harlequin (New York, NY), 1999.
About Last Night ("Temptation" series), Harlequin (New York, NY), 1999.
It Takes a Rebel ("Temptation" series), Harlequin (New York, NY), 2000, reprinted with Having Faith, by Barbara Delinsky, in In Too Deep, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2003.
Too Hot to Sleep ("Temptation Blaze" series), Harlequin (New York, NY), 2000.
Seeking Single Male ("Temptation" series), Harlequin (New York, NY), 2000.
Two Sexy! ("Blaze" series), Harlequin (New York, NY), 2001.
Our Husband, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2000.
Got Your Number, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2001.
I Think I Love You, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2003.
under pseudonym stephanie bancroft
Almost a Family, Bantam Loveswept (New York, NY), 1997.
License to Thrill, Bantam Loveswept (New York, NY), 1997.
Your Wish Is My Command, Bantam (New York, NY), 1998.
Author of After Hours (novella), contained in the anthology Midnight Fantasies, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2001.
SIDELIGHTS: Stephanie Bond completed her college education, majoring in computer programming, at Morehead State University while running a shoe store; she then worked at a petroleum company in Lexington, Kentucky; and finally, a few years later, she managed to leave the business world completely in order to become a full-time romance writer. At the beginning of Bond's writing career, she wrote for both Harlequin and Bantam, though for the latter, she published only three books, under the pseudonym Stephanie Bancroft. Her first several books for Harlequin, however, were romantic comedies, beginning with Irresistible?
Characters called the Stillman brothers are featured in two of Bond's romances, About Last Night and It Takes a Rebel. In the former, a woman named Janine Murphy decides to seduce her fiancée, Derek, the night before their wedding, to be sure they are compatible, but she mistakenly ends up in bed with the best man. With the situation corrected, Janine and Derek marry and later reappear in It Takes a Rebel as honeymooners. With Derek away, his brother Jack is in charge of their advertising agency and is facing an Internal Revenue Service audit. When he mistakes Alex Tremont, the gorgeous daughter of a potential client, for the IRS agent, he nearly blows his chance to land a big account by presenting himself and the company as losers in order to downplay financial success.
Romance Reader reviewer Linda Mowery called It Takes a Rebel "a simple story with complex characters. It really is your garden variety romance, one that's blooming beautifully."
In Too Hot to Sleep, nurse Georgia Adams, wanting to put a bit of zest into her love life, calls what she thinks is her boyfriend's telephone number to engage in a little phone sex. She actually reaches policeman Ken Medlock, who finds the conversations both entertaining and stimulating, and who fails to inform Georgia of her mistake. When they meet briefly, he hears someone call her by name, and it is then that he discovers the identity of his mystery caller. Mowery wrote that Too Hot to Sleep "is lighthearted and fun to read, a book that seems to turn its own pages."
Seeking Single Male also involves a mix-up, this time when people use classified ads. Attorney Greg Healey is checking out a singles ad from "Coffee Girl" for his shy younger brother, and Lana Martina, who first appeared in It Takes a Rebel, is looking for a roommate. When she invites Greg to her place for a look, he thinks she is propositioning him, and when he follows through, she defends herself with hairspray. The misunderstanding isn't cleared up for the two, and they are later forced to work together over a zoning matter that will decide the fate of Lana's coffee shop.
Greg's younger brother, Will, and Annette, who actually placed the singles ad, eventually meet. Mowery wrote that the novel's "story line absolutely glows." Also, in an online review for BookBrowser, Harriet Klausner called the Seeking Single Male "an entertaining romp filled with warm characters."
Our Husband, Bond's first book for St. Martin's Press, is less romance and more "women's fiction," as Jean Mason noted in a Romance Reader review. The novel tells the story of a traveling prosthesis salesman who, over the years, married three women. Beatrix, older than the others and wealthy, is the first Mrs. Raymond Carmichael, and Natalie, a small-town Missouri doctor, is the second. The third, and very recent Mrs. Carmichael because of a pregnancy, is Ruby, an exotic dancer in Paducah, Kentucky, where all three women meet when they are notified that Raymond has suffered a broken arm. After seeing his three lives confront him all at once, Raymond suffers a heart attack. However, the autopsy reveals that he had been poisoned, and at first, Natalie is suspected. But then the police wonder if the women conspired in killing Raymond, so the three women work toward solving the crime. Natalie, who receives the most attention in the story, winds up in a new romance—with a nice pawnbroker to whom her dead husband owed money. A Publishers Weekly contributor defined the book's narrative core as "the transformation of three very different women from enemies into allies. Husbands may come and go, but girlfriends—however unlikely—are forever."
The heroine of Got Your Number, which a Publishers Weekly reviewer called a "lighthearted whodunit," is Roxann Beadleman, a volunteer with an organization that helps abused wives escape from their husbands. She helps the wife and child of slimy private investigator Frank Cape, who is now after Roxann to force her to reveal his wife's whereabouts. Meanwhile, police detective Joe Capistrano is seeking Cape, who shot Joe's partner. Roxann escapes, she thinks, from all this mayhem by attending a college reunion with her cousin and former roommate Angora, and Joe is ultimately her savior when she and Angora are accused of murdering a professor.
I Think I Love You, set in a conservative North Carolina town, revolves around three sisters—Justine, Regina, and Mica—who were raised there by hippie parents who never bothered to marry. What they share in common is that they witnessed the murder of their promiscuous Aunt Lyla. Justine and Mica, however, had been estranged for twelve years because Mica ran off with Dean, the man Justine was about to marry. Justine is now an executive with a cosmetics company, and Mica is a model, but despite their success, both are glad to come home to escape unhappy situations when their parents decide to break up.
Regina, an editor for a Boston publisher, finds her own romance with Mitchell, the bank appraiser. While her sisters suffer from guilt and betrayal, Regina's sense of inadequacy vanishes by way of Mitchell, who appreciates her for who she is. The sisters must also confront the facts of their aunt's death, particularly when the accused murderer asks for a new trial, and because their knowledge of the crime now puts them in danger.
"With its energetic prose and cozy Southern setting, this read is a sterling source of laughs and lighthearted fun," said a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Mason, in a Romance Reader review, called I Think I Love You "the story of family relationships and how they shape us all."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 15, 2000, Diana Tixier Herald, review of Our Husband, p. 223.
Publishers Weekly, October 16, 2000, review of OurHusband, p. 55; September 3, 2001, review of Got Your Number, p. 69; July 8, 2002, review of I Think I Love You, p. 37.
BookBrowser,http://www.bookbrowser.com/ (January 29, 2000), Harriet Klausner, review of It Takes a Rebel; (November 10, 2000) Harriet Klausner, review of Seeking Single Male.
Romance Reader,http://www.theromancereader.com/ (February 4, 2000), Linda Mowery, review of It Takes a Rebel; (June 10, 2000) Linda Mowery, review of Too Hot to Sleep; (November 20, 2000) Linda Mowery, review of Seeking Single Male; (November 22, 2000) Jean Mason, review of Our Husband; (October 14, 2002) Jean Mason, review of I Think I Love You.
Stephanie Bond Home Page,http://www.stephaniebond.com/ (February 3, 2003).
Word Weaving,http://www.wordweaving.com/ (December 7, 2000), Cindy Penn, "An Interview with Stephanie Bond"; (September 16, 2001) Cindy Penn, review of Two Sexy!*