(Jillian Karr, a joint pseudonym)
Born in Chicago, IL; married; children: one daughter. Education: University of Illinois, B.A.
Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence; Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Western Historical Romance, for Never Love a Cowboy and Cold Night, Warm Stranger.
To Distant Shores, Ace (New York, NY), 1979.
The Wayward Heart, Ace (New York, NY), 1982.
Promise Me the Dawn, Berkley (New York, NY), 1984.
My True and Tender Love, Berkley (New York, NY), 1985.
Moonlit Obsession, Jove (New York, NY), 1986.
Looking-Glass Years, Jove (New York, NY), 1987.
Always You, Dell (New York, NY), 1992.
Cherished, Dell (New York, NY), 1992.
When the Heart Beckons, Dell (New York, NY), 1995.
Just This Once, Dell (New York, NY), 1997.
Never Love a Cowboy, Dell (New York, NY), 1998.
(With Nora Roberts, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Marianne Willman) Once upon a Castle, Jove (New York, NY), 1998.
(With Nora Roberts, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Marianne Willman) Once upon a Star, Jove (New York, NY) 1999.
Cold Night, Warm Stranger, Dell (New York, NY), 1999.
Rough Wrangler, Tender Kisses, Dell (New York, NY), 2000.
(With Nora Roberts, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Marianne Willman) Once upon a Dream, Jove (New York, NY), 2000.
Once an Outlaw, Dell (New York, NY), 2001.
(With Nora Roberts, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Marianne Willman) Once upon a Rose, Jove (New York, NY), 2001.
(With Nora Roberts, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Marianne Willman) Once upon a Kiss, Berkley (New York, NY), 2002.
(With Nora Roberts, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Marianne Willman) Once upon a Midnight, Jove Books (New York, NY), 2003.
Thunder Creek, Dell (New York, NY), 2003.
(With Nora Roberts, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Marianne Willman) Moon Shadows, Jove Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Night Thunder, Dell (New York, NY), 2004.
Thunder at Dawn, Dell (New York, NY), 2005.
Wolf River, Dell (New York, NY), 2008.
(With Karen Tintori) The Book of Names (thriller), St. Martin's (New York, NY), 2007.
Also author, with Karen Tintori, of suspense novels Something Borrowed, Something Blue and Catch Me If You Can, under the joint pseudonym Jillian Karr.
Something Borrowed, Something Blue was made into a television film, Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc.
Jill Gregory is a prolific writer of romance novels whose work has appeared on both the New York Times and the USA Today best-seller lists and been translated into numerous languages. She has been honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence by Romantic Times. Many of Gregory's stories are set in the Old West. In Always You, for instance, Melora Deanne returns to her family ranch in Wyoming after her father's unexpected death and falls in love with Wyatt Holden, a prominent figure in the town. The night before their wedding, she is abducted by a man who claims he is the real Wyatt Holden. He wants to expose her fiancé as an imposter and murderer, explaining that Melora's fiancé's real name is Rafe Campbell and that he is a con artist. Melora, meanwhile, is worried about the welfare of her little sister, Jinx, who is crippled and who is now left alone back at the ranch. She tries to get her abductor to let her go, but without success. Eventually, though, she begins to fall in love with the man and decides to help him. This places her in danger and inadvertently almost ruins the real Wyatt's chances of exposing the imposter.
Gregory's Cherished takes place in 1873 and is set in Denver, Colorado. Juliana Montgomery is visiting wealthy rancher John Breen with her aunt and uncle, unaware that an arranged marriage has been proposed between herself and Breen in return for Breen assisting her uncle in his business. Juliana escapes, stealing one of Breen's horses and riding off, and Breen puts a bounty on her head, more interested in his horse than his prospective bride.
Just This Once features Josephine Cooper, who flees her abusive outlaw husband, stealing his loot as she leaves. She hopes to travel to England to find her long-lost family. When an Englishman, Ethan Savage, catches her picking his pocket, he decides to use her to get what he wants. He blackmails her into marrying him because a provision in his father's will states that he must marry in order to inherit. He does not want to marry, but decides it will be a nice joke on his dead father if he marries a criminal simply to satisfy the will. After they marry, though, they fall in love and try to lead a respectable life. This dream is nearly shattered when Josephine's criminal past catches up with her, and Ethan must prove that she is worthy of being his wife.
Never Love a Cowboy tells the story of Emma Malloy, a smart, sharp-tongued woman who was educated in the East but is now returning to her father's ranch. She finds that the old family feud against the nearby Garrettsons has only gotten worse during her absence: Beau Garrettson is found dead, shot in the back on her family's land. However, another Garrettson, Tucker, is deeply attracted to Emma, and she returns his interest. They get into deeper trouble as the feud progresses, encompassing a bank robbery, cattle poisoning, and an ambush. They have been wary of their feelings for each other, but now decide to fully experience their love. They realize that if they are going to have a lifelong relationship, they must end their families' feud.
In Cold Night, Warm Stranger Maura Jane Reed is at the mercy of her brothers. They make her a slave by forcing her to cook and clean for their family hotel, and refusing to allow any suitors to approach her. However, the brothers cannot be home all the time, and one winter night when they are away gunfighter Quinn Lassiter arrives at the hotel. Maura, who has never been alone with a man before, is quickly seduced. Quinn disappears, but when Maura later finds that she is pregnant she runs away from her brothers, searching for Quinn. She tracks him to his ranch, where he acts honorably and marries her. After their marriage, they gradually fall in love. Meanwhile, Maura's brothers have lost a secret stash of gems, and they believe Maura stole this fortune when she ran away. The brothers set out to track Maura down, intent on demanding the return of their treasure.
In Once an Outlaw Emily Spoon's uncle wins a ranch in a card game. Because of this, she is confident that her family will end their outlaw days and settle down so that she can have a stable home and family. However, the local sheriff, Clint Barclay, does not believe the Spoon Gang will ever settle down, and he harasses them. Emily, who is falling in love with him, has to find a way to convince him of her family's intentions, but Clint is torn between his love for Emily and his loyalty to the law.
In addition to her own novels, Gregory has written collaborated with other writers on books. She has written a series of novellas along with fellow romance writers Nora Roberts, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Marianne Willman, for a number of anthologies, including Once upon a Castle, Once upon a Star, Once upon a Dream, and Moon Shadows. She has also worked with Karen Tintori under the joint pseudonym Jillian Karr, as well as under her own name. Their joint venture The Book of Names is a major departure from Gregory's Western romances. The writers delve into Jewish mysticism to tell the story of David Shepherd, who, following a near-death experience, discovers random names are popping into his thoughts. As the years go by, the number of names he has thought of reaches the thousands. Eventually, David finds himself pitted against a religious cult, the Gnoseos, in an effort to save the world and his stepdaughter, whose name has joined the others in his thoughts. Joy St. John, in a review for Library Journal, remarked: "Convincing characters and a rapidly moving plot combine to create an enjoyable religious thriller." A Kirkus Reviews contributor called the book "an intriguing synthesis of Jewish mysticism and modern murder mystery."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, July, 1999, review of Cold Night, Warm Stranger, p. 1929; November 15, 2000, Megan Kalan, review of Once an Outlaw, p. 559.
Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 1982, review of The Wayward Heart, p. 24; February 1, 1984, review of Promise Me the Dawn, p. 99; March 1, 1985, review of My True and Tender Love, p. 189; October 1, 2006, review of The Book of Names, p. 978.
Library Journal, October 15, 2006, Joy St. John, review of The Book of Names, p. 51.
Publishers Weekly, November 19, 1979, review of To Distant Shores, p. 77; January 29, 1982, review of The Wayward Heart, p. 64; March 2, 1984, review of Promise Me the Dawn, p. 87; March 15, 1985, review of My True and Tender Love, p. 114; March 28, 1986, review of Moonlit Obsession, p. 55; October 9, 1987, review of Looking-Glass Years, p. 82; February 3, 1992, review of Cherished, p. 76; March 2, 1994, review of Promise Me the Dawn, p. 87; February 26, 1996, review of Always You, p. 100; July 26, 1999, review of Cold Night, Warm Stranger, p. 88; November 12, 2001, review of Once an Outlaw, p. 42.
Romance Reader, July 21, 1999, Ann McGuire, review of Cold Night, Warm Stranger, p. 246.
West Coast Review of Books, January, 1980, Henry Zorich, review of To Distant Shores, p. 51; July, 1984, Suzy Nelson, review of Promise Me the Dawn, p. 42; September, 1985, Henry Zorich, review of Promise Me the Dawn, p. 32.
Jill Gregory Home Page,http://members.aol.com/jillgreg (Janaury 23, 2008).
Romance Reader,http://www.theromancereader.com/ (August 14, 2002), review of Once an Outlaw.