Guhrke, Laura Lee

views updated

Guhrke, Laura Lee

PERSONAL:

Education: Graduated from college.

ADDRESSES:

Home—ID. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Romance novelist. Worked previously as a caterer and as an advertising agent in Los Angeles, CA.

AWARDS, HONORS:

RITA Award, Romance Writers of America; Romantic Times Award for Best European Historical Romance, 2004.

WRITINGS:

"GUILTY" SERIES

Guilty Pleasures, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2004.

His Every Kiss, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2004.

The Marriage Bed, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2005.

She's No Princess, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2006.

"GIRL-BACHELOR" SERIES

And Then He Kissed Her, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2007.

The Wicked Ways of a Duke, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2008.

OTHER

Prelude to Heaven, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1994.

To Dream Again, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1995.

Conor's Way, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996.

The Seduction, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1997.

Breathless, Sonnet Books (New York, NY), 1999.

The Charade, Sonnet Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Not So Innocent, Sonnet Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Contributor to various periodicals, including Romance Writers Report, British Weekly, and Irish-American Press.

SIDELIGHTS:

Laura Lee Guhrke is a historical romance novelist whose books are regularly featured on the USA Today best-seller list. After earning a business degree in college, the Idaho native spent time in Los Angeles, where she tried her hand at selling advertising and catering meals for Hollywood events. Guhrke ultimately moved back to Idaho and set her sights on a career as a writer, drawn to the independence of working for herself and to the romance genre as a source of personal pleasure. Her first novel, Prelude to Heaven, was published in 1994, and she has written at least one novel nearly every year since.

Among Guhrke's early novels, Breathless is representative of her strength at creating memorable characters and attention-grabbing plots. The book's protagonist, Lily Morgan, is a librarian in a turn-of-the-century Georgian town, making a quiet life for herself after a scandal surrounding her divorce five years prior. A boisterous men's club in town becomes the focus of Lily's ire, and the same lawyer who was at the center of her divorce debacle becomes an obstruction in Lily's personal crusade to close the club. The two become sudden allies, however, when one of the club's female "entertainers" is murdered. Writing for the Romance Reader Web site, Lesley Dunlap remarked: "I had scarcely begun reading Breathless (a most non-descriptive title) when I felt that it was going to be a terrific book. My instincts were right. It's funny. It's touching. It's great." Romantic Times online reviewer Kathe Robin exclaimed that Guhrke "weaves a lively story where Southern respectability joins with simmering passion to heat up the pages giving readers a memorable romance."

The Charade, Guhrke's follow-up to Breathless, is set in Boston in the years prior to the Revolutionary War. Trying to escape a destiny as an indentured servant in Virginia, former pickpocket Katie is blackmailed into spying for the British in an attempt to uncover the root of the growing rebellion. As it happens, the object of Katie's investigation becomes the object of her desires, and her own survival is threatened as she is drawn into the role of double agent. Lesley Dunlap appreciated the novel's "well-developed characters, cohesive plot and relatively uncommon setting" in a review for the Romance Reader Web site. A Publishers Weekly critic found the book had "well-researched historical background and a fast-paced plot."

In Not So Innocent, Guhrke introduces the character of Sophie Haversham, a psychic who is compelled to report to the police a crime that has not yet happened. The Scotland Yard inspector who receives the report is skeptical until he becomes the intended victim of a murder. As part of the subsequent investigation, the inspector delves into the details of Sophie's personal life, only to succumb to a growing attraction. Describing the novel as "a delightful yet intensely satisfying mystery of late 1800s London," Denise M. Clark remarked in a review for the Curled Up with a Good Book Web site: "Tolerance and acceptance is subtly woven throughout the plot, which twists and turns until the reader is giddy with anticipation to identify the person behind the attempted murder."

Emmaline Dove, the central character in And Then He Kissed Her, has been dealing with the less-than-acceptable behavior of her boss for some time, believ- ing that her dedicated work as the publisher's secretary would be taken into account when she asks him to consider her newly written book for publication. Instead, her employer, Harry, doesn't even read it, prompting Emmaline to quit and take her book with her. The unintended result is that Harry sees her in a different light for the first time, leaving open the possibility for both professional and physical connections down the road. Booklist reviewer John Charles called the novel "a sparkling and deliciously fun romantic battle of wits." "Fresh, smart, and romantic" was how a contributor to the Dear Author Web site described the book, noting that the story "never lagged, not once."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, March 1, 2007, John Charles, review of And Then He Kissed Her, p. 70.

Publishers Weekly, February 14, 2000, review of The Charade, p. 179.

ONLINE

Curled Up with a Good Book,http://www.curledup.com/ (October 26, 2007), Denise M. Clark, review of Not So Innocent.

Dear Author,http://dearauthor.com/ (March 19, 2007), review of And Then He Kissed Her.

Laura Lee Guhrke Home Page,http://www.lauraleeguhrke.com (October 1, 2007).

Romance Reader,http://www.theromancereader.com/ (October 1, 2007), Lesley Dunlap, reviews of The Charade and Breathless.

Romantic Times,http://www.romantictimes.com/ (October 1, 2007), Kathe Robin, review of Breathless.

About this article

Guhrke, Laura Lee

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article