Jackson, Brenda Streater 195(?)-

views updated

JACKSON, Brenda Streater 195(?)-


Born February 2, 195(?) in Jacksonville, FL; married; children: two sons. Education: Jacksonville University, B.S. (business administration).


Home—Jacksonville, FL. Home and office—P.O. Box 28267, Jacksonville, FL 32226. Email—[email protected].


Insurance manager and romance novelist. State Farm (insurance company), manager.


Romance Writers of America (First coast chapter), Women Writers of Color (founding member).


Emma Award for favorite book of the year, 2000, for Secret Love, 2001, for Surrender; Romance in Color Award, best contemporary romantic fiction of the year, and readers' choice award for favorite book of year, both 2001, both for A Family Reunion.


Tonight and Forever, Pinnacle (Chicago, IL), 1995.

One Special Moment, BET Arabesque (Washington, DC), 1998.

Fire and Desire, BET Arabesque (Washington, DC), 1999.

Whispered Promises, BET Arabesque (Washington, DC), 1999.

Secret Love, BET Arabesque (Washington, DC), 2000.

True Love, BET Arabesque (Washington, DC), 2000.

A Family Reunion, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 2001.

Surrender, BET Arabesque (Washington, DC), 2001.

Delaney's Desert Sheikh, Silhouette (New York, NY), 2002.

Perfect Timing, Dafina (New York, NY), 2002.

Ties That Bind, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 2002.

Perfect Fit, Kensington (New York, NY), 2003.

Contribor to several romance anthologies.


Brenda Streater Jackson is a prolific writer of romance stories prominently featuring African-American characters. Gwendolyn Osborne, online reviewer for Romance Reader, explained that Jackson "doesn't merely write novels," she "organizes reunions that reconnect her readers with the solid, multifaceted characters they have come to know and to care about." This aspect of her writing has gained Jackson's work a large following.

Among the recurring characters who feature in many of her stories are the Madaris brothers, Justin, Dex, and Clayton, as well as other assorted family members. Doctor Justin Madaris was the first to appear in Jackson's debut 1995 novel, Tonight and Forever. The author's Web site even includes a Madaris family tree and family trivia. Among the characters whose lives intersect with the Madaris' are Hollywood superstars Diamond McSwain and Sterling Hamilton. The Madaris clan possesses its share of glamour, wealth, and romance, but also plenty of hardships. Commenting on Secret Love, the story of the secret marriage of tycoon Jake Madaris and movie star, Diamond, reviewer Osborne stated that Jackson "is an excellent storyteller who has created wonderful connecting stories about strong African-American families." Also reviewing Secret Love, a contributor to Publishers Weekly praised Jackson's "talent for character development."While some readers enjoy the extended family scenario in the books, others, such as Andrea Pool, in an online review for All about Romance, cautioned that "she found endlessly irritating …the sheer number of people who showed up" in Surrender, one of the many books featuring the Madaris family.

Jackson features a different cast of characters in Perfect Timing, in which a class reunion cruise reunites childhood friends Mya Rivers and Maxine Chandler who parted ways after high school. The reunion comes at a perfect juncture in their lives when the two friends are struggling with emotionally difficult situations. Mya fears her husband is being unfaithful, and Maxine, who lost her fiancé just before their wedding, is now facing a hysterectomy. Booklist's Lillian Lewis remarked that "the result is a warm reading experience."

Ties That Bind follows the entanglement of a group of Howard University students over the course of thirty years. While at college in the 1960s Angela drugged Randolph in order to get him to sleep with her. Angela became pregnant and Randolph married her even though he was in love with Jenna. Twelve years later, Jenna is widowed and Randolph and Angela are separated; the two old flames are able to rekindle their relationship. A host of other college friends figure in the story, and their lives become more entwined as their children date and marry. In her review for Booklist, critic Lewis remarked that the "novel is a wonderful, wholesome story about love, life, friendship, and family." Robyn Glazer, reviewing Ties That Bind online for Romantic Times, labeled it a "powerful book."



Black Issues Book Review, July-August, 2002, review of Perfect Timing, p. 39.

Booklist, April 1, 2002, Lillian Lewis, review of Perfect Timing, p.1306; October 15, 2002, review of Ties That Bind, p. 386.

Library Journal, November 1, 2002, Ann Burns, review of Ties That Bind, p. 111.

Publishers Weekly, June 21, 1999, review of Fire and Desire, p. 65; December 13, 1999, review of Secret Love, p. 69; August 21, 2000, review of True Love, p. 55.


All about Romance,http://www.likesbooks.com/ (May 15, 2003).

Brenda Jackson Home Page,http://www.brendajackson.net (May 15, 2003).

Romance in Color,http://www.romanceincolor.com/ (June 5, 2003).

Romance Reader,http://www.theromancereader.com/ (May 15, 2003), Gwendolyn Osborne, review of One Special Moment and Secret Love.

Romantic Times,http://www.romantictimes.com/ (May 15, 2003), Robyn Glazer, review of Ties That Bind.*

About this article

Jackson, Brenda Streater 195(?)-

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article