Johnson, Doris 1937- (Gloria Greene)
JOHNSON, Doris 1937- (Gloria Greene)
Home—Queens, NY. Agent—c/o Author Mail, BET/Arabesque, One BET Plaza, 1900 West Place NE, Washington, DC 20036.
Heart of Stone, BET/Arabesque (Washington, DC), 1999.
Just One Kiss, BET/Arabesque (Washington, DC), 2000.
Precious Heart, BET/Arabesque (Washington, DC), 2000.
Midsummer Moon, BET/Arabesque (Washinton, DC), 2001.
Rhythms of Love, BET/Arabesque (Washington, DC), 2002.
(With Felicia Mason and Adrianne Byrd) Man of the House, BET/Arabesque (Washington, DC), 2003.
Contributor, with Jacquelin Thomas and Layle Guisto to anthology Cupid's Arrow (contains "A Passionate Moment"), BET Publications (New York, NY), 2000. Also contributed short story "Father at Heart" to Man of the House, Arabesque (Washington, DC); author of White Lies, Arabesque; author of Love Unveiled under the pseudonym Gloria Greene.
Doris Johnson is an author of romance novels and short stories about African Americans. Her heroines are bright, accomplished women coping with personal and professional challenges. Within this genre, her stories touch upon issues ranging from organ donation to family politics. Murder and mystery elements are part of some of her plots.
The novel Heart of Stone centers on Sydney Cox, a sommelier in a fancy restaurant. When her friend is sick and can not go to her job cleaning offices at night, Sydney fills in for her. Things get messy after Sidney decides to also do a little wine tasting and falls asleep. Security expert Adam Stone thinks that his drug bust has been foiled by a drunk, creating one of many obstacles to the romantic relationship that develops between them. In a review for Romance Reader Gwen-dolyn Osborne advised readers that the emotional obstacles between the two main characters makes it difficult to get close to them, but praised the elements of danger in the story.
Johnson begins White Lies with a prologue that shows Beatrice Vaughn killing her abusive husband after she finds him having sex with her sister. The main story is set twenty-six years later, after Beatrice's daughter Willow has returned with her aunt to the family's New York estate. Willow falls in love with Jake Rivers, a landscape architect, but their relationship is complicated by past events and family politics. Writing for Romance Reader, Osborne strongly recommended the book despite finding some predictable points and inconsistencies.
The central character in Just One Kiss is Dory Morgan, a figure introduced at the end of White Lies. The events of Just One Kiss begin when Dory is leaving a job as a journalist to pen mystery novels and do travel writing. On a cross-country train trip, she meets a mysterious man from her past, Reid Robinson, who once kissed her at party immediately before being arrested for murder. Reid still has not discovered who framed him, but his life has largely returned to normal. Reid fears disappointing Dory because he now suffers from borderline hypertension and related erectile dysfunction. In a review for Affaire de Coeur, Dera Williams commented that the medical issues in Just One Kiss are deftly treated within an entertaining novel. Library Journal's Kristin Ramsdell found "a too-hectic plot" but liked the "admirable, nicely troubled protagonists."
The novel Precious Heart considers the effects of organ donation. Following the death of her beloved mother, Diamond Drew receives a grateful letter from the son of the woman who received her mother's heart. Diamond decides to find out if the woman is worthy of this gift. Answering the woman's ad for a live-in companion, Diamond hides her identity from the woman and gets the job, although the woman's son Steven does not approve of the arrangement. The situation becomes more complicated when Diamond and Steven find themselves attracted to each other. Osborne wrote in Romance Reader, "the dialogue is crisp and the secondary characters augment both the main characters and the storyline."
In Midsummer Moon heroine June Saxon is trying to recover from two substantial losses: an injury has ended her career as a flight attendant and a friend has stolen money June put into a business venture. She hopes to make a fresh start with a job in Paris and is paid back by her friend's ex-husband. His true identity later becomes a puzzle for June when they become romantically involved. In a review for Booklist, Patty Engelmann called Midsummer Moon "delightful" and recommended it to teens.
In Rhythms of Love Brynn Halsted's career as a lead dancer in a Harlem ballet troupe means everything to her and has eclipsed her personal life. She has an admirer in Simeon Storey, a composer and jazz club owner, who feels slighted by her. The two get a chance to mend their friendship, but then Brynn is hurt in an attack at the club. The career-ending incident forces her to redefine her life. In a review for Booklist, Engelmann deemed that "the modern Harlem renaissance is well represented" in the book, which she described as "an extraordinary romance with broad appeal."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, October 1, 2001, Patty Engelmann, review of Midsummer Moon, p. 304; September 15, 2002, Patty Engelmann, review of Rhythms of Love, p. 213.
Library Journal, November 15, 2000, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Just One Kiss, p. 56.
Affaire de Coeur,http://www.affairedecoeur.com/ (May 1, 2003), Dera Williams, review of Just One Kiss.
Romance Reader,http://www.theromancereader.com/ (March 26, 2003), Gwendolyn Osborne, review of White Lies, Just One Kiss, Heart of Stone, and Precious Heart. *