PERSONAL: Born in NJ; married. Education: Smith College, B.A. Hobbies and other interests: Swimming, boating, cooking, gardening, collecting handbags and "cool (but not expensive) art."
ADDRESSES: Home and office—P.O. Box 267403, Weston, FL 33326. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Writer; has worked in art galleries and museums.
AWARDS, HONORS: Maggie Award, c. 2001, for Something about Cecily.
Something about Cecily, Avon (New York, NY), 2001.
To Catch a Kiss, Avon (New York, NY), 2001.
I've Got You, Babe, Avon (New York, NY), 2002.
Someone like Him, Avon (New York, NY), 2003.
First Date ("Bridesmaids Chronicles" series), Signet (New York, NY), 2005.
First Dance ("Bridesmaids Chronicles" series), Signet (New York, NY), 2005.
"MAN-HANDLERS" SERIES; ROMANCE NOVELS
Unzipped?, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2005.
Who's on Top?, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2005.
Open Invitation?, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2005.
WORK IN PROGRESS: "After Hours," a three-book series of romance novels, for Harlequin Blaze.
SIDELIGHTS: Romance novelist Karen Kendall published her first book, Something about Cecily, in 2001. This novel, a traditional contemporary romance, follows scatterbrained Cecily "Cecy" Scatterton and uptight Chas Buchannan as they learn to overcome their wildly divergent personalities and appreciate each other. The two meet in the emergency room, where Cecy has gone despite her lack of insurance or sufficient cash to pay the bill. Chas becomes her savior, giving her a temporary job and then allowing her to move in with him when she can no longer afford to keep her own place. "Why are Cecy and Chas destined for each other?," Christine Peterson asked on the All about Romance Web site. "Because he needs someone to take the starch out of his shirt and she needs someone to keep her from doing harm to herself or others."
To Catch a Kiss is both a romance novel and a mystery. Tony Sinclair is an Atlanta police officer investigating the theft of some art from the High Museum. One of his major suspects, Myles Taylor, happens to be the father of Jazz Taylor, an Oscar-nominated special effects artist. When Jazz's attempt to hide her father from Tony fails, she convinces Tony to give her one week to prove her father's innocence before he arrests both of them. He agrees, but insists on following her as she investigates. The book "is a very amusing romantic romp that stars two likable lead protagonists," Harriet Klausner wrote in AllReaders.com, and "reads like a 1930s madcap comedic romance." However, All about Romance online contributor Jane Jorgenson noted, "Jazz's sparkling energy and the chemistry she has with Tony is what made this enjoyable."
Kendall is also the author of the romantic comedies I've Got You, Babe and Someone like Him. The latter book features a matchmaking dog named Daffodil. Lavender "Vinnie" Hart moves from Kansas to Manhattan and takes a job as a realtor, from which she is fired after only one hour. Luckily, she stumbles into a job as a dogsitter after rescuing Daffodil from a pond. This spoiled Doberman Pinscher belongs to Nicholas Wright, who has inherited her from his late and eccentric Aunt Edna. A successful architect, Nicholas has neither the time nor the inclination to care for a high-maintenance dog, nor, really, for any other sort of emotional connection. Vinnie is drawn to him, but at the same time is intimidated by the fact that he clearly comes from a different social strata than she. Kendall "does a good job of showing how these characters' troubled pasts contribute to make them who they are," wrote All about Romance contributor Jennifer Keirans, but "this background angst never overwhelms the light and humorous present." The book has "a charming cast of characters," Harriet Klausner commented on AllReaders.com, but "the big scenestealer is Daffodil[,] whether she cons a biscuit or interrupts a kiss."
Kendall's novels First Date and First Dance are part of her "Bridesmaids Chronicles" series. Each book tells the story of one of Julia Spinelli's bridesmaids, all of whom travel to Texas to try to convince Julia to put off the wedding (she has known her groom-to-be, Roman Sonntag, for less than a month), then wind up falling in love themselves. In the former title, Julia's sister Sydney tries to convince her to call off the wedding entirely. Sydney, an accountant who lives in New Jersey, does not mince words when talking to Julia, and Roman's best friend, Alex, takes offense and decides to get back at her. Of course, the couple's sparring eventually leads to love. Detroit Free Press reviewer Marcia Abramson deemed First Date to be "hilarious," and Kristin Ramsdell, writing in Library Journal, praised the book for its "zingy dialog, great sexual tension, and some truly funny moments."
In First Dance Julia's best friend, lawyer Vivien Shelton, leaves Manhattan for Fredericksburg, Texas, to try to convince her to at least let Vivien draw up a prenuptial agreement for her before her impending wedding, which is now only five days away. However, Vivien is distracted from the negotiations by the groom's lawyer, John Bryan "J.B." Anglin, with whom she had a one-night stand three years ago. "Julia gets revenge on her conniving friend by threatening Viv with all manner of humorous paybacks," Lynne Welch explained in Booklist. The lovingly antagonistic relationships, as well as the hilarious near-disasters in the days leading up to the wedding add up to a "sassy romp" and "a delightful end-of-summer read," Ramsdell concluded in Library Journal.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, May 1, 2005, Lynne Welch, review of First Date, p. 1574; August, 2005, Lynne Welch, review of First Dance, p. 2005.
Detroit Free Press, July 20, 2005, Marcia Abramson, review of First Date.
Library Journal, April 15, 2005, Kristin Ramsdell, review of First Date, p. 68; August 1, 2005, Kristin Ramsdell, review of First Dance, p. 62.
Publishers Weekly, July 25, 2005, review of First Dance, p. 54.
All about Romance, http://www.likesbooks.com/ (November 7, 2005), Jennifer Keirans, review of Someone like Him; Marguerite Kraft, review of I've Got You, Babe; Christine Peterson, review of Something about Cecily; Jane Jorgenson, review of To Catch a Kiss.
AllReaders.com, http://www.allreaders.com/ (November 7, 2005), Harriet Klausner, reviews of To Catch a Kiss, Someone like Him, and I've Got You, Babe.
Book Em Web site, http://www.bookemfoundation.org/ (November 7, 2005), "Karen Kendall."
Karen Kendall Home Page, http://www.karenkendall.com (November 30, 2005).
Romance Junkies, http://www.romancejunkies.com/ (October 27, 2005), Brooke Wills, interview with Kendall.