Leto, Julie Elizabeth (Julie Leto Klapka, Julie Leto)
Leto, Julie Elizabeth (Julie Leto Klapka, Julie Leto)
Born in FL; married Tim Klapka; children: one daughter. Education: Attended graduate school.
Home—Tampa, FL. E-mail—[email protected]
Writer, novelist, and educator. Worked as an English teacher in a Catholic school. Works in family's manufacturing business, 1996—.
Seducing Sullivan, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1998.
Private Lessons, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1999.
Good Girls Do!, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2000.
Pure Chance, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2001.
Insatiable, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2001.
Exposed, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2001.
What's Your Pleasure?, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2002.
Just Watch Me, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2002.
Double the Pleasure, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2002.
Brazen & Burning, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2002.
Up to No Good, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2003.
Looking for Trouble, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2003.
Undeniable, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2004.
Line of Fire, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2004.
(Under name Julie Leto) Dirty Little Secrets, Downtown Press (New York, NY), 2005.
Making Waves, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2005.
(Under name Julie Leto; with Cherry Adair and Jill Shalvis) Dare Me (anthology), Signet Eclipse (New York, NY), 2005.
(Under name Julie Leto) Dirty Little Lies, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2006.
The Domino Effect, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2006.
New Orleans Nights, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2006.
Stripped, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2007.
Phantom Pleasures, Signet (New York, NY), 2008.
Josie's Story, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2008.
Phantom's Touch, Signet (New York, NY), 2008.
Contributor to anthologies, including Essence of Midnight, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2004; Lip Service, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2004; Dare Me, Signet Eclipse (New York, NY), 2005; Getting Real, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2005; More Than Words, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2005; A Fare to Remember, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2006; Boys of Summer, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2006; I'll Be Home for Christmas, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2006; and Witchy Business, Harlequin (New York, NY), 2007.
Julie Elizabeth Leto is a prolific author of romance novels, most of which are published by imprints of the venerable Harlequin publishing house. Several of her works have appeared under the Harlequin Blaze and Temptations labels, a series containing more erotic and sexually charged plotlines than traditional Harlequin stories. "I discovered my niche with Temptation's sensuous, sexy tone and character-driven stories," Leto stated in an autobiography on her home page. The inauguration of the Blaze imprint "gave me the freedom to explore sensual stories with a more intricate plot," she added. A romance reader since the age of sixteen, Leto knew early on what type of writing she wanted to pursue, she stated.
In Leto's first book, Seducing Sullivan, revenge is on the mind of the main protagonist. In high school, she was heartbroken by the book's title character at the senior prom. Now a highly successful marketing executive (and a single mother), she heads for her ten-year reunion with the express intent of turning the tables on the never-forgotten Mr. Sullivan. In the book, Leto pens a number of "varied and well-written erotic scenes" that will appeal to fans of the Blaze imprint, commented Romantic Times Online reviewer Renae Dryer.
What's Your Pleasure? finds protagonist Devon Michaels, a famous mystery writer, at loose ends when her publisher asks her to introduce an erotic component in her books. No virgin but no sultry heroine either, Devon decides that a little bit of "research" with handsome cop Jake Tanner will help motivate her to sex up her mysteries. For his part, Jake is more than willing to participate in Devon's research project. Unexpectedly, however, what starts out as a no-strings, no-commitment fling becomes something more serious. Romantic Times Online critic Catherine Witmer called the novel a "compelling, highly-charged tale featuring one of the sexiest Heat heroes ever."
Faith Lawton, the protagonist of Line of Fire, is a hardworking defense attorney. She puts a lot of effort into getting one of her clients released, but the man is gunned down by a vigilante sniper shortly after he walks out of jail. Assistance with the case comes from an unexpected source: chief of detectives Adam Guthrie, who is often Faith's opponent in the courtroom. With the sniper still at large, Adam and Faith realize they must join forces to find the dangerous rogue before one of them ends up in the killer's crosshairs. The "suspense is strong and the sexual tension high" in this thriller, commented Marilyn Weigel on the Romantic Times Online.
During her difficult and well-publicized divorce in Making Waves, Florida socialite Tessa is mortified when her husband reveals one of her most closely guarded secrets: she is a published author who writes erotic fairy tales. The newspapers, popular opinion, and even her friends turn against her at this startling revelation, accusing her of everything from sexual promiscuity to sexual deviance. Only one columnist, Colton Granger, defends Tessa in his published newspaper work. When Tessa seeks solitude and healing in Key West, she and Colton develop a friendship via e-mail and phone. As their friendship deepens, Colton manages to convince Tessa to do something she never thought she'd do: pick up a pen and start writing her delicious erotic fantasies once again. Romantic Times Online reviewer Susan Mitchell concluded, "Provocative verbal sparring and steamy interludes keep the steam rising in this great summer read."
Stripped is a supernatural romance featuring Lilith St. Lyons, a witch whose rebellious streak and disinclination to follow the rules puts her at odds with her sister, a much more powerful witch. When Lilith uses her own powers for personal enrichment, her sister strips her of her supernatural abilities, rendering her effectively mortal. Stunned and angered by this turn of events, Lilith is unsure of what she should do next. She finds herself facing a crisis when a former lover, police detective Mac Mancusi, reenters her life. Years ago, Mac and Lilith had a wonderful relationship that was shattered when he realized that her psychic abilities and magical powers were real. Now, Mac is caught up in a difficult case and comes to Lilith seeking magical assistance. With no powers at her disposal, Lilith must rely on human-type intelligence and cunning while helping Mac track down a despicable murderer. The "fresh characters, perfect details, passionate relationships, humor and sizzling sex" all combine to make Stripped a satisfying story, commented Page Traynor, writing on the Romantic Times Online.
In Dirty Little Secrets, written under the name Julie Leto, the author introduces former gang member, bounty hunter, and action hero Marisela Morales. When tough-as-nails Marisela gets an offer to help locate Jessica Perez, the kidnapped daughter of a rich Boston-area heiress, she knows she can't turn it down. The possibility of a huge reward payment is enough to entice her to take the case, but soon she learns that she'll have the chance to work with her ex, Frankie Vega, a bad-boy gang member who broke her heart ten years ago by choosing his gang over her. In the process, she will have the chance to keep Frankie from skipping bail and will get the opportunity to take a little well-earned revenge. Marisela and Frankie find themselves caught up in a case involving dangerous arms dealers and double-crossers who won't hesitate to kill. An unexpected moral dilemma results in deadly danger for Marisela and Frankie. When the case is completed, Marisela realizes that she'd much rather court danger with Frankie than continue along with her struggles to find work and survive as a bounty hunter. The novel's "unrelenting pace and the quality of the characters more than compensate" for a somewhat unbelievable plot, observed Romantic Times Online contributor Donna Carter.
Marisela returns for a second adventure in Dirty Little Lies. Now teamed up with the gorgeous and sultry Frankie Vega, Marisela continues her role as a thrill-seeker and bounty hunter. While working at an important local event, Marisela and Frankie become involved in the case of an event guest who gets shot. As their investigation unfolds, they discover that the man shot at the event was connected to a number of murders that occurred years ago. More people die and the danger increases dramatically as Frankie and Marisela try to dredge up a solution to a case that went cold years ago. Donna M. Brown, writing on the Romantic Times Online, remarked, "The heroine is sassy, saucy and sexy, and the book sizzles."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
MBR Bookwatch, April 2005, review of Dare Me.
Contemporary Romance Writers,http://www.contemporaryromancewriters.com/ (January 8, 2008), biography of Julie Elizabeth Leto.
Crescent Blues,http://www.crescentblues.com/ (January 8, 2008), Jen Foote, review of Dare Me.
Julie Elizabeth Leto Home Page,http://www.julieleto.com (January 8, 2008).
Marisela Morales Web site,http://www.marisela.info (January 8, 2008).
Plot Monkeys,http://www.plotmonkeys.com/ (January 8, 2008).
Reading While Black Web log,http://blackromancereader.wordpress.com/ (August 21, 2007), "Cultures in Romance: Julie Elizabeth Leto," interview with Julie Elizabeth Leto.
Romantic Times Online,http://www.romantictimes.com/ (January 8, 2008), Catherine Witmer, review of Brazen & Burning; Cindy Whitesel, review of Double the Pleasure; Shannon Short, review of Exposed; Shannon Short, review of Good Girls Do!; Shannon Short, review of Insatiable; Cindy Whitesel, review of Just Watch Me; Marilyn Weigel, review of Line of Fire; Cindy Whitesel, review of Looking for Trouble; Susan Mitchell, review of Making Waves; Renae Dryer, review of Private Lessons; Shannon Short, review of Pure Chance; Renae Dryer, review of Seducing Sullivan; Page Traynor, review of The Domino Effect; Page Traynor, review of Undeniable; Cindy Whitesel, review of Up to No Good; Catherine Witmer, review of What's Your Pleasure?; Donna M. Brown, review of Dirty Little Lies; Donna Carter, review of Dirty Little Secrets; Page Traynor, review of Stripped.