Lindsey, Johanna 1952–
Lindsey, Johanna 1952–
(Helen Johanna Lindsey)
PERSONAL: Born March 10, 1952, in Frankfurt, Germany; daughter of Edwin Dennis (a professional soldier) and Wanda (a personnel management specialist; maiden name, Donaldson) Howard; married Ralph Lindsey (an estimator), November 28, 1970 (deceased); children: Alfred, Joseph, Garret. Education: Attended high school in Kailua, HI.
ADDRESSES: Home—Ahuimanu Hills, 47-598 Puapoo Pl., Kaneohe, HI 96744. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Atria Books, Publicity Department, Simon and Schuster, Inc., 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.
CAREER: Writer, 1975–.
AWARDS, HONORS: Historical romance writer of the year award, 1984, and numerous Reviewer's Choice Awards, Romantic Times; bronze award, West Coast Review of Books, for So Speaks the Heart; Walden Books Best Historical, 1986–91; Outstanding Achiever Award, 1991, and numerous Favorite Author Awards and Silver Pen Awards, from Affaire de Coeur.
Captive Bride, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1977.
A Pirate's Love, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1978.
Fires of Winter, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1980.
Paradise Wild, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1981.
Glorious Angel, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1982.
So Speaks the Heart, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1983.
Heart of Thunder, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1983.
A Gentle Feuding, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1984.
Brave the Wild Wind, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1984.
Tender Is the Storm, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1985.
Love Only Once, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1985.
When Love Awaits, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1986.
A Heart So Wild, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1986.
Hearts Aflame, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1987.
Secret Fire, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1987.
Tender Rebel, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1988.
Silver Angel, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1988.
Defy Not the Heart, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1989.
Savage Thunder, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1989.
Warrior's Woman, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1990, Severn House (London, England), 2004.
Gentle Rogue, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1990.
Once a Princess, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1991.
Prisoner of My Desire, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1991, Morrow (New York, NY), 2002.
Man of My Dreams, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1992.
Angel, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1992.
The Magic of You, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1993.
Keeper of the Heart, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1993.
Surrender My Love, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1994.
Love Me Forever, Morrow (New York, NY), 1995.
Until Forever, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1995.
Say You Love Me, Morrow (New York, NY), 1996.
You Belong to Me, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1996.
All I Need Is You, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1997.
The Present: A Malory Holiday Novel, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1998, reprinted as The Holiday Present, 2003.
Joining, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1999.
Home for the Holidays, Morrow (New York, NY), 2000.
The Heir, Morrow (New York, NY), 2000.
Heart of a Warrior, Morrow (New York, NY), 2001.
The Pursuit, Morrow (New York, NY), 2002.
A Man to Call My Own, Atria Books (New York, NY), 2003.
A Loving Scoundrel: A Malory Novel, Atria Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Marriage Most Scandalous, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Captive of My Desires, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2006.
SIDELIGHTS: "Since I was old enough to appreciate a good novel, I've been a romantic," Johanna Lindsey told Kathryn Falk in Love's Leading Ladies. After years of avidly reading historical romances, Lindsey began writing them herself. Lindsey's works have appeared on the New York Times paperback best-seller list, and more than fifty-four million copies of her books have been sold. Her work has also been translated into twelve languages. Aside from her obvious success, Lindsey feels she is well suited to her profession: "I enjoy happy-ending love stories more than any other type of reading. Romance is what comes out of me."
Lindsey's books are often noted for their accurate portrayal of historical periods and foreign settings. Critics have commented favorably on the author's attention to historical detail and her ability to evoke her exotic locations. Lindsey has also created several generations of an English noble family, the Malorys, who appear in such books as Say You Love Me, The Present: A Malory Holiday Novel, Tender Rebel, Gentle Rogue, Love Only Once, and The Magic of You.
After her success with more than thirty paperback titles, Lindsey published her first hardcover title, Love Me Forever, in 1995. Set in nineteenth-century England, it concerns Kimberly Richards, a woman in search of a husband of anything but Scottish descent, per her father's wishes, and Lachlan MacGregor, a wealthy Highlander looking for a woman to help him carry on the family name. Lindsey's historical backdrop plays foil to a romantic tale in which the lovers aren't quite ready for each other, but through shared adventure, eventually find true love. One Publishers Weekly reviewer described the tale as "giddy entertainment."
Lindsey's subsequent works have a variety of settings and plots. All I Need Is You is a Wild West story about a woman masquerading as a man. Warrior's Woman is set in the year 2139, where a beautiful, young combatant must save her planet from a savage ruler. Characters in Joining are forced into an arranged marriage and unexpectedly find real love against a background of political intrigue in medieval England. It features the "intriguing characters" and "mini history lessons" readers have come to expect from Lindsey, noted People contributor Cynthia Sanz. The Heir, which takes place in the nineteenth century, centers on a plain but vivacious young woman who wins the heart of her more conventionally attractive friend's fiancé, a Scottish nobleman. Of this novel, Booklist critic Patty Engelmann commented, "Lindsey achieves the requisite happy ending with wit and charm." Home for the Holidays is set at Christmastime in Regency-era England, where a young man seeking to avenge his brother's death falls in love with the daughter of his intended victim. A Publishers Weekly reviewer thought this "a shallow but genre-appropriate tale" that nonetheless showed the mark of Lindsey's "practiced hand." Booklist contributor Diana Tixier Herald found it "not as powerful or passionate" as much of Lindsey's work, but predicted that "her fans will devour it happily just the same."
The author transports readers to twelfth-century Britain in Prisoner of My Desire. The story focuses on Lady Rowena Belleme, a beautiful and intelligent young woman who, despite her best efforts, falls victim to her stepbrother's evil, land-hungry plan. After enduring an arranged marriage to an ancient and wealthy lord, who dies shortly after saying "I do," her stepbrother's greed then puts Rowena in the path of the cruel Lord Warrick de Chaville. Seeking revenge upon Rowena's relation, the lord strips her of her title and makes her his slave. Though Rowena and Warrick can barely stand each other's company, their hatred for one another gradually dissolves into something far more passionate. A contributor to Publishers Weekly noted that Lindsey's protagonists are "splendid" and "humorously stubborn."
In the 2002 novel The Pursuit, lovers Melissa and Lincoln must overcome some very big obstacles before they can live happily ever after: Melissa's sixteen uncles. The overprotective uncles, who remember Lincoln as an unruly child, try to distance their only niece from the young viscount through a number of schemes, including a plan to stow Lincoln on a boat headed for China. In a review for the School Library Journal, Claudia Moore felt that the novel was "a lighthearted romp," while a Publishers Weekly contributor judged the historical romance "energetic and expansive."
Lindsey's A Man to Call My Own, published in 2003 and set in America's Wild West, features identical twins, mistaken identity, and eccentric cowboys. Twin sisters Amanda and Marian may be identical in appearance, but their dispositions set them completely apart; Amanda is spoiled and cruel, while Marian is generous and kind. After their father's death, the girls are shipped off to live with their aunt in Texas, and each must marry before she can claim a dime of the family's fortune. Marian covets a young ranch heir but keeps him at a distance, fearing her sister will steal him away and break his heart. One contributor for Publishers Weekly felt that the conclusion was "most unsatisfying and rather bitter for a historical romance." However, in a review for Booklist, Herald described the book as "delightful" with "twists and turns galore."
In 2004, after a long hiatus, Lindsey continued the story of the popular Malory family with the publication of A Loving Scoundrel: A Malory Novel. Though he was raised as a pirate, young Jeremy Malory now enjoys everything that comes with inheriting the Malory fortune. However, his high-society world is turned upside down when he meets Danny, a young woman who has been living on the streets, posing as a boy. The beautiful but stubborn orphan has no memory of her past, and an unknown stranger would do anything to keep it that way. As Jeremy and Danny get dangerously closer to the truth, it quickly becomes difficult for the two to hide their attraction to one another. In a review for Booklist, John Charles called this return to the Malory saga a "fairytale-like love story." A Publishers Weekly contributor felt that although the story is unoriginal, Lindsey's writing adds "energy and spirit."
Marriage Most Scandalous takes place in Regency England. After fighting a duel that ends in the accidental death of his best friend, Sebastian Townshend is disowned by his father and flees the country. He soon sheds his old identity to become a ruthless mercenary known only as the Raven. Margaret Landor, searching for Sebastian, discovers the Raven's true identity and persuades him to return to England, where a series of accidents have been plaguing Sebastian's father. Posing as a married couple, Margaret and Sebastian search for answers and find some passionate feelings lurking beneath the surface of their fake marriage. Booklist contributor Charles called Marriage Most Scandalous a "historical romance with a clever twist."
In an essay for Twentieth-Century Romance and Historical Writers, Barbara E. Kemp summarized Lindsey's career by saying: "Although the explicit sensuality and frequent abusiveness found in Lindsey's work may disturb some readers, her well thought out, fast moving stories appeal to many more. In her skilled hands, the standard battle of strong-willed individuals comes to life. Anchored by authentic descriptions and historical detail and focusing on the turbulent passions in the battle of the sexes, her books are among the best of the sensuous historical novels." Discussing the impact of writing on her life, Lindsey told Falk that, "other than a change in family finances, and the pride of accomplishment, success hasn't changed my life." Yet, she admitted to Falk that her profession is important to her. Lindsey explained: "I would be literally lost if I had to give it up."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Falk, Kathryn, Love's Leading Ladies, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1982.
Twentieth-Century Romance and Historical Writers, 3rd edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1994.
Affaire de Coeur, January, 1984.
Booklist, September 1, 1995, Melanie Duncan, review of Love Me Forever, p. 5; September 15, 1998, Donna Seaman, review of All I Need Is You, p. 211; April 1, 2000, Patty Engelmann, review of The Heir, p. 1413; November 1, 2000, Diana Tixier Herald, review of Home for the Holidays, p. 493; April 1, 2001, Diana Tixier Herald, review of Heart of a Warrior, p. 1428; June 1, 2003, Diana Tixier Herald, review of A Man to Call My Own, p. 1711; March 15, 2004, John Charles, review of A Loving Scoundrel: A Malory Novel, p. 1244; May 1, 2005, John Charles, review of Marriage Most Scandalous, p. 1501.
Library Journal, April 15, 2004, Michael J. Rogers, review of Warrior's Woman, p. 132.
Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 2000, review of Home for the Holidays, p. 1509.
People, August 23, 1999, Cynthia Sanz, review of Joining, p. 49.
Publishers Weekly, July 11, 1980, review of Fires of Winter, p. 88; March 25, 1983, review of So Speaks the Heart, p. 49; October 10, 1994, review of You Belong to Me, p. 67; September 11, 1995, review of Love Me Forever, p. 75; October 30, 2000, review of Home for the Holidays, p. 48; April 23, 2001, review of Heart of a Warrior, p. 50; March 25, 2002, review of The Pursuit, p. 44; November 4, 2002, review of Prisoner of My Desire, p. 61; July 21, 2003, review of A Man to Call My Own, p. 175; April 5, 2004, review of A Loving Scoundrel, p. 422.
School Library Journal, September, 2002, Claudia Moore, review of The Pursuit, p. 256.