Rice, Patricia 1949–
Rice, Patricia 1949–
PERSONAL: Born 1949, in NY; married; children: two.
CAREER: Former certified public accountant; full-time writer.
MEMBER: Romance Writers of America, Authors Guild, Authors League of America, Novelists, Inc.
AWARDS, HONORS: Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award, 1988, for Indigo Moon; Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award, 1990, for historical fantasy; Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Regency Comedy, 1992, for Mad Maria's Daughter; Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, 1993, for Historical Storyteller of the Year; Bookrack Best-selling Paperback Award, 1994, for Texas Lily; Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, 2000, for Best British-Set Historical Romance; Best Book of the Year, Romance Reviews Today, 2002, for Almost Perfect.
Love's First Surrender, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1984, reissued as Surrender, 1998.
Lady Sorceress, Signet (New York, NY), 1985.
Moonlight Mistress, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 1985.
Love Betrayed, Onyx (New York, NY), 1987.
Lord Rogue, New American Library (New York, NY), 1988.
Indigo Moon, Signet (New York, NY), 1988.
Silver Enchantress, Onyx (New York, NY), 1988.
Cheyenne's Lady, Onyx (New York, NY), 1989.
Love Forever After, Onyx (New York, NY), 1990.
Rebel Dreams, Onyx (New York, NY), 1991.
Moon Dreams, Onyx (New York, NY), 1991.
Devil's Lady, Onyx (New York, NY), 1992.
Artful Deceptions, Signet Regency (New York, NY), 1992.
Mad Maria's Daughter, Signet Regency (New York, NY), 1992.
Touched by Magic, Onyx (New York, NY), 1992.
Shelter from the Storm, Onyx (New York, NY), 1993.
The Genuine Article, Signet Regency (New York, NY), 1994.
Texas Lily, Topaz (New York, NY), 1994.
Paper Roses, Topaz (New York, NY), 1995.
Paper Tiger, Topaz (New York, NY), 1995.
Paper Moon, Topaz (New York, NY), 1996.
Denim and Lace, Topaz (New York, NY), 1997.
The Marquess, Topaz (New York, NY), 1997.
Wayward Angel, Topaz (New York, NY), 1997.
Garden of Dreams, Fawcett Gold Medal (New York, NY), 1998.
Blue Clouds, Fawcett Gold Medal (New York, NY), 1998.
Volcano, Fawcett Gold Medal (New York, NY), 1999.
Impossible Dreams, Ivy Books (New York, NY), 2000.
Merely Magic, Signet (New York, NY), 2000.
Nobody's Angel, Ivy Books (New York, NY), 2000.
All a Woman Wants, Signet (New York, NY), 2001.
Almost Perfect, Ivy Books (New York, NY), 2002.
Must Be Magic, Signet (New York, NY), 2002.
McCloud's Woman, Ivy Books (New York, NY), 2003.
The Trouble with Magic, New American Library (New York, NY), 2003.
This Magic Moment, New American Library (New York, NY), 2004.
Carolina Girl, Signet (New York, NY), 2004.
California Girl, Signet (New York, NY), 2004.
Much Ado about Magic, Signet (New York, NY), 2005.
Small Town Girl, Ballantine/Ivy Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Contributor of fiction to anthologies, including A Regency Christmas, Signet, 1989; Full Moon Magic, Signet, 1992; Moonlight Lovers, Signet, 1993; Secrets of the Heart, Topaz, 1994; Blossoms, Signet, 1995; A Country Christmas, Onyx, 1999; Captured Hearts, Topaz, 1999; Bewitched, Bothered & BeVampyred, Triskelion Publishing, 2005; and The Journey Home, Ima Jinn Books, 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Romance writer Patricia Rice has published numerous novels and has won several career achievement awards from Romance Times magazine. She began writing when she was very young, having become devoted to books after her family moved from New York to Kentucky, which left her with "culture shock," as she noted in Romantic Hearts: A Personal Reference for Romance Readers. As her new neighborhood did not have a library or bookstore, she tried writing her first book at age nine, so she would have something to read. She continued to write during her teens; in Romantic Hearts, she described her early work as "wildly romantic books about misunderstood teens who died tragically." She eventually married, had children, and earned an accounting degree, while continuing to write.
Rice's move into serious writing came when her husband took a job in a small town where she did not know anyone and could not find a job. In a bookstore, she discovered historical romances, and she soon decided to write her own. She went on to earn a name for herself as a respected writer of both historical and contemporary romances. On her Web site, Rice noted that she portrays "different types of experiences" in the two genres. "Historicals can be purely imaginary within the realm of the setting and period," she said. "But creating contemporaries requires a great deal more attention to detail and pragmatics," she further noted.
All a Woman Wants features Victorian spinster Bea Cavendish, who has just lost her father and inherited his heavily mortgaged estate. Bea runs into seafaring Lachlan Warwick McTavish, and despite his coarse ways, hires him to teach her about estate management. He agrees, as long as she finds a nanny for his nephew and niece—but he does not tell her that he has kidnapped them from their neglectful father, the Viscount Simmons. As they work to repair the estate, romance blooms between them, made tense by McTav-ish's plan to leave and immigrate to America with the two children. In Publishers Weekly, a reviewer commended the novel's "complex, sympathetic characters" and its "moving but inevitable conclusion."
In Almost Perfect, Cleo Alyssum moves to a small South Carolina beach town to restart her life and regain custody of her nine-year-old son after battling drug addiction and a criminal past. She uses a small inheritance to buy some beachfront property, and soon meets Jared McCloud, who wants to rent a small house on the property. Initially, Cleo is standoffish, but eventually she comes to trust Jared after they endure a hurricane together. Booklist reviewer Megan Kalan wrote that Almost Perfect is "perfectly captivating." In the sequel, McCloud's Woman, T.J. McCloud is a forensic anthropologist who is studying some bones that have been discovered on a friend's beachfront property when an old love interest shows up. Once the nerdy sister of one of his friends, Mara is now a big-shot movie producer who wants to use the beach for her film, which quickly sets the conflict in motion. Kalan described the sequel in Booklist, as "intriguing and passionate."
With Merely Magic, The Trouble with Magic, Must Be Magic, and This Magic Moment, Rice created a series of stories featuring the Malcolm women, all of whom have subtle powers of magic. For instance, Lady Leila Staines in Must Be Magic is able to detect people's true feelings just by the way they smell, and in The Trouble with Magic the heroine, Felicity, is also able to detect such emotions, but through touch. The women in these romances end up in romantic situations that become complicated in one way or another and lead to a crisis for the main character concerning whether or not she should embrace or reject her special gift. Kalan, writing about The Trouble with Magic for Booklist, called the tale "truly spellbinding." Library Journal contributor Kristin Ramsdell similarly praised This Magic Moment as "charming and immensely entertaining." Reviewing the same book for Booklist, Diane Tixier Harris asserted that the story features "delicious romance, and delightful characters both flesh-and-blood and ectoplasmic."
On her Web site Rice commented: "I love the stories of the people behind closed doors and shuttered windows." She said she usually begins her stories with two strong characters in mind—characters with problems they need to overcome and needs they want to satisfy. Often she finds her characters are looking for home, and "as I build the characters and their relationships, I tend to build homes around them."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Jaegly, Peggy J., Romantic Hearts: A Personal Reference for Romance Readers, Scarecrow Press (Lanham, MD), 1997.
Booklist, February 1, 2002, Megan Kalan, review of Almost Perfect, p. 928; February 1, 2003, Megan Kalan, review of McClound's Woman, p. 978; August, 2003, Megan Kalan, review of The Trouble with Magic, p. 1966; August, 2004, Diana Tixier Herald, review of This Magic Moment, p. 1910.
Library Journal, August, 2004, Kristin Ramsdell, review of This Magic Moment, p. 56.
Publishers Weekly, May 14, 2001, review of All a Woman Wants, p. 58.
Patricia Rice Web site, http://www.patriciarice.com (June 27, 2002).