PERSONAL: Born in Leamington, Ontario, Canada; immigrated to England. Education: Graduated from college in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
CAREER: Romance novelist.
(With others) Misteltoe and Magic, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2000.
Always, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2000.
(With Evelyn Rogers) Sweet Revenge, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2000.
(With others) Wish List, Dorchester (New York, NY), 2001.
Bliss, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2001.
Lady Pirate, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2001.
Reluctant Reformer, Dorchester (New York, NY), 2002.
What She Wants, Dorchester (New York, NY), 2002.
The Loving Daylights, Love Spell (New York, NY), 2003.
The Chase, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2004.
(With Hannah Howell) The Eternal Highlander, Kensington (New York, NY), 2004.
Also author of The Deed, The Switch, and The Key.
Single White Vampire, Love Spell (New York, NY), 2003.
Love Bites, Love Spell (New York, NY), 2004.
Tall, Dark, and Hungry, Love Spell (New York, NY), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: A romance novelist, Lynsay Sands is known for the humor found in her stories and for working across genres, from traditional historicals, to spy novel parodies, to vampire tales. Her strong-willed, intelligent characters generally find themselves dealing with difficult, sometimes absurd situations, relying on their cleverness and adaptability to carry them through.
In What She Wants, Sir Hugh Dulonget inadvertently mistakes a lady for a bastard, grievously insulting her. Unfortunately, Lady Willa turns out to be Sir Hugh's betrothed, according to his wealthy uncle's will. Now he must win her ove, overcoming her negative first impression of him and also convincing her that he is not just marrying her to inherit his uncle's estate. To complicate things further, Lady Willa's guardian, a witch, has warned her charge that if she accepts Hugh's suit too quickly, he will die. The result is a "warm story of two gentle people pushed together by an inheritance" in the words of DeborahAnne MacGillivray, writing for AllReaders.com. Writing on the same site, Harriet Klausner felt that "readers will laugh loudly and long at the amusing medieval romantic story line."
In The Switch Sands' story centers on an old formula: the woman disguised as a boy and the man who finds himself drawn to her, in spite of himself. When twin sisters Charlotte and Beth decide to escape from their wicked uncle, they realize that having a man along might make them safer on the roads of eighteenth-century England. The twins decide to switch off, one becoming "brother" Charlie while the other takes her turn as sister Beth. As it turns out, this plan proves redundant when they meet the dashing earl of Radcliffe along the way. Taking the young siblings under his wing, he agrees to accompany them to London and introduce Beth to high society so she can win a husband. Inevitably, the earl finds himself attracted to Beth, but at other times, to his chagrin, there are "strange feelings that he experiences whenever near that young man, Charlie," as Reggi explained in AllReaders.com. Naturally, all is revealed by the end, and the nervous earl discovers that it has been Charlotte all along, whether as Beth or Charlie, who has won his heart.
In another twist on the secret-identity theme, Lady Pirate relates the story of Valoree, who assumes the identity of her brother, Captain Red, after the notorious pirate is murdered. She then discovers that she is an heiress to a great estate, but only if she can marry a nobleman in time. Being a little rough around the edges, Valoree turns to her crew for ideas about how to turn herself into a proper lady. The result is "another wonderful, witty romp," according to AllReaders.com reviewer DeborahAnne MacGilivray.
Sands has also produced a series of James Bond parodies, featuring BLISS, an organization run almost entirely by women. Through such gadgets as knockout lipstick and vibrator-shaped mini-missile launchers, as well as martial arts training, the ladies of BLISS take on criminal kingpins in humorous adventures. In The Loving Daylights Jane Spyrus, inventor of many of these gadgets, decides to leave the safety of the laboratory and join the front lines when her friend, Edie Andretti, is kidnapped. As Jane investigates, she finds herself up against a ruthless family bent on world domination. Fortunately, she is not alone; in addition to her ex-secret agent grandmother, she has the help of Edie's handsome brother, Abel. At first, Jane is definitely in over her head, but "as the adventure unfolds, she believably turns her shy, size 12 self into a seductive super spy," according to a Publishers Weekly reviewer.
In addition to so-called historicals and the more contemporary parodies, Sands has also produced stories for one of the most popular subgenres in romance: vampire novels. In these books she brings her distinctly humorous slant to a form that more often relies on horror and tragedy. As a Publishers Weekly contributor noted in a review of Single White Vampire, "readers weary of the tortured, brooding, all-too-serious vampires that often populate paranormal romance novels will appreciate Sands's cheeky, madcap tale." The tale centers on Lucern Argeneau, a vampire who has become a popular supernatural romance novelist, at least as far as the wider world is concerned. In truth, however, he is a kind of family biographer, chronicling his life and the lives of his vampire relatives. It's a situation that works well for him, until his persistent editor, Kate, shows up on his doorstep, determined to convince him to attend the Romantic Times convention. Eventually Lucern agrees, and soon he is dealing with the difficulties of finding blood (sensibly deciding that his blood supply would not make it past customs), daytime book signings, and all-too-eager and curious fans. At the same time, it slowly dawns on Kate that her author is more than a little eccentric. The result, for Booklist reviewer Diana Tixier Herald, is an "uproariously hilarious romance."
Love Bites focuses on Etienne Argeneau, a computer programmer who is being pursued by a homicidal maniac named Pudge. As a vampire, Etienne has regenerative powers unknown to his assailant, and he finds himself in the morgue, watched over by attendant Rebecca Garrett, not once but three times. On the third occasion, Pudge shows up to finish the undead programmer off with an axe, but winds up mortally wounding Rebecca instead. To save her life, Etienna turns her into a vampire and takes on the responsibility of training her in her new life. In addition to teaching her how to control her teeth and drink blood, he must disabuse her of notions about vampire life she has picked up from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series and other sources. A Publishers Weekly reviewer found that Sands' "lightweight romantic romp shoots for the easy laugh and often misses." However, Diana Tixier Herald, writing for Booklist, felt that "readers will be highly amused, and eager for the next Argeneau tale."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 15, 2003, John Charles, "Passionate Pirates," p. 225; September 15, 2003, Diana Tixier Herald, review of Single White Vampire, p. 225; December 1, 2003, Diana Tixier Herald, review of Love Bites, p. 654; September 1, 2004, John Charles, review of The Eternal Highlander, p. 72; December 15, 2004, Lynn Welch, review of The Chase, p. 1820.
Library Journal, August, 2004, Kristin Ramsdell, review of The Eternal Highlander, p. 55.
Publishers Weekly, March 24, 2003, review of The Loving Daylights, p. 64; August 25, 2003, review of Single White Vampire, p. 45; December 15, 2003, review of Love Bites, p. 59.
AllReaders.com, http://www.allreaders.com/ (April 14, 2005), DeborahAnne MacGillivray, reviews of Always, Bliss, Lady Pirate, The Loving Daylights, The Deed, and The Key; Tanya, review of Single White Vampire; Harriet Klausner, reviews of The Chase, Reluctant Reformer, and What She Wants; Reggi, review of The Switch
Lynsay Sands Home Page, http://www.lynsaysands.com (April 14, 2005).