These authors have been successful in the romance genre for 25, 30, or even 40 years. Their contributions to the industry are numerous. These women have won many awards and sold tens of millions of books.
Lisa Kleypas burst onto the scene in September 1987 with her Onyx release, Where Passion Leads. She is a Wellesley College graduate and former beauty pageant queen (Miss Massachusetts). Kleypas was only 21 when she signed her first book deal. Thirty-five years later, she’s perhaps historical romance’s most famous author. Kleypas has published 49 novels and short stories. She has dabbled in contemporary romance. But historicals are where she has her biggest fans. Her books have won various awards for distinction. Kleypas is both a USA Today and NY Times best-selling author. Her most recent outing, Devil in Disguise, came out in August 2021.
One of Harlequin’s most prominent authors is Lynne Graham, who hails from Northern Ireland. Mills & Boon published her first book, Bittersweet Passion, in 1987. It wasn’t until she began writing Harlequin Presents a couple of years later that Graham would gain huge acclaim. Her first HP was The Veranchetti Marriage. Her passionate romances about Greek, Italian, Hispanic, and Mediterranean heroes have captured millions of fans. She has written 120+ books, and 45 million have been sold worldwide. Promoted to the Greek’s Wife will be a February 2022 release.
Jodi Thomas, whose real name is Jodi Koumalats, is a Texas icon. Most of her books take place in the Lone Star State. Her first novel, Beneath the Texas Sky, published in 1988, won a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Western Romance. Thomas has received many awards for her books. They have an authentic feel to them. She has written both historical and contemporary romances and has also branched into women’s fiction. She has two of her books scheduled for release in 2022, including Sunday at Sunflower Inn.
La Nora, as the industry calls her, is a publishing phenom. She has written over 200 romances, including category romances, contemporaries, romantic suspense, and science fiction. Born Eleanor Marie Robertson, Nora Roberts submitted her first manuscript to Harlequin, who rejected her, as they didn’t need more American writers. Silhouette quickly swiped her talents. Their Romance line released Irish Thoroughbred in 1981. The rest is history. Her books have sold over 150 million copies. Roberts’ prodigious output sees her create two books a year. Nightwork will be coming out in May 2022.
Historical romance writer Lorraine Heath was born in England and raised in Texas, which gives her a unique perspective when writing. Although she is one of the “later” authors on this list, she has consistently produced romances for the past 28 years. Her first book, Sweet Lullaby, was a big hit with readers in 1994. The Duchess Hunt is her most recent romance. It came out in October 2021. Heath has two more books lined up for 2022. Her novels have won numerous awards and garnered glowingly positive reviews from fans and critics alike.