Woman Hater (what a title!) by Diana Palmer is a 1987 Silhouette Romance that seems to be typical of the author’s style. The heroine is young, virginal, and escaping from a tragic past. The hero is a macho, Alpha male who was also burned by the past. He is an unabashed “woman-hater.”
Nicole White is a secretary at a prominent Chicago firm. She comes from a well-heeled family from Kentucky, blue-bloods to the core, plus cold and unloving. Her parents’ marriage was unhappy. Her father was a serial adulterer. When Nicole decided to cut contact with her family, her fiance dumped her. Then he got engaged to another prominent heiress, breaking Nicole’s heart in the process.
Distraught, Nicole has now moved to the big city to start over. Currently, her boss is suffering from an ulcer. The doctor recommends relaxation for a month. As he still has business matters to attend to, he requires the services of his secretary. So Nicole accompanies her boss to his family ranch in Montana.... Read more “Category Romance Review: Woman Hater by Diana Palmer”
The American-based Silhouette imprint existed from 1980 to 2011 when it officially went defunct. Simon & Schuster created the trade name to compete directly with Harlequin. During their run, they produced several innovative series. First the Romance line, then Desire, Special Edition, Intimate Moments, and more.
Although Harlequin acquired Silhouette in 1984, the imprint remained intact for over 25 years. Well, at least a few lines did.
Multiple talented authors wrote for Silhouette: Anne Hampson, Janet Dailey, Nora Roberts, Debbie Macomber, Diana Palmer, Elizabeth Lowell, Linda Howard, Jayne Ann Krentz (usually as Stephanie James), Sandra Brown, Barbara Delinsky, and Maggie Shayne, among many others.
We’ve picked one shining example of excellence from 6 of their lines. Since they published a vast quantity of great romances, it wasn’t easy to decide which ones. But we think you’ll like our selections! Have you read any of the following romances? Are you surprised by the books we chose? Please, leave a comment, and let’s talk romance!
Irish Thoroughbred, a Silhouette Romance, was Nora Roberts’s debut novel, originally published in January 1981. Right out of the gate, Roberts created characters and plots that engaged the reader. Adelia Cunnane lives in Ireland.... Read more “6 Sensational Silhouette Category Romances”
Meant To Be Married by Ruth Wind (aka Barbara Samuels) is a powerful romance that brought tears to my eyes. This second-chance-at-love story is underscored by superb characterization and a sensitive writer’s hand.
The Characters and Setup
Meant To Be Married begins a decade in the past when Elias Santiago and Sarah Greenwood defied their families to become lovers. The teenaged Romeo and Juliet were precisely that: two youths from feuding clans who fell in love with one another and had to keep their relationship secret. For over a century, Santiago and Greenwood blood has been shed via lynchings, murders, and suicides. Legend says the feud began when a Santiago male violated a Greenwood female. The Greenwoods hanged Santiago, and in turn, the Greenwood woman killed herself. Was it due to shame, or could it have been heartbreak?
Whatever the reason, the enmity between the families has grown stronger over time.
Debbie Macomber has been a standout romance novelist for an astonishing 40 years. She’s written women’s fiction, full-length contemporary, and category romance. Her work has been adapted for the small screen numerous times, for both movies and series. Over 200 million of her books have been out in print.
Because I don’t watch too much television or read many modern romance novels, I had no idea how huge Debbie Macomber was. I merely thought of her as another category writer who had crossed over to be successful in women’s fiction.
Debbie Macomber is a 13-times #1 New York Times bestselling author. Her books have spent over 1,000 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. She is a publishing superstar.
Debbie Adler was born on October 22, 1948. She graduated from high school but did not attend any university.
Adler married Wayne Macomber just before her 20th birthday in September 1968. They had four children together. At first, Macomber never dreamed of becoming an author, as she had learning disabilities that hampered her ability to read and write.
Duncan’s Bride has an old-school plot, even by the standards of romances written in…1990. (That wasn’t a long time ago!) In Silhouette Intimate Moments #349 by Linda Howard, a 28-year-old beauty from New York City travels across the country to become the mail-order bride of a hero who’s damn lucky to get her.
Character & Plot
Madelyn, the shining star of this romance, is 28-years-old and has been working for her step-brother’s company for a couple of years. Although she’s hit a wall in her career, she’s secure in her identity. Madelyn is funny, outspoken, and friendly. She’s a lovely woman with no baggage.
On the other hand, Gideon “Reese” Duncan carries a 5-piece set of Samsonite luggage packed full of bricks. He’s a divorced rancher in Montana who decides it’s time to settle down with a new wife. Years ago, his first marriage ended in disaster when his gorgeous ex left him, bored of life in the country. Reese was forced to sell his family lands and lay off the workers to liquidate his assets which were split 50-50.... Read more “Category Romance Review: Duncan’s Bride by Linda Howard”
Ready, Willing and Abel was my first foray into the Silhouette Desire line. Nancy Martin penned a ridiculous, sexy romp that made me fall in love with the series. Featuring an Indiana Jones-like hero and a button-downed heroine working in fast-paced Washington DC, this story was not based at all in reality. It was so over-the-top and silly; I adored it.
Abel Fletcher has just come back from a recent archaeological expedition. He carries with him a sacred totem that supposedly is imbued with magical powers. Namely the power to make a person fall madly in love after touching it and gazing upon a special someone. The charm is supposed to work both ways, but Abel believes it’s all nonsense. That is until he falls madly in love at first sight with Samantha Wyatt.
Nelson’s Brand was my first and, so far, only foray into Diana Palmer’s little corner of Romancelandia. Palmer has got a bit of a reputation in the genre as an author of ultra-macho, hairy-chested heroes and virginal, too-stupid-to-live heroines.
I read this one back when I subscribed to the Silhouette Desire line. They used to run a Man of the Month theme and Nelson’s Brand was that month’s pick (January 1991). I recall never being too impressed with the Desire editors’ choices, and this was one of those books that failed to impress. The Desire staff really dropped the ball by not picking Lass Small’s Four Dollars and Fifty-One Centsover this one.
In Nelson’s Brand Allison Hathoway is new in town. She’s got a tragic back story where her missionary parents were killed in South America. Her friend, Winnie, treats her with kid-gloves as, if she’s so delicate she might break at the slightest touch.
GOING ONCE, GOING TWICE…The truth was, Jan Folger had never really given Junior Busby a second thought–even though he’d lived next door to her for about a million years. But her charity group was holding a bachelor auction. They needed one more eligible man to put on the block…and she supposed Junior would just have to do. Then the local paper went and ran a photo of the fully grown Junior–wearing jeans and a five o’clock shadow–and suddenly it seemed like every woman in Byford, Indiana, wanted to know him better–a whole lot better. And Jan was starting to wonder if maybe she hadn’t overlooked a hot property right there in her own neighborhood …
Silhouette Desire #613
SPOILER-FREE REVIEW 😊
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Lass Small’s Four Dollar and Fifty-One Cents–what a great title–is one of the best Silhouette Desires I’ve ever read. It’s a funny romance, passionate, sexy, and did I mention funny?
“I’m in love with you, Cilla.” Slowly, his eyes steady on hers, he pulled her closer. “With every part of you.” Soft, persuasive, his lips cruised over hers. “I only want fifty or sixty years to show you.”
Silhouette Intimate Moments #365
SPOILER FREE REVIEW 🙂
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Night Shift Memories
If you follow my reviews, you may notice I inject some personal vignettes or anecdotes into them. If it’s TMI, apologies for oversharing. But like music or scents, each book I read is imprinted with a certain memory. When I hear “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton, it takes me back to Junior Prom and my supposedly platonic date getting all clingy with me. I’ll think about a different man whether it’s Brut, Joop!, Davidoff Cool Water, or Grey Flannel cologne I smell. (Brut is my dad; the rest…are not.) If I have no memory of the book, there’s because there is no recollection to go with it.
What a frustrating read was My Heart’s Undoing by Phyllis Halldorson. This one was definitely filled with lots of anguish.
Two People In Love…Not Necessarily With Each Other
Colleen had been in love with Erik for years. However, as she stood in her more beautiful cousin’s shadow, Erik had no interest in her. They had briefly dated in the past, but Erik dumped her when he met her much more sophisticated (read: slutty) cousin, Brett. Erik and Brett become the town’s hottest couple, and soon they’re engaged to be married.
Despite the disinterest, Colleen hangs on like an attached puppy, Erik’s friend, to the end. When Brett calls off their wedding at the last minute for a promising modeling career across the country, Colleen is there to help Erik pick up the pieces.
He gets drunk, and they fall into bed together. Naturally, Colleen is a virgin and–naturally—gets pregnant.
To their friends, family and neighbors, Celine and Max Archer had a perfect marriage. Only the Archers knew they’d never been in love, and that nights of passion were few and far between. Still, both thought the other happy with the dry-eyed deal they’d made instead of vows…Until Max broke the bargain—by wanting more. And suddenly, after twelve peaceful years, the perfect marriage was over…But when Celine realized how much she loved her husband, was it too late to get him back? For unbeknownst to Max, they’d been blessed with a new beginning…”
Rating: 3 out of 5.
It’s difficult for me to give Laurey Bright’s* A Perfect Marriage a coherent review because it’s a romance novel that deals with adultery.
Max and Celine have had a comfortable, friendly marriage for 12 years, however with no passion nor love. The hero “falls in love” with another woman, sleeps with her, and then leaves his wife. But after a night of unexpected passion with Celine, Max gets his estranged wife pregnant. Finally, Max realizes, almost too late, that it’s his wife he’s loved all along.... Read more “Category Romance Review: A Perfect Marriage by Laurey Bright”
THEIR FUTURE HANGS IN THE BALANCE….First the argument ripped Shane Dutton and Brenna O’Hare apart. Now a plane crash has stranded Shane in the Alaskan wilderness. Miles apart, all they can do is wait. And hope. And remember…
THEIR PAST IS ALL THEY HAVE…Shane wanted children—Brenna didn’t. Brenna wanted a man who never took risks—Shane did. But they also wanted each other—so badly that their differences hadn’t mattered. Not at first…Reflecting on what went wrong—and right—Shane and Brenna reach the same conclusion. But will they ever get the chance to say “I love you”?
Rating: 2 out of 5.
The Perfect Couple by Maura Seger was perfectly…boring.
The set up was great: flipping back through different times in Shane and Brenna’s relationship, but the love story was treacly-sweet. If I liked that sort of white bread perfection, I’d read Nicholas Sparks, the gag-master extraordinaire.