As a young teen, my biggest influence was Judy Blume. I was going to be a writer just like her!.
I got to meet her as an adult. They say don't meet your idols. If you have the chance to meet Judy Blume, do it! She's everything you expect her to be. (I'd insert a picture here, but my husband took it and it's so blurry you can't tell if I'm talking to Judy Blume or a Cocoa-Cola polar bear. But that's okay, I have a signed copy of Summer Sisters. It's fine, Honey, Love you anyway. )
As an adult, my top writing influences have been Janet Evanovich, Sandra Brown, and Nora Roberts as JD Robb. Now I want to be the writer that would come out if you put the three of them in one of those protein drink mixers and shook real hard.
I've met Nora Roberts twice. She usually speaks at RWA, and I love just listening to her. It's like talking with your aunt who doesn't care what your parents think, she's going to tell you exactly how it is.
I've never really gotten into her romance series. I need a little death and mayhem with my swooning, which is why I LOVE the In Death Series. I remember my mom* recommending it to me. It was so different from what I'd been reading. A page-turning thriller with a steamy love story and deeply conflicted characters! I couldn't read them fast enough.
*Technically, this doesn't fit my 2018 Reading Challenge because I knew I was keeping this series, but I'm going to count it anyway.
Recently, I was talking to my co-writer Genevieve Lynne about how much I enjoyed the series when I realized it had been over ten years since I'd read the first book, Naked in Death. I wondered if it was really that good or if I just had been so fascinated by it that my memory was skewed.
I took a weekend and re-read it.
It really is that good.
It is 2058, New York City. Technology now completely rules the world, but for New York Detective Eve Dallas, one irresistible impulse still rules the heart: passion…
Eve Dallas is a New York police lieutenant hunting for a ruthless killer. In over ten years on the force, she's seen it all—and knows her survival depends on her instincts. And she's going against every warning telling her not to get involved with Roarke, an Irish billionaire—and a suspect in Eve's murder investigation. But passion and seduction have rules of their own, and it's up to Eve to take a chance in the arms of a man she knows nothing about—except the addictive hunger of needing his touch.
It is set in the future, but it's not dystopian or overly science-fiction-like. They do have flying cars, but they are just a thing—not a novelty. My favorite thing is they have "auto chef" machines that you stock with food, but then you just program what you want and it comes out ready to eat. Forget flying cars, why don't we have THAT yet??
The story still holds up. It's an intense thriller (I had to take a break from binge reading these at one point because the characters started invading my dreams and not in a good way!) I'd forgotten who the killer was so I got to experience the ride all over again.
It was also fun to see familiar characters being introduced and remember where they end up.
And Roarke *sigh*. Roarke holds a special place in my heart for being my first official book boyfriend. He is every nuance of the word "hot".
This book was published in 1995, and there are few things that wouldn't be as well-received today. Mostly in Roarke and Eve's interactions, he starts off as the typical romance hero who doesn't always look for explicit consent before invading Eve's space. He also keeps tabs on her in a could-be-thought-of-as-a-stalker way, but it works. The world was different then.
Spoiler alert: He get so much better in the next book.
I recommend this series all the time. It felt good to read it again and have that faith confirmed, and I'm not someone who usually re-reads books. I've got too many other adventures waiting on my shelves, but since I started this one over, I might end up reading a few more again.
Do you have a go-to series that you can read over and over?
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