Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ode to Old Elizabeth Lowell...

Now I really hope Elizabeth Lowell doesn’t have a Google Alert which will pop up because she might not like the title of this blog! But of course I don’t mean the “actual” Elizabeth Lowell. I’m talking about her older category novels.

My collection consists of tons of the old school Silhouette and Harlequin category novels of the 80s and 90s when I first discovered romance. This was back in the day when S&H were discovering authors like Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz, Sandra Brown… I could go on forever. But some of the most delicious stories came from the amazing Elizabeth Lowell.

Usually what happens when I hit a reading dearth which is where I seem to be now, I’ll go back and just pick up a random book from my shelf and relive the glory days. They are a short investment of time. I know where all the good parts are. And they leave me feeling nostalgic.

What astounds me every time I read her, is why I love her heroes so much. I mean truly a woman in 2011 should probably look at these near Neanderthals and balk. They are crass, rude, usually sexists and sometimes actually sexually threatening… but there is always that lingering reason why. That soft gooey middle which gives him humanity.

These men will abuse their women (not physically of course) but emotionally to the point where you are screaming at the heroine… “Walk away! You don’t need this. You don’t need him!”

In most cases this is accurate. She doesn’t need him. But in an Elizabeth Lowell book he always needs her. It’s his desperation which is so compelling. The reader knows he’s hurting this woman because he hurts so much inside. Elizabeth Lowell plays on this theme so perfectly and in the end somehow redeems these hard men.

As a thief who is about to start my next book (Naturally suffering from startabookaphobia… but I’m hoping to overcome that this weekend) I plan to steal from Elizabeth Lowell. Just that one element.

In this story my hero is strong, he’s ruthless and he’s cold. He’s also lost and desperate. He NEEDS someone. Cue blank page… in walks my heroine. Boy is she in for a ride.

Thank you Elizabeth for so many amazing heroes!


Karen Whiddon said...

Ah yes, I have all those exact same books! Fire and Rain, Granite Man, Fever, Warrior, Outlaw, Chain Lightning! Plus all her old historicals - OMG! Only His, Only You, Only Mine, Only Love.

Those are the entire reason I grew to love category so much!

Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Maureen McGowan said...

I didn't read any of those books, but I think I know the kind of hero you mean. I know I couldn't pull of writing a book like that, but I'm sure you can, Steph!

Good luck with your start-a-book-a-phobia.

Me, I'm sunk deeply into middle-of-the-book-a-phobia. I think it sucks and can't move forward.

Anonymous said...

Steph.... Molly and you are sisters in your love for those books.... I desperately need to read them.

Good luck with the start of the book.

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