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Johanna Lindsey (1952–2019), bestselling romance novelist

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Lindsey wrote more than 50 novels, set in a variety of historical and futuristic locales

Johanna Lindsey was the bestselling author of more than 50 romance novels. She often wrote historical romances, with settings including medieval England, Viking-era Norway, the American Wild West, and Regency England. Some strayed from the historical pattern, including a time-travel series and a futuristic series set in outer space. Lindsey’s books were dismissed by some as bodice-rippers, but they were wildly and beloved by her readers and sold more than 60 million copies. Her titles included "Savage Thunder," "Captive of My Desires," "Once a Princess," and her most recent, 2019's "Temptation's Darling." Several of her novels featured cover model Fabio, including 1987’s “Hearts Aflame,” an early career hit for the young model.

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Died: October 27, 2019 (Who else died on October 27?)

Details of death: Died in Nashua, New Hampshire of lung cancer at the age of 67.


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Prolific writing career: Lindsey’s first book was 1977’s “Captive Bride,” a tale of an Englishwoman kidnapped by a sheik. Lindsey said she wrote it on a whim, but when she sent a sample chapter to Avon Books, they asked for the full book, which she quickly wrote. She soon began writing and publishing two books a year, turning out dozens of books over a 40-year career.

Notable quote: “Since I was old enough to appreciate a good novel, I’ve been a romantic. I enjoy happy-ending love stories more than any other type of reading. Romance is what comes out of me.” —quoted in “Love’s Leading Ladies” by Kathryn Falk

What people said about her: “I’m heartbroken to hear about Johanna Lindsey. She’s one of the authors who inspired me to become a romance writer. I still have most of her books (tattered and read-worn) because they are worth reading over and over again.” —author Tammy L. Bailey

“Johanna Lindsey had such an impact. This is a lot to process. My heart goes out to her friends and family.” —author Rebekah Weatherspoon

“My heart hurts. When I was in a bad place emotionally her books pulled me out… long before I ever started writing. Prayers for her family. Her books are what we all strive towards.” —author Rachel Van Dyken

“When I was 13, I found a copy of Johanna Lindsey’s Gentle Rogue. On my aunt’s coffee table… and my life was never the same. I devoured her every book. I escaped on her pages. I dreamed of writing BECAUSE of her. And I am utterly heartbroken at her passing.” —author Christi Caldwell

Full obituary: The New York Times

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