To me, Penny Jordan’s name was synonymous to Harlequin Presents. I had met her once briefly at the RWA conference in New York many years ago and I was completely star struck. She was gracious, glamorous and everything I had expected from reading her books all these years.
Penny Jordan’s stories have been a constant presence in my life. I read them as a school girl and as a working woman. I haven’t read all of Penny Jordan’s releases, but there are three books she’d written early in her career that have held a special place in my keeper shelf.
Faisal has swept Felicia Gordon off her feet and he wants to marry her, but first they must get approval from his uncle. Felicia has to travel to Kuwait alone to meet the family, knowing that they would expect her to be an amoral gold-digger. Nothing could be further from the truth. While Faisal is attracted to Felicia’s innocence and modesty, she’s concerned that she doesn’t feel any passion when she’s with Faisal.
When she arrives in Kuwait, she discovers that Faisal’s uncle is not as old or as traditional as she had assumed. Sparks fly the moment she meets Sheikh Raschid al Hamid Al Sabah, a man whom she believes is like a falcon or a hawk—a cruel predator determined to destroy the love she has with Faisal.
Falcon’s Prey has everything I want in a sheikh romance. Felicia is alone and powerless in an unfamiliar world but slowly falls in love with the sheikh and his desert. She would turn her back on everything safe and familiar to be with Raschid.
I was very young when I first read this story and I remember how it had opened a whole new world to me. Penny Jordan had lovingly told of a harsh yet beautiful desert that was rich with history and culture. The Falcon’s Prey was my introduction to sheikh romances, and it’s one of the reasons why I enjoy them so much.
Tamara is enjoying a Caribbean vacation alone. She’s having doubts about her engagement with Malcolm. She’s not looking for passion, but she also isn’t sure if she wants a marriage that lacked sexual desire. However, she doesn’t want a husband like Zachary Fletcher, a mysterious man on vacation who’s recuperating from an injury. Zach’s aggressively male and devastatingly sexy, everything cool and calm Tamara dislikes in a man.
But when they’re on a guided tour in the rain forest, Tamara and Zach are captured by guerrillas. Tamara struggles with unwanted feelings for Zach during their captivity, their escape from the rain forest, and when she loses her virginity to Zach. Once she returns home, she breaks off her engagement to Malcolm and tries to forget about Zach, but he keeps showing up in her life when she least expects it. When she discovers that she’s pregnant after that one time with Zach, Tamara decides it’s safer for her if Zach believes the baby is Malcolm’s.
Escape from Desire is one of those high-octane stories that I came to expect from Harlequin Presents and Penny Jordan. I loved the exotic location, the high stakes, the uncivilized alpha male and the heroine’s sensual journey. Like many of Jordan’s stories, the heroine is about to enter a marriage that lacks passion and heat. Usually, the heroine is afraid of these strong emotions and has a sexual awakening with the hero. Considering how many Penny Jordan books I’ve read over the years, it’s no wonder that sexual awakenings often appear in my writing!
Lady Eleanor de Tressail (aka Nell) knows she is seen as plain, dull and icy. She hides her insecurities behind a haughty demeanor and she hopes no one realizes how deeply in love she is with self-made millionaire Joss Wycliffe. She is nothing like the glamorous and gorgeous women he socializes with, and she’s stunned when he offers her marriage. Joss knows that Nell is struggling to keep the family estate and pay off the taxes. He suggests an exchange of assets: his money for her title.
Nell is very proud and stubborn. She doesn’t want people to think Joss is marrying her for her title. She suggests they act like a real couple, but there’s a problem with that. Lovers touch. How can she survive this marriage of convenience if she gets closer to him? And if Joss discovered her true feelings, he would have all the power.
Lovers Touch is my absolute favorite Penny Jordan books and it a book that I re-read the most. I don’t know if it’s because I read it at a certain time in my life or because it revealed a lot about the author I admire. Every time I read this book, I get a sense that Jordan had a keen interest in interior design, fashion and British history. I could be wrong, but I hope not. I rather like the idea that I got a glimpse of the woman behind the story.
Want to find similar love stories? Click over to Classic Harlequin Presents Novels to Read.