Saturday, February 4, 2012

Favorite Author: Judith McNaught – A Pioneer in Historical and a Standard-Setter in Contemporaries…truly wonderful romance!

Judith McNaught is the author of over a dozen historical and contemporary romance novels with 30 million copies in print. Many have been New York Times bestsellers. Her first book, Whitney, My Love, which she had trouble selling at first, was finally published in 1985, after McNaught had proven herself with two successful published novels. 

Her early novels were unique: They introduced the hero first, rather than the heroine; and unlike the typical Regency, her stories were intensely sensual and witty. Whitney, My Love captured the elements of the traditional Regency romance, but its long length, sensuality, and emotional intensity were more often associated with the traditional historical romances, which were rarely set during the Regency period. Despite the many years it took McNaught to sell the story, it was very successful, and its success influenced other editors to solicit manuscripts written in the same style.

At the beginning of McNaught's writing career, she was one of a very few authors writing for the historical romance market. By 1985, however, the genre had exploded. Despite her established success with historical romances, in 1990 McNaught switched genres to write contemporary romances where she was also a huge success. Paradise is one of my all time “keepers.” All her books tend to be fast-paced, with strong, loyal, compassionate and intelligent heroines. You might find some of her early heroes in the historicals unduly harsh on the heroines; I did. But I still loved them.

  • 1985 - Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Best New Historical Romance, Whitney, My Love
  • 1986 - Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Harlequin Superromance, Tender Triumph
  • 1987 - Affaire de Coeur Golden Pen Certificate, Once and Always
  • 1987 - Affaire de Coeur Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Historical Romance, Once and Always


Westmoreland Dynasty Triology

·      A Kingdom of Dreams (1989)
·      Whitney, My Love (1985)
·      Until You (1994)

The stories continue in these:

·      "Miracles" short story in A Holiday of Love (1995/Oct) and in Simple Gifts (1997)
·      Someone Like You (a contemporary formerly titled: Can't Take My Eyes Off of You) (upcoming 2014?)

Sequels Series

·      Once and Always (1987)
·      Something Wonderful (1988)
·      Almost Heaven (1990)


Single novels (her first)
  • Tender Triumph (1983)
  • Double Standards (1984)

Paradise Series (I see the first three as a trilogy as they are more related than the others)

·      Paradise (1991)
·      Perfect (1993)
·      Night Whispers (1998)
·      Someone to Watch Over Me (2003)
·      Every Breath You Take (2005)
·      Someone Like You (formerly titled: Can't Take My Eyes Off of You) (upcoming 2014?) 

Foster Saga

·      Double Exposure in A Gift of Love anthology (1995)
              ·      Remember When (1996)


  1. Hi, I had read all Judith Mcnaught's novels. I most like Whitney which is the best amount all the other Duke stories. Whitney was written in 1980's but it is still very competitive to the other romance fictions today. I agreed that the writer is a bit harsh to the heroines. I reckon it is the way the old days they compose the romance stories.I don't like it.

    1. Thanks for stopping by my blog! You might look at my article How We Got to Where We Are Today (it's under the Sharing Secrets/Genre Information/Best Lists categories). And there's a sidebar on the left of the blog ("The Classics of Yesterday") both of which suggest books to read. Not all early modern romance novels had the hero abusing the heroine. I like McNaught's alpha male heroes; I just think she took their actions a bit far and that was certainly the case in WHITNEY MY LOVE. She got it right with PARADISE--have you read that?