The Susan Johnson Historical Romances Review
Susan Johnson is the best erotic romance
novelist. Her only competition comes in the form
of Robin Schone or Bertrice Small. Ms. Johnson has
written 22 historical erotic romance novels and has appeared in eight anthologies. Her stories feature
bold, passionate men and women who have in common
a lust for life, adventure, each other and of
course SEX. Her stories are not for the faint of heart.
Many have tried to cheapen her works by accusing
her of being just a writer of *smutty* novels
but of course that's too simple minded to even be
considered true. In the end I shall offer you a
chance to find out more about her works and to
also hear from some of her fans.
Hello SJ Fans, when I read I like to cast the book. If the book was going to be made into a movie who would play the alpha male who so commands the pages of this great book.
Time and time again the face (and body) that comes to the forefront when I am reading a
Susan Johnson historical is John Enos. John Enos is a model turned actor. He stands 6’2”.
He has brown hair and green eyes. He was born June 12, 1962 which makes him a Tiger/Gemini. He has appeared in episodes of RED SHOE DIARIES and SEX AND THE CITY. He was on the soap opera YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS from 2003-2005.
He’s dreamy, steamy and oh what a sweet read he makes.
Michele, the SJ Review webmistress
Susan Johnson comments:
It does not take great maestri, Danilo Kis noted, to describe life as hell. I agree. What I hope to do instead is entertain, but also inform, seduce, perhaps even astonish and disturb, all with a painter's eye for atmospheric reality and lyrical detail. Within this reality I strive to make my characters come alive--so you can hear them breathe.
In Susan Johnson's historical romance Silver Flame the heroine, Empress Jordan, accuses the hero, Trey Braddock-Black, of being scandalous. `But entertaining', he adds with a grin. One might say the same of Johnson.
She began her writing career with Playboy Press which placed no editorial restrictions on her erotic imagination. Consequently, her first three novels, a Russian trilogy set from 1874 to 1920, featuring the sexual and military exploits of three generations of the Kuzan family men, are spicy well beyond the limits of most historical romances. The second in the Russian series, Love Storm, is a masterpiece of erotica. A particularly lavish scene set in a Turkish encampment, complete with hypnotic music, hashish, richly woven Persian carpets, aphrodisiacs, sexual teasing, and purple plums earned Johnson the nickname `Plum Lady' in some romance reading circles. Sex, in Johnson's novels, is pure delight for both men and women, an intensely pleasurable physical experience devoid of guilt or cloying sentimentality.
Johnson's next two historical novels, set predominantly in the American west from 1861 to 1890, are less daring in sexual content, although sexuality is still an essential part of their focus and appeal. Blazeis about the love affair between Jon Hazard Black, an Absarokee Indian chief, and Blaze Braddock, a beautiful, spoiled Bostonian debutante; Silver Flame is the story of their son, Trey. A third novel featuring Jon Hazard Black's natural daughter, Daisy, is in the works.
Although a reader may initially focus only on the sexuality in Johnson's novels, her work has other qualities that recommend it. One of the major challenges facing writers of popular historical fiction is finding a balance between `history' and `the story'. Johnson never lets historical detail overwhelm her story; yet, she clearly loves history. Trained in art history, she is a frequent speaker at regional and national romance conferences on historical research. Each of her novels is a blend of fictional and real historical characters and events which she smoothly incorporates in the text or describes in endnotes which provide fascinating information on a wide range of subjects from frontier political corruption and Indian customs to the sleeping and drinking habits of Alexander II and Erik Satie.
Besides the vividly portrayed sex and history, Johnson's novels are notable for their wry wit. For example, in Silver Flame, she makes the following simple but damning observation about a rather sleazy villain: `Duncan's intrigues occasionally outstripped his intelligence'. Her humour also enlivens the sex scenes, as in this description of a `hot and steamy' glance exchanged by the hero and heroine: `The look he gave her could have boiled every coffee pot in Montana for a month'.
Her fictional style, which has steadily developed since her first novel, Seized by Love, is an interesting combination of Regency romance, erotica, and `glitz and glamour'. The fantasy she constructs is reinforced by her use of multiple points of view--the hero, heroine, or even a minor character, an onlooker--which draw the reader into the story.
Johnson favours `larger than life' characters rather than realistic `boy/girl-next-door' characters. Her heroes, the real focus of her stories, are invariably rich aristocrats--charming and arrogant men who make love, ride horses, hunt wild game, play politics, plan military strategy, gamble, and drink with graceful expertise. The heroines are not quite the match of the heroes although the heroes think they are. Certainly the heroines are not mere simpering misses or delicate flowers. They put up a good fight and manage to cure the hero of a little of his arrogance by the story's end.
Fans Can Write Susan in care of
Kensington Books, 850 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022
~~Chat With Susan Johnson~~
Well it happened. Mrs. Johnson actually had a chat in
the club dedicated to her. On Tuesday, July 17, Mrs.
Johnson and four members of the Fanzine4SusanJohnson
chatted in the club chatroom for an hour. In that
hour I learned a few tidbits about my favorite
erotic romance writer.
It appears she likes chocolate, the works of
George MacDonald Fraser, she has noted the
increasing popularity of e-books but has no
future plans to write one, she’s currently
working on a contemporary novel, plans to
attend the ROMANTIC TIMES conference
that is to be held in November in Orlando,
Florida, has no plans to write a futuristic or
medieval novel, and has also enjoyed the
works of another romance author Rosemary
Rogers.Also, she likes to watch the
HBO series SEX AND THE CITY.
I was not able to acquire the transcript from
Finally, I’d like to thank Mrs. Johnson for taking the time out of her schedule to chat with me, lovezen, BellaLuna and romanzwritr. God Bless all and maybe next time you can stop by and participate.
Michele, founder of FANZINE4SUSANJOHNSON
and webmistress of The SUSAN JOHNSON REVIEW.
Writes erotic novels and short stories about women who love sex.
Grew up in a small town in Northern Minnesota, where people talk funny.
Worked as a slide curator at the University of Minnesota for 11 years.
Poised to make a big splash with two consecutive releases: the steamy May Historical AGAIN AND AGAIN and her sexy debut women’s fiction Novel in June, BLONDE HEAT.
For more on Susan, visit www.suejohnson.net
Edited the Australian short story collection WOMEN LOVE SEX.
Grew up in a small town on the northern shore of Syndey, where people Talk funny.
Worked as a professor of fiction writing at various universities over the past 11 years.
Made impressive US debut with two concurrent April releases: a poignant Memoir about motherhood. A BETTER WOMAN; and the evocative, well-crafted Novel HUNGRY GHOSTS.
For more on Susan, visit www.abetterwoman.net
But I'll tell you—this is it—erotic romance. And in February, Kensington will launch an imprint, BRAVA, which will only feature the very best and most commercial historical and contemporary erotic romance.
Erotic romance is sexual love and desire combined with deep emotional commitment. It is not erotica. It is, first and foremost, romance, exemplified by its sexual expression.
This light bulb went on when I examined what and whom I liked to read. I then worked on an erotic romance anthology called CAPTIVATED and learned from four of the great writers of erotic romance of all time—Bertrice Small (whose editor I already was), Susan Johnson (I was and am a huge fan), Thea Devine (ditto) and Robin Schone (who amazed me when she delivered the manuscript of the first book of hers I bought, THE LADY'S TUTOR). Something I believed in for a couple of years was suddenly right before me—erotic romance and I knew these were the women I had to work with and learn from.
I am delighted to report that all four of these incredible talents will be part of BRAVA with both full-length novels and novellas for inclusion in upcoming anthologies.
I've looked around and nobody but nobody understands the character and the nature of erotic romance like Kensington. It is romance. It is sexy. It is wonderful.
From Minneapolis Star Tribune: Writer insists Minnesota ideal setting for inspiring erotic prose
Published: April 28, 1992
By Jim Klobuchar; Staff Writer
Lovers of manageable lust will be thrilled to learn that Susan Johnson, the novelist laureate of North Branch, Minn., is planning a scorching story of sex and power set in Minnesota.
This certainly will be a literary watershed, comparable to picking the Sahara desert as the locale for a flood epic.
"I don't necessarily agree," she said. "Don't underestimate Minnesota as a place for some credible eroticism."
She said Minnesota has vitality. It has money. It has smart lawyers. It has independent-minded women. It puts a relatively high level of chivalry and courtesy in its sex. She said you could make the Iron Range a locale for some really warm-blooded stuff, ethnic rivalries and forbidden matchups, cutthroat politics, feuding mining and union barons . . .
I told her it's been done. It happens every two years. On the Range it's called an election.
"No, this is a romantic novel. As a matter of fact, I did a scene on Ely Lake near Eveleth in a recent book. But I haven't decided that it should be set on the Iron Range. You also have some great possibilities for a book on sex and power in Wayzata, Edina and Brooklyn Center-Fridley."
She may be right. I said I would have to be convinced you could write 400 pages of an erotic novel in which the critical coupling takes place in the early morning hours just off the produce department in the Crystal Super Valu.
Yet you have to be impressed by the pure megatonnage of Susan Johnson's sales. Of all the authors who have made it mixing history with hormones, few of them have equaled Susan's numbers or her lack of notoriety. She is a onetime library researcher and child of the Iron Range who has sold at least 3 million copies, most of them literary and almost all of them glandular. She is under contract today with Doubleday, Bantam and big-league publishers of that stripe. Not many people married to a ceiling contractor and living on a farm near North Branch can make this claim.
Her latest book, not amazingly, is called "Sinful," set partly in England and partly in Tunisia. Most of the amorous exertions she describes in smoking detail in her books take place in the time of the Russian czars, or 18th-century England or on the 19th-century American frontier, and one way or another draw lovers from opposite cultures - headstrong English girl with Arab chieftain, rich white girl and Indian warrior, nobleman and scullery maid. She says she wouldn't have to change the formula much on the Range.
"You had the struggles years ago between the mining companies and the unions. You have this tremendous reservoir of attractive people. Blond and restrained Scandinavians. Finns. I'm one."
"A Finn. But you also have tremendously handsome Slovenes and Croatians and Italians. You're one."
"A Slovene. Anyhow, I like the idea of a weekend of lovemaking in a sequestered cabin up on the northern lakes, especially in winter," she said. "Who would want to follow you there? Who could?"
I told her that sooner or later the eelpout fishermen would find you. They are relentless. Another thing: If you're going to have a tryst in a place like that, you'll need a rotary snowplow to get in there and probably an ice auger. Those are lousy omens over uninhibited lovemaking.
Susan Johnson sounded annoyed.
"Look. Those woods along a place like the Gunflint Trail are marvelous in winter. There's a winterized cabin. You heat up the sauna."
I intruded with the obvious. It is well known in northwoods lore that saunas, fully stoked, act as a suppressant for most males.
"All right. After the sauna they dive into the snow, romp around in the pure joy of it and return to the cabin balcony to enjoy each other."
Only, however, after filling out HMO forms for treatment of frostbite at St. Mary's Hospital in Duluth. This is provided the DOT sanders get through north of Illgen City on the North Shore. Nothing comes easy in northern Minnesota, including love.
I asked Susan Johnson whether she could do a persuasive erotic novel set in Stearns County.
"Is that around St. Cloud?"
"Among several places, yes."
"I know more about northern Minnesota and the Twin Cities. I think there's a tremendous story of how the wealthy network on Lake Minnetonka. I like the idea of a love scene on a yacht on its way to the Lafayette Club."
You could call it something between the buoys.
"Edina is a different kind of Lake Minnetonka, where you have more established wealth. In Edina, you have people who had to claw their way to success. I don't mean that in a derogatory way. The reason I'd like writing a turbulent love story set in Minnesota is that, from a woman's viewpoint, most of the guys are civil and most of the society has strong values, so that you'd have your passion and/or weakness set against a background of pretty good and carrying life."
My guess is that Susan Johnson is going to put the book on the Range.
There is no precedent in literature for a torrid love scene in an abandoned open pit.
Bring lots of shampoo.
If You Have Any Comments or Suggestions,
Feel Free To Contact Me. Thanks, Michele.
Angelfire - Free Home Pages
Susan Johnson's Publisher--Random House
An Interview presented by Bookbug
The Yahoo! club Fanzine4Susan Johnson
My Favorite Romance Cover Model: Rob Ashton
The Official Website for Robin Schone