I must have been living under a rock, dear readers, for I had no idea that this British prolific writer of Harlequin Romances passed away from cancer more than a year and a half ago. I found out while surfing the Web. Like many of her fans, this news comes as a shock to me. I’ve read a few of her titles back in the day, the latest being POWER PLAY. I should say re-reading, since I first came upon it during its heyday around 1988. I was living at my parents’ place, having returned after my bout with a rat in the walls of my apartment (precious picture, isn’t it?). I remember being glued to the sofa bed (my temporarily haven) and reading Penny Jordan’s novel into the wee hours, hoping against hope that the heroine would succeed in her quest to destroy the three men that had hurt her. Because POWER PLAY is about revenge, post-rape style. As you can see, the subject matter is hardly the stuff of Harlequins, but strangely enough it was. Harlequin Books tried very hard pushing Jordan into the big league by releasing this title. Surely enough, it became a New-York Times Best-seller, and the nighttime career of Penny Jordan took off with many other lengthy work such as SILVER and THE HIDDEN YEARS.
One of her latest is called SILK, the first in a trilogy. I own it but I have yet to open it. In fact, truth be told, I have only read three of her novels since POWER PLAY. Though I do collect them still. Not her quick Harlequins, mind you. I much prefer her lengthier stuff, just like SILK, which is all about the fashion industry and the people who run it. Sort of like Barbara Taylor Bradford’s Emma Harte series but with a higher amount of melodrama. A Jordan style that I will miss dearly. Oh I’m sure Harlequins has some posthumous mini-titles in store (if it hadn’t happened already). But I doubt we’ll ever see another lengthy work like SILK.
A couple of years ago, I left her a short note on her now-defunct official website, trusting that she would respond. I wish I could say that she did, but the truth of the matter is, I never heard from her. She may have been just plain too busy or perhaps the strain of having a then-alcoholic hubby (a fact she had later discussed in interviews) prevented her from enjoying the ritual of responding to her fan mail. Who knows? But whatever the reason, I never felt the need to connect with her again. Now I wish I did. I could have reiterated how much I love her books, that her talent as a storyteller deserves to be celebrated… But in the wake of this unexpected news I’d much rather say this: rest in peace, Penny Jordan. Your untimely passing is very unfair.
Until next post—Martin