One of the world's best-loved romance writers is gone. Johanna Lindsey—whose pirates, aristocrats, and brave heroines sold at least 60 million copies—died earlier this year with stage 4 lung cancer, the New York Times reports. She was only 67. "Since I was old enough to appreciate a good novel, I've been a romantic," she once said. "I enjoy happy-ending love stories more than any other type of reading. Romance is what comes out of me." Indeed, novels like Wildfire in His Arms and Captive of My Desires have been riveting romance fans for over 40 years with their depictions of love, sexual surrender, and even rape in centuries past. It all started back in 1977:
- She couldn't stop: "'Desert sheikh, romance, kidnapping'—that's about all I started with," she said of her first novel, Captive Bride. "The book wrote itself. ... I just sat down one day and wrote the middle scene, the love scene in the tent. I amazed myself—I couldn't stop writing." Avon published the book with "only one change," and she was off.