Once upon a time, Josi Kilpack wrote novels with positively scrumptious titles like “Lemon Tart,” “Blackberry Crumble” and “Pumpkin Roll.”
No, they weren’t cookbooks — they were culinary murder mysteries, centered around the amateur sleuthing antics of a widowed busybody named Sadie Hoffmiller.
But Kilpack recently shut the oven door on Sadie’s adventures and dived like a plunging neckline into historical romance novels. Except these are “proper” romances, intentionally lacking in bared bosoms, steamy encounters and explicit sex.
Proper romances are a “safe comfortable read for a more conservative reading audience,” says the Willard author during a recent interview at her home.
With “Fifty Shades of Grey” and Harlequin romances crowding today’s bookstore shelves, Kilpack says some readers end up wondering, “Where do I find a different type of sexual tension? Where do I find a different type of story?”
Kilpack offers readers that new twist on love in “A Heart Revealed,” a Shadow Mountain publication released in April that centers on a spoiled debutante living in Regency-era London. The 336-page novel has “all the emotion and chemistry” of a traditional romance, Kilpack says, but none of the full-on sex scenes typically associated with that genre.