Meet Contributor:
Shirley Lyons
------------------------------------------------ I am a Virginian by near Richmond, with my husband and two boys since 1990. Prior to that I grew up in Ohio and lived in Oregon for about five years, giving me an appreciation for the entire country. A Social Worker by trade, I currently manage a large program in the Mental Health/Mental Retardation department that serves adults with mental retardation. We help some people find and keep jobs, and work with others in finding activities they can participate in to the best of their ability. I guess this profession satisfies me as I know that anything is possible and there are lots of happy endings in real life.

My two teenage boys, ages 15 and 12, teach me something new every day. And sometimes a nice relaxing story just helps to rejuvenate me from all that learning! In my spare time, I am a hockey mom as my oldest plays ice hockey. It is one of my favorite sports and we are big fans of the Philadelphia Flyers. I am also the mom of a free spirit, with my youngest being more interested in reading, art, science and not doing anything toooooo organized! My husband of 22 years is the love of my life and best friend. We have a lot of fun together. He teases me about with my reading, but indulges me often by adding space to my bookcases!

I have been reading romances for about 30 years, after being introduced to them when I was about 12 by my mom, an avid romance reader. I have often been embarrassed that I read these types of books, especially when teased by my science fiction loving sister. But I have persevered, finding that romance is what I need after a long day of work!

I read all types of books, enjoying historicals, Regencys and lately, contemporarys. I have only found a few futuristic and time travel books that I have enjoyed, so I tend to steer clear and avoid those. My keeper shelves are full...with old favorites such as Nora Roberts (I love the MacGregors), Jude Deveraux, historicals by Linda Lael Miller and newly discovered gems like Catherine Anderson, Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Julia Quinn. I have also enjoyed the wide range of authors like Karen Robards and Catherine Coulter (especially her books in the mid to late 80's). Two of my favorite books are "Paradise" by Judith McNaught and "Gentle Rogue" by Johanna Lindsey.

I enjoy meeting and getting to know characters, especially when humor and lively dialogue are thrown into the mix. Books with hot sex and those with more innuendo are both on my keeper shelves. A book with a good mystery or suspenseful plot is welcome, as long as the mystery does not overshadow the romance. I have recently discovered some of the category books that my mom loved so much. Reading some of the re-releases led me to some of the new ones, surprising myself at how much I enjoy them.

I hope this helps you understand the perspectives I take into reading a book and writing a review. I look forward to hearing from you and love reading your opinions, too.

Shirley Lyons

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