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Elsie Hawkins Books In Order

Publication Order of Elsie Hawkins Books

Back to the Bedroom (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Smitten (1990) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Wife for Hire (1990) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Rocky Road to Romance (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The name ‘Elsie Hawkins’ refers to a series of romance novels written by Janet Evanovich. The books follow the exploits of a feisty old lady who keeps showing up just as the romance between two people is about to ignite.

+The Story
The Elsie Hawkins series is an odd collection of books, primarily because Elsie Hawkins, the individual after whom the series is named is more of a supporting character than a protagonist.

Interestingly enough, according to Janet Evanovich, the author, it was on the character of Elsie Hawkins that Grandma Mazur was based; this is despite the fact that Elsie doesn’t feature so prominently in her own series.

‘Back to the Bedroom’, the first Elsie Hawkins novel sets the template for the rest of the series. The novel focuses on the romantic entanglements of David Dodd and Katherine Finn.

Katherine lives next door to David. And David’s interest in Katherine is more than a passing fancy. He has watched her storm in and out of her house at all sorts of hours of the day and night, dragging her Cello behind her.

Katherine wasn’t just dedicated to her music. Her gigs meant everything to her. The urge to succeed, to stand out and to meet her obligations kept Katherine on her feet, always on the move, keeping a pace that would have exhausted most other people.

David Dodd, on the other hand, was just the lazy bum next door, happy to waste the hours away with inactivity and relaxation. When an unexpected event nearly brings Katherine’s roof down, David volunteers to fix the hole in her ceiling.

In doing so, David hopes to grow a little closer to Katherine. The determined fellow gets a little more than he bargained for, though. Katherine is every bit the captivating woman he thought she would be and it doesn’t take him long to fall for her.

Unfortunately for David, Katherine is a hard-working woman who has neither the time nor the patience for a man who lacks ambition. As she struggles to make sense of her own feelings, Elsie Hawkins, a strange elderly woman, suddenly moves in.

‘Back to the Bedroom’ is a simple romance story that Janet Evanovich wrote in 1989. That was long before she wrote the Stephanie Plum series, the books that brought her to fame.

The first of the Elsie Hawkins books is a witty exploration of the romance between two drastically different human beings. And that remains a theme throughout the other Elsie Hawkins novels.

It could be argued that Janet’s Hawkins novels adhere strongly to the gender stereotypes of old, except that they are reversed. The men in the Hawkins novels typically play a role that the romance genre previously reserved for female characters in that they are primarily sex objects.

Janet goes to great lengths to describe them as the most handsome, sexually appealing men the heroine has ever seen. However, despite their physical appearance, they are normally brutes, prone to pursuing activities and taking actions that drive the heroines to view them as uncivilized.

Some of the author’s readers have described this element as the equivalent of all the romance novels that painted women as overly emotional individuals obsessed with frivolous matters.

While she paints her heroes in relatively simplistic terms, Janet goes the extra mile to make the women shine. They are all strong, independent, feisty individuals with stark ambitions, strong wills and a desire to succeed in all things.

They know what they want and they are not afraid to go after it. While the hero/heroine dynamics vary from those of the average romance novel, the relationship between the protagonists doesn’t differ that drastically from what most fans of the genre expect.

The man and the woman always fall for one another from the moment they meet. While one or both of them struggle to accept their feelings, it can take as little as a day for them to determine that they cannot live without one another.

Before long they are engaging in copious amounts of sex, fighting over the most trivial matters and maneuvering a litany of misunderstandings before finally deciding that they are ready to risk it all to make things work.

Elsie Hawkins is more of a shadow than anything. She operates behind the scenes, working as a babysitter, an unassuming neighbor, a nosy relative. She fills whatever role is necessary for her to be close enough to the developing romance that she can witness the fireworks go off firsthand.

A lot of the characters in the Elsie Hawkins series bare a strong resemblance to the cast members of the Stephanie Plum series. One assumes that the author used the Hawkins series as a testing ground for some of the ideas that she later refined when she created Stephanie Plum.

+The Author
Janet Evanovich is an American author born in New Jersey in 1943. Best known for the Stephanie Plum series, the bestselling author went to South River High School and Douglass College, becoming the first member of her clan to go to university.

Janet was in her thirties when she finally sat down to produce fiction. At the time, she had chosen to stay at home to care for her children. She wrote numerous serious manuscripts, each of which was rejected before she finally gave into her love for romance and decided to experiment with the genre.

The decision paid off rather handsomely.

+Smitten
Lizabeth Kane is a single mother in need of work. So she does not hesitate to pick up her hammer and take her place beside Matt Hallahan, a carpenter. Unfortunately for them both, Lizabeth isn’t a carpenter.

She cannot even remember the last time she touched a hammer. But she cannot afford to pass up the construction job on offer, regardless of how handsome her boss might be.

Matt isn’t sure how he ended up giving Lizabeth a job. But he knows that he doesn’t have time to pursue a relationship, not with all the work on his plate. Too bad he cannot stop thinking about Lizabeth.

+Wife for Hire
Hank Mallone has a problem on his hands. He needs a loan from the bank. But if he wants to convince the bank manager, his father, that he has abandoned his roguish ways, he will need Maggie Toone to pretend to be his wife.

Maggie took the job Hank offered because she needed freedom from the stifled life waiting for her back home. She did not expect her new boss to be so handsome.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Elsie Hawkins