Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Laura Renken  

Pen Name: Melody Thomas/ Lori Morgan


Audience: Adult; Young Adult;

Born: Texas

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Illinois Connection

Lauara Renken lives in the Chicago area where she is also the former president for the Windy City RWA chapter.

Biographical and Professional Information

Years after receiving her Criminal Justice degree from the University of Oklahoma , she discovered the historical romance genre.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Indigo Moon
ISBN: 0843947926

Leisure Books. 2000

To break her brother out of jail, Rebeka enlists the reluctant assistance of legendary cavalry scout and tracker Chase Hawken, whose own fierce dedication to justice is undermined by his growing feelings for the beautiful young woman and outlaw associate. Original.

Autumn Star
ISBN: 0843948922

Leisure Books. 2001

My Lord Pirate (Seduction Romance)
ISBN: 0515129844

Berkley. 2001

Seeking revenge on his greatest enemy, pirate Talon Drake sets out to kidnap his foe's intended fiancTe, never expecting to fall for his enchanting and courageous captive. Original.

Night Shadow
ISBN: 0515131555

Berkley. 2001

Freed from captivity aboard a Spanish ship when a fierce storm kills the captain and crew, Marcus Ryan Drake, an English pirate, finds himself falling for Liandra, a royal Spanish beauty, who enlists his aid in steering the ship to safety in exchange for his freedom. Original.

Heart of the Condor (Seduction Romance)
ISBN: 0515133353

Berkley. 2002

While searching for his sister and her English husband on the island of Martinique, El Condor, a notorious Spanish privateer, rescues the lovely Lady Sarah Drake from kidnappers and finds himself torn between his growing feelings for the lovely British aristocrat and his loyalty to the Spanish crown. Original.

Wicked Lies (Seduction Romance)
ISBN: 0515134031

Berkley. 2002

Arrested and sentenced to hang for smuggling tea into the American colonies in opposition to the Townshend Act of 1767, dashing Julian Reece Lambert, a decorated captain of the Royal Navy, who is known to American rebels as Merlin, escapes, along with a fellow prisoner, lovely Catherine Bellamy, the woman who had betrayed him to the British. Original.

Must Have Been The Moonlight (Donally Family Series)
ISBN: 0060564482

Avon. 2004

In this brilliant follow-up to her Avon debut, Melody Thomas captivates us again with a rich and emotionally satisfying 'marriage of convenience' story that will delight fans of Judith McNaught.

Michael Fallon is the third son of a Duke, and when the love of his life was betrothed to his older brother, Michael left England to serve in the military. Now he's a captain stationed in Cairo, and he inadvertently rescues Brianna Donally from the deserts. Michael is the most exciting man Brea has ever known, and the attraction between them is undeniable. A 'modern' woman, she sees nothing wrong in initiating an affair, but when Michael unexpectedly inherits the family dukedom, the 'marriage of convenience' Michael proposes is anything but, and Brianna suddenly finds herself falling in love with a man she vowed never to trust with her heart.

In My Heart
ISBN: 0060564474

Avon. 2004

After a whirlwind affair and elopement with one of her father's officers, Lady Alexandra Marshall, daughter and sole heir of the Earl of Ware, watched helplessly as her husband was shipped off. An annulment followed, and though she waited with packed bags, Christopher never returned for her. Now, 10 years later, she can't help but wonder if fate is giving them a second chance at love .

A Match Made in Scandal (Donally Family Series)
ISBN: 0060742313

Avon. 2005

An obsession that blooms into scandal

Since childhood, Ryan Donally adored Rachel Bailey, though the brilliant, beautiful lass saw him as just another rowdy boy. The years pulled them apart, carrying Rachel to a place of responsibility and respect few women of her time enjoyed . . . while Ryan ascended to undreamed-of heights of wealth and success, and bound his heart to another.

Now fate has brought them together once again—and Rachel sees not the boy she once spurned, but a breathtaking man she desires. Yet Ryan has moved on and is unwilling to forgive, and Rachel hides a secret shame that could destroy everything she has worked for. Then, in one moment of unrestrained passion, the walls between them tumble, and the price they must pay is a marriage neither can afford. But will a sensuous fire too-long resisted bring tragedy . . . or will it forge a glorious and undying love?

Angel In My Bed
ISBN: 006074233X

Avon. 2006

Angel . . . or the devil in disguise?

On one final mission for the Crown, David Donally is hunting for a missing treasure. His only clue is a dazzling, gem-encrusted earring, and it is leading him to the most desirable woman he has ever known . . . an enchanting thief he once seduced and betrayed in the name of duty . . . an exquisite lover he'd believed was dead . . . his wife!

Meg Faraday thought her former life was behind her—until the night the treacherous husband she'd eluded suddenly appeared. By rights she should despise the handsome spy who had captured her heart, then shattered it. But the fire between them still burns, and what was once an irresistible passion has now become a dangerous game of betrayal . . .

Beauty and the Duke
ISBN: 0061472670

Avon. 2009

The face he shows the world is not the face she sees. . .

Once, ten years ago, they were young lovers, sharing sinful touches and desperate ecstasy. But he was bound by his promise to wed another. Since that fateful time, Christine Sommers has grown into a headstrong beauty, the kind of woman who thinks nothing of daring travels to the ends of the world. But for all her achievements, Christine has never found anyone who makes her heart race the way Erik Boughton once did.

Since that fateful time, Erik Boughton, the Duke of Sedgwick, has become something of a beast, at least according to the gossips of the ton. They say that he's cursed, that any woman who shares his bed will meet an untimely end. But when he comes to Christine, desperate for her help to preserve his family and his title, she does not fear the devil duke. Enthralled by his ravenous desire, she would give him anything he wished, even her body . . . and her heart.

Claimed By a Scottish Lord
ISBN: 0061898708

Avon. 2010

“Melody Thomas is an author to watch! She will sweep you away!”
—Karen Hawkins

Dangerous passions collide in the Highlands in Claimed by a Scottish Lord, the second book of the exciting historical romance series author Melody Thomas began with Beauty and the Duke. The story of a desperate—and desperately handsome—noble Scotsman who takes his enemy’s daughter prisoner, only to discover that she’s everything he ever wanted, Claimed by a Scottish Lord brims with Melody Thomas’s trademark wit, adventure, and searing sensuality. If you’ve missed Judith McNaught’s historicals—or simply adore curling up with a classic Kathleen E. Woodiwiss or Stephanie Laurens romance—then you just might have found a new favorite in Melody Thomas.


In My Heart

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)