Romance writer Mary Jo Putney was born in New York and graduated from Syracuse University with degrees in English literature and Industrial design. She served as the art editor of The New Internationalist magazine in London and worked as a designer in California before settling in Baltimore, Maryland in 1980 to run her own freelance graphic design business Her first novel was a traditional Regency romance, which sold in one week. Signet liked the novel so much that it offered Putney a three-book contract. In 1987 that first novel, The Diabolical Baron, was published. Since then, she has published more than twenty-nine books. Her books have been ranked on the national bestseller lists of the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly. Most of her books have been historical romance. She has also begun writing fantasy romance and romantic fantasy. Putney has won the Romance Writers of America RITA Award twice, for Dancing on the Wind and The Rake and the Reformer and has been a RITA finalist nine times. She is on the Romance Writers of America Honor Roll for bestselling authors, and has been awarded two Romantic Times Career Achievement Awards and four Golden Leaf Awards. Her titles include: Dark Mirror, Dark Passage, No Longer a Gentleman, Never Less than a Lady, and Nowhere Near Respectable.