When most people consider alumni of the University of Notre Dame, chances are romance writers don’t come to mind. For this reason, I was surprised to see an article in the summer 2012 edition of Notre Dame Magazine about Sally MacKenzie, Notre Dame class of 1976. Author of eight historical romance novels, several of which hit the USA Today best-seller list, MacKenzie defies expectations–or does she? MacKenzie graduated from Notre Dame in a time when Catholicism in the United States was going through a liberal period during Vatican II. Only recently has Notre Dame developed an image as a more conservative institution.
Curious, I decided to see for myself what kind of romance novels a Notre Dame alumna writes. Not a habitual romance reader, I was pleasantly surprised.
While a bit formulaic, like most romance novels, MacKenzie distinguishes herself from the crowded romance market with quality writing, snappy dialogues, and a sense of humor which permeates her works. MacKenzie makes romance “fun” by not taking herself or romance writing too seriously.
MacKenzie’s primary series, the “Naked” books, details the marital antics of an interlocking cast of characters. They don’t need to be read in any particular order and can be enjoyed as stand-alone works.
MacKenzie’s later works are stronger than her earlier novels. I would recommend taking a look at The Naked King or The Naked Viscount if you are likewise curious about a Notre Dame romance author.
Here is a link to the article from Notre Dame Magazine: