Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Vale Jennifer Taylor

Dear Readers,

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Jennifer receiving her award for her 75th book: a Tiffany solid silver keyring.

It is with great sadness that we’re writing here today to tell you that the wonderful medical romance author, Jennifer Taylor, has died after a long battle with multiple myeloma. She was courageous and generous to the end and she is greatly missed, not just in the medical romance family but also the Harlequin family and by her beloved readers.

Jennifer wrote 85 medical romance novels over almost thirty years, entertaining millions of readers and capturing their hearts with her heartwarming stories set mainly in GP surgeries, country hospitals, or in the Mediterranean, a place she loved.

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September 2017

A few of the medical romance authors have written tributes below and we invite you to leave your own in the comments section.

Fiona Lowe writes:  I like to think of Jennifer at home with her beloved dog. Way way back in the day, before I was published, Jennifer was a driving push to highlight medical romances and as a ‘wanna-be author’, I commented on the new blog.  I won a green leather keyring with gold lettering that said, ‘Medical Romance’ and it had  a gold heart.  As an aspiring author, I used that keyring every day as a talisman.

By the time I got published, I’d rubbed all the gold off the leather!  When I sold to Harlequin Mills & Boon, I was so excited to be welcomed to the author group and ‘e-meet’ the woman who had organized the keyring.  She was warm and welcoming and generous with her sage advice. I remember her sorrow when her beloved husband Bill died and I remember the quilt many of the authors contributed a square to when Jennifer’s first grandchild was born. Only two days before she died, Jennifer was contributing to our ‘staff room’ conversation. Recently, during a stay in hospital, she’d been cared for by a handsome, Rugby-playing doctor who she declared was perfect hero material and great research for a book.  Vale, Jennifer. You are dearly missed.

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Jennifer & Bill at their daughter’s wedding 2006
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The quilt the medical authors made for Jennifer’s first grandchild.

Amy Andrews writes: I read Jennifer’s books long before I was ever privileged enough to know her as a person. Her’s (and Caroline Anderson’s) were the books I glommed when I was learning the craft of medical romance. When I finally made it into the medical romance author fold, Jennifer was so generous and supportive of me, especially in the beginning when everything was a little overwhelming. I couldn’t believe that this woman, whose books I had read and loved, was being my cheer squad. It was my great privilege to meet her on three separate occasions and I was very excited that she came to London last April when I was there for our medical authors high tea. I know it was a hike for her and was touched that she went to the effort.

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From left to right: Amy Andrews, Jennifer Taylor & Caroline Anderson. (April 2016)

Kate Hardy writes: I’m so sad that our dear friend Jennifer Taylor has died. I ‘knew’ her before I started writing for M&B, because I loved her books, and I was so thrilled to meet her in real life and discover that she was one of the nicest women you could ever know. In fact, I’ve been friends with her right since my very first M&B authors’ lunch, so we’re going back more than 15 years. I have an early pic here of some of the medical authors from 2003, which puts a lump in my throat, because out of the five of us Sheila Danton, Jennifer and Roger Sanderson are no longer with us, and Margaret Barker is frail. (This pic made our editor, Sheila Hodgson cry, too.)

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From left to right: Kate Hardy, Sheila Danton, Jennifer Taylor, Caroline Anderson, Roger Sanderon and Margaret Barker. (2003)

Jennifer and I set up the email loop for the M&B medical authors, so we could get together and talk books, gorgeous men, medicine and inspiration – not to mention giving people a hug when it was needed and cheering on all the good times. And how amazing it was, in the days before broadband, to think that we could actually talk to people on the other side of the world!

My enduring memory of her is her laugh. That lovely Liverpudlian giggle. She was always so positive and upbeat (and down to earth – never any airs and graces with our Jennifer). Even when she was facing some really difficult personal challenges and ill health, she always found something good in life – she was absolutely inspirational. And she was always one of the first to put her hand up and say she’d come to a meet-up (such as here in London when Amy Andrews came all the way over from Australia and we had afternoon tea).

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From left to right: Jennifer Taylor, Caroline Anderson, Fiona Harper, Annie O’Neil, Lucy King, Amy Andrews, Kate Hardy, Annie Claydon. (April 2016)

I was proud to be there when she got her award for her 75th book. Here we are beforehand – Caroline Anderson, Scarlet Wilson, Jennifer and Annie Claydon.P1100603 2-1

My daughter plays guitar and recently Jennifer told me how she met Paul McCartney as a teen.  Her friend lived just down the road from him, and they went to the Cavern and everything. Even when you’ve known someone for years, they still have the capacity to surprise you! 🙂  The day she told me this was the last time I saw her. At the M&B lunch – here we are with Susan Carlisle.

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From left to right: Kate Hardy, Susan Carlise and Jennifer Taylor.


Jennifer was one of the best. I’m grateful for all the years of friendship and laughter and hugs. And those memories are always going to be there.

Fiona McArthur writes: Jennifer was one of life’s kindest ladies and I feel blessed to have known her. We last emailed each other just two weeks before she died.  The photo on the left below was taken in London 2011 just after we’d spent the weekend together in Paris. We took photos of each other next to the Louvre to say, ‘Yay! We were here’. 🙂

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Jennifer Taylor & Fiona McArthur in 2011

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Caroline Anderson writes:

I was so sad to hear of Jennifer Taylor’s death, because our lives have touched intermittently for the last twenty-seven years. In that time, she’s been not only a fellow author but also, because she was warm, friendly and open and always, always kind, she’s also been a friend. I can’t believe she’s gone.

We only met up once a year, twice at the most, and always at author functions – most of which are a good excuse for a party and a lot of talking.  Authors all over spend so much time locked up with their own thoughts, generating words, that having an opportunity to have a real conversation with real people is always a joy!  And seeing Jennifer was ALWAYS a joy.

I remember one occasion when she’d travelled down to London with her husband for the author lunch and I was privileged to meet him. What struck me instantly was how like her he was – funny, gentle, kind, with a mischievous sense of humour so like hers.  I was so sad for her when she lost him just a few years later.  She dealt with his loss with quiet courage and great dignity, just as she dealt with everything life threw at her, and there have been some great sadnesses in her life, moments from which you don’t recover but simply soldier on.

That was Jennifer all over.  She was always so positive, so genuinely pleased to see everyone, and although I knew she was fighting a running battle with her health, she never let it show, never moaned about it or let it interfere with getting on with her full and busy life.

I’m useless at taking photos of memorable events, but luckily I also share these special author moments with Kate Hardy, and she’s taken some great photos of us together, which I’ve been looking at again. They bring a lump to my throat, because I can’t believe she won’t be there next time, that there’ll never be a next time.

It was a privilege to know her, to share however slightly in her life, to feel the warmth of her smile, to hear her lovely laugh, and there will always be a place for her in my heart.  Rest in peace, dear friend…

(Caroline with Kate Hardy, scattering rose petals in memory of Jennifer Taylor)

If you would like to share a Jennifer Taylor story– perhaps a book of hers touched you or maybe you met her– please leave a message in the comments.

Vale Jennifer.

Thank you for touching our lives in so many wonderful ways.

 Rest in Peace.

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17 thoughts on “Vale Jennifer Taylor”

  1. WOW what a beautiful tribute to a lovely Lady it is always so sad when we lose someone we love hugs to you all.

    Although I have read a lot of medical books sadly I have not read one of Jennifer’s but I will be very soon

    Helen

  2. Gorgeous tribute to a gorgeous warm-hearted woman. Remembering her right now by reading one of her books Best Friend to Perfect Bride x

    1. What a wonderful tribute to Jennifer. I’m so moved by it. She was a wonderful lady and a hugely loved author. So courageous, fun, warm and talented. I worked with Jennifer as her editor for many, many years and along with everyone at Harlequin, her many readers all over the globe, and her fellow authors she will be hugely missed. Rest in peace, Jennifer.

      Sheila Hodgson.

  3. So very, very sorry to hear this. Jennifer was one of the first HMB authors I met and always such a charmer; inspiring too. And I loved her books. Can’t believe I won’t hear that warm chuckle again.

  4. I loved reading everyon’s memories, thank you for sharing. Like so many other authors out there I read plenty of Jennifer’s books with great joy and, while I never met her, enjoyed getting to know her in our ‘staff room’. Condolences to Vicky, we will miss your mum xx

  5. Thank you for this beautiful tribute to Jennifer Taylor. I wasn’t privileged to know her personally, but her cute and funny comments and stories on the medical author blog often made me smile and laugh. Holding close all those who loved her.

  6. Hi all, I’m Vicky, Jennifer’s daughter, I’m so moved by such a wonderful tribute to my mum and can’t thank you all enough for your kind words and support.
    Mums writing meant everything to her, she was always plotting her next story line or character using her every day surroundings, it was more than a job to her, it was her passion, my first memories of her writing was Sat in the kitchen tapping away on her typewriter, telling us to “be quiet , im thinking!” I would of only been around 6yrs old!!
    Now nearly 40, I look back at what mum achieved in her life…. Truly amazing.!!! Such a kind, warm hearted caring lady who always had time for anyone.
    I’ve taken a little time out that’s why it’s taken so long to write something, I’m currently in Cyprus watching the sun rise and reflecting on the last few weeks, mum would love it here, warm, peaceful and plenty of Campari!!

    I love you Mum, thank you for everything you ever did, there will never be a day go by that I don’t think about you xxx

    Vicky

    1. And hugs to you, Vicky. Having lost my own mum, I can imagine a little of what you are feeling now. It must be so hard that she’s not on the end of the phone or sitting in her little flat looking at her view. I loved your mum’s emails with photos of your children in Grandmother pride exchange. You must all miss her so much and hold so many wonderful memories. Hugs and more hugs xx Fi

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