|Lisa Kleypas would not look out of place on the cover of one her own books; the popular romance writer is also a former beauty queen. Kleypas was born in Temple, Texas, to Lloyd Kleypas, a successful real-estate developer, and his wife, Linda. The family later moved to Massachusetts. One of two children, Kleypas began reading romance novels as a teen and became determined to write her own. As a high-school senior she entered the America's Junior Miss Pageant, finishing fourth at the national level. With the $10,000 college scholarship she won, Kleypas attended Wellesley, where she studied political science. In 1985 she won the chance to represent Massachusetts in the Miss America Pageant but failed to make the top 10. (She has told interviewers that her participation earned her disdain from her feminist classmates at Wellesley.) Undaunted, she focused on her other ambition, and within a few months of graduating with her bachelor's degree in 1987, she had published her first novel, the Regency romance WHERE PASSIONS LEAD. She has since written numerous other romances, both historical and contemporary, and is a frequent honoree at the Romance Writers of America's RITA Awards.