Eli Easton is the pen name of Jane Jensen a game designer and writer who helmed one of the more successful Sierra adventure game series, Gabriel Knight. She is also somewhat blamed for the death of adventure games due to a specific puzzle in Gabriel Knight 3 and the fact that it was the last adventure game released by Sierra. This is a shame mostly due to Jane Jensen being A. one of the only female game designers who directed her own series of games (still almost unheard of); B. Gabriel Knight 1 and 2 are fantastic games; C. Adventure games were in decline long before Gabriel Knight 3 came out.
This to also say, Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within is one of my all-time favourite game! While the writing can be a bit cheesy at times, Jensen manages to create a sprawling well-researched saga with some historical touch. Jensen proves that she was one of the best (if not the best) adventure games writer and it’s a shame that her games are remembered because of a bad puzzle.
If you ever played Gabriel Knight 2 it might not be too surprising that Jensen pivoted to writing M/M romance considering the queer subtext of the game (which was frankly very much text). Not that it doesn’t have any issues, as it is a very 90’s interpretation of queerness, but in a medium that often prides itself in its heteronormativity (especially in the 90’s) Jensen’s work was rather subversive.
This to say, I only found out a few weeks ago that she now writes M/M romance and once I did I had to pick up one of her books and that was the first one I did. The book was ok, another modern retelling of beauty and the beast, nothing too exciting but an enjoyable read. In hindsight maybe I should have read Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride because of that cover, but also I mostly just want her to make Gabriel Knight 4.