Denise is a woman who works as a grocer in Hollis Mason's neighborhood. She was also of great writing talent and wrote 42 romantic novels in a single year. Although she remained unpublished, Hollis Mason is both her customer and literary admirer as she read to him her last 27 works in parts each time he shopped for her. She helped him to write Under the Hood by suggesting to start the novel with the saddest thing he can remember in order to win the readers' sympathy. He dedicated the book to her.