Mills&Boon Joy & Gloom

As you well know I’ve got this secret passion for smouldering southern European heroes stalking through books in the blackest of moods, for secret babies, yes, even for amnesia plots! (Anybody remember Penny Jordan’s LOVER BY DECEPTION? Now that was a thoroughly sweet story!) And I’m beside myself with joy whenever I find a book that stretches conventions and is refreshingly different (imo, Lucy Gordon’s PREGNANCY BOND definitely fits the bill, or, more recently Jessica Hart’s HER READY-MADE FAMILY — why, in this novel the heroine is richer of the hero! She is the multi-millionnaire and he the struggeling country vet!)

BUT I’m decidedly wary whenever a book comes too close to reality (hey, that’s the nice thing about these uber-alpha, sulking Italian heroes, the secret babies and the poor heroines getting whacked over the head and suffering from amnesia for weeks on end — they’re so improbable!). And a book that deals exclusively with the disintegration of a marriage and describes a miscarriage and the aftermath in all its horrific details — that makes me thoroughly sick! For heaven’s sake, I’m not reading romance to make myself depressed! And if an author tells me on 175 pages how unsuited the protagonists are, how unhappy they make each other and how happily they tear into each other, I’m not going to buy the happy ending that’s produced on the last 8 pages like a bunny out of a magician’s hat! AAAAAARGH!!!!