I spent the morning re-reading several of my Mills&Boon novels. I started my Mills&Boon collection six years ago during my eight-month stay in Galway, Ireland (west coast= rain, rain, rain, more rain, and oh yes, rain).
What I like so much about M&B novels is that they’re so short you can read them in about 2 hours (they’re like small chocolates, really); you don’t have to wait too long for the happy ending (and your own happy sigh); they are, in a way, slightly old-fashioned; and they’ve just got the best brooding, moody, harsh Italian alpha-heroes, who are so beautiful to watch falling in love against their will. (Of course, sometimes you wish the heroine would just hit the hero over his dense head, but well, you can get over that).
Yet I somehow liked the books better when they were printed on thinner paper and were slimmer. And when they used the painted covers! I really, really loved those. Among my favourite “old” M&B covers are those for Penny Jordan’s LOVER BY DECEPTION (1999), Sandra Field’s UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL! (1998) and Kate Walker’s THE TEMPTATION GAME (1998).
So, spent the morning and half of the afternoon reading. Then I finally wrote down that scene I plotted while I was invigilating that exam on Monday. I really blame it all on the LOVE LETTER team: the March issue of the magazine contained an article on gay secondary characters in romance (prominently featuring THE LILY BRAND and comments by its author *smile*). One thing the article mentioned was that while there are now a number of (heterosexual) romances with unvillainous gay secondary characters and some of them even in a happy relationship, you usually still don’t see anything beyond a mere kiss (it’s a bit different in erotic romances, e.g. think of the threesome in Emma Holly’s “The Love Slave” in SECRETS Vol. 4!). “Gosh,” I thought, “they’re right. We can’t have that …” (I blame reading too much Terry Pratchett for this streak of subversiveness!) (Isn’t it cool when you can always blame other people? *ggg*)