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Mills & Boon: A Man's Confession
by Clint Wayne
2008-03-08 09:04:33
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As I entered the room my gaze was transfixed by the young couple standing by the French doors looking as if they were about to disappear into the darkness of the garden. The man was tall and muscular with a bronzed tan. The expression on his ruggedly handsome face was mysterious but utterly mesmerising.

Edging closer, I gasped at the stunning flirtatious blonde by his side. The top of her breasts exposed by the low cut top almost swallowing up the diamond pendant dangling above her deep cleavage. Her long slender legs disappeared disappointingly below her short mini skirt.

The way she was leaning into his muscular body was suggestive of a woman almost liquid with desire. The chemistry between the two was so electrifying that suddenly all thoughts of my weekly shop were abandoned and replaced instead by desperation to know how such a captivating partnership had come to pass.

And so with one fluid movement, I grabbed the Mills & Boon paperback on which they were cover stars and quickly concealed it in my trolley as though it were a magazine that haunts the top shelf.

I wedged it into my trolley between a multi-pack of loo rolls and a ripening bunch of bananas. The passion fuelled pair looked terribly out of place but at least my embarrassing purchase could be hidden from view. Yes, my name is Clint and I am a Mills & Boon lover. I've tried to suppress my shameful obsession for more than 20 years. Can you imagine the embarrassment: a guy who reads love stories?

But as the world's most famous purveyor of romantic fiction celebrates its centenary this year founded by Gerald Mills and Charles Boon in 1908, I feel it's time to come clean about my craving.

I know what you're thinking, that I'm just a sad romance-starved fantasist incapable of appreciating good writing, but I'm actually a normal everyday hard-working hubby with an adorable wife and growing family. I mean I write for Ovi!!

How then did I come to read these sausage machine fantasies? While on holiday enjoying my freedom from the rat race with my special lady, I found myself picking up a battered old Mills & Boon romance from the shelf of my rented apartment. With patronising amusement I challenged myself to survive the first chapter and ended up devouring the entire book as well as the other tatty M&B titles stashed away on the melamine shelves. Readers, I was hooked.

Was I was embarrassed by my addiction. God yes, but I just couldn’t help myself and read three more before my flight back to the monotony of life. It was an unbelievable compulsion particularly since I soon discovered the narrative in each book followed exactly the same pattern:- young innocent virgin collides with a rich successful sexually magnetic older man in a story splattered with seductive adjectives. They fight and bicker as their love smoulders long before they realise their attraction in a frenzy of passion and an inevitable proposal of marriage.

So forget the classics, leave them behind gathering dust at home and add some real romance to your holiday in the sun, just don’t tell anyone!!

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Emanuel Paparella2008-03-08 15:40:24
“So forget the classics, leave them behind”

No need to worry that many in our brave new world will not heed such an advice. The modern literary theory of Hermeneutics informs us that if a book, any book, does not address me the reader as a person and grabs and keep me there reading from the outset (somewhat akin to a muscular lover vis a vis a virgin), then no encounter with the book will ensue and literature becomes mere sterile conceptual knowledge. A literature incapable of relating to me standing in the present with an historical horizon is dead. That indeed partially explains why so many classics lie on dusty shelves: they simply do not relate to their purchaser who now also feels guilty for having wasted all that money on them. The silver lining is that they do look good in a living room, especially if they are leather-bound and gold-laced. So forget them all right, but do not forget to dust them from time to time.

Asa2008-03-08 20:38:23
I'm slightly aroused by the opening paragraphs... perhaps you could begin a steamy fiction column for the more randy members of the Ovi readership!

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