Monday, July 18, 2016

Monsoon Romance - Memories Of Mills and Boon Binges

It was probably Jane Austen and her ilk who bred in me a certain Pride and Prejudice that prevented me from plunging between the covers of a Denise Robbins like the other girls of my age.
The Price of Folly

Though I eagerly devoured Wuthering Heights, a good read for rainy weather with all those gloomy marshes. 

Wuthering Heights

Jane Eyre, also set in drab weather and also featuring a tragic love story,  

Jane Eyre

and Pride and Prejudice, where the weather plays cupid,  

Pride and Prejudice

as well as innumerable Georgette Heyers (I adored her!) - full of humour and some adventure -

The Quiet Gentleman

and I really didn't mind sneaking in the odd Angelique or two - lusty reads where the busty heroine is frequently made a prisoner of "love",

Angelique: The Marquise of the Angels

yet Gone With The Wind swept me up in its tempestuous events and it's thick enough to carry a reader through the better part of the rainy season, 

Gone with the Wind

but Daphne De Maurier didn't live up to the promise of mystery and romance 

My Cousin Rachel

and, while Mary Stewart mostly met the need for suspense, romance and cool locales,

Nine Coaches Waiting

it was only in college that I was introduced to Mills and Boon and I know I read a lot but can only remember a few names: Anne Mather, where swarthy heroes manhandled delicate and long suffering damsels,


and though I'd heard of Barbara Cartland, nothing induced me to sample one of her books,

The Wild,Unwilling Wife (86)

which is also the case with Danielle Steele, though many swore that her books had greatly influenced them.

Going Home

Of course I heard of Jackie Collins and may have read one but found her unremarkable.

The Stud

However, it's Mills and Boon that still seems to define romance and it's been ages since I read one! In those days, we propped them on our knees and read them under the table at college, occupying back benches, far from the teacher's eagle eyes.

There were stories about doctors and nurses - Betty Neels, for example,

Sister Peters in Amsterdam
and I had a favourite which, alas, I lost along the way: it was a rare one, with lots of humour.

I'm quite out of touch and would really appreciate if you can tell what's in vogue these days. As usual, there are lists out there! 

If you'd like to catch up on the genre, there's nothing like visiting the Mills and Boon website. 

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