Thursday, 7 July 2011

In defence of the soppy romance books

My romance with Mills & Boon started somewhere in class 9 or 10, with the first book I read in between studying for exams.

For someone with a proclivity then to get lost between the covers of story books, M&B made for convenient exam time reading - it gave me my everyday fix of fiction, but nothing fizzy enough to distract me from pages of fractions or history facts.

So, when I read that "Mills & Boon's romance novels should come with a health warning, according to a report published in an academic journal," that also blamed them for "unprotected sex, unwanted pregnancies, unrealistic sexual expectations and relationship breakdowns", I shall employ the same contemptuous sneer perfected by the hundreds of Greek gentlemen with chiselled faces/bodies that have graced the very covers of these far-from-erudite publications.

Cover of Sweet Deceiver (heh-heh). Note the sneer. 

To say this of the books established as a successful study technique, and with a proven record in improving one's mood and eliciting the (rather un-heroine-like) guffaws?! <-- Mock shock.

Far from being titillating, M&B's have had an exceedingly calming effect on my nerves, with their steady fare of clichés, unwavering pace of narration, predictable plot lines (they exist if you look hard enough) and the supreme comfort of knowing exactly what is going to happen.

There's a place for the predictable. And it's warmer and fuzzier than the gloom painted by this particular study.

Now if I were issuing warnings about safe sex practices in academic journals, I'd look away from M&B and keep my chaperoning eye on them Messieurs Donne and Marvell.


meera said...

I say Yikes - you are right about them Messieurs Donne and Marvell

thiliMy said...

I love the use of the photo illustration. Not much of a romance reader myself, but I appreciate your defense of the genre!

little green mango said...

I think I want to write one some day :D

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