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LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!! Pardon me whilst I stop rolling about on the floor, after reading Meljean Brook’s most recent blog, where she revisits old Harlequin books that once upon a time she cherished and adored.

I know that a lot of us often find ourselves re-reading books that we once loved in the hopes of re-igniting our passion for romance. This seems to be happening to me more often than not. I find myself liberally mixing up my genre’s at the moment in the hope that romance and I will become firm friends once more.

There are many books that I can read over and over again, and still find them as fabulous as the first time I read them, but then there are others which I read and like Meljean, can’t understand what the hell I was smoking at the time.

One of my favourite Harlequin Silhouette Desire reads of all time is a book called Just Joe, by Marley Morgan. Every time I read a book like JW Mckenna’s Darkest Hour, and find myself despairing that I’ll ever read a decent book again, I run straight into the arms of this 1987 publication for tea, sympathy, and comfort.

Just Joe still has the power to move me to tears no matter how often I read it, and I believe that this is the mark of a truly good book, (I probably need to step in here and add that this is my opinion, and not necessarily the opinion of others). Joe, who was the hero, was just the most amazing man, and he probably made the book for me. I can’t be arsed telling you what it was about so if you want to look it up, go to Amazon.

However, not so long ago, I went back to a Mills and Boon offering (I wont name and shame this author as some of her books are amongst my fave reads now) that I used to absolutely love, and Oh. My. God. What the fuck was I thinking! Not only was the heroine the kinda gal that you’d cheerfully strangle for being such a weak-assed dick, the hero was the epitome of all the things I hate in a badly-written alpha male.

He was arrogant beyond the pale, and treated the heroine like shit (she deserved it for being so damn stupid, but that doesn’t excuse the author for writing characters that most readers would hate with a passion) whilst accusing her of sleeping with every Tom, Dick and Harriet, she took a fancy to.

I mean come on, can a girl who does voluntary work at a shelter for children (she probably sounds likeable, but believe me, she wasn’t) a girl, who shook in her boots every time the hero gave her a “thin-lipped disparaging smile” and “blushed wildly” whenever his royal masculine thighness/bearer of “an aura of raw sexuality” got to within a few feet away from her, be the kinda chick that opens up her legs to all and sundry? Yeah right. Yet funnily enough, the hero seemed to miss all these nuances, and ridiculously came to the conclusion that she was hiding something, most probably a secret lover, as if! Yech!

Having said all of the above, I remember reading this book as a young teen and absolutely loving it, it may have been the “smoldering looks” that the hero kept throwing the heroine at every given opportunity, or the way the girly against her better judgement couldn’t control her baser instincts, and let Alpha Dickless continually “imprison her body against his” whilst she “moaned in ecstasy”.

Do ya get what I’m saying yet? The book muchos sucked, and I’ve hitherto come to the conclusion that all my taste was in my mouth as a teen!

I know you must have read books like this in the past, care to share?


  • Dawn
    May 8
    8:23 pm

    ROFLMAO Karen!! Now, this book wouldn’t have been written by a “much loved author” by the initials of (fuck me – can’t remember the initials, back in a sec – OK, I’m back!)DP, would it.

    I’ve read a few of her’s (mainly because everyone said how fab she is) and couldn’t figure out why she wrote such shits of heroes and such stupid twats for heroines.

    But I haven’t actually gone back to any of my fave ones from the early eighties (yes I am that old). There are a couple that I remember the names of, but have hesitated to look the books up again, in case I hate them now.


  • meljean
    May 8
    8:37 pm

    LOL! I’ve still got a couple more to go, and I’m about to head into — “Oh my god, I still LIKE this?” territory. It just amazes me how much romances have changed (well, some of them :D)


  • Karen Scott
    May 8
    8:40 pm

    Diana Palmer? You’re kidding aren’t you, if the book had been hers I’d have named and shamed with no remorse whatsoever, most of her books suck big time, and I think she’s one of the most over-rated authors in the romance genre. For you DP lovers out there (I’m sure that stands for Double Penetration also.) this is just my opinion (grin.

    BTW, I think that Twat is a great way of describing most of DP’s heroines!!


  • Rocio
    May 8
    9:28 pm

    I told you I loved to go back to my favs every once in a while..My absolutely fav is “night into day” by Sandra Canfield this is one of those I keep in a easy to grab place..And also anything from LaVyrle Spencer both Harlequin authors!…A have a few favs authors but those I always like and love to re-read!!!


  • Tammy
    May 9
    8:38 am

    On the Diana Palmer issue Dawn, Karen, I’ve never read one of here books yet that I didn’t want to stamp on in temper. Dawn, you are so right, her heroines are stupid, and there’s nothing I hate more than overly alpha-type heroes, and her books seem to be full of them.

    I get what Karen is saying about going back and reading books that you consider a keeper, I do that mostly when I’m going through a bored phase in my romance reading.


  • Chocoholic Girl
    May 9
    3:29 pm

    Roflmao! I reread an old Harlequin book at least once a month, and I agree with you that there are times where I can’t figure out what it was I loved about the book in the first place.

    As for Diana Palmer, I usually enjoy her books, but I hear what you’re saying about her characters, I have come across the heroine who needed a good kick up the ass!


  • Karen Scott
    May 10
    4:02 pm

    Hi Meljean, I’m just thrilled to have you here!

    Rocio, I haven’t read any Sandra Canfield, so I may have to try her

    Chocoholic, DP is just not my cup of tea I’m afraid, I find myself getting too angry with her characters!


  • Dawn
    May 11
    8:39 pm

    Karen Your blog inspired me to search out one of my absolute favourite Mills & Boons from back in the day. Couldn’t remember what it was called or the author, but I found a message board where you could post a description and if someone recognised it they’d post a reply.

    Well only 2 days after I posted someone came back with the answer “Bewildered Haven” by Helen Bianchin.

    So you know what? I’m going to shell out a couple of quid and buy it and see if it’s as great as I remembered. I mean, I read and re-read that sucker until it was all creased up.

    Will report back on findings.


  • Karen Scott
    May 12
    7:50 am

    Lol, Dawn, I’m glad I inspired you!! I’m rereading romances because I’m bored at the mo, all the books I keep purchasing are proving a let down,I’m looking forward to purchasing Sugar Gum Tree book thingy from Cerridwen Press today!

    Let me know how your book goes!!


  • Ella
    May 15
    8:54 pm

    Alpha Dickless? Too funny!


  • Dawn
    May 18
    12:58 pm

    Hey Karen

    Well I got that book from the past yesterday. And I read it yesterday.

    You know what? I did still enjoy it, but with a completely different perspective (well I was about 14 when I first read it!).

    It was terribly dated ‘cos it was written in ’76, and the hero was the typical “tall, dark and sardonic” type, and the heroine was a little tremulous. AND there was NO sex. The worst it got was some very masterful kissing.

    But money well spent to revive a memory.


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