Romantic romps and steamy seduction – in the library!

They were all at the party: the cowboy’s adopted daughter, the dangerous lord, the seductive miss, the reluctant duke, the inherited bride, the midwife and the millionaire.

Mills & Boon workshop at Victoria LibraryTipping the waitress with diamonds, Jordan St Clair (dark and dangerous), scanned the room, noting the presence of the doorstep twins and Australia’s most eligible bachelor, as she discussed Lady Arabella’s scandalous marriage with Prince Voronov’s virgin and the shy duchess.

“I’m a free spirit”, she boasted; “no sweet surrender with the millionaire for me!”

The mother of the bride scowled. “Reckless! The wedding charade! Rescued in a wedding dress, and a stormy Greek marriage – what are things coming to?”

The hellhound king, courting Miss Vallois, made sparks fly with Mr Mayor while she was sleeping in the count’s bed. “I admire Flora’s defiance, from single mum to lady in one passionate night’s miracle!”

The adversary retorted: “Oh, she passed the interview with a playboy; it was a miracle for the girl next door. But now she’s under the Spaniard’s lock and key, bound to the barbarian!”

Right, that’s thirty Mills & Boon titles misused; just 3,318 to go!

But it’s all very well making fun of Mills & Boon – could I do any better? Undoubtedly not. I should have joined the wannabe romance-writers who met at Victoria Library the other day to learn a few tricks of the trade from the experts. This session was booked up as soon as it was advertised on the library website, so it was no surprise that it was full of eager scribblers, with a presentation by two Mills and Boon editors and a Q&A which also involved the company’s marketing coordinator. The participants got an early look at book covers for a new line of books, and were asked to comment.

The Librarian's Secret Scandal, by Jennifer MoreyThey can get their fill of romance books in Westminster Libraries – with a ‘ROM’ fiction section in every lending library filled with more than just Mills & Boon, and with many available in Large Print – there’s no excuse for the participants not to get to know their genre. The shelves also include the shortlisted books for the 2011 Pure Passion Awards from the Romantic Novelists Association. And if they exhaust those shelves (unlikely), they’ll find more romantic fiction on the shelves of the teenage ZONE sections too.

There were no reports of any romantic liaisons during the session… yet. But with The Librarian’s Secret Scandal on order at this very moment, and yesterday’s exhortation in the Guardian, it seems the location might be just the ticket.

[David]

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