I decided to have a browse of the web recently, seeing what M&B and Harlequin-related information I could come up with. And boy, did I find a lot of hatred.
The title of this post refers to a comment on a discussion board, where the poster argues that M&B books are dangerous to readers, apparently because real life doesn't always have happy endings like in a category romance (really? you could have fooled me!). This means that unsuspecting readers of Mills & Boon might end up getting confused between fantasy and fiction (wow!). In a nutshell, some poor reader might get it into their head that the romances that play out in our favourite books are REAL, and thus they might be ill-prepared for the harsh realities of the modern world as a result.
Excuse me?? Who on earth would get confused between a FICTIONAL romance and real life? Nobody I know, that's for sure! I foolishly imagined that any sane person would understand that these books are written for the purpose of ESCAPISM. There's nothing better than escaping from the oft-depressing modern world and curling up with a pleasant, happy and rewarding love story. Mills & Boon books are no different to any other genre fiction. Chick-lit makes you laugh, horror makes you scared, and thrillers have you on the edge of your seat. A category romance makes you fall in love - all from the comfort of your favourite armchair. These books have their place in society (and have had for hundreds of years) and can in no way be considered harmful to any reader.
Elsewhere on the web we have people gloating over the fact that thousands of M&B books were pulped to serve as foundations for the M6 Toll Road... but MY question is, how sad can you get? If you don't like M&B books, then don't read them! It's as simple as that.
When I first met Sue, I'm sure I was as disdainful of Mills & Boon books as most guys who know nothing about them are. But I could see for myself that Sue loved them, so I wasn't about to ask her to stop reading them in favour of some more 'worthy' work of literature. Of course, things have changed, and now I've begun perusing them myself, I can see where the attraction is - these books have a magic that it's hard to find elsewhere.. .
But my point is, why are people so outraged and furious about the humble category romance? Is it because, perchance, they're FRIGHTENED of it? That they can't possibly understand that we LOVE reading M&B and that these books often bring pleasure to people's lives? Could it be (gasp) that they're actually a little bit ENVIOUS of the enduring success that these books have??