There was a time, many years ago, when I subscribed to a monthly delivery of Mills and Boon romance novels. I’m afraid to say, it’s true.
Forbidden love, unspoken love, love in the most unlikely of places. He was often rich, she was often vulnerable. They were guaranteed to misunderstand each other’s intentions on more than one occasion. But in the end, love conquered all.
Some were steamy, some were sweet, some were wholly dissatisfying and eventually – after many free gifts and a cupboard full of Mills and Boon coffee mugs – I called it quits on that monthly delivery.
It took a few years, but I finally got rid of all those books – some to the library, some to my sister, a few to my neighbours and one or two relegated to supressing weeds in the garden.
But I have a confession to make. On Saturday, in a moment of weakness, I succumbed to the charms of the supermarket bookshelf and bought the rather dramatically titled ‘Proof Of Their Sin’, by Dani Collins.
And it lived up to expectations. He was rich and so was she . . . but less so. They both had excellent back stories which slowly emerged and intertwined to explain their perpetual misunderstanding of one another. They had shared a one night dalliance three months earlier with consequences which underpinned the story. Time went by, the chemistry was undeniable, the friction palpable, but eventually they found themselves on the same page (literally and figuratively).
The thing that made this book stand out was the closing sequence. Fast forward. The wedding had been and gone, the baby had just arrived and the creases in their relationship had all been ironed out. As the husband sucked on the oxygen in the back of the ambulance (mum and bub were fine), he remarked:
“The next one is planned, start to finish.”
Four months later they accidentally conceived on a flight to Hong Kong. Their daughter arrived three weeks early in a limousine under the Arc de Triomphe.
After the drawn out tension of the 183 pages prior to the epilogue, their future was summed up in three short sentences. The contrast and the content made me laugh out loud. I suspect the author Dani Collins was relieved to write them.
My only problem now is having to return to the supermarket when the food runs out, knowing that there’s more of these little gems just waiting for me on a bookshelf near the frozen foods. Give me strength . . .