Because Im out of good books to read, completely out.
And because sometimes its good to switch your brain off.
And because the body needs sugar. Or saccherine.
And because its the only romance Im likely to see this side of the Coronation.
And its my day off, and Ive finished the newspaper. And Im bored.
Thats why Im reading cheap romances. Thats why Im all bound up in the world of Mills and Boon (or harlequin, I think theyre called now) Thats why the should I? Shouldnt I? relationship of Melody (young winsome secretary, shiny tawny-red hair and hazel eyes, wronged in love before, 158 wpm) and Butch (ex-cowboy, now brash chief executive, with a winsome smile, a piercing gaze, a well-cut suit and a throbbing purple manhood, I should think) has got me all addicted.
The plot, although quite obviously pap, hasnt quite come into its own as yet. Im not even sure what the general theme of this one is yet. Not that Ive read them before. Its called Rash Intruder, which leads me to think, depending on the emphasis, that its either about someone that rushes into situations quickly, or someone who gets excited by the idea of Thrush.
Last year, just when practically everyone on the island seemed to be falling in love, I found somewhere that was selling these terrible novels cheaply, and bought a dozen, distributing them to any friends whose lives were lacking in romance.
The problem with Mills and Boon, quite frankly, is theres no sex to them. Two people meet, she naïve and virginal, he worldly and masculine, they dance around each other for a while, have various misunderstandings, petty jealousies and meaningful glances, and then realise what fools theyve been all along, not realising they were so perfect for one another, at which point they share one world-shaking embrace and get married.
So quite a lot like life then, in many ways, leaving out all the drunken revelations, people-already-being-married glitches, the realisations of incompatibility six weeks into the relationship, the shagging and the shouting, the silliness, the unpoetic moments of magic, the insecurities, feelings of inadequacy and anything that goes toward making us 3D people.
I had a look to see if there were any more racy ones anywhere, but there werent. In the theatre I used to work in, we would have readings of books left in lost property. Theres only one phrase I remember from one of them, just after the main protagonists, Desree (servant girl) and Lord Tarquin St John Benedict Leo Franklin Ralph Geoffrey Randlington-Yaddayadda-Smythe (ponce), had had their wicked way with each other in the stables;
He lay back, and sighed, like a warm tiger.
As opposed to shivered like a cold tiger?. How does a warm tiger sigh? Which bit was like the tiger, the lying or the sighing?
Oh, I dont care anymore. Im going back to wrap myself in the strong arms and inhale the musky aroma of my teddy bear. And read my terrible book.
Lets face it, its the closest Im going to get to a Shag.
Apart from the dead one I trod on earlier on the beach.
But that may have been a Cormorant.