Something’s gone wrong with romance writing.
Where once manly Rhett Butler battled the flames of Atlanta to rescue
Scarlett O’Hara or a rugged Heathcliff tore the earth from Catherine Earnshaw’s
grave, readers now find New Men so wet you could wring them out and about as
heart-thumpingly sexy as socks.
As for the heroines, they are invariably so exhausted by disease,
divorce or family dysfunction that their hearts can’t skip a beat, let alone
thud with passion. Rare are sassy survivors such as Moll Flanders or vixens like
Vanity Fair’s Becky Sharpe.
With so much depressingly limp romantic fiction on offer, it’s no
surprise that a growing number of thirty-somethings have begun indulging a
secret passion for a genre we thought was dying: Mills & Boon, the longtime
home of stereotypically intense male leads and swooning females.
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