My guilty pleasure is … a good Regency romance novel. They are totally addictive, and I now pick them up for a penny plus postage on the Amazon marketplace. This is what the postman brought me today:
My habit started, as so many do, with Georgette Heyer. I scoured the charity shops of Edinburgh for Georgette Heyer novels, which I devoured, and read again and again. And then, I was given a Mary Balogh novel, called ‘Irresistible’. It wasn’t Georgette Heyer, but it was good reading. Although I was a bit taken aback when the hero and heroine went considerably past the chaste kisses allowed to Miss Heyer’s protagonists (and that only after a proposal had been made and accepted, naturally). And these two were without the benefit of wedlock, too. Shocking!
But with that novel came the seeds of my downward spiral into romance addiction. Several years later, when I was leaving London, a friend who was helping to pack my books noticed ‘Irresistible’ and said, ‘Oh, I work for her British publishers!’ and so, when I went on maternity leave, sent me a bundle of Mary Balogh novels. She also included some Stephanie Laurens books – her writing is not fantastic, and the characters get up to all sorts of unlikely things in carriages and conservatories, but they’re good fun, and Powys libraries seem to stock a never ending supply.
Mary and Stephanie led me to Liz Carlyle, purveyor of some seriously brooding heroes. And then Amazon thought I might like Sabrina Jeffries. The reviews were inconclusive, but it’s called ‘Never Seduce a Scoundrel’, for heaven’s sake. Got to be worth a shot.