The Layman Site: 5 Things Common in Every Mills and Boon
What is Mills and Boon?
I am aware that most of have not heard of Mills and Boon, so before we go into the article, here is a short introduction to what it is.
Mills and Boon, often referred to as M&B, is a publishing house which only caters to the romance genre. It was founded in 1908 by publisher Gerald Rusgrove Mills and Charles Boon. In its early days, Mills & Boon was not an exclusive publisher of romantic fiction. The firm published several high-quality educational non-fiction titles. In 1928 after Mills' unexpected death, Boon remade the company as a single-genre publishing house, publishing only romantic fiction. In 1971, the publisher was bought by the Canadian company Harlequin Enterprises.
Modern Mills & Boon novels, over one hundred of which are released each month, cover a wide range of possible romantic subgenres, varying in explicitness, setting and style, although retaining a comforting familiarity that meets reader expectations. Mills & Boon currently publish several imprints. Including- Blaze, Historical, Intrigue, Modern and Desire to name a few. The most explicit Mills and Boon imprint is Spice.
1. The Guy is a Grade A Chauvinistic A**hole:
I have read enough M&Bs to ascertain that. The guy is possessive and that putting it mildly. Many loyal readers would disagree with me, surely by putting forth their own arguments. But I would still insist that any guy who ‘orders’ a girl to dress up in a particular way, wear colours he likes and even disallow her from spending time with her male friend, is a Grade A Chauvinistic A**hole all the while having uncontrolled freedom about what he wants to do. I think that this is the first step to an unhealthy relationship where a person tries to dominate his/her partner.
2. The Girl is always pale, and the Guy is always tanned:
This is something which is true in all the M&Bs that I have read so far. And I have read quite a few. This comparison is usually made when they are both lying together on the bed. It’s the girl who is awed by how tanned her lover is, and how pale she is in comparison. That is just her contemplation. And you also have the author mentioning it like some 3000 times throughout the book. WE GET IT!!! Paleness is taken as the very criterion of beauty and so to people like us – who aren’t pale; --- we are basically told off that we are not feminine enough.
3. The Title will have not more than 4 words:Click thumbnail to view full-size
Most of the M&B titles go something like, Inexperienced Mistress, Greek Tycoon or Greek Tycoon and Pregnant Wife....just giving an example. While the book is usually written well in concise language; thoughtful and well-reasoned (most of the time), I can’t quite say the same about the imagination that has been put in to come up with the suitable title. I’ll just rattle off another few names, and let you decide for yourself: Ruthlessly Bedded, Forcibly Married; Ruthless Magnet, Convenient Wife....there are a couple of other titles which don’t necessarily have four words. But beware, if they are not four words, then they’ll be three words or two, but still quite flowery and extravagant. Like: The Cruellest Lie, Mission Make Over....and lots more.
4. Plot Summary:
I can actually generalize the plot of the all the M&Bs ever written. The story goes like: Girl meets Guy. Mutual attraction. Guy and the girl will get separated. Reconciliation. And then the inevitable ending that all M&Bs seem to have: marriage.
You can notice that most characters are depthless, supercilious and unrealistic. All in all, whatever I say, or what anyone says for that matter, these books make an incredibly good light read and, make expectations of a relationship sore up high past those fluffy white clouds.
Most M&Bs boast an epilogue which 9/10, refers to either the marriage or the honeymoon. If not that, then it’ll be something like the girl is pregnant or the couple in down with their first child, or....something very happy and cheerful.