Thursday, April 16, 2009

Harlequin's heaving bosoms

My one and only encounter with romance novels came in the 9th grade. I was new to my high school--heck, I was new to the U.S. having been living overseas for the past 6 years--and I made a friend.

Her name was A-- and she was a whip-smart Catholic brainiac with an insatiable appetite for mass-produced erotica. I think she read a romance novel a night and she loaned me a couple of dogeared copies.

Wow. I got quite the sexual education from those two books. Silent, hunky cowboys, heaving bosoms, throbbing manhoods.

"You can just skip to the good parts," A-- advised me, and it was easy enough. All the spines were broken so the books fell open to passionate embraces.

Our friendship didn't last long, and I never picked up another pink paperback, but apparently I am one of the only women not buying trashy romance novels. Apparently there are a few things this recession is good for, and one of them is Harlequin romance novels. The company publishes an astonishing 1200 titles a year and has spawned numerous sub-genres. Whether you to imagine pressing up against an aroused firefighter, Christian, vampire or ghost, you can find exactly what you're looking for.