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Mills and Boon is, in many women’s eyes, the Queen Bee of Romantic fiction. They provide short, snappy stories regarding the loves and lives of many a romantic heroine, gallant prince or dashing suitor, and have provided inspiration to many fantasies.
My own experience of Mills and Boon stems from my mum’s book collection. During my teenage years, when I was delving into the mystery that is the male species, I was often found to be reading a Mills and Boon story. They offered me a quick escape into the dream of the perfect partner, and gave me hope that one day; a handsome man would sweep me off my feet.
In 1908, Gerald Mills and Charles Boon combined forces to create Mills and Boon ltd, although they did not intentionally set out to be a Romantic Fiction Publishing House.
The depression of the 1930’s led people to yearn for escapism via fiction, and as the more popular genre was Romance, the company, Mills and Boon, decided to concentrate their efforts there.
There books were generally lent by libraries, so were often printed in Hardback, but with the decline of lending libraries in the 1950’s the company decided to produce and sell in paper-back, thereby offering their readers books that were easily accessible and at a low price.
In 1971, Harlequin Publishers acquired the rights to Mills and Boon, and they became officially know as Harlequin Mills and Boon Ltd. Soon after other offices opened in Germany, Sweden, France and Italy and later into Poland and the Czech Republic, and are now readily available worldwide.
In 2000, five different series were introduced, which are now produced monthly by Mills and Boon. They are;
Modern Romance – Mills and Boon quote these as being “One romance you’ll never want to end” and described as being Glamorous, sophisticated and passionate romance.
Tender Romance – Mills and Boon quote these as being “Dare to dream” and are described as being warm and emotionally fulfilling novels that capture the magic of falling in love.
Sensual – Mills and Boon quote these as being “Strong women, bad boys and great Sex!” and are described as sexy, sassy and seductive.
Medical – Mills and Boon quote these as being “The best medicine of all” and are described as delightful contemporary romances set against the background of the medical profession.
Historical – Mills and Boon quote these as being “love and Passion bring the past to life” and are based around medieval sagas, to the roaring twenties.
Mills and Boon also offer another series of books under the brand name Silhouette, and they offer romance novels written under the subjects of Desire, Special Edition, Sensation and Intrigue.
Mills and Boon have their own designated website which can be found at www.millsandboon.co.uk, and offer international links to countries such as Australia, France, Germany and North America.
The home page, on the UK website, is clearly laid out and highlights sub-sections of the website – Books, Authors, Online Reads and Membership.
On the left hand side they have listed their nominated book of the day, currently Dr Bodyguard by Jessica Anderson which is part of the Silhouette Intrigue collection, and in the centre is a link to the current online book. The online book is broken into chapters and is currently showing Wife for Real, by Kate Walker, and at present chapters 1 to 8 is available.
Also on the website are links to Special Releases, Aspiring Authors, Free Book Offer and a link to a Quick Search option.
Membership to Mills and Boon is free, and registration is quick and simple. You are provided with access to:
Previous Orders Personal Wish list Password changes Name and address detail changes
When registering you are asked for your name and address details, as well as an e-mail address and password to access your account. The terms and conditions of the site are also available to read before your submit your application.
*Prices and availability*
Prices of the Mills and Boob books are very reasonable and vary from £2.69 for books purchased from the Modern, Tender, Sensual and Medical Series to £3.59 for some of the Historical romances. On average each book as between 200 and 300 pages.
Amazon.co.uk also sells Mills and Boon books, and currently has several special editions available for around £4.69. The special edition books tend to be three or more standard books, sold as a single unit.
Most local bookstores also sell Mills and Boon, such as WHSmith and Waterstones, and they are also generally available from charity shops such as Oxfam for under a pound.
The contact address for Mills and Boon is currently:
Mills and Boon Limited Eton House 18-24 Paradise Road Richmond Surrey TW91SR United Kingdom.
Mills and Boon offer reasonably priced romance novels, which capture the hearts and imaginations of females, and males, from all over the world. They have been one of the biggest romance publishers since 1971, and have several great ranges of books available.
I personally find them a little too short, and due to the number of stories I have read, have found that the standard story line of Boy meet Girl, Boy and Girl fall in love, Boy and Girl fall out, Boy and Girl get back together and get married, a bit monotonous after a while, and think this very simple plot line appears in to many of the editions I have read.
However they are a great snappy read, and I’m sure there have a place in my reader’s hearts for years to come yet.