I had to read a Mills and Boon for one of my classes last semester, and I’ve just found it under my bed (I’m cleaning). It’s full of all the stuff you’d expect (“She felt the intensity of his rapture as he possessed her”, etc.), but my favourite thing in the whole book is the following paragraph (to set the scene: Jed and Elena [who is a successful horror writer] are desperately in love and on their honeymoon, six weeks after they met at Jed’s brother Sam’s funeral. Jed has begun to question Elena’s relationship with Sam and is feeling a bit jealous [this is before it comes out that Elena and Sam had a one-night stand and now she’s – gasp! – carrying his baby]):

Regret tightened [Jed’s] mouth. “I guess there’s a whole raft of things I didn’t know about my kid brother. Except, of course, how fond he was of you. When he came home on those flying visits of his the conversation always came round to you. He gave me one of your books and told me to be impressed. I was; I didn’t need telling,” he complimented coolly. “You handle horror with a sophistication, intelligence and subtlety that makes a refreshing change from the usual crude blood and gore of the genre.”

Is that not the most gloriously unnatural piece of dialogue ever written?

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