According to the Sydney Morning Herald Online Mills & Boon are releasing a new “Bombshell” range of romances in Australia on January 16.
I seem to remember reading a romance novel once, and I didn’t care for it much. This new range sounds interesting though, and I think I may give one a go. It’s curious, what they say though:
Their time-honoured winning formula has always been based around trouble-fraught relationships between handsome, successful and masterful men and headstrong attractive women who are usually in need of some kind of rescuing. Until now.
So far, so good.
… [Ms Laforest] said readers could expect to meet smart, self-reliant career women who could handle situations and think for themselves — usually with a black-belt in martial arts thrown in.
Excellent! I imagine there aren’t that many women with a black belt in martial arts, but there are plenty of smart, self-reliant women in the world.
… Ms Laforest said the company kept its fingers on the pulse of society …
Oh sure, the pulse. That pulse has been beating for strong, self-reliant women for at least 20 or 30 years now. They may have their finger on the pulse, but it seems to have taken a long time for the signal to reach the brain.
… and was simply responding to the demand created by post-feminist characters such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sydney Bristow from the Television show Alias and Jordan Cavanaugh from Crossing Jordan.
And before them there was Xena. Oh, but I forget: we shouldn’t mention Xena, because after the occasional male-love-interest-of-the-day silliness in Season One she and her friend Gabrielle were both self-reliant women. And why do we have to go from pre-feminist to post-feminist and skip the feminists altogether?
Still, it’s good to hear that such a popular type of novel may be on track to presenting a more powerful image of women. Meantime, for some excellent reading which doesn’t limit itself to the heterosexual view of society give fan fiction a try. There are plenty of original stories based around the characters and settings of shows such as Xena, Buffy, and pretty well any TV show or movie you care to think of. The quality ranges from truly awful, abysmal and horrendous through to good and even superb. I’m particularly fond of Gina L Dartt (up to the point where the two female characters get married and want babies (sigh) and Missy Good. Both write very engaging and coherent novels.