We came back to the States by ship as usual. Carnival Lines, which fills its rooms with promotional giveaways like razors, toothpaste and shampoo, added a new touch.
This trip there was a slim paperback of first chapters of new Harlequin Romances by different authors. They listed a website—Tell Harlequin—and a notice that there is now a new series, Harlequin Super-Romance, "with six new stories each month". Golly, but that is good news.
Never again will you be forced to relax from preparing cold cereal and milk for the family and washing the clothes, without a romantic and simple read waiting for you. With the country failing in its duties to its own citizens and to the world, the economy in danger, and the schools so bad as to rival Africa's systems, your day can be filled with happy endings. Even in the evacuation traffic jams (remember Jean Luc Godard's Weekend), you can drift off into never-never land where all is handsome cops and forgiving victims and the stuff of chintz dreams.
Am I panning this series of novels? A little; but nowhere near as much as I planned when I decided to read the promo volume rather than tossing it. I found, instead, that the novels are really no worse than most pop fiction. People love instead of committing serial murders. They speak in clichès, but so does Tom Clancy, whom I have been known to read (often, I am sad to relate). Clancy writes of war and heroes (Jack Ryan alias Harrison Ford, for example) and is far more exciting; but cannot be finished in a week by a busy housewife who is not interested in techno thrillers and would be appalled by the gore of a good Patricia Cornwell or the fright of a Dean Koontz.
This little tome touted His Case, Her Child by Linda Style, Stranger in Town by Brenda Novak, Montana Standoff by Nadia Nichols, Almost a Family by Roxanne Rustard and With Child by Janice Kay Johnson.