Thursday, June 07, 2007

Thursday Talk-Time - My Favourite Romance

What's your favourite catagory romance??? Here at the The Pink Heart Society we're beginning a brand new series on that very subject. And to kick off the topic we've best selling author June Francis.

June's career spans over twenty years and, in that time, she's written both Historical books for M&B and family Sagas. We asked her to tell us about her favourite M&B Historical ...

I was in my teens when my mother used to send me round to our newsagents-cum-sweetshop, which had a small library. For a small sum you could borrow a western, crime or romance. The latter were Mills & Boon hardbacks with a red spine. Mary Burchall, Sara Seale, Violet Winspear and Anne Weale. You name them and we read them. For a reason all of her own Mum called them Love Taps. What they didn’t have were Historical M&Bs. So I went to the public library and read Jean Plaidy, Margaret Irwin and Georgette Heyer.

I married, left home and had three sons. No time to read until the last one went off to school when I fancied having a go at writing a novel myself. It was going to be set in the Middle Ages. A friend had just had a Medical Romance accepted by M&B and suggested I tried them when I finished my historical. I had no idea M&B published historical novels. This was the mid-Eighties, so off I went to the library and searched the shelves and saw that M&B had a historical imprint called Masquerade.

I read a number of them, but my favourite was Anne Herries’ ‘Demon’s Woman’. It was what I’d call pure escapism and just what I liked. That was not to say that the factual history wasn’t brilliantly done. Set in the last year of the reign of Mary Tudor and the beginning of Queen Elizabeth I’s, Anne really captured the period.

Part of the book was set on a sailing ship under the command of our hero, Captain Hades, a real man with amber eyes and a mane of flaxen hair. He sent thrills down my spine and did the same for our feisty young heroine, Lady Catherine Winters. She had run away from home, rather than be forced into an arranged marriage. She also intended finding her missing twin brother. She accidentally ends up on our hero’s ship and sparks fly. He has his own mission to find the Spaniard responsible for betraying his father to the Inquisition. The relationship between our hero and heroine is developed beautifully and the mix of romance, sex, adventure and history is done extremely well.

I’ve read lots of different category romances since but history remains my favourite as do Anne Herries’ books. Her heroines are inclined to be a little older now and they don’t normally begin with hating the hero and thinking of sticking a knife in him. She won the RNA Romance prize for ‘A Damnable Rogue’ and this year her Regency novel ‘An Improper Companion’ was short-listed.

That Anne is still being published and sells extremely well is proof enough for me that I chose well when I picked up ‘Demon’s Woman’ off the shelf twenty years ago.

June's lastest M&B Historical release 'Rowan's Revenge' is currently available in North America and by clicking here.

For more information on this and June's other books, visit her website.


  1. June, thanks for being the very first "Favourite Book" gal!

    I just love that your favourite was a find at the local library from many years ago. Amazing what makes us pluck one book off the shelf rather than another and to find that kind of gem...


  2. Hi June. Harlequin Historicals are some of my favourite reads. They often come out here in Australia in three in one volumes. I have one of those of Anne Herries' on my keeper shelf. The titles are Rosalyn And The Scoundrel, A Matter of Honour, and Satan's Mark.

    I will look out for Rowan's Revenge here in Australia, too!

    Best wishes,