Sitting in the third seat back was a good place to be able to read without having to reveal to the world what she was reading, Julie had always found. She had always been embarrassed by her obsession with romance novels, an obsession on which she had spent a portion of her weekly wage since getting her first job at Woolworths when she was sixteen. Her mother had been the same, although she usually made it to the library and marked the novels she’d read with a little heart around the number on page twenty so she could keep track on those which she had read previously.
The heroine had presented the hero with the first look at his new baby in the epilogue and they both knew that their 190-page struggle to overcome obstacles in the pathway to their love was over. Julie sighed and looked out the window to be disappointed with the view of a truck carrying live sheep. She looked around the bus and spotted a familiar looking book being held by a person not lucky enough to get a seat. The red spine with the Mills and Boon logo in the middle, the cover picture of a strong man holding a woman in a passionate embrace. Julie had to see the reader. Who could possibly be strong enough to reveal this passion in public?
The book was held at head height. Julie tried to make some assumptions – the woman was dressed in jeans, Doc Martin boots and a long, brown winter jacket. Her hair was long and worn loose between a mustard beanie. As the bus shuddered and lurched, Julie tried to move in the opposite direction to catch a glimpse of the mystery reader’s face. When the bus eventually reached a stop, people shuffled out and the reader had to lower the book to hold on as he was jostled about. He. A male Mills and Boon reader. Julie’s first thought was that he must be gay. He caught her eye and spotted The CEO’s Indecent Proposal which was lying cover up in her lap. He held up his copy and winked. Julie smiled and lowered her eyes.
A male Mills and Boon reader! Oh, the possibilities!