Gateway Romance: Ainslie Paton

The Escapades

The romance in my reading life is of the twisted type. There was no HEA in my house. There was a good deal of misappropriation.

There was no certainly Mills & Boon. I went from Black Beauty to what I could sneak off my mum’s shelf, all age inappropriate sexy stories: Jackie Collins, Taylor Caldwell, Harold Robbins, Sidney Sheldon, Judith Krantz, Susan Howatch and Colleen McCullough.

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They were read under cover by torch and snuck back into place. She’d have been horrified. Shhh, because she could still hurt me over that.

People did dreadful things to other people in those novels. They cheated, slept around, stole things, plotted and connived, wrecked their families and died, sometimes in vaguely historically accurate ways. They didn’t fall in love and stay that way.

I gobbled them up.

Later, Mum got into crime and murder mysteries and I got a library card and spent…

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