Purple prose in aisle 5

April 21, 2009

I can find just about anything at my neighborhood Safeway grocery. That was my reaction while perusing its modest books section for the first time. Romance novels pack the shelves, though some titles hawk a niche form of lust.

Romance novels apparently have sub-genres, including what I cynically classify as the rich-dominating-studs-knock-me-up category. Take these titles that caught my perverse eye:

Forced Wife, Royal Love-Child
Pregnant by the Playboy Tycoon
The French Tycoon’s Pregnant Mistress

Am I unfairly judging books by their covers? Perhaps. Authors don’t write the titles, publishers do. Are sales robust at Safeway? I don’t know.

This much I learned: Trish Morey‘s Forced Wife, published by Harlequin, ranked as top seller in the Border Group’s romance category in early April. And from her bio it’s also clear that the Australian writer’s years of persistence have finally paid off. Among the rewards: her dreams have come true, she says, as well as those of her characters.

The next time I pass Morey’s book with orange juice and bananas in hand, I’ll think not of the purple euphemistic prose — “teased her curls against the throbbing length of him” — but of her succeeding.