An article by Anita Singh "Mills and Boon 'cause marital breakdown" created a little stir yesterday on one of the writer's lists to which I belong. I was interested that the article said the British Medical Journal had published a warning that these romance books are a cause of adultery and unwanted pregnancies.
Wow! Amazing to know how influential we authors are.
While I haven't read any Mills and Boon romances for quite some time, I was a little surprised to learn all the problems they may be causing. Years ago, the ones I read were simply sweet romances, nice little straightforward stories with happy endings. Those would hardly be books I would believe could lead to problems causing marital breakdowns.
Perhaps the books have changed with the times. Perhaps they are no longer innocent little romances. I don't know, and I don't plan to research the Mills and Boon books. (Looking at the titles, they do sound rather spicy.) However, I do like the idea that we can influence our readers. Only, I want to influence them for the better. I want my books to give them a few hours lost in a fantasy story. Hopefully, readers know it is fantasy and won't, because of what they read, make unfortunate choices they may later regret.
What do you think about blaming romance novels? If they are to blame, there are no more happy endings. That would be sad.