I used to sneak home indulgent romantic pulp that wasn't the Jane Austen I should have been reading, and read on the sly, often hiding them beneath my mattress. It's kind of the reason I'm the person I am today.
And so, even though I have graduated from the slush of my teens, I like reminisce about times long gone. Hence Halcyon Thursdays, this week starring PointRomance's Summer Dreams, Winter Love.
Ellen can't get Michael out of her mind. She knows he might be dangerous, she knows she might get hurt - but she can't stop wanting him.
Yes, the premise sounds like every high school crush you ever had. (Although dangerous?! Really?! Michael Tyler's hardly a bad boy - just look at the name!!) And yes, there are moments when you cannot believe how self-indulgent you must have been when this was you; but at the same time, there's something really magical about the way that it happens.
Shura's pretty clever, leaving us guessing at Michael's feelings towards Ellen until the very when SPOILER (in case you hadn't already guessed), it turns out that he loves her too.
Now, I can't work out whether on rereading this I loved it or found it hysterical. I think that I can't honestly mock it as much as I'd truly like, and that's got to mean something. At school, it was there as an escape and now? Now it reminds me what it was like to be fourteen and smuggling chick lit into the house without my mum finding out, to be wide-eyed and innocent, to be pre-heartbreak with everything out ahead of you. So the characters are more 2.5D than 3D. I don't really care. It's frothy fun and warmly familiar.
Next Halcyon Thursday: Kate Petty's Hannah.