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HaBO: An 80s Mills & Boon in South Africa

Lizzie is looking for a Mills & Boon she read a while ago – with a really interesting setting! 

After unpacking a box of old Mills & Boons that had been in my mom's attic
for 20 years i didn't find a book that I don't remeber as being
particularly good but I remember so many key details that I'm keen to read
it again.

 

 

It came out as a contemporary Mills & Boon in the early 80's in South
Africa. It was the white cover with the pink rose in a rounded rectangle.
The cover had a picture of a blonde girl in the foreground and a brooding
dark haired man wearing sunglasses in the background. The heroine was named
Susan and worked in rainy miserable England – possibly London for a boss
called Mr. Benton who had a flighty daughter called Della Benton who was an
exact ringer for our Susan.

Della was involved with someone unsuitable and
to seperate her from this guy her father intended to send her to some lovely
sunny island – Corfu, or some other lovely island destination. Della
convinced Susan to take her place (I think at this point Susan had been
fired and really who wouldn't grab a chance to leave rainy London for a
sunny island).

On this island she is met by Benton's business associate – the hunky Gideon
North at whose place she'll be staying. he is very cool to her becos she's
so flighty and he doesn't particularly want to babysit her. He drops her
off at his crib and goes back to work, Susan decides to take a shower and
then promptly falls asleep naked in his bed where he finds her and awakens
her with a kiss (I think Sarah mentioned that this is what Harlequin heroes
do when presented with a naked girl in their beds).

They start a relationship of sorts that comes to a screeching halt when he
discovers she's not Della and after recriminations – u lying bitch etc -
she returns to rainy London alone and out of a job. He comes to London to
get her and i have a feeling there may even be some grovelling on his part.

 

I'm amazed at the detailed info I know – the cover, the names, the initial
premise and the change in climates while retaining absolutely nothing of the
rest of the book but then again I was about 13 and it was so giggly that
she'd fall asleep naked in some guys bed.

So, anyone recall this book, climate, naked girls, beds and all?

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  1. 1
    susannakearsley says:

    As someone who read a LOT of Mills & Boon/Harlequin Presents in the late 70s and 80s, I couldn’t help smiling at the cover description: “a picture of a blonde girl in the foreground and a brooding dark haired man wearing sunglasses in the background.” :-)

    I’m looking behind me at a row of old white-covered HPs and they’re nearly ALL like that! (Still love them, though).

    I think this one might be Beyond the Lagoon by Marjorie Lewty. http://www.vintageromances.com…

  2. 2
    susannakearsley says:

    Oooh, just found the original M&B cover: http://www.librarything.com/wo…

    Does that look like the right one?

  3. 3
    Cat Nugent says:

    Can’t help with the book, but my instant thought as I read 1980’s/M&B –  was Sally Wentworth or Penny Jordan They alwas wrote the sort of Alpha male I wanted to brain with a cast iron pan !

  4. 4
    Gemma says:

    Horribly off-topic…. I got as far as you saying “for a boss called Mr. Benton”.

    Benton? Benton! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…

  5. 5
    Cate says:

    Genius !!!!

  6. 6
    boogenhagen says:

    It is Beyond The Lagoon   by Marjorie Lewty

  7. 7
    Lizzie R says:

    Yes, Susanna Kearsley and Boogenhagen, it is Beyond the Lagoon – thanks.  I googled Marjorie Lewty who was quite a prolific writer and discovered that in 1980 she would have been about seventy years old when she wrote this book.  Way to go – a granny wrote a book that caused my teenage self to get all giggly and riled up.

    On another note it never fails to amaze me how knowledgeable the bitchery is – in the space of 2 days 2 people managed to name what I thought was a really obscure book so wow – what an awesome community.

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