On my recent trip to LA for Romantic Times, I was fortunate enough to meet a lovely lady by the name of Rhys Bowen, an author of mystery novels. Jess Dee and I sat down next to her at Club RT (not sure how happy she was to be saddled with two Aussie erotic romance authors, but if she was appalled at all she certainly didn’t show it). Turned out, Rhys was much more familiar to both Jess and I than we could possibly have realised.

You see many years ago, she told us, she used to write teen romances. Jess and I exclaimed that we used to love reading those back in the day, especially the Sweet Dreams books. Well, this lady’s pen name used to be Janet Quin Harkin and we could both remember reading some of her books. I’m pretty sure we squeeled like a couple of Justin Bieber fans. I couldn’t believe I was meeting someone who’d written those little stories I used to love, the ones that paved the way to my later appreciation of the more adult romances. They were mills and boon for teens with little more than sweet kissing and fluttering eyelashes littered througout the narrative. I can’t help feeling a bit sad there doesn’t seem to be anything similar available today… or am I missing something? Anyone know of any modern version of these books?

Last night I went on Amazon and even found some of my old favs. The covers that so attracted the innocent 12 year old that I was (oh yes, I was once innocent, flutters lashes) don’t exactly hold up in the cool stakes :).

Pre GPS travel

Sadly, I had a haircut just like it in 1983

Guys don't make passes at girls who wear those glasses

Why does Stephen King's Carrie come to mind?

I remember Rhys saying to me at that meeting that she wrote a book called ‘Ten Boy Summer’. We laughed at how such a title might be interpreted now, but back in the ‘80s? Apparently no innuendos were allowed. You be the judge. Could we get away with any of the following titles in YA today?

It's the binoculars that make it creepy

Did they all look like Matt Dillon?

No words necessary

Ah. Wherever did our innocence go?