How women’s magazines & Harlequin Romance novels are perfect for each other

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All this and 42 chocolate cake recipes!

In these days of falling readership there are two stand-out genres that continue to thrive: women’s magazines of the sort stocked at the supermarket check-out, and Harlequin Romance novels. As we’re back in an age of corporate consolidation it seems appropriate to consider a merger between these two great success stories.

First, let’s look at the stock elements of a typical women’s magazine: diet tips, sex tips, and recipes. The mag is aimed at women of a modest intellect who won’t notice that the articles are recycled every month.

Now let’s look at the stock elements of a Harlequin Romance novel: a tall handsome hunky male and a shorter beautiful pneumatic female. Both these protagonists are of modest intellect and the product is aimed at women who won’t care that the storyline is recycled every week.

Thus we can now bring you the perfect consolidation: Harlequin Weekly Magazine.

Please sit back, relax, chew a TidePod or whatever, and enjoy our first exciting episode.

Trust me: you can read it nearly as quickly as we wrote it!


She knew from the first moment she set eyes on him that Johnny BadBoy was trouble with a capital ubble. His tall lean but muscular frame and his thick black hair were what struck most people first, but for Suzanne Popcorn it was his smoldering dark eyes that stole her heart. He was standing in front of her at the local coffee place and when he turned around their eyes locked.

She knew it was meant to be, because everything happens for a reason when the universe is your own personal healing crystal spirit guide.

He looked down at her and smiled, his upper lip curling insolently. “Hey, good looking. I haven’t seen you around here before.”

Suzanne was suddenly aware her heart was pounding and her mouth was dry. She tried to speak but nothing came out. She yearned for the touch of his strong arms and to see his hands holding the pages of one of her favorite cook-books.

“You wanna lose forty pounds before the weekend?” he whispered huskily into her ear.

She nodded, helpless before his manly body clad in a t-shirt saying Seven Sure-Fire Sex Tips to Drive Your Man Wild In Bed. Her eyes glanced involuntarily down to his jeans. Sure enough, his belt-buckle was engraved with Remember: Just Say No Until Marriage.

“Plus,” he continued, his voice seducing her and rendering her helpless to his charms, “I’ve got some killer chocolate cake recipes.”

A low moan escaped her lips. When she was little her mother had taken to calling her Oscar because she could resist everything except temptation. And now, with Johnny tempting her in the worst possible way, she was helpless before his charms.

Back at her place he showed her all the pictures on his phone: pictures of the sorts of women Suzanne desperately wanted to be. If only she could stop herself from buying those 20-pack boxes of donuts and those family-sized cakes on special offer. If only she could stop after the third helping of Fettuccini Alfredo. But she was sure that Johnny could see the real her, the her inside, the beautiful her that was so much more than a complete lack of impulse control and a ceaseless consumption of low-quality food products plus a lifelong aversion to any form of exercise.

“Tell me what to do,” she gasped, her blood pounding in her veins and her cheeks flushed with excitement. “Anything.”

“What’s your star sign?” he asked, his voice deep and resonant and practically enough to give her an orgasm all on its own. Is this what they mean by oral sex? she thought, her heart dancing wildly in her ample chest like an over-enthusiastic trainee Kodo drummer yearning for the perfect sushi topping.

“Virgo,” she moaned softly, ready to yield and give herself to him entirely.

“Let’s see,” he told her, his deep rich voice promising wonders to come. “Virgo should begin her week by being grateful for all the universe is providing. Are you grateful, Suzanne?”

She thought about the two gallon-sized tubs of ice-cream in her freezer. “I am,” she moaned softly. “I’m so very grateful.”

“That’s good,” he said, stroking her hair with one powerful manly hand. “She should consider making a change in the coming days, but be mindful of unexpected events.”

You’re my unexpected event, Suzanne thought to herself, gazing helplessly into the deep dark pools of his eyes. She wanted to jump into them, to lose herself forever in them. But they were only eyes and she knew she wouldn’t fit.

“Tell me how…” she hesitated. She didn’t want him to think she was one of those girls. But she so desperately wanted to be one of those girls. She forced herself to continue. “Tell me how to kiss,” she begged him.

“That’s easy.”

He smiled at her and she felt her heart turning into a puddle of melted slightly-salted butter, the sort you can buy in Family Size blocks.

“First make sure those lips are suitably moist. Try out a range of lip moisturizers. L’Oreal and Burt’s Bees are on special offer this month; I have a big coupon in my pants that’s just for you.”

Suzanne swooned. She felt like the most princessy princess in the world as she basked in his gaze.

“Then be sure to open your lips just a little. Not too much, and be sure you’ve flossed before-hand. No man wants to see what you had for lunch.”

Suzanne’s mind raced. Did she still have traces of the four banana-nut muffins she’d quickly eaten before going out to get coffee?

He continued, his smooth but gravelly voice oozing confidence and sensuality. “Press your lips against his like you’re touching heaven for the first time.”

She moaned loudly and her bosom heaved, straining against the fabric of her Victoria’s Secret bra that she’d got on sale for 20% off the previous June because it was Size 48DD and she could just squeeze herself into it instead of having to settle for a more comfortable Size 52DD.

“But remember,” he added, whispering into her ear and driving her crazy, “you need to save it for someone you truly deeply love.”

She felt her thighs trembling and this time it wasn’t because she’d just tried to run up a short flight of stairs. Suzanne knew she was in love with Johnny even though they’d only known each other an hour. It was true love at first sight! The universe had put them together and they’d live happily ever after with a dog and two-point-three perfectly airbrushed children.

“I love you, Johnny,” she said, gazing into his limpid eyes. “Let’s face adversity, overcome a highly predictable mid-story plot twist, and come together in one big glorious happy ending.”

“First, how about that forty-pound sure-fire weight loss diet?” he murmured, his tongue nearly touching her ear and the sensation of his breath on her neck carrying her to heights of ecstasy she’d previously only experienced with a quart of Ben & Jerry’s Extra Cherry Chocolate Marshmallow Caramel Fudge Reese’s Pieces Cotton Candy Raspberry Swirl.

“Oh god yes,” she agreed without hesitation. She knew she’d do anything for Johnny, comply eagerly with any demand, obey any suggestion. He was her god and she would worship him to the end of her days.

“It’s a kale-and-dogfood diet,” he explained, “four servings per day. You’ll lose twenty pounds in a month, and then gain thirty the following month. Guaranteed.”

There was something about the way his lips moved when he said the word guaranteed that rendered Suzanne helpless. She’d tried so many diets and gained weight after each and every one that to have a guarantee from Johnny was pure heaven.

“Plus,” he added mischievously, “it would be the change your horoscope predicted.”

This made total sense. The universe was, as always, telling her what to do.

“Take me,” she begged, pressing herself against his taut muscular body. “Do with me whatever you want.”

He held her tightly in his strong arms. His lips parted. This was the moment she’d been waiting for her entire life.

“This will be,” he husked manfully, “continued next week.”

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