Mills & Boon – The Art of Romance Adult Colouring Book

Mills & Boon colouring book

When Mills & Boon followed me on Twitter a little flutter danced inside. What a blast from the past! I used to read Mills & Boon romance books when I was a teenager, you know when I was angsty and tied up in knots with raging teenage hormones. They were a great way to escape the trials and tribulations of real life where I caked on make up to cover my spots, where I felt I never really fitted in and where boys just weren’t interested in a weird antique loving 15 year old.

Sometime over the years I gave up reading these dreamy novels and preferred Anne Rice horrors, followed by the classics of the early 20th Century, but then about 10 years ago I was contacted by an author, a Mills & Boon author to be exact. At the time I had a my own business designing and selling bridal and evening wear online (it didn’t last due to people not wanting to pay the cost of handmade clothing) and this author wanted to use me as inspiration for her lead character. She’d come across my website and like my biography on there, thinking my story would be a great hook. Well, as you can imagine I blushed a lot!!

Needless to say I agreed. She did a mini interview with me and then went off to write her story. About six months later a small parcel arrived in the post. It was her book! Yes, I was inspiration for a character in a Mills & Boon romance. Unfortunately, somehow over time, the book disappeared, probably during a house move and I cannot remember what the book was called or the author’s name. I really wish I could because I’d love to have a read of it again!

Mills & Boon Book Covers Colouring Book

After following me on Twitter Mills & Boon then contacted me asking if I’d like to review their new ‘The Art of Romance’ adult colouring book and I was immediately intrigued. One thing you might not know about this iconic publishing house is that it was established in 1908 by Gerard Mills and Charles Boon and started out as a general publisher with educational textbooks, socialist tracts and Shakespeare on their lists. However, in the 1930s after becoming a library house they discovered that romance was the genre choice of a majority of their readers and the Mills & Boon romance empire was born.

Vintage Mills & Boon Colouring Book

Now, I know about the current trend for adult colouring books, but I have to confess I’ve never bought or even tried one but I have to say as a choice for my first ever one this is absolutely spot on! It features book covers ranging from the 1920s to 2015, covering all those fabulous early 20th Century decades I love so much and they’re just gorgeous.

Colouring Book for Adults

The fashions, as you can well imagine, are classics of their time. The illustrations have the same graphic styles as you see in magazines from the same period. And, of course, the ladies are all swooning over their Rudolph Valentino or Frank Sinatra type love interests. Seriously what’s not to love!

Vintage Mills & Boon Book Covers

The subjects are very much of their time too like the one from 1944, called Westward To My Love, which is clearly about the girl missing her brave hero who has gone to fight in WII and even features Spitfires in the sky overhead. Whereas in 1972 you see the woman depicted as an air hostess, yes working woman. Bring on the feminism movement!

Mills & Boon Book Covers Colouring Book

On the inside covers of the colouring book it helpfully shows all of the original book covers so you can colour them as they would’ve been back in the day, but of course you can be a bit more rebellious and use your own colours. I spent a bit of time colouring in the one from 1937 and I have to say, I absolutely loved it. It was so relaxing, just taking a little time out of my hectic day to do something kids enjoy everyday.

Mills & Boon Book Covers Colouring Book

Now I really, really want to read some of the early romance novels from the 1920s – 1940s. I’d love to know what the stories were like back then. It would be amazing if Mills & Boon were to re-release a small collection of them, I know I would snap them up straight away. In the mean time I will keep a very sharp eye out when I visit my favourite secondhand book shops.

Mills & Boon Book Covers Colouring Book

The Art of Romance Adult Colouring Book by Mills & Boon is brand new (published this month, May 2016) and is available on their website for £9.99.

Cate

Just a vintage gal suffering from the Golden Age syndrome. Lover of all things old, lingerie obsessive, crafter and enjoys rummaging at flea markets.

17 Comments

  1. Darn it, lost my comment, trying again!!
    First of all, what fun to have inspired a character in a book! That’s brilliant. You could be searching a while though to find it again, there are so many titles!

    I did read some Mills and Boon, but Georgette Heyer was my favourite in my teens.xx

    • Ooo, I’ve just looked up Georgette Heyer as I’d never heard of her before and I’m definitely going to check out her books. xx

  2. I haven’t picked up a M&B in years but yes, those teenage years had me more often than not between the pages. I have ‘fond’ memories of being in science class and masking my romance reading with a text book. To this day my Mum says that those books spoiled me for real life. Ha!! Will keep an eye out for the colouring book, just for the memories.

    • Hahaha! Yes, the men weren’t exactly like the average Joe you meet down the pub but they were such great escapism.

  3. What a great idea for a colouring book, I actually bought my family various ones for christmas last year, but never found one I liked enough to do myself that siad this is much more my kind of thing!
    I had no idea Mills & Boon was such an old company and what beautiful covers they used to have, I remember reading them in senior school, my friends would get them out of the library and we would share reading them in secret, as my mum wouldn’t allow me to read them as she considered they were far too racy for my young mind, haha! I have no recollection of any of the ‘racy’ stories now but I vividly remember the covers the women always seemed to have big 80’s hair which was blowing in the wind with a dashing chap brooding about somewhere! And how wonderful to be the muse for one of the books, I hope you manage to track down a copy again someday! xx

    • Yes, there was a lot of big hair on the 80s covers in this book. It did make me laugh. I’m not entirely sure my mum approved of me reading them when I was a teenager but, like you, I don’t actually remember there being anything that racy in them. Maybe it was our mums thinking we were much more innocent than we actually were! xx

  4. What a lovely thing to have been the inspiration for one of the characters, Cate. Haven’t read any of those romance stories, similiar to M&B, since my teens, though, but I’d happily re-read them if I still had them. I guess it’s fun picking them up in charity shops and second hand bookshops. xxx

    • It’s funny, I think most women read this sort of book in their teens. We really did love to escape to a world where men were romantic and everything was roses and dreamy music! Hahaha! Not exactly as life turns out to be. xx

  5. thats very cool I love old book jackets. My favorites are the sci fi ones but these romance ones are very cool too

    • You can see the style in graphics changes per era very much like the sci-fi ones, so it’s interesting to see how trends occurred throughout a particular time. xx

  6. Oh, I love that coloring book! The adult coloring books I know are always eye candy to me, but this is even better!

    And what a honor that you inspired an author!

    • It’s great isn’t it? So many wonderful vintage illustrations so classic of their time. xx

  7. How incredibly fun! This one is a good coloring book and one I would totally use. I have a 1940s one that I adore as well but sadly I have had no time to really colour. Maybe this weekend!

    Have a fun time being 7 again 🙂

    • I know, it’s so silly that we can hardly find the time to sit and relax to do some colouring! I sadly haven’t touched mine since I did the review. xx

  8. Gorgeous! I especially like it when adult colouring books pepper fast facts (or larger chunks of info) throughout their pages, as this beaut does. Thank you for the lovely review.

    Have a splendid weekend!
    ♥ Jessica

    • Yes, it’s lovely how they tell you little bits of information about what happened that year to really put the cover shown next to it in context. xx

  9. How wonderful that you inspired a character in a book. That is such a lovely thing. I have only read one Mills&Boon, it was my friend’s grandmas and it was great escapism but not very liberated! I think re-releasing some of their 1930’s titles would be a great plan. I like a colouring book, colouring with my niece made me realise how much fun I used to have doing it. I like the look of this one.

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