Valentine's Day is right around the corner -- but fellas, if your idea of romance is taking your socks off in the sack for a change, for flip's sake read on!
Here, Ireland's most romantic writer Daisy Cummins teaches our clueless Casanovas how to become the perfect Mills & Boon boyfriend just in time for February 14.
Red roses? Pah! My feisty heroines would scoff at something so obvious -- so think outside the box (of chocolates) this Valentine's Day -- like a handmade album of her childhood memories.
Don't flash the cash
Sure, they've got the money to whisk her away to Paris for the weekend and lavish her in diamonds -- but the Mills & Boon man knows there's one thing money can't buy: love. Which is just as well, given the circumstances!
Drop the Macho Man act . . .
Some of the publisher's most successful heroes in the forties were war-wounded soldiers returning to the arms of their very own Florence Nightingale. Crutches optional.
. . . But don't be a wisp
The ideal fictional fella is always ready to defend his lady's honour against any scoundrel who suggests she's anything less than squeaky clean -- in which case, throwing a punch or two is perfectly acceptable.
Heap her with compliments
Even when his leading lady is nothing to write home about, my made-up men have the cop to reassure her otherwise by heaping her with outrageous compliments on a daily basis.
Play hard to get
The typical M & B bloke is a commitment-phobe at first. Sound familiar, ladies?
But don't worry -- by the final pages, he'll have flown in by private jet to proclaim that he can't live without you!
Woo her Mother (just not too much!)
You know the old saying -- if you must the daughter win, you must with the mother first begin.
My perfect protagonists are so charming that even his paramour's mother and aunts will fall in love with him too.
Stand by your woman
Some of my heroines have had one night stands that led to unexpected pregnancies -- but lo and behold, their M & B bedfellow always defies convention by not doing a runner.
Or at least coming back if they do!
Ladies come first. . .
Don't be selfish between the sheets. The generous Mills & Boon lover always makes sure his ladylove's needs are attended to first -- without needing to google-map her erogenous zones!
. . .Usually more than once
Only multiple-orgasms will suffice for the lucky lover of the M & B lothario. Ladies, form an orderly queue!