Regular readers of my blog and my books will know this fundamental truth about me: I’m an ardent romantic. I very much wish that was something everyone could say about themselves. Don’t you think the world would be a warmer, sweeter, kinder, more beautiful place if we were all romantics?
With that wish in mind, what a wonderful initiative it is to reward those who foster a sense of romanticism. That’s what world-renowned romance book publisher Mills & Boon has set out to do, with its new award scheme, Mills & Boon Romantics.
According to the publisher, the awards aim to ‘celebrate the UK’s most romantic things’ and to ‘recognise and honour the businesses, services, people and moments that make us all go weak at the knees’. There are 12 categories for the awards:
- Most romantic restaurant or bar
- Most romantic UK destination
- Most romantic wedding venue
- Most romantic UK venue
- Most romantic hero/heroine
- Most romantic UK experience/activity
- Most romantic gift
- Most romantic view
- Blogger’s award
- Romantic entrepreneur award
- Most romantic classics
- Mills & Boon author’s award
The most romantic hero/heroine award is particularly exciting – anyone can nominate a loved one to receive the award. What better way to say ‘I love you’? I also love the romantic view category, so much so that I just nominated my favourite view – from the white cliffs of Dover near my home.
Mills & Boon marketing manager Joanna Kite said: ‘Gone are the days of the single red rose, being romantic is big business, from starlit roof top cinemas to magical creative proposal agencies, romantic gestures are getting a lot more imaginative. We wanted to use our knowledge and expertise in this sector to establish The Romantics Awards to celebrate just that.’
Anyone can nominate their ‘most romantics’. To enter, you simply go tohttp://romanceawards.millsandboon.co.uk/. A panel of will choose the winner for each category,to be announced on April 29th. The winners in each category receive a winner’s logo and promotion in the winners’ directory for a year, and the overall winner will feature in a Mills & Boon book in 2016.
I love the idea of these awards. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see a greater movement toward rewarding romanticism in our culture? I do think that there’s too much cynicism in the modern era. Take the phrases ‘incurable romantic’ and ‘hopeless romantic’, for example. They are commonly used labels to describe oneself, or another. But why should one want to be ‘cured’ of romance? Why should one be ‘hopelessly’ incapable of curbing romanticism? What would life be without romance?
If you’re interested in an answer to that question, I recommend Lauren Oliver’s Delirium series, which explores a dystopia in which love is viewed as deliria, a disease to be ‘cured’ by a horrendous surgical procedure on the brain in the teenage years. I found Lauren’s descriptions of adults incapable of romantic attachment deeply thought-provoking, but also disturbing!
What do you think? Should we be looking for ways to ‘spread the love’ in our societies? Should organisations and government better support the romance genre? Did the Beatles have it right when they sang, ‘All you need is love?’ I would love to hear your thoughts.