When I got the invite to the Mills & Boon DARE launch party, I hesitated. When you think of Mills & Boon (if you know of them that is), you would consider them to be those dated books your Mum or Nan reads with the 90’s style stock photography taking pride of place on literally every book cover. Part of me didn’t want to go because I thought I’d be the youngest one in the room but I was also intrigued by the new designs that were featured on the invite so I said yes.
And I’m so glad that I did because I couldn’t have been more wrong. The event took place at the prestigious venue, The Ivy near Covent Garden. With the washed pink mood lighting, there were already a few attendees already mingling. I’d luckily spotted another blogger Kirsten heading into the venue with her mum so I tagged along. We were approached quite early on, as we were listening to the very naughty audio-books that were on headphones, by Lisa Milton. Lisa is the Executive Publisher of HQ and Mills & Boon. She told us more about the brand and what they had been working on to re-brand the company, making it much more accessible and attractive to a younger audience which also included the books being available in audio format.
I was also surprised when there were actually authors at the event as I had assumed that it was merely an event for bloggers. This was a fantastic opportunity to speak to the writers and as an aspiring writer myself, I got some great advice from them on how to write a book and what it takes to make a full novel.
Some of the authors I met that night were Ellie Darkins whose books I’ll be reviewing on my blog soon. Ellie has managed to write a few books whilst having two children on the go. That’s mum goals right there. Rachael Stewart was another author I met and I also got the pleasure of speaking to Cara Lockwood who’s own book I Do, But I Don’t was made into a film. She’d flown all the way over from the US to be at the event and she was lovely.
I said my goodbyes shortly after Lisa made a speech but managed to grab a goody bag on the way out which included one of the four books from the DARE range. I think my perception of the brand has definitely changed. What I thought was quite a old school, slightly outdated brand has transformed itself into a sexy, modern and diverse company that sounds so much better than the trash writing of Fifty Shades of Grey. I’m excited to start my romance novel that they gave me and I’ll be sure to let you know what I thought of it in due course.
Have you heard of Mills & Boon before. If not make sure to head over to their website to learn more. Let me know what you think of the books in the comments below.