U Star Novels In the Media
12 February 2009
Grasping the small of her back, he leaned in and pressed his lips to hers. She could taste the marvellous sweetness of his breath and, filled with desire, she couldn't stop herself from pressing herself closer to him.
She could feel her body buzzing with the electric energy passing between them. Far more passionate than any Hollywood screen kiss, she thought. Then, another idea came, this one both tempting and frightening at once. Might she be in love? She wondered.
It ought to, for it's my feeble attempt at writing a romance-novel-inspired introduction.
This genre of books have long stirred the imagination with details of sensuous rounds of lovemaking and the kind of raw, animalistic romps that fly from the pages of the more hard core, erotica offerings.
This year, Harlequin, a company known for its huge library of titillating titles, turns 60. Imagine women back in 1949 getting their paws on Harlequin's romance-oozing paperbacks detailing liaisons between heroines and doctors, pilots and other yummy male protagonists. Ooh, la, la.
Over the years, the heat has been cranked up a notch.
When Katie Olver set out to find her sister-in-law a gift, she considered buying her a syrupy romance novel. Then the U.K.-based Olver had an idea. "I thought 'wouldn't it be great if I could put her in the novel,' " she laughs.
By 2006, Olver was able to do just that.
Using the money Olver and her partner had stashed away for a house, they hired a handful of writers and launched UStar Novels (ustarnovels.com), allowing customers to see themselves, friends, relatives or even their celebrity crushes in a series of books, ranging from soft and sensual to the more X-rated variety.
Being the curious type, I thought I'd give it a try.
Using my middle name, Natasha, I logged onto the site, filled out a questionnaire and sent off an order for a couple of libido lifters.
Well, I am happy to report actor Benicio Del Toro and I seemed very satisfied during our adventures in Indecent in Italy, and in the extremely saucy Amsterdam Lessons, which is far too graphic to peel a quote from.
Benicio tells me this. "You're so beautiful. I know I don't tell you that enough, but you are."
Then, he kisses me.
"For a brief moment, they both forget where they were. Benicio's hand was under the tablecloth gripping at Natasha's thigh, moving further up her skirt, pulling her towards him."
Wow, sounds like we had some fun, now doesn't it?
"I never really thought I'd be pumping out soft porn," laughs Olver, who, save for a few Joan Collins novels, had barely thumbed through a romance book before creating a full-time job in the biz.
"I've certainly read quite a lot now."