mills and boon logo

Mills and Boon

mills and boon logo

The Grandmother of Category Romance

Mills & Boon is the big grandmama of category romance. Gerald Rusgrove Mills and Charles Boon were the founders of the company. They originated in 1908 in the United Kingdom as a general publisher.

Fortuitously enough, the first book they released happened to be a romance, Sophie Cole’s Arrows from the Dark.

Arrows From the Dark
Arrows From the Dark, Sophie Cole, Mills and Boon, 1909

However, romance would not be the publishing house’s primary focus until the 1930s.

M & B sold their romances mainly to lending libraries. They produced brown, hardcover books which were instantly recognizable.

The M & B Romance

Mills & Boon’s romances were almost always told from a third-person perspective that focused on the heroine.

trust in tomorrow

Usually, they left the hero’s thoughts unknown. Only through his words and deeds did the heroine, and thus the reader, know how he felt about her. The stoic, inscrutable hero would be a staple of the genre for decades.


Mills & Boon and Harlequin Ltd

A UK-based company, M & B never directly released their books in North America.

They distributed their books through Harlequin. In 1971 Harlequin Ltd bought out M & B.

Like Harlequin, they currently publish several lines.


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