First up is Song of Autum, by Mary Cummins.
Perfectly cheesey 1976 romance cover picture. This is not a Harlequin, it's a Magnum. Whatever. The first line is what jumped off the page and grabbed me:
"Nell Merryman stepped down from the bus in the main street of Cockermouth, and looked round with appreciation. "
How can you not want to read this book? Have I ever mentioned that I live really close to Big Bone Lick State Park? Maybe I don't have room to talk, but I have GOT to go visit Cockermouth. Whereever it is.
Next up: A Flaunting Cactus, by Wynne May
WHAT THE HELL IS A FLAUNTING CACTUS?
I mean, really. Maybe it's like a Christmas cactus, but I've never heard of one. Doesn't mean it doesn't exist, but that's just the dumbest name, ever. I thought Harlequin was really bad at contemporary titles, which are pretty lame: The Cop's Secret Baby, or the Sheik's Secret Bride or whatever. But at least you have a hint about the contents of the story. This one has a couple in formal dress on the cover. Not a cactus in sight. Maybe "cactus" is a metaphor. We'll just have to see. Stay posted.
I also bought an early Harlequin Temptation. A Touch of Madness by Deirdre Mardon, we'll see how it stands up to later Temptations. I like the cover on this one, though, because if you squint, it kind of looks like an early Ted Danson there about to get some spit swappage.