Miles Kington: Let the battle of the sexes commence

Captain Juliette was a firebrand of a lady, whose one regret was that Britain did not lose the Falklands War
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The Independent Online

Men like war books. Women like love books.

So both men AND women love the books published by Mills and Bang, who are the world's only specialists in military romance.

Military romance ?

That's the first ever kind of writing which combines kissing and killing, shooting and swooning, blushing and ambushing ...

And here are the details of two wonderful new titles from Mills and Bang ...

"Sweethearts on Parade" by Veronica Shrapnel

Colonel Humphrey Mendip had been in action in Northern Ireland and Kosovo and Iraq, but he had never been in charge of the Beating of the Retreat before, and he was just a touch worried.

After all, when you are in charge of the Beating of the Retreat, you are on to a hiding to nothing. If everything goes like clockwork, it's normal. But if one single thing goes wrong, you're up Sackcloth and Ashes Alley ...

"Time for the rehearsal, Sir," said Sergeant-Major Pumpkin. "Everyone's out on the parade ground, including Betty."

"Betty?" said the Colonel. "Who the hell's Betty?"

"Stand-in for the Queen, Sir. Code name Betty. Obviously the Queen can't attend rehearsals. Time's too valuable. So Betty stands in for her. Don't know her real name, Sir. We just call her Betty after the Queen."

Betty was a tall, lovely horsewoman, and Colonel Mendip approved the way she rode but could not stand the way she tried to tell him what to do.

"I have stood in for the Queen on 17 different occasions," Betty told him, "and I think I know what to do by now without being shown the ropes by a wet-behind-the-ears colonel."

"This may be my first time on parade, my sweet," said Mendip, "but I have faced some of the nastiest insurgents in the world and I am not going to be outfaced by someone whose only claim to fame is a passing resemblance to Her Majesty."

And so battle commences, and the two of them struggle for supremacy, and of course the inevitable finally happens, but there are many rough moments before Betty becomes queen of the Colonel's heart.

"Lights, Action, Passion" by Glynis Cartridge

Major Frank Forthright was a munitions expert attached to the East Kent Rifles, but found himself one day on loan to Parboiled Productions, a film company who were doing a feature movie about the Falklands War.

"We can't afford to film in the Falklands," the producer told him, "so we're doing it in the Isle of Man."

"Right," said Major Frank.

"We can't afford to get the Argentinian army on set, so we're hiring all the off-duty Spanish waiters we can find on the Island and putting them in uniform."

"Right," said Major Frank.

"We can't afford to have real Argentinian jet fighters so we're using old film of them and relying on you to make the explosions look really authentic."


"And we're giving you Captain Juliette de la Foraine of the French Army to advise you on Exocets," said the producer.

"Right," said Major Frank doubtfully.

And he was right to be doubtful, for Captain Juliette was a firebrand of a lady, whose one regret was that Britain, the old enemy, had not been beaten in the Falklands War.

You will gasp as battle is joined between proud Frank and the redoubtable Julie, you will hold your breath as Julie seems to fall for the charms of Antonio, the devilishly handsome off-duty Spanish sommelier, and you will cheer and reach for your box of cordite-scented Kleenex as Frank and Julie finally achieve rapprochement in a small caravan on the sea front of "Port Stanley".

More Mills and Bang titles soon!