Take me away

Take me away

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Dear Harlequin Romance people:

Just a quick note to tell you that there's something I really don't understand about your books:

What's up with all this catering-to-women crap?

Why is it that every single book your company puts out is some ridiculously romantic love story about some woman and a "tall dark handsome stranger"?

Why are your books always about women having unrealistic fantasies about unrealistic men in unrealistic settings? 

Furthermore, Harlequin book people, why do you think women need to be taken away from their lives, anyway?

Women have it easy, for chrissakes. 


As long as a woman looks good, she's got it made


If a woman doesn't look good, and the men around her drink alcohol, she's got it made.

Women don't need to be taken away from their lives. Men do.

Don't you think that men like me would like to be swept off to some magical world, too? Don't you think that maybe we wouldn't mind being taken away from our wretched lives and live vicariously through a hero in one of your books?

Harlequin people, you're missing the boat. 

You should be offering the male half of the population the hope and chance to fulfill their secret desires, too.

Harlequin people, you should be writing books for men. 

You should be writing stories that men can relate to. With characters that men want to have sex with.

Stories about real men speaking real words in real settings. Interacting with real women. 

Stories like, y'know, this:

Getting the Shaft.

Missy Holstadt, a busty 5-10, 120-pound blond with a penchant for short skirts and crotchless panties, stood outside the century old warehouse with her co-worker, best friend and bisexual lover, 5-8, 117-pound Denise Redden, who was wearing a midriff shirt and skintight jeans with a full camel toe. 

The warehouse they were looking at was being converted to office space, and the two we're waiting for the building maintenance man to arrive to let them in. Last week, the two had been hired as interior designers to give the offices an inviting look and feel. 

The women were excited about the project. Also, they were both extremely horny.

Missy stood outside and ran her hands along the crumbling brick exterior. She looked at the dust in her palm. It was clear that she wasn't too optimistic about the project.

"I hope there's more to work with on the inside," she said. "This doesn't look very promising."

"I'm sorry, did you say something?" said Denise. "I was staring at your soft, supple breasts."

"Stop it," said Missy. "You're making me all wet. You've gotta pay attention, Denise. He'll be here any minute to let us in and we need to focus."

As the two women gave the building a cursory exterior inspection, they heard a car, and they turned to look. A sleek, black Jaguar cruised around the corner. The car came to a stop, and the driver's window came down. 

"Excuse me, ladies," said the gorgeous man in the driver's seat. This clearly was not your average male. His dark brown eyes were stunning, his muscles were taut, windblown lockets of hair fell over his forehead, and the day-old stubble and the firm angles of his chiseled chin gave him the look of an Adonis.

"Excuse me, ladies," he repeated. "I must tell you, I'm incredibly wealthy, and I was wondering if you both would like to fly to Greece with me, have dinner, and then spend the weekend at my 12,000-square foot villa overlooking the Aegean Sea. Also, I'm hung like a horse."

They both gazed at him and then at each other. They thought of the possibilities. The passion. The romance that had been laid before them.

"Drop dead," said Denise. "Who in the hell do you think you are, you idiot? 

"And just who in the hell do you think
we are?" said Missy.

Just as quickly as he had pulled up, the embarrassed man pulled away, leaving the women standing alone on the barren street corner.

"Do you believe that just happened?" said Missy. "The nerve of that egomaniac. What are we, slutty dyke whores or something?"

"Well technically, yeah, we are," said Denise. "By the way, did I mention that I'm aching to have you lick…."

Their conversation was interrupted by the sound of an oncoming car horn. They both turned and saw a 1988 brown Ford Escort approaching them.

"That must be the maintenance guy," purred Denise. "Nice car." 

"I'm impressed," moaned Missy in a soft, tender tone.

Wayne Strasser had been the building's maintenance man for years. Wayne was fat and balding, his glasses were as thick as split pea soup, and his teeth radiated a yellow glow that can only come from years of neglect.

As the obese 5-4, 287-pound behemoth struggled to make his way out of his car, Denise squeezed Missy's arm. "Omigod, this guy is totally hot," she said.

"Back off, bitch. I saw him first," countered Missy.

They both stood in stunned silence as the watched him walk toward them. 

His potbelly jiggled like a bowl of warm jello. Or cold borscht. One of the two. He barely seemed to move his stubby legs as he huffed forward, and the girls could only stand in admiration as they listened to the sound of the inner thighs of his pants rub together. His brown-stained jumpsuit spoke of a man who was not afraid to get nasty. Or eat spaghetti with his fingers. 

The girls had never seen a man so delectable before in their lives. He was 100 percent male. He was head to toe stud. 

"Are you thinking what I'm thinking," whispered Denise. 

"I can guarantee what I'm thinking is worse," stammered Missy, never taking her eyes off his crotch.

The girls watched him reach into his pocket and pull out the keys to the building as he got closer.

"Hi, I'm Wayne, the maintenance guy. I'm supposed to let you guys in, right?" His blue eyes flashed a radiant glow matched only in intensity by the jet black nose hairs peeking out of his left nostril. 

Wayne's voice was high-pitched and piercing. His breath smelled like three-day old fried-catfish. And there were chunks of something green in his teeth. The two women had never been so turned on in their lives. Missy extended her hand to the gorgeous hunk. "Missy Holdstadt," she said as his smallish, dirty hand made contact with her sweaty palm. She swore that his touch had set her belly on fire. "And this is my friend…um…."

"Denise Redden," said Denise jumping in. "It's so wonderful to me you."

"Hope you weren't waiting long," said Wayne. "I was down at the other building fixing some toilets. Somebody overflowed the shitter and I had dig down deep in there with my bare hands."

"You do seem tense," said Denise.

"Maybe we can help to relax you," chimed in Missy.

Wayne didn't really understand what the girls meant by that. But since they smiled when they said it, he smiled back. He then turned to the door, and he rifled through his keys to find the right one.

Finally, after several attempts, the right key fit snugly into the keyhole and the door to the building was open.

"I like the way you shoved that in," said Denise.

"Yeah, nice and hard," said Missy.

Again, Wayne didn't really understand what the girls meant by that. But since they smiled when they said it, he smiled back.

As they walked inside the musty lair, Wayne pulled open the steely, rusted gate of the worn freight elevator and the women entered the enclosure. Wayne shut the gate and they all prepared to make the trip to the fifth floor along with the elevator's rickety creaks and groans. As Wayne grasped the black lever protruding from the wall, the elevator began to make its way to its intended destination.

As loud as the elevator was on the outside, the silence inside was deafening. Denise looked around her, and above her. But mostly, she looked at Wayne's ass. She wasn't sure what was going to happen next, so she turned and met Missy's eyes. Without uttering a sound, Missy mouthed the words, "Do what I do."

As the elevator slowly crawled up the shaft, Missy began to groan ever so slowly, "Wayne, isn't it hot in here?"

Wayne turned and looked at the seductress who was rolling her tongue around her lips and rubbing her hands between her legs.

"Um, not really," he said.

Missy slowly licked her fingers and rubbed them all over her shirt. "What are you thinking about, Wayne?" she asked.

Wayne watched her caress her nipples. "I don't know," he said. "Beer, I guess."

Denise slowly made her way towards Wayne. She reached over his shoulder and pressed the black bar down, bringing the elevator to a grinding, screeching halt.

"Hey, what are you doing?" asked Wayne.

"We want you to take us Wayne," said Missy. "Right here. Right now."

Wayne seemed confused. "I was taking you. To the fifth floor. Ain't that where you wanna go?"

"Have you ever done two women at one time, Wayne?" asked Denise.

Again, Wayne seemed confused. He thought he was supposed to be taking these two women to the fifth floor so they could look around and see what work they had to do. Now he was getting the distinct impression that these women had other ideas.

Especially the one that just dropped to her knees and unzipped his pants.

Wayne looked down at her and suddenly, he forgot about the fifth floor. 

"Hey, um, before this goes any further," asked Wayne, "do I have to do anything back to you guys? I mean, the thing is, I don't really like to do that kind of stuff. I'm kinda selfish, y'know. I'd rather just go to sleep when we're done. I mean, when I'm done."

"Just sit back and enjoy," said Missy. "And when we're through with you, we'll take care of each other. And you can watch if you want. And we promise we won't ask you to cuddle. We won't even talk. We'll just walk out of here and you'll never see us again."

"Unless you ever wanted another amazing sexual experience from two hot women," crowed Denise.

"Um, OK," said Wayne.

"Hey Wayne, would you like to borrow my cell phone and call a friend and tell them what's going on right now?" asked Missy. "I know you guys like to talk about stuff like this. And we're cool with that. Right, Denise?"

Denise didn't answer, though. She was…busy.

Outside the building, the world was working as it always does. But inside, the hustle and bustle of everyday life gave way to the sinful passions and unbridled desires of Missy and Denise. 

And Wayne the maintenance man was living every man's dream. 

"This is awesome," he thought. "But my God, if I had a double crust pizza right now, it'd be super-awesome."


Harlequin book people, if you asked me, that's the kind of stuff men would be interested in reading.

Real men speaking real words in real settings. Interacting with real women. 

I think this could be a big idea for you guys.

I hope you agree.

Anyway, I look forward to hearing back from you. 


Lane Strauss

p.s. Please ignore my last letter asking if the girl on the cover of your book, Bondage Vixen, digs me.

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