Bodice and chest, both ripped

In Canada, we have much to be both proud and ashamed of. For instance, in the first category we have music, comedians, plaid, politeness, peacefulness, telecommunications leadership, etc. In the latter, we have our record on indigenous issues, the tar sands, Peter McKay, etc. I’m not sure what category this fits in, but we’re apparently responsible for the pre-kiss, forehead-nuzzling, often vaguely rapey classic Harlequin cover.

Cover art by Gary McLaughlin, from linked CBC article

Square-jawed heroes clutch swooning women in gazebos — and maximalist living rooms and unidentified tropical locales. Meers’s scenes are typical, as synonymous with romance as Harlequin itself. But for decades, that exaggerated look of love was being mass-produced in Toronto.

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