Britain’s Rishi Sunak just loves reading raunchy horse novels
The British prime minister is a big fan of Jilly Cooper.
LONDON — Tech bro. Numbers guy. Mega-fan of … horse-racing-themed romance books?
U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed Thursday that he’s an avid reader of Jilly Cooper, the English author whose raunchy tales of romance and infidelity among horse riders and show jumpers have been best-sellers.
In a mostly gentle grilling on the U.K. daytime TV favorite “This Morning”, Sunak was asked if he was “really into” Cooper’s books, as hinted at by an article in the Spectator magazine earlier in May.
“Yes that is true,” a blushing Sunak said. “It is unclear how that has emerged.”
Reeling off a list of Cooper’s titles, Sunak appeared unable to narrow it down to just one all-time fave: “Riders, Rivals, Polo, The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous, Appassionata — she’s done a lot of different books, but that is the set of books that I like,” he said.
The front cover of “Riders”, an international bestseller, depicts a man’s hand resting intimately on a woman in jodhpurs — horse-riding leg wear.
The story focuses on the personal lives of a group of show-jumping stars and is often referred to as a “bonkbuster,” a British term for a series of 1970s and 80s steamy romance novels.
In one “Riders” passage, show jumper Rupert Campbell-Black is conducting an affair with Amanda Hamilton, the fictional wife of the foreign secretary in the book’s universe.
“Now he was lifting her right leg, holding back the inside of her thigh … it was like an express train going into a tunnel,” the book reads.
“They are good,” Sunak said, defending his love of the raunchy books. “You need to have escapism in your life.”