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Love's Labor Isn't Lost on Mr. Romance

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These days Cupid needs professional help, even on St. Valentine’s Day. The libidinal imp has had trouble lately. So Cupid called on “Mr. Romance,” Langdon Hill of Tucson, Ariz. Twice a week, in more than 50 newspapers, he gives millions of Americans tips on turning the pilot light of passion from a flicker to a flame. He has also written a book on the subject, How to Jump-Start Your Husband (Andrews and McMeel, Inc. $4.95).

A former sportswriter, Hill, 27 this month, began his romance column two years ago in the Arizona Daily Star and soon was garnering up to 400 letters a day. But his desk isn’t swamped with tearstained epistles from losers in love. Many letters include captivating tips from readers. For example, one woman revealed that she stitched “Love Ya” in her hubby’s jeans, just to needle him. Hill prints such letters from towns all across the U.S. He is a man who finds love in the oddest places. One column proclaimed Fort Wayne the “City of Romance.”

Mr. Romance describes his own amorous adventures as “very enjoyable, very stimulating. And very private.” The bachelor son of a lawyer and a nurse who are divorced, Hill frowns on casual coupling. “Romance is not 413½ notches on the corner post of your water bed,” he harrumphs.

The following stories about a soap-opera marriage, an off-court tennis triangle and a love child or two in the British hierarchy go to prove Hill’s favorite aphorism: “Romance is the willingness to look like a jerk.”