John and his assistant, Mary, are working on a biography of a pre-Pre-Raphaelite rogue. A project with great literary merit, perhaps, but hardly a money-spinner. To keep the wolf from the door both John and Mary request, unbeknown to each other, instructions from True Love Publishers on how to write and sell romantic fiction.
Love Off the Shelf parodies every cliché of the romantic novel genre as the two stories come to life before our eyes - the interactions of their characters mirroring the ever-more-complicated relationship between John and Mary. Occasionally the fictional characters rebel against the constraints put upon them by their creators, but, in the end, despite the tongue-in-cheek treatment doled out by the authors, romance is the winner all round.