If HMB does not request your contest entry, do you plan to stick it in a bottom drawer or to sub this story elsewhere?
Of course, I'm one of the 814 hoping this is not a situation I'll have to face, but even so I know exactly what I'd do: the bottom drawer.
Because when I do sell to HMB one day (and I'm determined to!) I want to have a whole bunch of manuscripts ready to be re-worked and re-submitted. I'm hoping that by then I'll be more experienced and know how to 'fix' them, so that instead of making just the one sale, I'll be able to sell a whole bunch more to my dream publisher!
But I also realise that there are times when submitting to A.N. Other publisher might be a better option for a manuscript. If you know the story doesn't really fit the targeted HMB line but it'd break your heart to change it to fit, then you need to follow your heart.
There are also times when the validation of having an editor say "I love this and I want to buy it" is more important than sticking to the longer term dream.
So if Harlequin Mills & Boon is your dream, what would you do?