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Our Romance Books

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From warm and witty to sizzling hot romances, from meaningful relationships to unexpected encounters, there’s a variety of romance series to choose from. These captivating stories prove that there is nothing ordinary about love.

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We publish some of the world's most popular Romance, Suspense and Inspirational novels for you to choose from.

Choose 2 Free Books from any Romance series and get 2 Free Mystery gifts!

Essential Romance

Discover some of the brightest stars in romance fiction, from bestselling authors to exciting debuts.

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Regular Print

Essential Romance / Suspense Combo

A fantastic variety of romance and suspense books, many written by today’s bestselling authors.

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Regular Print

Harlequin Desire

Be transported to the luxurious worlds of American tycoons, ranchers and family dynasties. Get ready for bold encounters and sizzling chemistry.

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Regular Print

Harlequin Heartwarming

Clean romances that celebrate wholesome, heartfelt relationships imbued with the traditional values of home, family, community and love.

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Larger Print

Harlequin Historical

Wicked Rakes, gorgeous Highlanders, muscled Vikings, handsome Princes…a variety of historical heroes to fulfill every reader’s dream.

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Regular Print

Harlequin Medical Romance

Contemporary romances about dedicated (and delectable) professionals who navigate the high stakes of falling in love in the pressured world of medicine.

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Larger Print

Harlequin Romance

Uplifting and exotic escape…strong, deeply desirable men…sweet, feel-good romance.

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Larger Print

Harlequin Special Edition

Life, Love & Family…Whether it’s an old flame rekindled or a brand-new romance, love knows no timeline.

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Regular Print
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Harlequin Romance

Harlequin Romance

Harlequin Romance books were first published in 1949 under Harlequin Books Limited in Canada. By the 1950s, they were reprinting old titles from the British Mills and Boons books, which were very popular at the time. Vintage Harlequin Romance books published in the 80s and 90s are easily identifiable by their covers because they typically feature a muscular man clutching a woman close to him. One of their most-utilized models was Fabio, then the quintessential sex symbol, and he became synonymous with the brand and was featured on many of the covers. 

The novels in the Romance imprint usually follow a standard plotline, which is girl meets boy, girl and boy fall in love, boy and girl split up due to some obstacle. However, the story concludes with an implied committed relationship between them, usually in the form of a marriage proposal. Oftentimes these plots would include nearly erotic scenes, but classic Harlequin Romance books always drew a line between romantic love and erotica. Since then Harlequin have developed a number of other imprints, including Blaze, Desire, Intrigue, Presents, and Nocturne, which delve further into sensual relationships and paranormal romance.

Typically Harlequin Romance books are quick, easy reads that can be devoured in a day. In the past, they were seen as a stepping stone for novice romance writers to hone their craft. Writers such as Janet Daily,  Eleanor Hibbert, and Lilian Warren wrote for Harlequin early in their careers; Hibbert wrote as Eleanor Burford, Jean Plaidy, Phillippa Carr, and Victoria Holt, while Warren used the pseudonyms Rosalind Brett, Kathryn Blair, and Celine Coway when writing for the Harlequin Romance imprint.

The one hero, one heroine, and committed relationship formula of Harlequin Romance books are engrossing every time you read one of these feel-good love stories. Buy Harlequin Romance books and experience the joy of paging through a beautiful love story as you escape from the hurly-burly of real life.

Sours: https://www.abebooks.com/collections/browse/harlequin-romance
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In the eighties and nineties, the model Fabio Lanzoni popularized “the clinch”—the image on Harlequin paperback covers of a muscled man clutching an enraptured woman against his bare pecs. When I was in high school, my friends and I used to hunt down these Harlequins from used-book stores. Our favorite featured an improbably Scottish Fabio who spoke in a brogue—we knew what was under his kilt.

In 2006, Fabio, his long mane still blond, guest-starred on the reality show “America’s Next Top Model,” posing with the contestants in a photo shoot for fake Harlequin covers. By then, Fabio had faded, as had the brand with which he had long been identified. Madeleine Davies later recalled on Jezebel, “If you saw it you’d definitely recall seeing as it might have been one of the grimmest things to have ever appeared on television. Fabio was at least twice the age of the season’s oldest contestant and watching the young girls feign (at best) enthusiasm and (at worst) horniness throughout the shoot was close to unbearable.”

Harlequin Books Limited—now Harlequin Enterprises—was founded in 1949 in Canada as a small printer, packager, and distributor of books. In the nineteen-fifties, Harlequin started reprinting titles from Mills & Boon, a British publisher of popular romance novels. In 1972, Harlequin acquired Mills & Boon, and soon was synonymous with the romance novel. By 2012, romance novels were a 1.5-billion-dollar-a-year business that made up nearly seventeen per cent of fiction sales. But, for the past several years, Harlequin’s sales have declined as people have started getting their romance from erotic—and often self-published—e-books instead of grocery-store paperbacks. Last week, News Corporation announced it would acquire Harlequin from its parent company, Torstar Corporation, for about four hundred and fifteen million dollars—not much more than Harlequin’s revenue last year. Harlequin will become a division of News Corp.’s HarperCollins Publishers.

Joe McAleer, a historian who has written about Harlequin, told me that Harlequin romances have traditionally followed a formula: “Boy meets girl, boy loses girl on page 56, and, by page 180, the book would end with a marriage proposal.” By the seventies, Harlequins became known for their lush language, which often evoked settings that sounded like Thomas Kinkade paintings: “The rolling tide of summer grass had engulfed the small meadow in a sweet-smelling flood of lambs’ tails, coltsfoot, feverfew, the drifting pollen from them like pale yellow dust on Linden’s bare arms as she lay full length among them,” Charlotte Lamb begins in “Temptation,” published in 1979. When Fabio—the Great Blond One—arrived on the scene, he was a natural fit.

But a year after Fabio’s “Top Model” cameo, Amazon released the first Kindle e-reading device. By 2010, romance novels were the fastest-growing part of the e-book market; Julie Bosman, of the Times, wrote that readers were trading “the racy covers of romance novels for the discretion of digital books.”

People were reading digitized Harlequin editions, but the Kindle and other e-readers had also made it easier for individual authors to self-publish their novels and for smaller romance publishers to get attention for their titles. Some of these novels were racier than what Harlequin traditionally offered. In 1961, Harlequin had broken the mold by publishing Violet Winspear’s “Lucifer’s Angel,” then considered very titillating. But some self-published novels went beyond even the most liberal Harlequin lines. Several Amazon best-sellers, like T. K. Leigh’s self-published “Gorgeous Chaos,” are labelled “explicit.” In 2012, the Fifty Shades trilogy, by E. L. James, had more total sales than Harlequin’s North American retail division.

Harlequins can get racy, but they retain something of their genteel British roots. Its Web site notes that the Harlequin Blaze series—its “sexiest” imprint—is “not erotica.” (“While our books are very sensual, they deliver on the Harlequin promise of one hero, one heroine and an implied committed relationship at the end.”) Still, Harlequin has tried to adapt to the rise in e-books and to the interest in more hardcore material. A few months after James’s books exploded across the best-seller list, Harlequin released some B.D.S.M. titles (“Bonds of Desire,” “Bonds of Courage”) on its digital imprint, Carina Press. Harlequin’s digital revenue is growing, but not enough to make up for the decline in its print business.

Allison Kelley, the executive director of the Romance Writers of America, told me that, historically, Harlequin was where budding romance writers would start their careers, since the publisher accepted submissions from anyone—even writers without agents. Now many new authors are self-publishing best-sellers, and established authors are acquiring expired rights and self-publishing their own backlists. Almost a quarter of Harlequin’s global book-publishing revenue last year was from digital sales. Still, according to Digital Book World, in 2013, there were ninety-nine self-published e-book best-sellers; Harlequin, in comparison, only had twenty-one.

Harlequin is still trying to adapt the boy-gets-girl story line to the digital world. This week, Mills & Boon—still a subsidiary of Harlequin—launched The Chatsfield, a Web site for a fictional luxury hotel that serves as the jumping-off point for a host of stories. Readers can even follow characters’ social-media accounts. (The Chatsfield resembles a steamier version of American Girl’s Innerstar University, which I wrote about last year.)

Harlequin has been particularly good at establishing itself outside North America. It publishes more than thirteen hundred authors, putting out more than a hundred titles a month in thirty-four languages; it has offices in sixteen countries. This strong international presence is what attracted News Corp. Ninety-nine per cent of HarperCollins’s revenue comes from English-language markets, its C.E.O., Brian Murray, told me; by contrast, forty per cent of Harlequin’s revenue comes from books published in languages other than English. (Many foreign titles are translations from Harlequin’s voluminous backlist.) “There’s always been a particular appeal, wherever you are in the world, for the English-based romance,” McAleer, the historian, said.

Harlequin offers a foothold into digital and international markets that HarperCollins and News Corp. will be able to exploit. This isn’t to say that Harlequin’s subject-matter expertise is unimportant. Robert Thomson, the chief executive of News Corp, told me that Harlequin’s international “empathetic expertise” would be “redeployable across content: If you are connecting people in romance, you have insight into cultural mores.”

Credit: Harlequin.

Sours: https://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/what-happened-to-the-harlequin-romance
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