1,000 Harlequin Historical Releases Equal Decades of Delicious Romance!

by Linda Fildew, Senior Editor

We have celebrated some significant milestones over the last few years: Mills & Boon’s 100th anniversary in 2008, Harlequin’s 60th anniversary in 2009 and now Harlequin Historical reaches its 1000th book in July 2010 with Christine Merrill’s deliciously sensual Paying the Virgin’s Price, part of our Regency Silk & Scandal miniseries.

1,000 books – 2,000 years of history featured in Harlequin Historical. We encourage a range of time periods so our novels can be set anywhere from ancient civilisations such as Greece and Rome up to the Second World War.

Mills & Boon launched their historical line – Masquerade – in 1977 with novels by such authors as Jane Wilby – Eleanor and the Marquis – and Marguerite Bell – A Rose for Danger. These London-acquired books were published almost simultaneously by Harlequin, although the covers were different for each market.


The UK & US Covers of Eleanor & the Marquis

It was from July 1988 that Harlequin launched what we know today as Harlequin Historical with books mostly acquired from an American author base. The first two were Satan’s Angel by Kristin James (aka Candace Camp) and Kathleen Eagle‘s Private Treaty. Both books were Westerns and established early on readers’ love of the nineteenth century frontier settings. There’s something about the rawness of frontier life, living on the edge of danger, that truly captures the imagination. Westerns still form a key part of the present-day program.


Early Harlequin Historical releases

American settings predominated in the early years of Harlequin Historical although, gradually, other periods were added – e.g. Nora Roberts was the first to introduce a Scottish Highland setting with her Rebellion. The Regency period also proved highly popular and so it has remained to this day.

All our authors are skillful at drawing readers into their characters’ world and effortlessly holding them there from first to last page. Emotions run high. How better to spend a few hours of your time! We know how important authentic historical backgrounds are and our authors find just the right balance between the vivid setting and the stirring romance.

We are proud of the variety we offer in Harlequin Historical from classic Regency drawing room tales to ones which explore the risky underbelly of London life. From Medieval warriors and Viking conquerors to Chinese warlords and Byzantine barbarians, we have books – and sexy heroes! – to suit every mood. In the same month as our 1000th book by Christine Merrill we can tempt you with Alaska Bride on the Run by western author Kate Bridges; strong, sexy heroes in Bronwyn Scott’s Regency Untamed Rogue, Scandalous Mistress and Terri Brisbin’s Medieval The Mercenary’s Bride. Mary Nichols has a hero in conflict in Honorable Doctor, Improper Arrangement and June Francis’s hero flirts with danger in Pirate’s Daughter, Rebel Wife. The Chinese Tang Dynasty is an exciting new time period for us, one that we have never published before. We are happy to announce that we are publishing Jeannie Lin’s award winning Butterfly Swords in October.

As well as the six Harlequin Historicals a month – 4 in Retail and 2 available through eHarlequin.com and Harlequin Reader Service – we also have an online exclusive program called Harlequin Historical Undone! These short, sexy, scandalous stories appear in ebook format. These can feature any time period and you will find that we are exploring new areas – look for our vampire Undone! with Marguerite Kaye’s Bitten by Desire and how about some Sheikh delight in Innocent in the Harem by Michelle Willingham and Arabian Nights With a Rake by Bronwyn Scott! These tasty short bites of stories are just the right pick me up read over a lunchtime or before tucking down for the night.

There’s no better time than now to start reading Harlequin Historical if you haven’t already tried one. Get caught up in our latest miniseries Silk & Scandal, I promise you won’t be able to put these seductive books down.

I’d like to thank all of the authors and readers who have contributed to the success of the first 1000 books in Harlequin Historical. Here’s to the next 1000!

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Comments ( 17 )
  1. Tweets that mention 1,000 Harlequin Historical Releases Equal Decades of Delicious Romance! - Harlequin Blog -- Topsy.com
    July 6, 2010 at 10:43 am
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    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Malle Vallik. Malle Vallik said: RT @HarlequinBooks Ed Linda Fildew on 1000 (and counting) HarlHist releases. That's abt 550 lords & dukes, 234 pirates http://bit.ly/aCkhYk […]

  2. Sally
    July 6, 2010 at 4:42 pm
    Reply

    Congratulations on reaching 1,000 books! I’m excited to read this month’s Historicals, as well as Butterfly Swords.

  3. Michelle Styles
    July 7, 2010 at 4:04 am
    Reply

    One of the things Linda Fildew is being typically modest about is her hand in helping to develop Harlequin Historical. From being intimately involved in the launch back in 1977 to having a wonderful vision as the senior editor today, Linda has and remains one of the Historical genres most enthusiatic supportors. (Okay I know I’m biased but it was her vision and steady nerve that did open up HH to new time periods — for example Rome — at time when most in the industry were not looking at Other periods).
    Linda and her team do work hard — both making sure the content fulfils the promise HH makes to the reader and providing lovely covers.
    I am So looking forward to reading Jeannie Lin’s award-winning debut. It is wonderful that HH is debuting this time period.

  4. Jane Holland
    July 7, 2010 at 5:01 am
    Reply

    I love Harlequin Historicals, and salute all its writers and editors.

    Love those old covers from the eighties too. I remember reading a few of those. Real emotional roller-coasters with an epic feel to them. It would be lovely to see more of those ‘bigger’ stories coming back to the line.

  5. FrancineHowarth
    July 7, 2010 at 5:38 am
    Reply

    Hi,

    Hee hee, it was the early rather racy covers of the historical line that drew me to M&B historical books.

    Although I love writing modern characters in exotic settings, my greatest love is creating characters re period of English Civil War and the reformation (1600 – 1700s). Inclusive reign of the Louis XIV (sun king) in France. Something to do with all those dashing cavaliers and roundheads and musketeers, I guess. :o)

    And, of course, still waiting on response re sub!
    best
    F

  6. Jeannie Lin | Award-winning historical romance author
    July 7, 2010 at 7:07 am
    Reply

    […] 1,000 Harlequin Releases […]

  7. Ann Lethbridge
    July 7, 2010 at 7:32 am
    Reply

    Wow, 1000 historical titles. Congratulations to all. I love the old covers and really like the variety of time periods. Something for everyone.
    Here’s to the next 1000.
    Ann

  8. Julia Justiss
    July 7, 2010 at 8:57 am
    Reply

    Here’s to the next 1000 indeed! I’d like to offer my thanks, too, to Linda and the historical team who have consistently offered the widest variety of time periods and settings of any historical romance publisher in the industry, launching Michelle Willingham’s terrific Irish warriors, Michelle Styles and Louise Allen’s Roman-set stories, Amanda McCabe’s Venetian and Elizabethan settings and now the gorgeously-covered “Butterfly Swords.”

    Every month brings new delights! Thank you, Harlequin Mills & Boon, Linda and team for hours and hours of reading pleasure.

  9. Charlene Sands
    July 7, 2010 at 10:46 am
    Reply

    Wow , what a great history of historical books!! Linda is a great Senior Editor full of enthusiasm for the line. I love all time periods and feel honored to have been a small part of those first 1000 books!!

  10. Michelle Willingham
    July 7, 2010 at 12:51 pm
    Reply

    Thank you Linda, for always being such a great supporter of the Historical line! It’s a true honor to be a part of writing for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon Historical, as well as Undone!

  11. Diane Gaston
    July 7, 2010 at 10:04 pm
    Reply

    I am so proud to be a part of Harlequin Historical and proud of Linda’s unflagging enthusiasm and the enthusiasm of all her team. Jeannie Lin is proof that HH is still innovating and has continued to offer a wide variety of time periods in the line for readers who want something different or something other publishers don’t offer.

    And the covers just keep getting better and better!

  12. Deb Cowan
    July 8, 2010 at 2:27 am
    Reply

    1000 titles! How thrilling. Linda, I’d like to thank you for managing to turn the line around and keep HH in the North American market. It’s wonderful to write for such a fantastic line.

  13. Elaine Golden
    July 8, 2010 at 7:03 pm
    Reply

    Wow! What an amazing milestone!

    I am constantly awed by the vision, resilience and ingenuity of this company and staff, and I feel extremely fortunate to be joining such a talented team of writers when my very first Undone is published early next year.

    Here’s to another fabulous 1,000 historicals! I’m already looking forward to next great romances HH will offer!

  14. Harlequin Historical Celebrates 1,000… | Elaine Golden
    July 8, 2010 at 7:22 pm
    Reply

    […] Read all about it from Senior Editor Linda Fildew, who apparently has been there since this popular and well-loved line of romances debuted (as Michelle Styles reveals in the comments!). This entry was posted in Reading. Bookmark the permalink. ← Awwww. Now look what they’ve done… […]

  15. Wayne Jordan
    July 11, 2010 at 11:50 pm
    Reply

    Congrats to Harlequin Historicals. I’ve continued to enjoy the line since the first releases, thought I have a preference for the books with Western settings (one of the reasons, I also love the Love Inspired Historical line).

    I loved those early books. Ironically, I still have copies of two of the books above, The Kristen James and Nthe ora Roberts. I also have the Robert’s companion book, Lawless and will treasure them. I’m sure many persons don’t know that she wrote those historical romances. I also have a few written by Pamela Wallace (why did she stop writing to do movie?!) and wish they could be reissued some time. Hopefully, those and Heather Graham’s…Apache Summer, Rides a Hero, Dark Stranger and of course, Cheryl St. John’s earlier HHs can be reissued in ebooks format.

    I look forward to the next 1000!

  16. Kathryn Albright
    July 12, 2010 at 8:15 pm
    Reply

    Congratulations Harlequin Historicals–
    I have many “keepers” from those earlier historicals. What an amazing record. May it continue to infinity and beyond!
    The covers, the stories, the settings–all quite wonderful.

  17. Kim
    July 15, 2010 at 9:17 pm
    Reply

    I’ve been a longtime fan of HH and can’t believe they have over 1,000 titles. Congratulations!!!

    The earliest in my collection is #13 The Laird’s French Bride by Judith Stewart. I could not believe my luck when I found it in a sale. It’s only 186 pages. I’m so pleased that they stories have grown longer over the years.

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