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!