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.