Vaginal Fantasy Book Club discussion

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Tangents/Off-Topic Discussions > Harlequin love or hate?

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message 1: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 23 comments I like Harlequin romances. There are some that are good and some that shouldn't have been printed. I like the promise that the couple is going live a happy life together. If I want real struggle I'd look somewhere else. The books are not the greatest story ever told but they can be a good escape, Harlequin still have the employee and millionaire boss. They also have stories of the small town family. The ranch hand who falls for the city girl. The navy seal or decorated soldier who has to work with the female lead and many others. Getting wealthy by marriage is not the goal in all Harlequin romance it is secondary to the romance. The female lead doesn't always need the wealthy hero's help. Though writers can still write a story with the weak female that needs the nice millionaire to take care of her debts. You never know what the editors will publish or not publish. I can also understand why people can think every Harlequin book focuses on the female needing to be taking care of by the guy.


message 2: by Nicole (last edited Dec 30, 2012 02:42AM) (new)

Nicole (lunakaos) | 165 comments My cousin and I started reading Mills and Boon in our very early teens and I have no issues with these sorts of books. They are a quick light read. While I couldn't read only these types of books its nice every now and again.
There are also a lot of Sheiks in these books


message 3: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 23 comments There are a lot of Sheiks, Millionaires, Billionaires, and Seals. I do read other books. Everyone should try to read different types of books. One person's love can be another person's lem. Every book has a viewership that loves it or loves to hate it. Harlequin has been around a long time but is still considered the trashy books you have to hide. I just want people to respect the category romance.


message 4: by Kamil (new)

Kamil | 938 comments Harlequin books have lots of flaws, yet make good emergency romance rations for those sad and lonely days.


message 5: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sarahrobins) | 65 comments My mom had tons of Harlequin romance books when I was growing up. I started reading them around the age of 11 or 12. I don't read them much any more but it's nice to pick one up every now and then and know that a happy ending is 187 pages away. They are cute, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes horribly cheesy. I love them, though. I picked 8 of them up for 25 cents each at a thrift store last weekend and cannot wait to read them!


message 6: by Donna (new)

Donna Thorland I admire the discipline that goes into writing the Presents books. A complete story in 50K words has to be tight. I got really interested in out of print Signet Regencies when I realized that so many of today's big name romance authors got their start there--Mary Balogh ,Anne Stuart, Jo Beverley--writing within these really strict parameters. Unfortunately, after I started reading those shorter Regencies, most of the single title books out there today started to feel padded. Same plots...but twice the length, and not necessarily twice the story.

And I do enjoy some of Harlequin's historicals. Courtney Milan was a Harlequin author before she went indie.


message 7: by C.G. (new)

C.G. (samatwitch) | 110 comments I started reading Harlequin Romances when I was about 11 or 12 also. When they started expanding to other lines, I preferred Presents, then others, then Silhouette imprints, Dell Candlelight and Candlelight Ecstasy and finally Loveswept brand which was the top of the line for me. Although I rarely read any category romances now, all my favourite romantic suspense authors started with them: Jayne Ann Krentz, Kay Hooper, Iris Johansen, Suzanne Brockmann and Barbara Delinsky who has become more a mainstream bestseller.


message 8: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (ndayeni) | 64 comments Harlequins were my escape reading or "fill the time" reading when I was in college and needed a break from course reading, or needed something to fill a half hour between classes or whatever. They were great because they were short and uncomplicated. You don't have to think much about the plot, because the plot is pretty much always the same, so they were a nice breather from the far more learned stuff I had to read for my classes. They also had the benefit of being small in size because they're so short, so they could slip into my purse or stuffed bookbag easily.

I still enjoy reading these type of books now and again when I'm in the mood for a quick, uncomplicated read that I know will have a HEA, though I don't read them all that often these days. Partly that stems from the fact that I'm almost exclusively an e-reader now, and it takes a lot more to entice me into reading a print book, and partly it's just that I usually want more depth or steam in what I read these days than Harlequin's generally deliver (leaving aside the ones like the Blaze line that are a lot racier).

In summary, yes I do have a lot of respect for the category romance. True, it's never going to be considered great literature, but they definitely fill a needed niche in the romance genre. I just wish I could get some of the older titles by certain authors in ebook format...


message 9: by Bitchie (new)

Bitchie (matron) I can remember some sort of Harlequin teen line that I loved when I was a kid.

Now, I don't read very many of them at all. I've found a few under the HQN imprint that I've liked (Victoria Dahl), and Sarah Mayberry writes for Harlequin, so I'm sure I'll be checking out her titles under them. Otherwise, I generally pass on Harlequin.


message 10: by Justine (last edited Dec 30, 2012 01:53PM) (new)

Justine | 56 comments Love: I love that I can pick one up at the grocery store after work, read it, and still get to bed at a reasonable hour.

I like historical romance and paranormal romance from other publishers, but I never like the Harlequin versions of these genres. Instead, I prefer the Superromance line and the (now defunct) Temptation line - both contemporary romance. Sarah Mayberry and Kathryn Shay are my two favorite Harlequin authors over the past five years or so.

@Bitchie, you definitely should check out Sarah Mayberry's Superromance titles - she's fairly prolific! I love that her novels are generally set in Australia.


message 11: by Mochaspresso (new)

Mochaspresso  | 22 comments I started reading them when I was about 12 yrs old. I used to read them all the time because my local library used to sell the discarded ones for .05 cents each. It was through the Harlequins that I developed an interest historical romances and those helped me a lot in school with European History, believe it or not.


message 12: by Donna (new)

Donna Thorland Wow, C.G. I hadn't realized that category books were also a minor league for romantic suspense writers.

Michelle, I am amazed that Harlequin writers aren't e-pubbing their backlists. Maybe Harlequin doesn't revert their rights back? I have bought boxes of 70s/80s presents on ebay because they are like chocolate assortments--some awesome, some ick, but all fun to try.


message 13: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 8 comments I grew up reading harlequin books. I enjoy them only because to me they're like bubble gum. it tides you over till you can get to a 'meaty' story.

Yes, they are formulaic, but they don't require thought. I need that sometimes


message 14: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 8 comments I grew up reading harlequin books. I enjoy them only because to me they're like bubble gum. it tides you over till you can get to a 'meaty' story.

Yes, they are formulaic, but they don't require thought. I need that sometimes


message 15: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (mariexd) | 6 comments I've never really paid that much attention to the publisher, and I think that here Harlequin isn't quite as distinguished, but as for the type of book (which I'm thinking of as sometimes cheesy romances) I tend to love them. Just not all the time, and only as a quick, fun escape.


message 16: by C.G. (new)

C.G. (samatwitch) | 110 comments Donna wrote: "Wow, C.G. I hadn't realized that category books were also a minor league for romantic suspense writers.

Michelle, I am amazed that Harlequin writers aren't e-pubbing their backlists. Maybe Harlequ..."


Yes, I think they were/are a very good first step for many writers, including Sandra Brown, Tami Hoag, Maggie Shayne, besides the ones I mentioned above.

I think the rights stay with Harlequin because many of the books are being reprinted now. I sometimes have to check the original copyright date to make sure it's a new book.


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