You should be reading more books published by Harlequin.
As I mentioned in my post a few months ago (this one - I Write For Harlequin - you should definitely read it!), the term “Harlequin” has a tendency to raise some eyebrows. Some people assume that if the book has the Harlequin logo on the cover, it’s one of *those* books.
Many of the women (and men) I know who enjoy a nice Christian romance wouldn’t think of picking up a Harlequin. If that describes you, or if it’s just been a long time since you gave one a shot, let me clear up a few things.
1. They aren’t all like *that* - Yes, some of the lines are, but if you look for the Love Inspired (LI) logo, you won’t find anything in there to make you blush.
2. They are inexpensive - Have you gone shopping for books lately? Paperbacks aren’t cheap. But you can pick up a Love Inspired book at Wal-mart for less than $5.
3. They are short - If you aren’t a fast reader or don’t think reading is your “thing,” these paperbacks aren’t intimidating. If you do prefer a nice long read, I’m with you, but I don’t always have time for that kind of reading. Sometimes, I need a story that can draw me in but that I can finish in just a few hours so I don’t get so busy reading I forget to deal with real life. (This has more to do with my poor self-control than anything else - you may not have this problem).
4. They are small - I know I already said they are short, but they are also a smaller size. They’ll fit in your purse, backpack, diaper bag, or that little pocket on the side of your door…ready for your next wait in car line or piano lessons. They are also light enough for you to hold in one hand while you feed a baby, or stir a pot of chili. Yes, I know that in a perfect world you would spend each second that you are feeing your baby staring into their eyes and babbling at them. In the real world, sometimes that fifteen minutes is the only time you get to sit down. I’ve had three kids. I know. I read a lot of books during nursing sessions. They helped me stay sane!
5. They are shareable - You can let your tween read them. Really. While some of the Harlequin lines are, shall we say, spicy? The Love Inspired lines focus on the emotional attraction - not the physical. Yes, there will be kissing (yeah for kissing!), but the physical demonstrations of affection are not the focus of these books.
6. There’s plenty of variety - I write for Love Inspired Suspense (LIS). My line has the hero and heroine in danger from the first page, and they stay that way (while falling in love) until the end. There’s also Love Inspired Historical (LIH) for all of you (myself included) who occasionally think you would have made an awesome pioneer. And if you love a sweet romance that doesn’t involve bullets and bloodshed, the Love Inspired line is for you. Contemporary characters dealing with real life issues and finding love along the way.
7. There are a LOT to choose from - LIS and LI release 6 new books every single month. That’s 72 books a year. LIH releases 4 a month - 48 a year.
8. They are really good - Ok, I’m biased. I’ll admit it. But it takes skill to develop an interesting story and relatable characters, keep them alive (in LIS) and have them fall in love in 60,000 words. It can be done and it means that the when you pick up one of these books, you won’t find yourself skimming through a bunch of fluff. I’m not anti-fluff, but when time is limited, I’ll pass on the fluff, thank you very much.
9. They stand alone - I personally love a good series, but I have a bad habit of getting sucked in and needing to read EVERY.SINGLE.BOOK in the series. NOW. So it’s nice to read books that don’t trigger that reaction in me.
10. They have some awesome series to choose from - I know I just said they stand alone, and they do. But there are two different types of series with LI. One is similar to what I’m working on now. The secondary characters from the first book get a starring role in the next. You can read any of the books without having read the previous books, but if you fall in love with certain characters (Heidi and Blake, cough, cough) it’s fun to check in with them again later.
The other type of series is a Continuity Series. They are similar to the other series, with secondary characters becoming the main characters. But in a continuity series, each book is written by a different author. So awesome!
Okay - have I convinced you yet?
If not, here’s one more bonus reason. Right now - November 10th -November 17th - 10,000 Harlequin titles are on sale. You can purchase the ebook version for $1.99. This is a HUGE deal!
You have very little to lose and lots of great reads to gain.
Sadly, my book, Covert Justice, is NOT on sale. *Sob*
But you can find a bunch of books from my friend and mentor, Lynette Eason. Her Family Reunion’s series would be a fun place to start. Each one is $1.99 this week only!
And there are literally 1000s of others to choose from. So many awesome authors that I can't begin to list them all!
I’d love to hear about your experience with Harlequin. Are you a regular reader? Has it been years since you picked one up? Do you have a favorite LIS, LIH, or LI author? Let’s talk about it in the comments!