Stunning news out of Harlequin in the past day or so. It’s not uncommon for them to close book lines and open others, but they are closing FIVE lines in one go – some of them what I would call significant lines.
Amongst them is the staple of quality contemporary romance: Superromance. The first Harlequin book I ever read was from this line, and with its longer word count and more complex and realistic storylines, it always turned up some interesting books (and some of my favourite authors!).
The one that is causing the most drama in America is the cancellation of the Kimani line, as that is essentially an African American line. I am guessing the argument (if not the reality) will be that these books can be integrated into the general contemporary romance lines, but I doubt that will happen very often… I am actually just finishing one now.
One I’ll also enormously miss is the Love Inspired Historical line, as – despite the random praying – it has shown consistent quality for lighter historical romance. In the past few years I’ve gone out of my way to download ALL books in this group that have turned up for review. It wasn’t usually TOO religious, and so you were left with sweet Western romances that I really did so often like.
The other two? I think it’s incredibly shortsighted to discontinue Nocturne, the only paranormal series the publisher runs. Sure, it’s not the money-maker it was in the days of Twilight vampire stalkers, but surely it will be back in fashion soon. Could they not have reduced the number of releases each month instead of eliminating an ENTIRE genre of books?
And Western (was it not recently renamed “American Romance?”). It was revamped recently, and I was a bit annoyed about that. There have been some good books, but I was angry that they went from accepting general “Western” books to only accepting books from the United States. Suddenly even Canadians were too “foreign”, apparently. I think they ruined the line, but I don’t think this was the way to go…
Here I was, hearing for years that nobody reads their Medical line anymore – where is that in this drastic action? I admit to being too squeamish for some of those books, but there was some high quality there. Perhaps the original Mills and Boon (in the UK) had a say, as it’s one of their older series? I’m only guessing about that.
Harlequin stays on top of the world, it seems. However, this cull seems brutal. I know I – someone who is auto-approved to basically review whatever they put out – am going to lose MANY of the books that drew me to that publisher.
I was going to ask:
What in the world is going to replace these?
However, I then saw Courtney Milan had shared most of the official announcement, and discovered they’re NOT replacing them with anything:
Scary that entire subgenres are just gone forever.
If they discontinue the Historical line (which has been discussed before), then I might just be done.