I’ve probably blogged about this before but it would take too much time to check the archives and besides, it bears repeating anyway.
I used to be a fan of Harlequin books, but it seems I grow less enamoured with them as time goes on. Although I didn’t read them extensively, they did take up 15 to 25% of my book buying dollars. And more importantly, I discovered quite a few authors I read in Harlequins before I tried their single title books. Linda Howard, Nora Roberts, Rebecca York, Suzanne Brockman, Anne Stuart, Justine Davis, Susan Mallery and many many more are authors that are either now or were autobuy authors that wrote for Harlequin.
Sadly however my Harlequin buying days are pretty much over and I mourn the loss. There are a number of reasons I’ve decided not to read them anymore.
Too many lines
There used to be how many? Historicals, Temptation, Desire, Intimate Moments, Special Edition, Presents were the main ones I read from – well, no not Presents. I’ve never read that line before. But now they have so many, I look at them in the stores and am lost on where to begin. Plus, I’m rather ticked off at them since they are like weeds at Wal-Mart. They used to take up about three shelves. Now they are up to nine and crowding out other romance books. Being less than rational at times, I won’t buy them because I’m mad at them for doing this. Plus there are too many to choose from so I’ve decided not to choose at all.
Too many authors
Who ARE many of these authors? I’ve never heard of most of them before. With the increased cost in books in general and the money I do allocate for new authors going more to single title authors, I don’t want to waste it on new Harlequin authors. When the lines exploded, so too did the number of authors and rather than guess who I might like – I don’t buy them at all.
The birth of Blaze
This marked the beginning of the end of my love for Harlequins. Now in case you are thinking I haven’t given this line a try before I dis' it, I have. I have tried quite a few. And while I have enjoyed a few, there hasn’t been enough to make me want to buy more. At times I think I’m out of step because I’ve read this is one of their better selling lines but I think they stink for the most part. I really think they gave up on character development and relationship building for more sex. Too often the hero/heroine jump into the sack way too soon with what I am comfortable with. They have sex then fall in love. I’m old fashioned enough to prefer it the other way around.
The death of Temptation
While the birth of Blaze marked the beginning of the end, the death of Temptation was pretty much the nail in the coffin. Now the Temptation line had both good sex and character and relationship development. I think they made a huge error when they cancelled this line. That’s where many of my favourite books came from.
In fact I was so annoyed with this decision, I’ve only bought one Harlequin since then – and I didn’t like it.
Lack of powerhouse authors
They don’t seem to have the big name authors anymore. No Nora Roberts. No Linda Howard. No Suzanne Brockman (at least not for quite some time now).
Larger sized books
This just annoys me. I’m not about to start paying more money for a size I don’t like.
Women’s Fiction line
I know there will probably be a market for this one – but I won’t be a part of that market. Again I’m probably being shallow and missing some potential good books, but I have as much interest in reading ‘women’s fiction’ as I do in ‘chick lit. – None
So, I’m down from buying 6 or 7 Harlequins a month, to pretty much zero. The only line I will continue to have any interest in is the Historical line. They better not screw that up too. They came close once to getting rid of it.
Pity this – I used to really enjoy them.