10 Love Lessons from Harlequin Romances

Even if you have never read a romance novel in you probably recognize the name Harlequin Romances.  This publisher was founded in 1949 does a whopping $585 million dollars of revenue or more a year.  They must be doing something right.  Harlequin romances appeal to women and the story lines allow them to find themselves in the main character.  Check out 10 love lessons from Harlequin romances.

  1. Stay a virgin until you meet Mr. Right: For many years every story line they printed was about the love story of a man and woman who meet and fall in love.  Then we would get a vague description with lots of euphemisms about the first time they make love and she is a virgin.  They get married and live happily ever after.
  2. You can find love again after divorce:  As Harlequins have progressed they finally caught up with the times and created a new line of books that centered on finding true love a second time.  I think they tapped into a really big market with this because statistics show that more than half of all marriages end in divorce.  There are a lot of divorced women looking for a good read.
  3. Love is never perfect: Key to every story line in a Harlequin novel is the conflict where our main characters break up and they try to lead you to believe they will go their separate ways, but they always get back together.  How they get back together and at what point they get back together is different for every story. 
  4. Communication in a relationship is key: Many times in a story line the conflict comes about because of miscommunication.  Our protagonist believes that our hero doesn’t love her or doesn’t want her and that causes her to run away.  If they would just talk about things a lot of hard feelings could be avoided.
  5. Love is possible even if you already have kids: Among the many different lines that Harlequin puts out there is one that includes stories about single moms and dads.  Harlequin dips their pen in yet another big pool of potential readers.  With more and more women concentrating on their career often times they wait so long that it’s almost too late.  These stories bring out the hope that someone who wants to be a mom can be even if she doesn’t give birth to the child.
  6. Stay open, it’s never too late to fall in love: The protagonists, in some of these romances, are in their early 30’s.  This is a much older main character than we were used to.  As times change and people are waiting to get married, the age of these characters has increased too.  I love how Harlequin tries to stay current.  They publish over 1000 books a month so they can remain pretty timely. 
  7. The fireplace remains the most romantic setting: I don’t think this has changed over the years.  Many love scenes take place near fire and usually it’s a fireplace.  There’s something about the warmth of the flickering fire that puts you in the mood.  Keep that in mind the next time you are having that special someone over for dinner.
  8. Everyone falls in love, even the supernatural:  Harlequin has a line of fantasy novels under the name Luna.  These novels have some aspect of the supernatural to them.  This is called genre blending when a book brings together two normally separate genres.  There are books that are predominately fantasy/sci fi with a little romance.  But the Luna books are predominately romance with fantasy/sci fi taking a lesser role.  It’s still an interesting blend.
  9. Always keep your eyes open for long lost loves: A frequent story line in romances is the guy who comes back into our main character’s life after living separate lives for 5-10 years.  They had something once, but they were too young to appreciate it.  Now they find each other again and the sparks reignite.  They pick up where they left off.
  10. It’s possible to fall in love anywhere: There’s a line of romance novels that are blended with a bit of mystery.  Our main character’s life is usually in jeopardy and she is rescued by a big strong hero.  There are crime blends as well where the protagonist is a cop or a lawyer.  The bulk of the book takes place in the courtroom or trying to solve a crime.

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