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Harlequin Celebrates 60 Years of Romance

60th-logoHarlequin is 60 years old this year and to celebrate, Harlequin plans to get a copy of one of its books in the hands of every woman in the US and Canada. In the past 60 years, Harlequin has

  • 5.8 billion books sold
  • 2,700 authors
  • 34,000 titles
  • 640 bestseller placements
  • 1 Publisher

To do this, they are giving away 16 free Books to be downloaded from beginning today.   Harlequin urges you to spread the word and urge your friends, family, neighbors, work colleagues.   There is a book for every reader in several formats and all DRM FREE so go forth download, download, download.

  • Harlequin American Romance, Once a Cowboy by Linda Warren
  • Harlequin Blaze, Slow Hands by Leslie Kelly
  • Harlequin Historical, His Lady Mistress by Elizabeth Rolls
  • Harlequin Intrigue, Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch by B.J. Daniels
  • Harlequin Presents, Price of Passion by Susan Napier
  • Harlequin Romance, The Bride’s Baby by Liz Fielding
  • Harlequin Superromance, Snowbound by Janice Kay Johnson
  • Silhouette Desire, Baby Bonanza by Maureen Child
  • Silhouette Nocturne, Kiss Me Deadly by Michele Hauf
  • Silhouette Romantic Suspense, Stranded with a Spy by Merline Lovelace
  • Silhouette Special Edition, Dancing in the Moonlight by Raeanne Thayne
  • Love Inspired, A Very Special Delivery by Linda Goodnight
  • Love Inspired Historical, Homespun Bride by Jillian Hart
  • Love Inspired Suspense, Hide in Plain Sight by Marta Perry
  • Kimani Romance, Irresistible Forces by Brenda Jackson
  • Nascar, Speed Dating by Nancy Warren

The books will be available in several formas including PDF, Sony, Kindle and for the iPhone via Stanza.   

Other big deals that will take place throughout the year include

  • The Harlequin Famous Firsts Collection – In March, June and September, look for reissues of some of the very first series books written by current New York Times bestselling writers
  • The Heart of a Woman: Harlequin Cover Art 1949-2009 – We’re sponsoring and exhibition of original cover art at the Openhouse Gallery, May 29 to June 12 in New York City.
  • Series Spotlight – Every month a different series is in the spotlight. Look for diamond-themed miniseries, series stars and more from all the Harlequin and Silhouette lines.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. ldb
    Jan 29, 2009 @ 10:37:40

    Oh no, if they are thinking about doing LH they may want to go with the very third or fourth book she released, just pretend her first never happened.

    Over all that sounds exciting. I love HQ and will try and get the word out to some people who I think would also enjoy.

  2. Jessica G.
    Jan 29, 2009 @ 11:01:42

    Harlequin cover art in NYC? Ohhh I think I may have to go…anyone up for a party?

  3. Wandering Chopsticks
    Jan 29, 2009 @ 11:52:14

    Whoohoo! This is why I love Dear Author. I wouldn’t have known about this stuff if it wasn’t for you.

    And in case Harlequin reads, yay for no DRM.

  4. Vasudha
    Jan 29, 2009 @ 11:53:44

    How do you actually download the books?? I went to the site and I do see the ad, but see no link for downloading them..Help!!!

  5. Louise
    Jan 29, 2009 @ 11:56:23

    *rubs hands in glee*

    Happy, happy reading I will have indeed!

  6. Jane
    Jan 29, 2009 @ 11:57:34

    @Vasudha Under the big scrolling picture of the covers, is a “download your free books now” link.

  7. Tabitha
    Jan 29, 2009 @ 12:43:44

    Thank you for the heads up!

  8. Danielle
    Jan 29, 2009 @ 12:46:06

    Thanks for letting us know about this.

  9. Cheryl McInnis
    Jan 29, 2009 @ 13:24:19

    There is a reason Harlequin has been around so long…they know how to keep customers happy. And free books make everyone happy! Here’s hoping for another 60 years Harlequin! *Off to download some free books now, he he he*

  10. Shannon Stacey
    Jan 29, 2009 @ 16:04:47

    I can’t find them through Stanza yet. :(

    I guess it probably takes time for them to get it set up on their end once they get the thumbs up from Harlequin. Either that, or I’m not looking in the right place. I assume it’ll come up with its own listing, like the four free Minis do.

    I’m excited to see the Famous Firsts Collection, and it’ll be fun to see how much the authors’ writing styles have evolved.

  11. MaryK
    Jan 29, 2009 @ 16:08:30

    Cool. I’ll be downloading. I’m a sucker for the Presents line. The only thing that keeps me from spending a boatload of money at eHarlequin is the DRM. (If anybody cares, I would love to trade my money for Susan Napier’s entire DRM-free backlist.)

    I mostly buy paper books; but when I’m in the store, I rarely plunk down cold hard cash for new Presents because the titles and covers turn me off (they’ve gone beyond silly into self-parody). On the other hand, I would definitely buy them as ebooks because: 1) when I’m online I focus more on the author and blurb, 2) I’d buy them when the mood struck, 3) they’re at a great price-point for impulsive ebook orders, and 4) it’s sooo much easier to spend money virtually.

  12. Sarah
    Jan 29, 2009 @ 17:39:53

    Oh, can we get live blogs of these books? Some of them sound…interesting?

  13. Jia
    Jan 29, 2009 @ 18:11:31

    Wow, even epub format? Great!

  14. Miki
    Jan 29, 2009 @ 18:32:01

    Very, very cool!

  15. XandraG
    Jan 29, 2009 @ 22:23:48

    Meh…the epub format books I downloaded failed to register with either Bookworm or Calibre.

    For the record, they were:
    Slow Hands
    Irresistible Forces
    Kiss Me Deadly
    His Lady Mistress

    I d/l’ed the .pdb files of three of the four titles, and my phone’s charging, so I will test those out when I get more battery juice on my centro. Did anyone else have similar experience, or is it just me having rotten-ass luck with Harlequin ebooks?

  16. Natalie
    Jan 30, 2009 @ 02:04:45

    I tried downloading .pdb files but I couldn’t get any of them to work. I am in Australia so I don’t know if this has anything to do with it.

  17. Jayne
    Jan 30, 2009 @ 05:24:39

    Xandra, the epub books didn’t work for me either. I downloaded 6 books (including 2 of the ones you did).

  18. AnneD
    Jan 30, 2009 @ 06:30:57

    Crap, none of the ePub files I downloaded worked either :( I was looking forward to just downloading and getting straight to reading.

  19. Jane
    Jan 30, 2009 @ 07:06:41

    @AnneD The good news is that Harlequin’s free ebooks are available all year. The bad thing is that they are still getting the kinks worked out.

  20. Jayne
    Jan 30, 2009 @ 07:11:23

    I just went and started checking out the March releases at the website and noticed that a few of the covers don’t match the books.

  21. Shannon Stacey
    Jan 30, 2009 @ 08:35:56

    They’re showing through Stanza on the iTouch now, along with the four free Minis they were previously giving away.


  22. ~B
    Jan 30, 2009 @ 09:11:50

    For those wanting ePub. If the ones Hqn put up aren’t working you can download the Lit (MS Reader) version and convert to ePub in Calibre. Maybe not ideal, but it should get you what you need in the end.

  23. XandraG
    Jan 30, 2009 @ 09:31:38

    Also FYI, if you don’t already know about get there now. It’s a very easy to use site that keeps your epubs in an online “keeper shelf” that interfaces pretty easily with Stanza. You use the safari browser to go to threepress and there’s a little clicky button right next to each book on your bookshelf that says “read in Stanza.” Fictionwise’s Personal Content shelf hasn’t worked very successfully for me with the .pdb files on Stanza so far (although their tech support tells me the new version of Stanza will do better translating the secure ereader format.

    Bookworm also has an “epub checker” thing that lets you see your converted-to-epub files to make sure they translate properly. Apparently converting from Adobe Digital Editions leaves out important metadata, which might be what happened here.

  24. Mia
    Jan 30, 2009 @ 11:01:21

    The site is fixed – you can download .pdb (eReader/Palm) there now.

    Stanza has them all up – downloading wireless like a dream….

    Thanks XandraG for the tip on bookworm!

  25. ~B
    Jan 30, 2009 @ 11:15:19

    Thanks for the info on Bookworm. Very cool site!

  26. MaryK
    Jan 30, 2009 @ 16:11:11

    @ldb: Tears of the Renegade is on the March release list at AAR.

  27. Amy
    Jan 30, 2009 @ 20:51:06

  28. Amy
    Jan 30, 2009 @ 22:08:41

    For those trying to download the ePubs, head over to — they’re working there while the kinks at eHarlequin get ironed out.

  29. Kerry D.
    Jan 31, 2009 @ 16:05:07

    Thanks for the Harlequincelebrates link. I downloaded the ereader files and they were a mess. Off to try again.

  30. Kalen Hughes
    Jan 31, 2009 @ 21:08:53

    I just tried and they’re still not working for me. *phuey*

  31. Miki
    Jan 31, 2009 @ 21:53:39

    @Kalen Hughes: Don’t use the link in the blog story. Use the main link at

    Or, if you don’t want to deal with that Flash animation, you can use the link in this comment over at MobileRead and adjust it as suggested there.

  32. Miki
    Jan 31, 2009 @ 23:59:21

    By the way, I’ve heard these are also available at Fictionwise and Sony CONNECT. I would assume that means they’ll show up at Books on Board and Amazon for Kindle, as well.

  33. Jess
    Feb 01, 2009 @ 09:01:13

    I was able to download all the free Harlequin books off the Celebrates site via stanza onto my Ipod Touch. Easily down, even for an technologically unsophisticated person like myself. Happy 60th, Harlequin!

  34. Kalen Hughes
    Feb 01, 2009 @ 14:45:36

    Thanks Miki, I FINALLY got them to work. Even the files at Fictionwise were showing up as corrupt when I tried to load them into my MSReader. That was all waaaay too much work for one book.

  35. Miki
    Feb 01, 2009 @ 16:06:36

    That was all waaaay too much work for one book.

    And really bad PR, too. How many people out there will try once, get garbage, and decide to “never buy a HQN ebook” because of it?

  36. diva1
    Feb 01, 2009 @ 20:30:45

    I do not see them at Fictionwise – what page are they on? Did they take them off to fix them?

    Do see them at though….


  37. Kalen Hughes
    Feb 01, 2009 @ 21:59:59

    @ diva1: Click on the FREE BOOKS link at the very top of Fictionwise. They’re all there (but they were no good when I downloaded them :( ).

    @ Miki: That was my thought too. If I hadn’t already had decent experiences with HQN I’m pretty sure this would be my one and only. Clearly this is NOT their goal. I just don’t see any reason for the roll out of such an important event to have been so problematic.

  38. diva1
    Feb 02, 2009 @ 11:06:53

    @Kalen: Thanks much. The FREE BOOKS link wasn’t there last night; it was there this morning and I was able to download eReader files all right from it. I guess they fixed the problem!

    @Miki – I think you’re a little harsh on Harlequin maybe? It must have been some job to do the free ones in all the formats. And now they are cropping up everywhere. Fictionwise will probably have them in the other formats as they work out the kinks.

    Looks like the missing link is Mobipocket – can’t find those versions anywhere.
    I don’t need it, but I’m taking it to mean that they must be working on the Kindle versions of the free books, since Kindle and Mobipocket are so similar.


  39. Miki
    Feb 02, 2009 @ 21:48:36

    @diva1: I think if I were being harsh, I wouldn’t have posted alternative links to use. I would have just complained about the difficult service.

    I work with a lot of people who are not comfortable with computers. I know the younger folk have had access to computers in schools since the were kids, but I work with a lot of avid readers who’d still rather stick a piece of paper in a typewriter than use a computer.

    I’ve helped my mother learn to use her various software programs. Tried to help my father learn his (god help me, I’ve about given up on that, though!) Tried to help them be patient when they didn’t just “get it” the first time.

    These are the people who will try once and, if the service isn’t flawless, “give up on ebooks” because it’s just too complicated, too messy, too time-consuming, whatever.

    I think it’s the same concept as “you can never remake a first impression”. The difficulties with the ebooks may not be an issue for you. It really wasn’t an issue for me – but I’ve been buying HQN books since 1973 and so I have a lot of history of good memories to counter one less that good experience.

    But it surprises me that these links weren’t simply tested before they were released to the public. And for the paperback readers who maybe tried those links for a first-change shot at ebooks, I only hope they either didn’t do it until the links were fixed, or that they’ll be patient enough to try again.

  40. Sixteen free Harlequin novels: A Valentine for romance fans | TeleRead: Bring the E-Books Home
    Feb 03, 2009 @ 10:11:19

    […] the company says the freebies are worth $60. What’s more, Jane at Dear Author says they’re DRM free. Way to go, Harlequin. I just wish that you’d ditch DRM in other situations, replacing it […]

  41. Adelia
    Feb 06, 2009 @ 01:34:37

    Hi, i’ve downloaded those free e-books and i could access them through my MS Reader..thanks for the Harlequin..such a great book..!!

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