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Harlequin and Nascar, They Go Together Like Peas and Carrots

The Daytona 500 was run yesterday. It was a wild race filled with 6 cautions and one car finishing the race wheels up and on fire. My tot, a big Pixar Cars fan, was striken with concern over the car, but not the driver. I thought it was appropriate to pull out Roxanne St. Claire’s Harlequin romance novel I had bought a couple of weeks ago and read it. A review will come later this week.

In reading the NYTimes editorial piece on Nascar and Harlequin, it seemed to me that Harlequin was doing something right. In an effort to position itself as a publishing house that has a book for “every woman’s mood”, the partnership with Nascar seems to fit. I am not a Nascar fan myself, but I am fascinated by the interest in Nascar. Female interest in Nascar is quite high with a Sports Illustrated article reporting that

NASCAR’s 75 million fans 40 percent are women. For every two new NASCAR fans, one of them is a woman.

Nascar has put some limits on these branded Harlequin books in order to maintain its family image: no booze, no drugs, no sex. I find these limits to be a little patronizing and a bit hypocritical. Every other commercial during the Daytona 500 was a beer commercial, usually with a barely dressed female. There is certainly sex in Roxanne St. Claire’s book albeit quite toned down from many romances published today. It also was very timely as it dealt with racer cheating which was the topic du jour before the Daytona 500 with Michael Waltrip’s crew chief being suspended for using jet fuel and Jeff Gordon being pushed back to 42nd place after the body of his vehicle was found to be too low.

The NYTimes article was a positive spin on romance, even if it is only a small segment of the romance community. Kudos to NYT and Harlequin. My advice? Pick up the St. Claire book. It’s a fun post Daytona 500 story.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She 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

6 Comments

  1. jmc
    Feb 19, 2007 @ 10:55:44

    Nascar has put some limits on these branded Harlequin books in order to maintain its family image: no booze, no drugs, no sex. I find these limits to be a little patronizing and a bit hypocritical.

    I can only roll my eyes at this. A family member of one of my best friends does hospitality for one of the bigger racing groups. If even half the rumors and stories I hear second and third hand are true, then sexless and boozelss it is not.

    ReplyReply

  2. Sybil
    Feb 19, 2007 @ 12:47:49

    Nascar has put some limits on these branded Harlequin books in order to maintain its family image: no booze, no drugs, no sex.

    That is why I haven’t purchased one of these novels. Or hadn’t… I gave in and picked up Nancy Warren’s because I like her books.

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  3. Karen Scott
    Feb 19, 2007 @ 14:03:09

    Nascar has put some limits on these branded Harlequin books in order to maintain its family image: no booze, no drugs, no sex.

    Hmm, I may just have to give them a miss. I like most motor sports, but no sex in a romance is just not my cuppa. If I wanted a book with no sex in it, I’d read a Brenda Coulter book. *g*

    ReplyReply

  4. Karen Scott
    Feb 19, 2007 @ 14:04:52

    Incidentally, don’t a lot of Nascar drivers cheat on their spouses with the groupies? Or was that just a vicious rumour?

    ReplyReply

  5. Jane
    Feb 19, 2007 @ 14:07:10

    I think the Gordon divorce was rife with cheating rumors. I am sure that Nascar racers act like many other athletes were the women are easy and plentiful.

    ReplyReply

  6. Dear Author.Com | There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
    Apr 03, 2007 @ 04:01:23

    [...] that what is happening with Harlequin and Nascar. Nascar, in an effort to maintain a family image, refuses to allow any Nascar branded book to contain any sex, drugs, alcohol, or crashes. In exchange, [...]

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