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.