Jul 13 2011 9:30am

Harlequin Historical Reissues: Hitting the Motherlode

Highland Barbarian by Ruth LanganOMG!

While waiting an hour and a half for Rihanna to perform Friday night at the American Airlines Center (we thought we were getting Cee Lo Green too, but he’s a diva and cancelled half the tour, so now his ab fab song “Fuck You” has taken on an entirely new meaning), I got a wild hair and typed in “Ruth Langan” while playing around with my Kindle phone app.

Imagine my surprise to discover that Amazon was offering a bundle of five (count ’em, five) of her Highland books from the ’90s for $9.99, including the three I’d read and recommended multiple times throughout the years at AAR—Highland Barbarian, Highland Heather, and Highland Fire. After that bit of excitement (which included my purchasing the bundle on the spot), I made a date with myself to later check and see what other ’90s Harlequin Historicals might now be available digitally.

This weekend I hit the motherlode. On July 15th, a great many HHs from the 1990s—cleverly named “Harlequin Treasury-Harlequin Historicals 90s”—go on sale. Of course, typing in that phrase also brought up a multitude of other Harlequin/Silhouette titles, 644 in all. As my plan for the last three+ years has been to rid myself of as many print keeper (B+ or higher) books as possible, replacing them with digital copies, particularly where yellowing paperbacks that were used when I bought ’em are concerned, I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Here are those I plan to buy:

Merline Lovelace The Tiger’s Bride (historical romance)—but not [yet] His Lady’s Ransom
Suzanne Barclay Lion’s Legacy (Scottish Medieval)—alas, Lion’s Heart and Lion of the North are not available digitally
Catherine Archer Velvet Touch (Medieval)—Where, oh where, is the digital download of Velvet Bond, one of two all-time fave Medievals (the other being Judith McNaught’s A Kingdom of Dreams)?
Deborah Simmons The Last Rogue and Tempting Kate (Regency-set historicals)—The Vicar’s Daughter, along with TLR my other Simmons DIK, and Gentleman Thief are not available digitally [as yet]
The Devil Earl (Regency-set historical, and IMHO better than Amanda Quick’s Ravished)
FYI, many of her De Burgh series will also be available, but not Taming the Wolf, the first and my favorite
Leanne Banks Expectant Father—but not A Date for Dr. Frankenstein
Elizabeth Bevarly Beauty and the Brain
That Boss of Mine

Each of the authors on that list has several digital versions of earlier releases going on sale on July 15th, as do other authors you may be interested in, including:

  • Beverly Barton—11 books
  • Kathleen Creighton—five books, including One Christmas Knight
  • Justine Davis—five books, including Clay Yaeger’s Redemption
  • Laurie Grant—five books
  • Susan Spencer Paul—three books
  • Marilyn Pappano—ten books
  • Cheryl Reavis—six books
  • Sharon Sala—four books, including Ryder’s Wife
  • Cheryl St. John—five books, including Joe’s Wife
  • Gayle Wilson—14 books
  • Ruth Wind—six books, including Meant to be Married, Her Ideal Man, and For Christmas, Forever

As I perused all 644 titles, I noticed two to definitely stay away from: Both are among the Worst Books Ever: Patty Salier’s The Sex Test and Emily French’s The Bogus Bride. Both titles sent a horrifying shudder through me the moment I saw them.

If you don’t yet read digitally, what are you waiting for? I used to think Print on Demand would be the way to fill in backlists, but this is far cheaper and eco-friendly, and a more convenient and space-saving way to either fill in backlists or convert those old, yellowing books you’ve come to love into pristine digital versions.  So come on, take a look, and let me know what you plan to download.


Laurie Gold cannot stop reading and writing about romance—she’s been blabbing online for years. She remains a work in progress. Be one of the few who visits her at Toe in the Water or follow her may-be-too-political-for-you tweets at @laurie_gold.

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Charli Mac
1. CharliMac
I am still a paper reader but I am leaning towards giving in just for books I don't care if I have on my shelf.

BTW, the cover made me snort and think of the site I found making fun of romance covers. This guy's site just cracks me up.
Laurie Gold
2. LaurieGold
Loved his titles, particularly Lord of the Hissy Fits and Lord of the Tube Socks.
3. kaye
Ooooh - I am going to be spending some money at Amazon. Justine Davis' Trinity Street West series, Marilyn Pappano's Southern Knights - I remember these vividly. Lots and lots of goodies listed here. I probably re-read Joe's Wife every year, and there are some Cherly St John that I haven't heard of before that I will have to try. Thanks, Laurie, for the heads up! I will have a tough time trying to decide what to read this weekend
4. Rose In RoseBear
And if you're looking for Roberta Gellis ebooks, get yourself over to Ellora's Cave, erotic publisher par excellance! Available are the Heiress quintet, the Royal Dynasty quartet, and six of the seven books in the Roselynde series. Most of the books are $5.99, and, considering how tattered my copies of them are, a digital version that won't wear out sounds like a real steal!

The Royal Dynasty and the Roselynde books were my introduction to medieval historical romance. I haven't read them in several years, but as I was compiling the list, I could still remember poor Walter De Clere being so bewildered by the Roselynde clan!

Okay, now I have to go get my paperback copies of the Royal Dynasty series, and enjoy Alix' total competence as a medieval chatelaine!
Laurie Gold
5. LaurieGold
Rose, I noticed that when it was first announced. I'm not a Gellis reader outside of a short story and a fantasy romance she did many years ago, but I love how digital backlists are coming fast and furious.

Kaye, glad I could help you suss out the books you plan to download. Several of the authors I listed do not yet offer the specific books I'm looking for, but I'll keep looking at Cheryl St. John in particular for the two books I hope to see digitally one day soon.
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