Saturday, January 11, 2020

A Guide to Category Romance Series (1965-1989)

The following is a list of category romance lines/series/imprints published in the U.S. and Canada from 1965 to 1989.  The list will be continually updated as more information becomes available. (The most recent update was on November 10, 2020 at 9:20am. Updated entry for "The Avon Romance.")

Category romance novels are a publisher's line of books that are released regularly, sometimes several per month, under an overall series title (e.g. Harlequin Presents) and often with numbers on the covers. The books are generally unrelated standalone novels by various authors, although often sharing a similar theme; for example, Harlequin Historical is for the publisher's historical romance novels. (Today one may regularly find continuing series within a category line, but this was less common prior to the 1990s.) This branding of the books helps ensure that the reader knows what she is getting when she buys the book. In some cases, readers can subscribe to a publisher's category romance line and receive the books in the mail each month from the publisher.

I have limited this list to romance lines that debuted prior to 1990 in order to focus on my primary interest in vintage books. More recent category romance novels have their own strengths and merit, but older books can have a unique charm due to their nostalgic appeal, despite flaws that they may exhibit in other ways (such as objectionable attitudes about gender and race). Category romance lines that are absent from this list may have debuted after 1989 (such as Kismet, which debuted in July 1990).

The lines/series are listed below in alphabetical order and include only paperback books (no hardcovers or magazines). The list below includes paperbacks that were numbered on the covers (such as Harlequin, Candlelight, etc.) as well as ones which did not have such numbers (like The Avon RomanceGallen Romance, etc.). Lines that were devoted to a single author (such as Bantam's Barbara Cartland Library or Jove's Camfield Novel of Love series by Cartland) are not included below. Books aimed at teenage readers are also not included, with the exception of First Love From Silhouette. Much of the information below was derived from the website FictionDB as well as from other online sources like eBay and the books in my own collection. The list below is best viewed in desktop mode due to cover placement as referred to in the text. It's possible that there are some errors and omissions in this list, so corrections and additions are welcomed. You can check out my Facebook group Vintage Paperback Romance Novels for more discussion.


ACE CAMEO GOTHIC
(Ace, 1974-1976)
Category: Gothic
Note: There were 26 (numbered) books in this series from Aug. 1974 to mid-1976.
Series index and cover gallery at My Love-Haunted Heart blog; another series index at Ace Image Library site

ACE INTERLUDE ROMANCE
(Ace, early 1980s)
Category: Historical
Note: Number of titles in this line is unknown. Authors included Elizabeth Renier and Kathleen A. Shoesmith.

ACE NURSE ROMANCE SERIES
(Ace, 1960s-1970s)
Category: Medical
Note: In the 1960s, Ace Books published numerous nurse novels and at some point began issuing them with similar white-bordered covers, with the brand "Ace Nurse Romance Series" at the top (as shown here). The books were not numbered (aside from the publisher's serial number for the books). No index of titles available.


ADVENTURES IN LOVE
(Signet, 1981-1983)
Category: Contemporary
Note: There were 39 books in this series, numbered #1-39.
Series index at FictionDB

AIRMONT ROMANCE
(Airmont, 1962 to 1980?)
Category: Contemporary
Note: Airmont Books began publishing in the early 1960s, with romance novels that usually had the phrase "An Airmont Romance" on the front or back covers. These were thin books, mostly old-fashioned reprints. Airmont continued to reprint them, simply updating the price on the cover; the older printings have the lower prices. Books can be found with cover prices ranging from 35 cents to $1.50, which gives an idea of when the book was printed since the interiors appear unchanged. Airmont was not above reusing old covers; the cover painting on "Society Doctor" by Nell Marr Dean is the same as the one for "Doctor Myra Comes Home" by Arlene Hale.
The Bookscans site has an incomplete cover gallery of Airmont releases (all genres, not just romance). The site also has Kenneth R. Johnson's lengthy and informative checklist of all Airmont books (including romance). According to the checklist, between 1962 and 1964, Airmont released 6 romance novels (numbered R1 to R6), 11 nurse novels (N1 to N11), 16 career girl novels (C1 to C16) and 4 romantic suspense novels (Mystery House imprint; M4 to M7). In the 1970s, 40 additional romance novels were published (see last page of Johnson's checklist), numbered R7 to R47 (although R33 has not been found). So, this means that Airmont released a total of 77 paperback romance novels.

AMERICAN REGENCY ROMANCE
(Warner Books, 1987-1989)
Category: Regency
Note: This line of historical novels that take place in the United States during the Regency era ran for at least 19 books.
Series index at FictionDB

ASTON HALL ROMANCE
(Pinnacle, 1980-1981)
Category: Contemporary
Note: This line ran for 20 books, numbered #101-120.
Series index at FictionDB


AVON REGENCY ROMANCE
(Avon, 1981-1995)
Category: Regency
Note: There was no numbered "Avon Regency Romance" series, but during the early 1980s Avon released several thin traditional Regency romance novels by various authors which had a similar cover design of a flowered border (see sample cover at left). Later books had a different cover design, although retaining the flower motif (like the cover at right). Authors included Jo Beverley, Joanna Watkins Bourne, Loretta Chase, Kasey Michaels, and Margaret Summerville. In the mid-1990s, traditional Regency novels continued to be released by Avon but without the flower branding, instead with simply "A Regency Romance" subtitle (used by other publishers as well, notably Fawcett). Avon folded their traditional Regency line around 1996.
No series index for Avon's Regency line available.

THE AVON ROMANCE
(Avon, 1982-1989)
Category: Historical (some Contemporary early on)
Notable firsts: The debut novels of Brenda Joyce and Katherine Sutcliffe, as well as early novels by Laura Kinsale, Virginia Henley and Susan Wiggs.
Note: There were 104 books in this series, but they were not numbered. The books are identifiable by the "ribbon" in the upper left corner of the covers that says "The Avon Romance."  In promotional materials, the line was often referred to as "Ribbon Romances." One book was issued per month, until February 1987 when two were released each month.  The final two books came out in June 1989. Avon continued to release two historical novels per month after that, into the 1990s, as part of "The Avon Romance program," but without the ribbon branding.
My attempt at a series index (since the one at FictionDB is incomplete)

BARBARA CARTLAND'S LIBRARY OF LOVE
(Bantam, 1977-1980)
Category: Historical
Note: This was a series of reprints of early 20th century novels by various authors, which were condensed and edited for the modern reader by Barbara Cartland. There were 26 books in the series (numbered #1-26) plus 3 unnumbered books. Bantam also published Cartland's own novels in a numbered series at this time.
Series index at Goodreads (missing 2 unnumbered books: Ramazan the Rajah and Son of the Turk, both by Vere Lockwood); another series index at Teach Me Tonight blog (scroll down to bottom of page, comment by Virginia DeMarce) which is missing book #17 (The Sequence by Elinor Glyn).

BEL AIR GENERAL
(Ivy, 1987-1988)
Category: Medical
Note: This was a soap opera style romance series, all of them written by Jessica Sutton. Normally that single-author status would make it fall outside the scope of this page, but it's possible that Jessica Sutton was a house name used by multiple authors. One of the Catalog of Copyright Entries for Bel Air General (for book #2, The Price of Life) lists the name as a pseudonym. The series ran for 10 books, numbered #1 to #10, from Feb. 1987 to June 1989.
Series index at FictionDB
BIRTHSTONE GOTHIC
(Beagle/Ballantine, 1975)
Category: Gothic
Note: This line ran 12 books, numbered #1-12.
Series index at ISFDB (listing 10 books); another series index at FictionDB (listing 12 books)


BLUE FIRE ROMANCE
(Magnum Books, early 1980s?)
Category: Contemporary
Note: Number of books unknown. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Magnum Books (an imprint of Prestige Books) released thin reprint books of older romance novels that were sold at discount prices in department stores. Some carried a "Blue Fire Romance" logo (as seen on the cover at left) indicating an imprint or line. (Some printings of the novel may look identical but lack the "Blue Fire Romance" logo.)


CAMEO ROMANCE
(Fawcett, 1970s)
Category: Contemporary
Note: There were at least 38 books in this series; #11 to #43 were numbered.
Series index at FictionDB


CANDLELIGHT ROMANCE
(Dell, 1967-1982)
Category: Initially contemporary (esp. nurse novels), later historical (esp. Regency) and romantic suspense ("Candlelight Intrigue") as well as contemporary romance.
Notable firsts: Book #575 ("Entwined Destinies" by Rosalind Welles) from June 1980 has been called the first African-American romance novel. The editor of the Candlelight line at that time was Vivian Stephens, who later founded the Romance Writers of America. Anne Stuart's first novel wasn't a Candlelight, but her next six novels were. One of Elizabeth Mansfield's first books was in this line (#233) although her byline was given as Libby Mansfield. Marion Chesney wrote ten Candlelight historical novels under the pen-name Jennie Tremaine, which were among her earliest novels; Dell later reprinted them with acknowledgement of Chesney's authorship on the covers.
Note: The books were numbered from #1 to #716 (the final book), but there were some numbering anomalies. Most notably, there was no #265-499. #263 & 264 came out in April 1979; the following month, #500-504 were released and introduced a new cover design. (The old cover design is shown at left, the later cover design is shown at right.) There was apparently also no #31, 140, 142, 698 & 699. There are two #128's, two #145's, two #661's (one of them was a reprint of #616), two #701's and two #702's.  In 1978, six of Janet Louise Roberts' earlier Candlelight books were reprinted with new numbers and new cover art; they are #105 [reprinted as #240], #111 [#239], #117 [#246], #125 [#245], #132 [#248] and #153 [#247]. Just as Harlequin had red page edges in the 1960s-70s, Dell's books are easily identifiable by their green page edges during the same period. (The page edges were no longer green by mid-1981.)
My cover gallery and index of the series (still under construction)

CANDLELIGHT ECSTASY
(Dell, 1980-1987)
Category: Contemporary
Notable firsts: "Gentle Pirate" by Jayne Castle was book #2 in the line. This was Jayne Ann Krentz's first novel to be published outside of the MacFadden Romance line [see that entry].
Note: There were 533 books in this line, numbered
#1-533, published from Dec. 1980 to Sept. 1987.
The line was introduced by editor Vivian Stephens to provide a more sensual and contemporary alternative to Dell's original Candlelight Romance series [see above] and to compete with Harlequin Presents (emulating that series' cover design of the illustration in an oval surrounded by a white background). The oval design, as seen at left, was later replaced by the design shown at right, beginning with #354 (Aug. 1985), that had a larger illustration surrounded by a gold border. In August 1986, earlier books in the series (including "Gentle Pirate") were reprinted in new editions with the current cover design in a "Candlelight Ecstasy Classic Romance" line (with the words "The Best of Candlelight" at the top of the covers).
Series index at FictionDB

CANDLELIGHT ECSTASY SUPREME
(Dell, 1983-1987)
Category: Contemporary / romantic suspense
Note: The books in this line were thicker (had more pages) than the regular Candlelight line. 188 books were published, numbered #1-188, from Aug. 1983 to Sept. 1987. That month Dell finally cancelled their category romance line, after having published one since 1967.
Series index at FictionDB
CAROUSEL ROMANCES
(American Art Enterprises, circa 1979-1982)
Category: Contemporary
Note: This publisher released books of various genres in the early 1980s, among them romance novels that have the phrase "A Carousel Romance" in small print at the top of the front covers. Other Carousel books display the phrase more prominently and even have a book number as shown on the cover at left.
No index of titles is available online, so more research into this line is needed.

CIRCLE OF LOVE
(Bantam, 1981-1983)
Category: Contemporary
Note: This series ran 39 books, numbered #1 to #39.  Bantam replaced the series with the Loveswept line.
Series index at FictionDB

A COTILLION REGENCY ROMANCE
(Pocket Books, 1980-1981)
Category: Regency
Note: This line ran for only 11 books, numbered #1-11, from June 1980 to May 1981.
Series index at FictionDB

COVENTRY ROMANCES
(Fawcett, 1979-1982)
Category: Regency
Note: There were 206 books in this series, numbered #1 to #206, from Nov. 1979 to Aug. 1982. In addition, the final few Coventry books, published in Sept. 1982, were not numbered (one of them is shown at left). Most Coventry books had "A Regency Love Story" printed on the cover below the title. A January 1982 New York Times article quoted an industry insider calling the Coventry line "a disaster" in terms of sales. "We threw just a ton of money into it. We spent well over $1 million marketing the line, we promoted it heavily on television, we bought a lot of display racks that weren't well received by the trade, and we began issuing six books a month, compared with the two we had been publishing.'' Fawcett was purchased by Ballantine in 1982 and the series was replaced by Fawcett's "A Regency Romance" line (which was not numbered) that lasted until the end of 1998. See "Fawcett" for more info.
Series index at The NoneSuch (archive); another series index at FictionDB

DARK SHADOWS
(Paperback Library, 1966-1972)
Category: Gothic / TV adaptation
Note: 33 books in series based on the 1960s TV soap opera. All of the books were written by Marilyn Ross [pen-name of W. E. D. Ross]
Series index at Wikipedia
Kenneth R. Johnson has a series index on the Bookscans site which also indexes two other 1970s gothic romance numbered series: Whispering Hills by Kate Cameron and Saga of the Phenwick Women by Katheryn Kimbrough. (Technically these series are outside the scope of this page due to being single-author lines.)

DAWNSTAR ROMANCE
(Golden Apple, 1983)
Category: Contemporary
Note: No index of titles appears to be available online

ENCORE ROMANCES
(Modern Promotions/Unisystems, early 1980s)
Category: Contemporary
Note: These thick books were repackaged MacFadden Romance novels with 3 books bound into one volume. Modern also published thin reprint books of old romance novels during this time, similar to those that Magnum Books was putting out. [See "Unibook" entry below.] Numbering began with #101 and ran until at least #123 according to Doug Sulipa's catalog (scroll down on that page to find).


FAWCETT REGENCY ROMANCE
(Fawcett, 1974-1998)
Category: Regency
Note: Fawcett Crest had been publishing some historical romance novels in the early 1970s by writers like Jean Plaidy (a.k.a. Victoria Holt) and Norah Lofts. In 1974, Fawcett began publishing novels by Sylvia Thorpe using a uniform white-bordered cover design and the phrase "A Fawcett Regency Romance" directly above the cover artwork. This phrase was soon shortened to simply "A Regency Romance" (or "A Georgian Romance," etc., depending on the story's setting) and other authors were added to the line. According to historian John Markert, editor Leona Nevler was the driving force behind Fawcett's Regency push. The books were not numbered, aside from the company's serial numbers for their releases. The 1974 books were part of the M-series, followed by the P-series in 1975 and Q-series in 1976. Later that year (around when Fawcett was purchased by CBS Publications), the letter prefix was dropped and replaced with a "2" followed by the 4-digit number that had been climbing up under the previous system. So, for example, "Romantic Lady" by Sylvia Thorpe was released in Feb. 1974 as M2047, and later reprinted as P2600. Fawcett published Thorpe's novel "Tarrington Chase" in May 1976 as Q2843. Thorpe's subsequent books appeared under the new 5-digit numbering system: "The Sword and the Shadow" (#22945), "The Golden Panther" (#23006), "Beggar on Horseback" (#23091), and so on. With the implementation of this new numbering system, the publication dates became fuzzier, no longer listing the month (and sometimes year) that the book came out. From #23091 (which came out circa 1976) to #24233 (in Oct. 1979), Fawcett published around 70 historical romance novels in this "A Regency Romance" line (or "Georgian," etc.), all using a similar white-bordered cover design. Numerous writers appeared in this line including Janet Louise Roberts (using the pen-name Rebecca Danton) and Joan Smith (who would write for the line for the next 20 years). Finally, in Nov. 1979, Fawcett began to offer their random Regency output in an orderly-numbered series named Coventry Romances [see entry above] which retained the white-border cover design. With the debut of the Coventry line, the 5-digit numbering jumped ahead to #50001.
     The Coventry line ended in late 1982 (after Fawcett was acquired by Ballantine) and the following year Fawcett's Regency line returned to an unnumbered system, unified only by a similar cover design and "A Regency Romance" heading. Instead of a white border, the covers showed the illustration in a colored border. Eventually the border was discarded but a thin frame remained to border the scene (as seen on the cover at right). Some of the earlier Coventry novels were reprinted in this new format. In the 1980s and 1990s Fawcett was competing primarily against Signet and Zebra which had their own vigorous traditional Regency lines. By 1992, the cover design became less consistent; the thin frame was discarded and there was more variation in title placement and lettering style. "A Regency Romance" remained as a brand but became less prominent on the covers. At the end of 1998, Fawcett cancelled their traditional Regency line. Hundreds of novels were published in the line, but to my knowledge no title index for the line has yet been compiled.

FINDING MR. RIGHT
(Avon, 1982-1983)
Category: Contemporary
Note: This series ran for only 9 books.
Series index at FictionDB

FIRST LOVE FROM SILHOUETTE
(Silhouette, 1981-1987)
Category: Contemporary / Young Adult
Note: This was a category romance line from Silhouette aimed at teenage girls. There were 236 books in the First Love from Silhouette line, numbered #1 to #236, from Sept. 1981 to April 1987. At the time there were other lines aimed at that readership (outside the scope of this page) such as Scholastic's Sunfire and Wildfire, Archway's Dawn of Love, Bantam's Sweet Dreams, Tempo's Caprice and Ivy's Roommates lines, among many others.
Series index at FictionDB

FOREVER ROMANCES [see "Promise Romances" and "Serenade Sonata"]

GALLEN ROMANCE
(Pocket Books, 1979-1982)
Category: Some were contemporary, some historical
Notable firsts: Candace Camp's first three novels under the pen-name Kristin James were in this line: "The Golden Sky" (April 1981), "The Sapphire Sky" (Nov. 1981) and "The Summer Sky" (June 1982). The fourth book in the storyline, "The Amber Sky," was published as Silhouette Intimate Moments #17 (Oct. 1983). Lynda Trent's first novel, "Opal Fires" (Feb. 1982), was also a Gallen book. One of Jude Deveraux's early novels, "The Velvet Promise" (April 1981) was a Gallen Romance as well. (Her subsequent "Velvet" novels were published by Pocket Books, but not as Gallen books.) Two of Dorothy Garlock's earliest novels were also for Gallen.
Note: Around 90 novels were produced in this line by Richard Gallen Books and distributed by Pocket Books. The books were not numbered. Judy Sullivan was the editor of the Gallen line. Pocket Books replaced it with their own (non-Gallen) Tapestry historical romance series in October 1982.
Here is my own attempt at an index, as none could be found online.

HAMILTON HOUSE ROMANCE
(Hamilton House, circa 1973)
Category: Contemporary
Note: This short-lived line has a banner at the top of the front cover saying "A Hamilton House Romance" (with a little crown atop, identical to the one that Fawcett would later use in their "A Regency Romance" line around 1975). Below the banner was the letter R (for Romance presumably) and a number (presumably the book number in the series). The book shown at left, "Summer Song" by Marsha Manning, is numbered R8, i.e., the 8th book in the series. The typeface, layout, format, etc. of the books is identical to those published by Fawcett at the time, which indicates that Hamilton House was an imprint of Fawcett despite the Fawcett name appearing nowhere on the books. The publisher is listed inside as "Hamilton House, Inc., Cos Cob, Connecticut." Other books in this line include two more by Manning ("The Proud Lover" and "To Catch a Dream") and two by Hettie Grimstead ("Roses for Breakfast" [R6] and "September's Girl").  Evidence indicates that these novels were also published by Fawcett as Cameo Romances [see entry above] around this time.  The Sept. 3, 1973 issue of Publishers Weekly mentions that Hamilton House was from Fawcett.
No series index available online.

HARLEQUIN AMERICAN ROMANCE
(Harlequin, 1983-2018)
Category: Contemporary
Notable firsts: Sandra Kitt was the first African-American author to write for Harlequin. Her first book was "Rites of Spring" (book #43, Feb. 1984), shown at left.
Note: This series was introduced to provide an outlet for the American writers who had been excluded from the Harlequin lines at the time. Vivian Stephens had left Dell in the summer of 1981 to become a senior editor at Harlequin to develop an American line for them. The introductory book was not numbered: "Twice in a Lifetime" by Rebecca Flanders (March 1983). The regular line began with book #1 the following month, with "Tomorrow's Promise" by Sandra Brown. The original gray border cover design lasted to #300 (June 1989); #301 introduced the design where American Romance was printed sideways in a color strip on the left side of the cover. With #1601 (July 2016) the line was retitled Harlequin Western Romance. Book #1696 (June 2018) was the final book of the series.
Series index at FictionDB

HARLEQUIN AMERICAN ROMANCE PREMIERE EDITION
(Harlequin, 1984-1985)
Category: Contemporary
Note: This line lasted only 5 books, a spin-off of the regular Harlequin American Romance line but with more pages than usual.
Series index at FictionDB
HARLEQUIN CLASSIC LIBRARY
(Harlequin, 1980)
Category: Contemporary
Note: This line reprinted older Harlequin Romance novels, with new numbering, new covers and sometimes renamed titles. At least 100 (or more) books were published in this line.
Series index (incomplete) at LibraryThing

HARLEQUIN'S COLLECTION
(Harlequin, 1976-1978)
Category: Contemporary
Note: This line reprinted older Harlequin Romance books from around #400 to #899, with new numbering, new covers (some using the old artwork), and sometimes renamed titles.  Around 174 (or more) books were published in this line.
No series index appears to be available online.

HARLEQUIN GOTHIC ROMANCE
(Harlequin, 1983-1988)
Category: Gothic
Note: There were 18 novels published in this line, from July 1983 to April 1988. The books weren't numbered, aside from the company's serial number for each release.
Series index at my website (under construction)

HARLEQUIN HISTORICAL (first series) / MASQUERADE
(Harlequin/Worldwide, 1977-1982)
Category: Historical
Note: There were 90 books in this line, numbered #1-90, published from Sept. 1977 to June 1982. The line was initially titled Harlequin Historical but renamed Masquerade Historical beginning with #16 (May 1979).  With the name change, the books were now published by Harlequin's Worldwide imprint.
Series index at Mills & Boon and Harlequin Historical Romance Fan Site

HARLEQUIN HISTORICAL (second series)
(Harlequin, 1986-1987)
Category: Historical
Note: There were 17 books published in this line, with two novels released each month.
Series index at Mills & Boon and Harlequin Historical Romance Fan Site
HARLEQUIN HISTORICAL (third series)
(Harlequin, 1988-on)
Category: Historical
Note: The line began with #1 (July 1988) and is still being published. During the 1990s, the book number was given less prominence, but still provided inside the book -- either on the front inside cover or an interior page when previous editions were listed. The book spines denote the specific subgenre that the novel belongs to (Regency, Viking, Medieval, etc.). A Harlequin Historical subscription series began with #1 in Sept. 1998 and was published concurrently with the main line until Dec. 2018.
Series index at Mills & Boon and Harlequin Historical Romance Fan Site; Series index at FictionDB

HARLEQUIN INTRIGUE
(Harlequin, 1984-on)
Category: Romantic suspense
Notable firsts: Book #19 ("Night Moves," June 1985) was Nora Roberts' first book to be published by Harlequin. All but one of her previous novels had been published in Silhouette's category lines.
Note: In 1980-1981, Harlequin imprint Worldwide released 72 books of a Raven House Mysteries line. At the same time, Worldwide was publishing the romantic suspense series Mystique [see entry below] which ended in 1982. The mystery genre is second only to romance in popularity, so Harlequin tried again in 1983 with the short-lived Harlequin Romantic Suspense [see below]. The following year the monthly Harlequin Intrigue line was introduced. The first book was released in Aug. 1984 and the line is still being published today. Its current sister series, Harlequin Romantic Suspense (unrelated to the earlier line with that name), evolved from Silhouette Intimate Moments [see entry below] which had debuted in 1983. Harlequin Intrigue's original cover design (as shown at left) was used from #1 to #74 (1984-1987). The white background design (shown at right) was used from #75 to #192 (1987-1992).
Series index at FictionDB

HARLEQUIN MYSTIQUE
(Harlequin/Worldwide, 1977-1982)
Category: Romantic suspense
Note: There were 164 books in this line, numbered #1 to #164, published from Aug. 1977 to Feb. 1982. The books were English translations of romantic suspense novels by French authors. The line was originally published by Harlequin, but in 1978 the line was published by their Worldwide imprint as "Mystique Books." (Earlier editions were reprinted with revised publisher branding.)
Series index at FictionDB; Goodreads page
HARLEQUIN OMNIBUS
(Harlequin, 1976)
Category: Contemporary
Note: This line reprinted three older Harlequin Romance novels by a single author in one thick paperback book. There were nearly fifty (or more?) Omnibus books produced.
No series index appears to be available online.

HARLEQUIN PETITE
(Harlequin, 1984)
Category: Contemporary
Note: Apparently only 3 books were published in this line: #1 ("Illyrian Summer" by Iris Danbury), #2 ("Air Ticket" by Susan Barrie) and #3 ("Journey to Love" by Hilda Pressley). Presumably the "Petite" of the title refers to the small page count, as each novel runs only 124 to 126 pages.

HARLEQUIN PREMIERE AUTHOR EDITIONS
(Harlequin, 1983)
Category: Contemporary
Note: This was a line of reprints of books by various popular Harlequin authors. There were apparently 6 books in this line, all consisting of Harlequin Presents reprints. The books were: #1 ("Giant of Mesabi" by Janet Dailey), #2 ("Dark Master" by Charlotte Lamb, shown at left), #3 ("Heart of the Lion" by Roberta Leigh), #4 ("Legacy of the Past" by Anne Mather), #5 ("Stowaway" by Anne Weale) and #6 ("The Burning Sands" by Violet Winspear). No series index for this line appears to be available online. This line is not to be confused with a trio of box sets from 1981-1982 that printed 36 novels by various Harlequin authors in plain brown covers as Harlequin Premiere Editions.

HARLEQUIN PRESENTS
(Harlequin, 1973-on)
Category: Contemporary
Notable firsts: Janet Dailey, whose first novel "No Quarter Asked" had been published by Mills & Boon in Aug. 1974, regularly appeared in the Harlequin Presents line after that novel was reprinted in #124 (Jan. 1976). Dailey was the only American writer published by Harlequin during that time.
Note: Harlequin Presents was only the second line that Harlequin ever released, initially meant to focus on the main Harlequin Romance series' most popular authors and to provide a more contemporary style than the original line. The cover layout, which it retains to this day, has the artwork in a circle surrounded by a white background, as seen on the cover at left. Book #74, "Leopard in the Snow" by Anne Mather (Dec. 1974) was adapted into a 1978 film of the same name; the movie was promoted in the books at the time as a Harlequin movie. The book shown at right is #1663 (July 1994), billed as a "Harlequin Presents Plus," where the cover design differs from the usual look. There was a subscriber-only Harlequin Presents series that ran from #1 (Feb. 1995) to #276 (June 2006) which was identical in format to the regular line. Beginning in 2006, an unnumbered series of special Harlequin Presents books were released, followed by Harlequin Presents Extra which ran from #1 (April 2008) to #232 (Jan. 2013).
Series index at FictionDB

HARLEQUIN REGENCY ROMANCE (first series)
(Harlequin, 1983-1988)
Category: Regency
Note: There were 22 books released in this line, which like the concurrent Harlequin Gothic Romance series, were not numbered.
Series index at Mills & Boon and Harlequin Historical Romance Fan Site


HARLEQUIN REGENCY ROMANCE (second series)
(Harlequin, 1989-1993)
Category: Regency
Note: This was a more frequently-published line than the previous one, with two novels released each month. There were 112 novels in the line, numbered #1-112, from May 1989 to Dec. 1993.
Series index at Mills & Boon and Harlequin Historical Romance Fan Site

HARLEQUIN ROMANCE SERIES
(Harlequin, 1949-on)
Category: Contemporary
Notable firsts: The first novel by Betty Neels, "Sister Peters in Amsterdam," was published as Harlequin Romance #1361 in 1970. Neels went on to write over a hundred novels in the line, until her death in 2001. Harlequin has continued to release reprints of her novels, including in a series titled The Best of Betty Neels.
Note: Harlequin Books is a publisher based in Canada that began releasing books in 1949, with the book numbers appearing on the front covers. Book #1 in the line was The Manatee by Nancy Bruff, released in May 1949. Originally Harlequin published a variety of genres (not just romance) but in 1957, with book #407, they began reprinting romance novels by UK publisher Mills & Boon. Previously Harlequin had published some American romance writers like Peggy Gaddis (Peggy Dern) and Lucy Agnes Hancock, but the popularity of the Mills & Boon reprints caused Harlequin to drop all non-M&B authors by 1963 (after #768). American authors would not return to this line until the 1980s. Harlequin purchased Mills & Boon in 1971.
     Sometimes you will see a Harlequin Romance published between 1966 and 1972 that has a 5-digit serial number on the cover instead of a 4-digit number. These are apparently editions for the U.S. market, which were distributed in the U.S. by Simon & Schuster (Pocket Books) a few months after the 4-digit Canadian editions. The 5-digit number always begins with a 5, followed by the original 4-digit number. Thus, #51000 would actually be book #1000. Books below #1000 have a 5 and 2 in front of them in these 5-digit editions, so #999 is shown as #52999. In April 1972, beginning with #1577, Harlequin books were released simultaneously in the U.S. and Canada and the 5-digit variants were dropped.
     As the novels went out of print (since they were released every month like magazines), Harlequin reprinted earlier books, often only changing the price on the cover, but on occasion using different artwork or modernizing the book's title, whilst retaining the original book number. This was especially true in the 1970s as the style of the earlier books began to look more old-fashioned. In 1976 and again in 1980, earlier Harlequin Romance novels were reprinted in the series Harlequin's Collection and Harlequin Classic Library respectively, and the novels were given new numbers within those series. The cover design was modernized in 1977 (eliminating the little "A Harlequin Romance" arch above the title) and has continued to be updated ever since, to reflect the changing times. By the mid-2000s, photo covers became the standard instead of painted illustrations. Since around 2014, the original Harlequin Romance line is only available in a "Larger Print" edition. (This is not to be confused with an earlier "Larger Print" version of the regular HR books that had its own numbering, beginning as "Easyread Print" in 1991.) There was also a subscription-only HR series beginning in 1987 [see below] which was identical in design to the regular HR series, but with its own numbering system.
Series index at FictionDB

HARLEQUIN ROMANCE (SUBSCRIPTION SERIES)
(Harlequin, 1987-2000)
Category: Contemporary
Note: This was a subscriber-only series that had an identical cover design as the main Harlequin Romance line. The line ran from #1 (Nov. 1987) to #486 (July 2000).
Series index at FictionDB

HARLEQUIN ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
(Harlequin, 1983)
Category: Romantic suspense
Note: In July 1983, Harlequin released two books each in three new lines: Harlequin Gothic Romance, Harlequin Regency Romance and Harlequin Romantic Suspense. The Gothic and Regency lines had three more books released a year later, but the Romantic Suspense line did not, probably because in August 1984 the monthly Harlequin Intrigue was introduced instead.  The two books in the Harlequin Romantic Suspense line were not numbered (aside from their serial numbers) and both were reprinted from 1981 novels in the Mystique line (published by Harlequin imprint Worldwide). The two books were: "The Seventh Gate" by Dolores Holliday (#33001) [reprinted from Mystique #140] and "The Goblin Tree" by Robyn Anzelon (#33002) [reprinted from Mystique #137].  The current Harlequin Romantic Suspense series is unrelated to this 1983 line, tracing its history from the Silhouette Intimate Moments line instead.

HARLEQUIN SALUTES
(Harlequin, 1983)
Category: Contemporary
Note: Harlequin Salutes was a numbered line of reprints where each line focused on a different author. For example, the book shown at left was Harlequin Salutes... Anne Mather #3; books #1-6 of this line each reprinted an old Harlequin Presents novel that had been written by Anne Mather. There was also a 6-book Harlequin Salutes line of Violet Winspear novels.
No series index appears to be available online.


HARLEQUIN SUPERROMANCE
(Harlequin, 1980-2018)
Category: Contemporary
Note: Most category romance lines had low page counts, just under 200 pages. In the 1970s, thick 300 to 400-page single-title romance novels became popular with readers, offering stories with more depth than the category novels could provide. In late 1979, Gallen Romance [see entry above] began producing a line of monthly 300-page romance novels. Harlequin followed suit in June 1980 with Harlequin SuperRomance #1 (shown at left) which was 384 pages. The line began slowly, with book #4 not released until Dec. 1980. In 1981, one book per month began appearing under Harlequin's Worldwide imprint, with the frequency increasing from two to four books per month during 1982. The Harlequin branding returned with #102 (Feb. 1984). The cover design remained the same until #514 (Sept. 1992) when the cover art took on a photographic look. (The cover shown at right is #626 from Jan. 1995.) The final book in the line was #2135 in June 2018.
Series index at FictionDB

HARLEQUIN TEMPTATION
(Harlequin, 1983-2005)
Category: Contemporary
Note: This series was introduced to provide a more sensual alternative to the other Harlequin lines of the time. The introductory book was not numbered: "First Impressions" by Maris Soule (Dec. 1983). The regular line began with book #1 in March 1984, which was "Spring Fancy" by LaVyrle Spencer. The final novel in the line was #1028 (June 2005), ironically titled "Her Last Temptation."
Series index at FictionDB

HEATHER ROMANCE
(Heather Books, 1979-80s?)
Category: Contemporary?
Note: This line contained 3 novels bound into one book, titled "3 Great Romances"on the front covers and "A Heather Trio Romance" inside the books. The books were numbered (beginning with #101?) and ran until at least #112 according to Doug Sulipa's catalog (scroll down on that page to find).
No series index was found online.
THE HOUSE OF ROMANCE
(The House of Romance, 1980)
Category: Contemporary
Note: There were 18 books published in this series, numbered #101-118, all of them with photo covers. All 18 books were reprints of romance novels that had originally been published in the UK by Robert Hale, Ltd. The publication dates inside the books are a little odd: #101-106 & 109 are dated Sept. 1980, #113-115 are dated Dec. 1980, all the others are dated Nov. 1980. There was also a House of Romance Trio series, with the phrase "3 Great Romances" prominently on the covers, which bound 3 novels into one book. That line ran for at least 12 volumes, according to Doug Sulipa's catalog (scroll down on that page to find).
Series index at FictionDB

LOTUS ROMANCE
(Foress, Ltd., 1980)
Category: Contemporary
Note: So far only one book (#5) in this line is known, shown at left: "Love by Starlight" by Audrey Davis. The lotus symbol in the top left corner was a registered trademark of The Lotus Library. The book was printed in Canada by Foress, Ltd. of Mississauga, Ontario. It was a reprint of a 1968 novel from U.K. publisher Robert Hale, Ltd. [My thanks to Vicki Parsons for providing this information on Lotus.]

LOVE & LIFE
(Ballantine, 1982-1983)
Category: Contemporary
Note: There were 28 books in this line, published from June 1982 to Aug. 1983.
Series index at FictionDB

LOVESWEPT
(Bantam, 1983-1999)
Category: Contemporary
Notable firsts: Janet Evanovich's first 9 novels (from 1988 to 1992) were for this line.
Note: This series ran from #1 (May 1983) to #917 (Jan. 1999). The first book in the line was "Heaven's Price" by Sandra Brown, one of her earliest novels. The line was created by former Berkley/Jove editor Carolyn Nichols to focus on authors, less on conformity to house guidelines. This resulted in books with quirkier plots and more humor than in other lines of the time.
Series index at FictionDB

MACFADDEN ROMANCE
(Kim Publishing, 1978-1981?)
Category: Contemporary
Notable firsts: Two of Jayne A. Krentz's earliest novels appeared in this line: "Vintage of Surrender" (#132) and "Queen of Hearts" (#157), both under her Jayne Castle byline. She also had five books in this line under the pen-name Jayne Bentley (#192, 224, 249, 274 & 283). Diana Palmer's first 10 novels appeared in this line: #127, 139, 150, 179, 218, 223, 250, 256, 268 & 278.
Note: This line ran from #1 to #283, although there may be missing numbers. The copyright dates inside the books give only the year, not months; books up to around #80 (or so) are dated 1978, the rest of them (presumably) are 1979.  In a 2004 interview, Jayne A. Krentz stated that her first novel was "Gentle Pirate" (Candlelight Ecstasy #2) and that her MacFadden Romance novels appeared afterwards despite the dates printed inside: "Those actually were with a sleazy little publisher called McFadden [sic]. They put the copyright on the book that was actually the date of the contract, not the date of the book. They were not real precise about the details, and they have since gone out of business..." Books in the MacFadden Romance series were later rebound as Encore Romances [see entry above], with three novels bound together into one thick paperback book.
Series index at FictionDB

MASQUERADE [see HARLEQUIN HISTORICAL, first series]

MYSTIQUE [see HARLEQUIN MYSTIQUE]

NOW AND FOREVER
(Pageant, 1988-1989)
Category: Contemporary
Note: Pageant Books was a short-lived publisher that was a partnership between Crown Publishing and Waldenbooks. According to this article by Kenneth R. Johnson, Pageant "issued books for only 10 months, from July 1988 to April 1989." Around 72 Pageant books were romance novels, with many of them historical novels. There were 7 books published in the "Now and Forever" line, although (like all of Pageant's books) they were not numbered, aside from the company's serial numbers.
Series index at FictionDB

PAPERBACK LIBRARY ROMANCE
(Paperback Library, 1965-1966)
Category: Contemporary
Note: This line ran at least 28 books, possibly more. Unfortunately no index for the series appears to be available online.

PROMISE ROMANCES
(Thomas Nelson, 1984-1987)
Category: Contemporary / Inspirational
Note: This line ran for 32 books, numbered #1 to #32, from around 1984 to 1987, from Christian publisher Thomas Nelson. Evidently some of the books were also printed as Forever Romances.
Series index at FictionDB

RAINBOW ROMANCE
(Signet, 1967-1973?)
Category: Contemporary
Note: Some of these books appear to be reprints of older releases (i.e., they were old even back then!). According to my online searches, here is a rough attempt at an index (since no index appears to be online):
#1: "The Girl Next Door" by Peggy Gaddis
#4: "Navy Nurse" by Ruth Ives
#5: "Caribbean Melody" by Gaddis
#6: "Loving You Always" by Gaddis
#7: "Return to Love" by Gaddis
#9: "Sari" by Bette Allan
#10: "Hope Wears White" by Florence Stuart
#13: "Aileen Rogers" by May Lemar
#14: "Footsteps to Romance" by Rebecca Marsh
#15: "Nurse Cooper's Dilemma" by Helen Bartley
#18: "Frost in April" by Gaddis
#21: "River's Edge" by Gaddis
#22: "Mountain Melody" by Gaddis
#23: "Mystery in Nevada" by Rebecca Marsh
#24: "Letter from Annette" by Jeanne Bowman (Sept. 1970)
#69: "Love on a Holiday" by I.Torr
#72: "Sylvia's Daughter" by Ivy Valdes (1973)
#73: "Desire Under the Rose" by P. Lindsay

RAPTURE ROMANCE
(New American Library, 1983-1985)
Category: Contemporary
Note: There were 104 books in this line, numbered #1 to #104, from Jan. 1983 to Feb. 1985. Robin Grunder was editor of the line. In an attempt at innovation, a couple of the later books were written from the male point of view.
Series index at FictionDB


RED ROSE ROMANCE
(Bantam, 1970-1974)
Category: Contemporary / Gothic / Suspense
Note: According to FictionDB, there were 45 books in this line, numbered #101 to #145.
Series index at FictionDB





"A REGENCY ROMANCE"
A few publishers used the heading "A Regency Romance" on their covers, but Fawcett was the most consistent to do so, especially from 1983 to 1998. See "Fawcett" above for more info, as well as their Coventry Romances line. Other publishers of the traditional Regency romance included Avon, Dell (Candlelight), Harlequin, Jove, Signet, St. Martin's, Warner, and Zebra.

ROSEBUD ROMANCE
(ABC Publishing, 1982)
Category: Contemporary
Note: This was a short-lived line published by ABC Publishing Co., Ltd., 610 N.E. 124th Street, North Miami, Florida 33161.  The books were numbered, presumably beginning with either #101 or #102 until at least #116.

SAPPHIRE ROMANCE
(RCA Direct Marketing, 1982)
Category: Contemporary
Note: In 1982, RCA attempted a category romance line called Sapphire Romances. The line presumably began with four (not numbered) books: "Journey's End" by Anna Stanton (shown at left), "A Little Loving" by Jill Eckersley, "Whisper to the Waves" by Helen Beaumont and "Never Forget Me" by Jill Sanderson. (These were all pen-names of Helen Beaumont.) Readers could clip a coupon at the back of these books to sign up for a subscription and they would receive 6 new Sapphire Romance novels each month from the publisher. I have not seen an index of how many books were released in this line. An Oct. 1982 newspaper ad shows the aforementioned "Whisper to the Waves" in addition to "The Sweet Bells of Utrecht" by Denise Emery (another Beaumont pen-name), "The Takamaka Tree" by Alexandra Thomas (also a Beaumont pen-name) and "The Clouded Mirror" by Judith Bordill. "Sentimental Journey" by Stella March is listed within its pages as "Vol. No. 34" and copyright 1966 (therefore a reprint of an old novel). The book was "printed and marketed" by RCA Direct Marketing, but "this edition 1982" is copyrighted to The Hamlyn Publishing Group, Ltd.  The cover design has changed by the time of "Awaken Me" by Angela Noel, which is listed as "Vol. No. 68," so evidently the Sapphire line produced at least 68 novels. This book is copyright 1982 (thus, not a reprint of an old novel) and lists the same info about RCA and Hamlyn. Hamlyn is a U.K. publisher, but these books note that they are "Printed in the U.S.A." inside. More information about this obscure line will need to be researched.

SCARLET RIBBONS
(Signet, 1983-1984)
Category: Historical
Note: This short-lived line of historical novels from Signet lasted for only 10 books, from Aug. 1983 to May 1984.
Series index at FictionDB; Goodreads list

SECOND CHANCE AT LOVE
(Jove/Berkley, 1981-1989)
Category: Primarily contemporary, although a few Regencies early on.
Note: There were 477 books in this line, numbered #1 to #477, from June 1981 to Dec. 1989. The cover design originally had a butterfly motif at the top of the books (as seen at left). The cover design was revamped with #316 (Feb. 1986), which moved the butterfly to the left corner and made the words "Second Chance at Love" larger (as seen at right). The line was founded by editor Carolyn Nichols who would go on to found the Loveswept line at Bantam in 1983. Ellen Edwards (who had previously been an assistant editor on Dell's Candlelight Romance line) was associate editor of the line until Nichols left for Bantam in early 1982. Edwards was senior editor for much of the line's existence until she became a senior editor at Avon in late 1986. Subsequent editors of the line include Joan Marlow and Hillary Cige.
Series index at FictionDB

SERENADE SAGA
(Zondervan, 1984-1987)
Category: Historical / Inspirational
Note: This line ran for 47 books, numbered #1 to #47, from Feb. 1984 to May 1987, from Christian publisher Zondervan. There was also a short-lived Serenade Super Saga line.
Series index at FictionDB

SERENADE SONATA
(Zondervan, 1983-1987)
Category: Contemporary / Inspirational
Note: This line ran for 50 books, numbered #1 to #50, from Aug. 1983 to May 1987, from Christian publisher Zondervan. Evidently some of the books were also printed as Forever Romances.
Series index at FictionDB

SHARON ROMANCE
(Sharon Publications, 1981?-1983?)
Category: Contemporary?
Note: Sharon Publications, Inc. was based in Cresskill, NJ.  No series index available.  Known books include "Coronation for Cinderella" by Bennie C. Hall (1983), and "Eve's Hour" and "Bright Stars" by Norma Newcomb (which FictionDB lists as Nov. 1981).

SIGNET REGENCY ROMANCE
(Zebra, 1974-2006)
Category: Regency
Notable firsts: Catherine Coulter's earliest novels appeared in this line.
Note: Signet published paperback editions of the Regency novels of Clare Darcy beginning in 1974. (Darcy passed away in 1978.) More authors were added over the next few years, and by the 1980s this had developed into a "Signet Regency Romance" line, with that phrase appearing on the covers near the book's title. The books were not numbered and several were reissued over the years. (This can sometimes be determined by the interior page listing upcoming books; for example, a 1980s novel that says "Coming in April 1995" on that page is a later reissue.) The final books in this line appeared in February 2006, making Signet the last publisher of the traditional Regency category romance. (Zebra Books ended their Regency line in September 2005.)
Series index at The Nonsuch (archive page); Wikipedia entry

SILHOUETTE DESIRE
(Silhouette/Harlequin, 1982-on)
Category: Contemporary
Note: This line began in June 1982; book #1 was "Corporate Affair" by Stephanie James (one of Jayne A. Krentz's pen-names). The series was renamed Harlequin Desire beginning with #2077 (April 2011).
Series index at FictionDB

SILHOUETTE INSPIRATIONS
(Silhouette, 1984-1985)
Category: Contemporary / Inspirational
Note: There were 36 books in this line, numbered #1-36, from Feb. 1984 to June 1985. The first book was "Heartsong" by Debbie Macomber (shown at left), her second novel to be published.
Series index at FictionDB

SILHOUETTE INTIMATE MOMENTS
(Silhouette/Harlequin, 1983-on)
Category: Contemporary / Romantic suspense
Note: This numbered series began with #1 in June 1983, which was "Dreams of Evening" by Kristin James (a pen-name for Candace Camp). The phrase "Romantic Suspense" was added to the title with #1435 (Oct. 2006). The "Intimate Moments" phrase was dropped after #1450 (Jan. 2007). The title was changed from Silhouette Romantic Suspense to Harlequin Romantic Suspense with #1651 (April 2011).
Series index at FictionDB

SILHOUETTE ROMANCE
(Silhouette, 1980-2007)
Category: Contemporary
Notable firsts: The first published novel by Nora Roberts was "Irish Thoroughbred," which was Silhouette Romance #81 (May 1981). Her next four novels also appeared in this line (#127, 143, 163 & 180). She continued to appear regularly in the Silhouette category romance lines into the 1990s.
Note: Silhouette was Simon & Schuster's attempt at competing with Harlequin after the company was no longer distributing Harlequin in the U.S. (a deal that had been in effect since the mid-1960s). Silhouette Romance was the first of the new line, whose success spawned additional Silhouette lines (see above and below). The first book in the line (#1, May 1980) was written by Anne Hampson, who had written the first book in the Harlequin Presents series back in 1973. This demonstrated that Silhouette was serious in going head-to-head against the biggest publisher in the romance genre. The competition ended when Harlequin bought Silhouette in 1984, but retained its branding until April 2011 when all remaining Silhouette lines were renamed Harlequin in their titles. However the original Silhouette Romance line that started it all had folded years before; the final four books (#1846-1849) were released in Jan. 2007.
Series index at FictionDB

SILHOUETTE SPECIAL EDITION
(Silhouette/Harlequin, 1982-on)
Category: Contemporary
Notable firsts: Debbie Macomber's first published novel was #128 ("Starlight") in Nov. 1983.
Note: This line began in Feb. 1982; the first book was "Terms of Surrender" by Janet Dailey. A mega-popular Harlequin author, this was Dailey's fourth book for rival publisher Silhouette (although she had also written a few single-title romance novels for Silhouette's fellow Simon & Schuster-owned company, Pocket Books). In April 2011 the series was renamed Harlequin Special Edition, beginning with book #2107.
Series index at FictionDB

SOAPS AND SERIALS
(Pioneer Communications Network, Inc., 1986-1987)
Category: TV adaptation
Note: This was a line of novels based on popular TV soap operas of the time. Each show had its own series of books under the overarching "Soaps & Serials" brand. Mary Ann Cooper was story editor. TV shows that had their own books in this line included All My Children, Another World, As the World Turns, Capitol, Dallas, Days of Our Lives, General Hospital, Knots Landing and The Young & the Restless. There were 14 books in The Guiding Light series alone. Another World also had 14 books. The others had a similar number or fewer.
Magazine article about the line from 1986.

TAPESTRY ROMANCE
(Pocket Books, 1982-1986)
Category: Historical
Notable firsts: Joan Johnston's first published book was for Tapestry. Six of Linda Lael Miller's first 10 novels were Tapestry books. Ruth Langan's first two historical romance novels were for Tapestry (her only previous novels had been contemporary romance novels for Silhouette). Three of Lynda Trent's earliest books were for Tapestry (her first book was for Pocket Books' Gallen line, which directly preceded Tapestry).
Note: There were 94 books published in this line, numbered #1-94 (although numbers didn't appear on the covers until #9). The line's founding editor was Kate Duffy. Later in the run, Linda Marrow was the editor. In her editorial message in the final book, Marrow noted that the end of the Tapestry line was not the end of Pocket Books' commitment to historical romance since upcoming books on the schedule included "Kiss Me, Catriona" by Jacqueline Marten (in September 1986), "Colter's Wife" by Joan Johnston (in November) and "Lauralee" by Linda Lael Miller (in December). Also planned were forthcoming books by Carol Jerina, Jan McKee, Catherine Lyndell and Sheila O'Hallion. All of these authors had written for Tapestry and it's possible that those upcoming books had been written for the Tapestry series before Pocket Books pulled the plug on the line.
Series index at FictionDB

TIARA ROMANCE
(Nordon Publications, circa 1980-1981)
Category: Various
Notable firsts: One of Jayne Ann Krentz's early novels (under the pen-name Jayne Taylor) appeared as "A Tiara Romance," as seen at left.
Note: Tiara Books were an early 1980s line from Nordon Publications, Inc. that had a uniform cover design: a white border around the image and a line above the novel's title indicating that the book was "A Tiara Romance," "A Tiara Novel," "A Tiara Mystery," "A Tiara Romantic Suspense," "A Tiara Regency Romance," etc., depending on the genre of the book. The upper left corner of the cover had the price and a serial number. Books with serial numbers ranging from 8002 to 8039 have been seen online; presumably the line began with 8000 or 8001. If so, then there were at least 39 Tiara books published (#8039) assuming numbers weren't skipped. Online searches also reveal that there were UK editions with identical covers published by Ace/Stoneshire, but missing the price and serial number in the upper left corner. It gets stranger: UK editions have also been seen with a Tiara cover design but named Claire instead of Tiara.
No series index was found online.

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD
(Jove, 1983-1985)
Category: Contemporary
Note: This spin-off of the Second Chance at Love line focused on married couples whose love was rekindled. 49 books were published in this line, numbered #1 to #49, from Oct. 1983 to Jan. 1985.  Ellen Edwards was senior editor of both this line and Second Chance at Love.
Series index at FictionDB

TREASURES OF LOVE
(Prestige Books, 1979-1981)
Category: Contemporary
Note: This line contained 3 novels bound into one book, titled "3 Love Stories" prominently on the front covers and a "Treasures of Love" symbol (a drawing of a man and woman's face) in the top left corner. The books were numbered beginning with #100 and ran until at least #123 according to Doug Sulipa's catalog (scroll down on that page to find). The books appear to be mainly old-fashioned romance novels by the likes of the oft-reprinted (and long-dead) Peggy Gaddis but with new photo covers similar in style to The House of Romance line [see entry above]. Prestige Books also published the Magnum imprint's Blue Fire Romance [see entry above] and the reprints of Lancer's Valentine line [see "Valentine" below].
No series index was found online.

UNIBOOK ROMANCE
(Modern Promotions, late 1970s/early 1980s?)
Category: Contemporary
Note: As Kenneth R. Johnson notes in his Airmont checklist: "In the mid-1970's the markets were swamped with copies of paperbacks that gave the appearance of having been published several years earlier (going by the cover prices), discovered in a warehouse and marked down to be disposed of as "remainders." These were in fact newly printed books with deceptive cover prices (under which they had never been offered for sale) that were sold at a deep discount to department stores like Woolworth’s and K-Mart on a non-returnable basis. The stores then sold them at "bargain" prices, generally 25¢ or 3 for $1.00." Among the publishers who offered their books in this manner were Airmont Books [see entry above], Magnum Books [see "Blue Fire" entry above and "Valentine" entry below] and Modern Promotions, a division of Unisystems, Inc. based in New York. Modern is perhaps best known for their reprints of Charlton comic books in the late 1970s under the brand Modern Comics, which operated under the same principle: reprint another publisher's old books and sell them at discount prices in department stores. Modern's rebound MacFadden Romance books was noted earlier [see "Encore Romances" entry above]. In the late 1970s and early 1980s (presumably, since publication dates were not given), Modern also published reprints of thin, old-fashioned romance novels by authors like Peggy Gaddis (who had died in 1966) with new covers and the phrase "A Unibook Romance" at the top to suggest a unified line. One of these books, shown at left, also has "An Eclipse Romance" below the title, which might indicate a category romance line (although I have been unable to find information about that).

VALENTINE ROMANCE
(Lancer Books/Prestige Books, 1960s-70s)
Category: Contemporary
Note: Many of the Valentine books are reprints of old 1950s-60s romance novels. The line has a confusing numbering system and the dates provided in the books themselves are sketchy (since the copyright year may refer to an earlier printing and not the Valentine edition). According to FictionDB (which says that the line consists of 284 books), the line starts with #99 in the late 1960s and goes up to #236, when it then jumps ahead to #300. After #405, the numbering again jumps ahead to #4200 which runs until #4252. The line originally began under Lancer Books; after Lancer went defunct in 1973, Magnum Books (an imprint of Prestige Books) continued to publish the line. Like Magnum's other books [see "Blue Fire Romance" entry above], Valentine romance novels were available at discounted prices in department stores, as can be seen by the stickers on their front covers. Around book #400, some of the novels had a different look: a color border (instead of white) and headlined as "A Valentine Career Romance" (instead of "A Valentine Book").
Series index at FictionDB

VELVET GLOVE
(Avon, 1984-1985)
Category: Contemporary
Note: There were 24 books released in this series, numbered #1 to #24, from July 1984 to Dec. 1985.
Series index at FictionDB
YOUR WARNER LIBRARY OF REGENCY ROMANCE
(Warner Books, 1979-1981)
Category: Regency
Note: There were 32 books in this line, numbered #1-32, from Feb. 1979 to Oct. 1981. Also during this period, Warner was releasing a numbered series of traditional Regency novels written by Caroline Courtney. For the rest of the 1980s, Warner released other traditional Regency novels, though not as part of a numbered series, which had (like Fawcett) "A Regency Romance" sub-title on the covers. Several books by Carola Dunn in the 1980s were released by Warner in this way. Warner also had an "American Regency" line (see above).
Series index at FictionDB

ZEBRA HEARTFIRE ROMANCE
(Zebra, 1987-1994)
Category: Historical
Note: According to FictionDB, there were 348 books published in this (unnumbered) line from Feb. 1987 to Aug. 1994. The large heartshape logo disappeared from the front covers in its final months. Zebra later had historical romance series called Splendor (1997-2000) and Ballad (2000-2003).
Series index at FictionDB
ZEBRA LOVEGRAM
(Zebra, 1985-1997)
Category: Historical
Note: According to FictionDB, there were 153 books published in this (unnumbered) line from Sept. 1985 to Sept. 1997. The books were identifiable by the image in a square at the top right corner of the front covers (which in the early years had a hologram effect, hence the "Lovegram" name); the square icon was dropped in late 1994.
Series index at FictionDB

ZEBRA REGENCY ROMANCE
(Zebra, 1985-2005)
Category: Regency
Note: Between 1985 and 2005, Zebra published around 765 books in this traditional Regency line; the books were not numbered and some were reissues. The last four books appeared in September 2005. Zebra continues to publish historical romance novels set in the Regency era, but they are not part of a regular monthly line.
Series index at The Nonsuch (archive page)

ZODIAC GOTHIC
(Ballantine, 1975-1976)
Category: Gothic
Note: This was a line of Gothic romance novels which included a horoscope in each book. There were 12 books published in the line. There was also a Zodiac Gothic line published by Berkley Medallion.
Series index (of Ballantine line) at Goodreads



6 comments:

  1. Rob -- this is AMAZING. I'm so grateful for the amount of work you put into this...what an incredible resource!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Look also for Dell Candlelight and Inspiration Romances!

    ReplyDelete
  3. It’s crazy that the Richard Gallen romance series list of books can not be found 🤷‍♀️

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    1. Yep, it is frustrating! One thing that may make it a little difficult is that there were historical romance novels published by Pocket Books around 1980-81 which apparently weren't Gallen books but have a similar cover design, with the border and slanted title logo. "Golden Fever" by Parley J. Cooper (March 1981) is an example of this. It looks like a Gallen book but doesn't mention Gallen on the cover or inside the book.

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  4. This is excellent. I have always been wondering how many romance series out there. My favourite kind of romance is historical, suspense and sweet romance like Harlequin Heartwarming and Love Inspired series. And now I could see that there are many series out there. Thank you so much!

    I will visit this page from time to time to check on historical romance series. I am a huge fan of historical romance.

    Could you please do the write up about sweet romance series that have no sex or refering to sex?

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