Contemporary, sensual, conflict-driven romances that feature strong-but-vulnerable alpha heroes and dynamic heroines who want love—and more! Reads that are always powerful, passionate and provocative.

Harlequin Desire Key Elements

Powerful, passionate and provocative contemporary romances set against a backdrop of wealth, privilege and glamour

  • Intense, dramatic storylines with a highly sensual, passionate feel
  • Classic romance hooks mixed with juicy, unique elements
  • High-stakes conflicts (emotional and/or external) drive the plot
  • Every story includes the sense of a bigger world—extended families, corporations, brotherhoods, best friends, partners, secret societies
  • Stories are primarily set in North America but can be set elsewhere; they should not feel exotic. The author's voice sets the tone for each story
  • Sexual language is euphemistic and romantic, not explicit
  • The reader should feel swept away from the everyday
  • Characters should have believable, sympathetic motivations
  • An emotional payoff befitting a powerful, passionate and provocative read
  • No paranormal or romantic suspense stories; no sheikh or royalty stories at this time
  • 50,000 words in length 

For explanations and tips about conflict, dialogue and emotion please click on our Frequently Asked Questions

Featured in Harlequin Desire:

A powerful and wealthy hero—an alpha male with a sense of entitlement, and sometimes arrogance. Beneath his alpha exterior, he displays vulnerability, and he is capable of being saved by the heroine. The Harlequin Desire hero often has fewer scenes from his point of view, but in many ways, he owns the story. Readers should want to fall in love with and rescue the Harlequin Desire hero themselves!

The Harlequin Desire heroine knows who she is and what she wants. She is complex and can be vulnerable herself. She is strong-willed and smart, though capable of making mistakes when it comes to matters of the heart. The heroine is equally as important as the hero, if not more so.

Harlequin Desire stories should take place against the dramatic backdrop of sweeping family saga. The hero and heroine are not isolated from outside influences, even in forced proximity stories. External factors impact the relationship. Their loyalties, goals and personal lives affect their emotions and influence the development of the romance.


Harlequin Desire is…

Revenge or Scandal or Dallas or House of Cards for their wealthy and glamorous settings, intense story arcs that sometimes span generations and highly dramatic, larger-than-life conflicts that characters address in a believable way.

Did You Know?

  • The 2011 winner of SYTYCW has sold more than fifteen titles to Desire!
  • So far in 2015, Harlequin Desire editors have bought two authors new to the line
  • There are 6 new Harlequin Desire books available each month
  • Check out the Sold! blog for this Focus on Harlequin Desire or What Desire Wants and more!
  • Join the Harlequin Community of readers and writers who love talking about Desire here
  • Follow the #HarlequinDesire Twitter stream
  • Follow the Harlequin Desire editors on Twitter --  @Stacy_Boyd, @CharlieGrim and @calixofcoffee

Read what we're publishing.

Senior Editor: Stacy Boyd 
Editor: Charles Griemsman
Editorial Assistant : Tahra Seplowin
Editorial Office: NY, NY

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