ionR: #HarlequinPresents Edition

Posted April 14th, 2018 by in Blog, Features, Trope it Up / 22 comments

ionRomance: Harlequin Presents Edition


Harlequin Presents: What are their key elements?

Being someone that reviews a lot of the Presents stories released by Harlequin each month, I love to read the reviews on Goodreads once I’ve read the book and written my thoughts and I’ve got to say that I get an absolute kick out of some of the reviews.

Now, I’m sorry if I sound a little judgmental with the fact that some make me laugh while others make me shake my head and think ‘WTH’, but it’s true and has made me wonder time and time again whether it’s because readers don’t understand the key elements that a Harlequin Presents story should encompass.

Well, let me paraphrase from the HQN submission page what the key elements for Presents stories are:

  • A powerful hero that wields his authority and money in order to get everything he wants, but he’s going to need more than those two things to win the girl.
  • The heroine can be anything from bold and sassy to shy and innocent. Nowhere does it says she has to be pure; a woman that hasn’t experienced the pleasures of sex. (So, why is it that some readers believe she should be a virgin?)
  • There has to be plenty of sexual tension between the characters; tension that spills over onto the pages to dazzle readers with a high level of sensuality.
  • International settings are a must. (Then again, what is more romantic than falling in love in a glitzy and glamorous location?)
  • Stories should deliver a powerful range of emotion enough to affect readers and keep them interested from beginning to end with the internal conflicts the characters struggle with; and lastly,
  • these stories should have classic themes with a modern twist.


Are you a fan of the Harlequin Presents line? Do you read reviews of books you’ve read? What’s your reaction when you read a negative review but loved the book?

Will knowing the key elements for this line help you as a reader to write a review, if you needed to for a Harlequin Presents book? (Because remember, it’s important to give reasons why you loved or disliked a story)


Connect: Twitter  | Facebook

22 Responses to “ionR: #HarlequinPresents Edition”

  1. janinecatmom

    I hate when I read a negative review when mine is a good one. But I do understand not all books are for all people. Maybe those people just need to find a different kind of book to read.

    • Bec (@BookMagicReview)

      I so agree, Janine, It’s makes me wonder why people are so against a book sometimes, especially when a book has so many positive reviews. Then again, I’m one of these people that try never to DNF a story no matter how uninterested I am in it. Thanks for stopping by!

      • janinecatmom

        There is also that saying, “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything”. There have been some books that just didn’t do it for me and instead of being insulting, I choose just to not leave a review. Or maybe they could find something good to focus on because if they did read the full book, something kept their attention.

    • Bec (@BookMagicReview)

      The first time I read a HQN presents story is when I started reviewing for this site. I prefer HQN medicals myself, but I do enjoy this line, especially when I read something by authors whose books I’ve really come to enjoy. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Bec (@BookMagicReview)

      That’s understandable. Negative reviews have such a powerful sway for readers that are searching for a new-to-me author. I know they do for me unless the story has a lot positive reviews. That’s when I tend to go ‘the good outweighs the bad’, so I’ll read a book by that author. Thanks for stopping by!

    • kermitsgirl

      I agree – I’ve done some ARC reviewing for authors and I look at all the reviews that get posted at the same time as me…and it hurts me sometimes. It’s like people feel obligated to leave a great review because they got it for free? If a book isn’t good, a reviewer needs to say that! That’s why I always go to the negative reviews first – I feel like they’re more honest.

  2. Teresa Williams

    I read the reviews all of them.It’s interesting to see how each person interprets the book.

  3. Nancy Luebke

    I think a lot of us who read a lot and review, sometimes get jaded. On the one had, we’ve seen what a really good book is like and it easy to make comparisons. However, don’t let that stop you from seeing the good in an up and coming author. Any rating 3* or below will be a big turnoff.for others.And if it’s not a genre you love, allow a little lead way for that too. I found it helps by going back to those genre’s I love.. I also found that I enjoy a few more than I knew I did enjoy before. I enjoy a lot of variety within several genre’s.

    • Bec (@BookMagicReview)

      I love this comment and it’s true you can feel jaded sometimes and need to allow a little leeway. Writing reviews for HJ has provided me with a lot of new-to-me authors, but I always seem to go back to my select few romance sub-genres — Contemporary, Romantic Suspense and Historical. Thanks for stopping by!

    • kermitsgirl

      I prefer to read the negative reviews, because I feel like they’re more honest, but I agree with you about the genre thing. I HATE when I see people leave 1-star and say something like “I hate historical romances, they’re so boring” – then why are you reading it!? I get it if it’s just poorly written, but just because it’s not something you like? That’s ridiculous!

  4. wendy rinebold

    I don’t read reviews to a book I loved just for that reason. Instead, I read reviews of books I didn’t like for affirmation.

  5. Amy Rickman

    I try to write at least a one line quick review and all the books I read whether I liked it or not. I also star them and keep track on a reading site. I don’t usually read reviews after I’ve finished a book unless it’s on a blog I follow, I typically check out reviews for new to me authors when searching for something to read.

    • Bec (@BookMagicReview)

      Finding new-to-me authors is always good and most of the time I choose mine by blurb or a pretty cover, which I’ve found to be effective. However, I do like to read reviews as well. It’s interesting to see what other people think of a book. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Michele H

    I do enjoy the Harlequin Presents line but I know it doesn’t work for everyone. It makes me shake my head when people DNF at 12% or in the first half of these books because you never know what could be the turning point that makes it work. Reading reviews before I’ve finished a book is tricky so I try not to…although I do check out the overall starred rating on GR. I like to see where I fall in line with my rating when there are mixed reviews. The saying “No two people read the same book” is quite true! 😉

    • Bec

      I don’t understand how a reader can DNF a book at 12% because the book is only getting started. I’ve only ever DNF one book before, which I couldn’t get past 34% because there was an 18yr old age gap between the hero and heroine. As for reviews, I don’t read them until after I’ve read the book and written my review and you’re so right about ‘No two people read the same book.’ Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Michele!

Please leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.