Harlequin Unveils New Imprint: Dare

Amanda Diehl

Staff Writer

Amanda Diehl escaped to Boston to get her MA in Publishing & Writing. Though she loves her new home in the Northeast, she will forever mourn the loss of Publix and sweet tea. As for Amanda’s voracious love of reading, she got it from her mama, though her favorite genres are romance, horror, and the occasional memoir. She reviews romance novels for Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, and when she’s able to scrounge together some free time, you can find her napping in front of the TV with the latest trashy reality show or scarfing down brunch-related foods. Twitter: _ImAnAdult

For all romance readers, Harlequin, the romance-publishing behemoth, has announced a new imprint line! If you’ve been keeping up with Harlequin news, they said they would be discontinuing their Blaze line in favor of starting a new “sexy contemporary” imprint. Since Blaze and their new, upcoming line, Dare would be publishing similar things, they opted to do away with Blaze, lest it cannibalize sales from the new line. But this is all speculation on my part.

RT Book Reviews has a brief interview with Harlequin Senior Editor Kathleen Scheibling on what we can expect from Dare.

To summarize, Dare romances are characterized by “deep emotional connection” and “eyebrow raising sex.” While not a direct replacement for the Blaze imprint, Harlequin hopes that Dare will “bridge the gap” for previous Blaze readers.

They already have a few authors signed up to write romances, including an author of color, which I think is a good sign.

However, I do have several questions that aren’t answered by Scheibling’s interview. How hot is this sex going to be? Admittedly, I’m not a regular Harlequin romance reader because I’ve found them on the tamer side for me. So if they’re looking to surprise me with “eyebrow raising sex,” they may have their work cut out from them. Books will clock in around 50,000 words, which makes me wonder if these will be more like category romances. How many books are we looking at for the opening list? And how regular of a publishing schedule will Dare have?

The details we have about the expected romances are vague at best.

Dare is slated to launch January 2018 with a focus on glamorous locations and explicit, sexual encounters. Color me interested.

How about you? Are you curious about Harlequin’s upcoming Dare imprint?