Summer of Romance


Welcome to the Summer of Romance!

Welcome to the Summer of Romance!

This summer, a team of researchers from the University of Tasmania are working on a project tracking novels by Harlequin Mills & Boon. Specifically, we want to find out what happens to them after they’re published.

We’ve got a list of fifty books by Australian authors that we’re tracking between December 1, 2016 and February 28, 2017. If you see one of these books, take a photo of it where you found it and then post it to one of our social media accounts, along with a quick description of where it was. If you post to Twitter or Instagram, make sure you hashtag your pic #loveyourshelfie. If you post to Facebook, post it to the Summer of Romance Facebook page.

You can participate as many times as you like. Maybe you stumble across one of these books randomly! Maybe you want to try and track down all fifty! Just don’t forget to let us know if you find one of these books – and tell us about where you found it!

The shelfie on this blog post was taken by Lisa at Swan’s Moonah Bookshop in Tasmania. Zoom in top left and you’ll see Carol Marinelli‘s The Socialite’s Secret, one of our 50 books!

Featured post

Shelfie Saturday

So our Summer of Romance is heading towards its close. We have had so many wonderful responses since our beginnings in December – and we want a big push on the last weekend of the project. Enter Shelfie Saturday. This is a great opportunity to find those last parts of your collections, go rummaging through bookstores (who would turn down that?) or find that last one squirreled away in some nook or cranny.

Join the Summer of Romance team on Saturday 25 February in our worldwide search for 50 Harlequin Mills & Boon novels!

On Shelfie Saturday:
1) Download the list of 50 books from this site.
2) Search anywhere and everywhere!
3) Photograph the books where you find them and share your ‘shelfies’ on our Facebook page, or on Twitter or Instagram with #loveyourshelfie and #shelfiesaturday

This is almost your last chance to help us find our fifty books, so get on board! Thank you so much for all your help – let’s bring this project home strong.

Happy Hunting,


Missing in action

We’ve received hundreds of shelfies over the course of the Summer of Romance project (because our participants are the coolest participants, obviously). But there are a few books that are eluding us! Can you help us find them?

Margaret Way’s Master of Maramba is one of these titles. We have two books by Margaret Way on our list, and the other one, A Faulkner Possession, has been found a couple of times, but Master of Maramba seems determined to hide. Help us master Maramba and find it!

We’ve also not yet found Just a Little Sex by Miranda Lee, although her two other books on the list, Rendezvous with Revenge and The Playboy’s Ruthless Pursuit, have revealed themselves to us. So if you could have just a little look for this one, that would be much appreciated.

Print copies of Alison Kelly’s The Baby Deal has also proved elusive, as have copies of both the Joan Kilby titles on our list, Beach Baby and The Second Promise. As we come up to the end of the project, keep a special eye out for these ones – we’d love to be able to tick all fifty books off the list!

– Jodi

Handy pocket checklists

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There is still plenty of time to contribute shelfies of 50 selected Harlequin Mills & Boon novels for the Summer of Romance 2016-2017!

The 50 books were all written by Australian authors and published between 1996 and 2016, but our search for copies of print editions is worldwide.  There are three steps to participation:

  1. Find one of the 50 books anywhere
  2. Take a photograph of the book where you found it (context is important)
  3. Share your ‘shelfie’ to our Facebook page or on Twitter or Instagram with #loveyourshelfie.

If a list of 50 books is just too much to think about, we recommend downloading one of our handy pocket checklists of 10 books (1996, 2011, 2006, 2011, 0r 2016), or choosing one author to focus on.



Bi-lingual (Mills &) Boon

Do you read our favourite Mills & Boon novels in languages other than English? If so, we’d still love to hear from you in our #SummerofRomance. We are open to our 50 books in any language you can find them in.

Just before Christmas, Amy Andrews showcased her author copy of Mission: Mountain Rescue (2006) in Afrikaans (Ontsnapping uit ‘n bergvesting) and our own Jodi McAlister found an absolute bounty in the Marrickville Library in New South Wales. There she found Mills & Boon collections in Arabic, Greek and Portuguese! The Portuguese section even had two of our 50 Books – Emma Darcy’s The Playboy Boss’ Chosen Bride (2006; Provocação) and Annie West’s Prince of Scandal (2011; Escandalo & Sucesso).

So if you see any foreign language Mils & Boon’s around – definitely let us know with either #loveyourshelfie if you happen to be successful, or #no50books if you manage to spot a collection that doesn’t have one of the 50 books (we’d still love to see it).

Feliz pesquisa!


The aesthetics of shelfies

As someone who is impartial to the calmness of a colour-coordinated bookshelf, receiving our #loveyourshelfies has been a delight! Some may malign the trend as OCD gone overboard, but Apartment Therapy published a defence in 2012.

Here are the reasons they gave:


  1. It can be practical


Mills & Boon titles obviously lend themselves to being organised by colour if grouped together by line or edition. Looking for a 1996 title? Some of our most organised book hunters may know what colour to look for.



  1. Admit it: it looks good


Proof in the below!



  1. Books are things, too


This is what we’re really interested in mapping in this project. Where does the ‘thing’ of the book end up? What edition? In what context? How did you stumble across it?



Are you organising your books by colour? Let us know!


#libraryshelfie day!

Today – January 25 – is Library Shelfie Day. On Twitter, Instagram, and a bunch of other platforms, people are posting pics of library shelves with the hashtag #libraryshelfie.

And you know what you often find on the shelves of libraries? Mills & Boon books, of course!

Mills & Boon spinner at Ashfield Library, December 2016

We’ve had several shelfies come in of our fifty books on library shelves, and they’re all super interesting. We’ve even found copies of our books in other languages!

So when you’re taking library shelfies today, keep an eye out for our fifty books. Who knows? Maybe you can add #loveyourshelfie to that #libraryshelfie hashtag…

Portuguese edition of The Playboy Boss’s Chosen Bride (2006), by Emma Darcy, found at Marrickville Library, December 2016

Looking for Collections

In the 2016 season of The Bachelorette Australia, one of the earliest challenges featured Bachelorette Georgia Love and her posse of suitors shooting covers for Mills & Boon novels.

These covers were used for collections of books. Each book featured reprints of three novels by some of Australia’s best-loved Mills & Boon authors: Emma Darcy, Barbara Hannay, Marion Lennox, and Michelle Douglas.


All four of these authors are on the Summer of Romance list of 50 books, and the Barbara Hannay Bachelorette anthology actually features one of our titles: Claiming the Cattleman’s Heart (2006). (And this cover also features Georgia with eventual winner Lee, so if that’s not a good omen for our project, I don’t know what is!)

When you’re hunting for our 50 books, keep your eyes open for collections. These absolutely count for the purposes of our search: so if you come across one of our titles in a collection, make sure you snap a shelfie and post it to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

– Jodi

Shelfie Album #1: Annie West’s Prince of Scandal

Annie West‘s Prince of Scandal is one of ten books published in 2011 selected for the Summer of Romance. It was first released by Mills & Boon UK in their Modern line in May 2011. The Australia/New Zealand edition was released in June 2011 – as a Mills & Boon Sexy. It was published in the US as a Harlequin Presents in July 2011. All three English-language editions were released in print and ebook.

The Mills & Boon UK edition (published May 2011). Shelfie count: 0
The Mills & Boon Aus/NZ edition (published June 2011) snapped by Jan and posted on Twitter. Shelfie count: 2
The Harlequin US edition (published July 2011) snapped by Amanda with 3 other Summer of Romance titles and posted on Facebook. Shelfie count: 2

Today is day 42 of our worldwide search for paperback copies of the 50 books selected for this project. So far, we have collected 5 shelfies of Prince of Scandal from 4 project participants:

  • Jan from Tasmania, Australia, Fiona from Queensland, Australia, and Amanda, from Florida, US shared photographs of the book in their private collections;
  • Jodi from Team Shelfie, snapped the Portuguese edition at the Marrickville Library in Sydney’s inner west.
Aus/NZ Mills & Boon edition in Fiona’s extensive romance collection, shared on Twitter
The Portuguese Harlequin Jessica edition – a duo with Maya Blake – found at the Marrickville Library and shared by Jodi on Twitter
The Harlequin US edition in Amanda’s Annie West collection, shared on Facebook

We are immensely grateful to the people who have participated in the project so far! We will need the help of many more people to find and photograph as many copies of Prince of Scandal as possible by March 1, beginning with the elusive UK edition. We know they are out there! There are other translations to find, it was included in Mills & Boon anthologies in Australia and the UK in 2015, and adapted for a Harlequin Comic in 2016. If you find a copy, photograph it, and share your shelfie to our Facebook page, or on Twitter or Instagram with #loveyourshelfie. Happy hunting!

For detailed information about the project and how to participate, please see our Participant Information Sheet or get in touch with us on the Contact page.




Summer reading

A friend messaged me today to say that they hadn’t spotted any of our Summer of Romance Mills & Boon titles in the holiday houses they’d stayed in. While there was a few Mills & Boon titles here and there, what they did notice was the staggering number of copies of The Client. Two copies in one holiday house alone!


For those of you heading away over Summer (or bunkering down during a Northern Hemisphere winter), popping into new bookshops, op shops or holiday homes is a great way to get involved in our project.

If you don’t find one of our titles where you expected to, snap a shelfie and share it with us anyway! We’ll label it #no50books.


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