Summer of Romance



Lisa Fletcher

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.



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.




LoveCats DownUnder

The LoveCats DownUnder blog brings together fourteen Australian and New Zealand romance authors, six of whom appear on our list of 50 books. Team Shelfie wants to thank the LoveCats’ Rachel Bailey for blogging about the project:

“And their list includes our very own LoveCats Amy Andrews, Bronwyn Jameson, Michelle Douglas, Kandy Shepherd, Annie West and Stefanie London (plus a couple of our Cats in the Wild)”

We received some great ‘author shelfies’ during the project’s first month including:

Thank you to everyone who has participated in our worldwide book hunt so far! Our official Summer of Romance data collection period has only just begun. You have until 1 March 2017 to find books, photograph them, and share your shelfies. You can also help us, of course, by promoting the project far and wide.

Thank you and Happy New Year!


Swan’s Moonah Bookshop

The banner photos on the Summer of Romance website, our Facebook page, and our Twitter account were all taken at Swan’s Moonah Bookshop, Tasmania. The Moonah Bookshop is the best source we have found for backlist popular romance fiction in the Shelfie Summer home state.

We’d love to hear about your favourite bricks-and-mortar (romance) bookstores. Where will you search for our 50 Books this Summer of Romance?

By the way, the wet, grey weather in Tasmania this week has reminded us that it may well be the Summer Winter of Romance where you are! Everyone is welcome to participate in this research. Please let us know if you have any questions.


Category romance published more than 12 months ago.
Paranormal romance – all those black spines!
Historicals – this is also where you’ll find Harlequin Historicals
Rural romance shelved as Australiana


What is a “shelfie” (for the Summer of Romance)?

Search Instagram for #shelfie and you’ll find over 535,000 images, most of them depicting books. But what is a “shelfie”?

In 2014, the Wall Street Journal identified the shelfie – a twist on the selfie – as “Instagram’s next craze.” You won’t find “shelfie” in a standard dictionary (yet), but some internet sources define it as an image of artfully styled shelves, often but not always including books.

The Summer of Romance does not require artful styling!

The top definition on Urban Dictionary credits Rick Riordan with coining the term: “A picture or portrait of your bookshelf. Showcasing literature IN ALL IT’S GLORY!”

Summer of Romance shelfies do not need to depict books on shelves! Thank you to Shallowreader for this market box #loveyourshelfie showing Angela Devine’s The Perfect Man

And the Macmillan Dictionary website offers two crowdsourced definitions:

  • a picture which is taken, usually by a smartphone or a similar device, of somebody with a bookshelf or bookshelves behind them
  • a picture which is taken, usually by a smartphone or a similar device, of a bookshelf or bookshelves
Starring in your Summer of Romance shelfies is entirely optional! Thank you to Erica Hayes for this shelfie of one of our two Margaret Way titles, snapped at the The Green Shed, ACT

The Summer of Romance has adopted the “shelfie” as a research tool to collect images of contemporary Australian Mills & Boon romance novels “on location.” One of our guiding principles is not to anticipate this project’s findings in advance; to quote the American sociologist Howard S. Becker, “It’s better not decide before you begin [research] what the ‘important’ things are.” Therefore, we have no strict rules for the content, composition, or quality of shelfies for the Summer of Romance. In short, a #loveyourshelfie photograph depicts one or more of our 50 selected books where ever they are found.

How many shelfies will you share this summer?


A poster for the Summer of Romance

The official data collection period for the Summer of Romance (aka #loveyourshelfie) is fast approaching! 1 December 2016 – 1 March 2017. We’ve been promoting the project via social media – and have been delighted by the interest and enthusiasm. A number of people have recommended (and offered to help with) non-digital promotion strategies, so here is a downloadable poster: Summer of Romance poster

Please feel welcome to print and display!


Romance on the Radio

“It’s less about who’s reading the books, and more about where they’re going…” (Jodi on the radio)

The research team is working hard to spread the word about the Summer of Romance. Data collection begins on December 1 (in just two weeks)! The project was announced on radio on Tuesday when Jodi was interviewed by Melanie Tait on Evenings, 936 ABC Hobart. Jodi talks about the history of Mills & Boon, reads a passage from Melanie Milburne’s The Most Scandalous Ravensdale, explains the goals of our project, and asks for recommendations of Mills & Boon Sexy novels set in Hobart! You can listen here until Tuesday 22 November (Jodi’s interview is at the very beginning of the program).

Lisa snapped a set of shelfies at Target in central Melbourne yesterday. It took just a few minutes to find two of The 50 Books on the Mills & Boon shelves:  Marion Lennox’s Stepping into the Prince’s World and the Bachelorette edition of Barbara Hannay’s Claiming the Cattleman’s Heart.






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!

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