Focus on Harlequin Intrigue!

Allison Lyons
Editor, Harlequin Intrigue

Editor Allison Lyons is an avid mystery and suspense fan–perfect for her job as editor for Harlequin Intrigue! She also has authors writing for Love Inspired, HQN and other lines, so she knows her way around romance, too. Here, though, she’s giving us some insight on just what an Intrigue reader (and editor!) likes…


I have always been a fan of serial killers (in books!), small town secrets and protective heroes. So working on Harlequin Intrigue for the past nine years has only fueled my passion for these themes and characters. And the great thing about Intrigue is that the hero gets to save the day in every single book. So if you love a good Alpha hero combined with a good murder mystery, then this is the line for you! Of course, the heroine doesn’t just sit back and let her hero do all the work. She’s feisty and focused and determined to have some say in the outcome of their future. After all, who would want to read about two people falling in love when one comes off as pathetic and weepy? That is not the Intrigue way.

Over the years, Harlequin Intrigue has become the place for fearless romance, where men and women caught up in unimaginable situations find themselves fighting to survive—together. And what ups the stakes even more is when there’s a baby involved. Regardless of whether this child belongs to them, both will do whatever it takes to protect such an innocent life. Most books by USA TODAY bestselling author Delores Fossen feature a baby in jeopardy. KADE (July 2012), for example, actually has twins who were separated at birth unbeknownst to their undercover agent parents. When the hero learns he’s not only a father to one but two babies…well, things take an interesting turn.

Babies aren’t the only hooks that really work in Intrigue. As I mentioned above, small towns and the long-buried secrets are ripe for juicy stories and tension-filled romance. And USA TODAY bestselling author B.J. Daniels is a pro at satisfying readers using these very themes. Set mainly in Montana, B.J.’s stories feature cowboy heroes who will risk anything to solve the mystery and save his family. Because B.J. does this so well, there are so many stories to choose from. One that stands out is the upcoming CHRISTMAS AT CARDWELL RANCH (November 2013). A man returns home for the holidays only to be reunited with his long-lost father. While there, he uncovers some dark secrets thanks to a beautiful woman he’s only just met.

If you’re looking for less small-town and something more high-octane, I would highly recommend New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Eden. The heroes live and fight for justice in the shadows. The heroines, while in jeopardy, are strong and the urban settings make for a tantalizing backdrop for both the romance and the danger. SHARPSHOOTER (August 2013) is a great example of what Cynthia does best. A woman looking to put her past behind her must trust an ex-Navy SEAL sniper if she wants to live to see another day!


At Intrigue, we try and give readers everything they’re looking for—and even for things they didn’t know they wanted. And we’re always looking for new talent. Of course, the best way to learn more about what works for us is to read our books. The ones I’ve already mentioned are great examples of what we have to offer and what we’re looking for, but there are so many amazing authors to choose from. Finding new writers to add to the Intrigue family is something we take very seriously. When new authors tell us they’ve been reading the line for years, it shows in their writing.  After all, nothing spells success like turning readers into writers!

So the new covers on Intrigue only serve to highlight the suspenseful, exciting, action-filled stories that highlight the strong heroes and capable heroines the line is filled with!  Don’t forget to check out the Harlequin Intrigue Writing Guidelines, the Harlequin Community Forums, follow the editors on Twitter #HarlequinIntrigue, @Allison_Lyons or @Denise Zaza and just keep reading.

Make your NANOWRIMO an Intrigue!