Harlequin will debut a new romance imprint next year, Afterglow Books, in January, targeting contemporary romance readers. The publisher said that the imprint will build upon the popularity of TikTok's #spicytok content.
“Afterglow is that feeling after a beautiful moment, achievement, or experience—it takes readers to the happy part of life,” said Afterglow Books senior editor Stacy Boyd, in a statement. “It’s timeless, positive, and rings true for the characters in these books—their quest to get to the 'afterglow' phase of a relationship."
Afterglow will publish two titles per month in trade format, with titles priced at or around $12.99. Boyd said that Afterglow's list will focus on titles prioritizing, diversity, "complex" characters, and "fresh takes" on romance themes and tropes.
"These stories have a realism and relatability that let readers see themselves in our characters, that make the characters feel like people you could know. Their trials and challenges are obstacles you might encounter in your own life," said Boyd. "That journey—of showing up for the good and hard parts in life—makes getting to the 'afterglow' all the more rewarding for the reader.”
The imprint has announced its first four titles for 2024. January will see the publications of the romantic comedy The (Fake) Dating Game by Timothy Janovsky and The Bookbinder's Guide to Love by Katherine Garbera, "a witchy, witty, wickedly sexy romance about love, books, friendship, and the unexpected connections that bind us together." In February, the imprint will publish Frenemy Fix-Up by Yahrah St. John—"a romance that's Some Kind of Wonderful with a yoga makeover twist"— and The Devil in Blue Jeans by Stacey Kennedy, "a charming and sexy Western romance about an ambitious bar owner who makes a deal with a devil of a cowboy."