Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Delacorte Press is preparing to release a variety of love stories for an audience that never grows tired of the prospect of love. The publisher has just announced the launch of Delacorte Romance, a new imprint dedicated to highlighting love stories for teens. The love-centric imprint will be led by Wendy Loggia, v-p and senior executive editor of Delacorte Press. The inaugural list will publish this summer and will feature five titles, with 12 more slated for release annually beginning in 2025.

The idea of starting an imprint solely focused on contemporary romance had been percolating “for years” at Delacorte, according to Loggia. Noting the boom of adult romance in recent years, she said the genre is garnering new attention across age ranges. “We noticed that the romance category was really having a moment. It just felt like the timing was right. We decided to hold hands and jump forward.”

The first list is comprised of five titles: Beach Cute by Beth Reekles, Wild About You by Kaitlyn Hill, Hearts Overboard by Becky Dean, All Roads Lead to Rome by Sabrina Fedel, and Near Misses & Cowboy Kisses by Katrina Emmel. If these names look familiar, it’s because the authors were previously published by Delacorte Press and selected to be a part of the new imprint. All of the books will be released in paperback, a decision made both with their audience and genre in mind.

“We are very aware that our readers are tweens and teens, and it can be really hard to spend that kind of money on an unknown, or a book that you’re reading just for pure fun and entertainment,” Loggia said. “Also in the romance market, I think something like 80% of all romance books are paperbacks. It felt natural to publish the books [in] the format that readers are used to.”

But what keeps readers coming back to stories about young love? According to K.L. Walther, author of While We’re Young, out in spring 2025 under the imprint, romance holds space for varying kinds of love. “I love writing about love, whether it be romantic, familial, or a tight-knit friendship,” she said. “There are endless dynamics to explore, and I’m devoted to every moment.”

Kaitlyn Hill, the author of Love from Scratch and Not Here to Stay Friends, similarly noted that young love is “full of endless material for a good story. You’re having constant new experiences, each of which can feel like the most exciting and important thing ever to happen in that moment,” Hill said. “There’s a lot of trial and error in learning what you want out of a relationship while still learning so much about who you are.”

As the lines between YA and adult continue to blur, Delacorte Romance is “very focused on teens experiencing first love and all the ups and downs and messy relationships for the first time,” Loggia said. But that doesn’t mean adults aren’t welcome to enjoy these stories, too. “Our hope is that although the imprint will be focused on fiction for teens, we know that a large group of our readers are adults. This is a teen imprint, but our readership could be teens, it could be moms, it could be grandmas, it could span all age groups.”’

For readers hoping to get a sneak peek at what Delacorte Romance has to offer, ahead of the inaugural release, the imprint will have a presence at romance conventions and book festivals. The team will also launch a marketing and publicity campaign called Summer of Love, including the first-ever dedicated YA presence at Steamy Lit Con 2024, which will be held in Anaheim, Calif., this August. The event is already sold out.

“I think romance readers are voracious readers,” Loggia said. “Once they find a trope that they love, or a writer that they love, they go all in.”