Bitchery reader Winterlyre sent me a link to this Times article that explores the extended partnership between Harlequin and NASCAR.
You know, honestly, I don’t get HQ. On one hand, they’re bloody everywhere. On the other hand, as Jayne so marvelously put it, they manage to embarrass even the most devoted fans of romance with their myopic vision of what romance readers want. On the third hand, there’s the success and omnipresence of NASCAR. On the fourth hand, how far will fans of romance or racing go – will they buy every new release or will it be a novelty that wears off?
Perhaps instead of unlikely fanfic couples, we need unlikely romance hybrids. Candy is desperate for Atheist Romance (her yen for it makes me crack up every time she emails me about it). Kate Duffy mentions American Idol as a pop culture phenomenon – do we need the Paula/contestant or Simon/backstage beefy stagehand romance?
And, really, as always, I have to wonder if HQ knows what it’s doing. Their report on romance readers seemed to demonstrate that they are desperately out of touch – and my initial reaction to NASCARomance was definitely accompanied by a cocked eyebrow. But perhaps I’m wrong, and they do have their finger on the pulse – of a romance fan completely different from me.