Series Guidelines

Click on series name to see the particular guidelines.

Mills & Boon Sexy
Mills & Boon Forever Romance
Mills & Boon Medical
Mills & Boon Historical
Mills & Boon Blaze
Mills & Boon Cherish
Mills & Boon Essence
Mills & Boon Intrigue
Mills & Boon Desire
Mills & Boon Romantic Suspense
Mills & Boon Nocturne
Mills & Boon Western Romance

 

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 Mills & Boon Sexy

These stories are all about passion and escape, glamorous international settings, captivating women and the seductive, tempting men who want them.

Key Elements

  • A hero who will command and seduce. There's nothing in the world his powerful authority and money can't buy except the love of a woman strong enough to tame him!
     
  • A heroine who isn't afraid to stand up to the hero in her own way, whether she's at home in his opulent world or not. She can be shy and innocent, feisty and daring or anywhere in between.
     
  • These stories are pure romantic fantasy with glitzy, glamorous, international settings to upstage even the swankiest of red-carpet premieres!
     
  • High sensuality and sky-rocketing sexual tension to quicken your pulse.
     
  • Captivating internal emotional conflicts that will sustain the story over 50,000 words.
     
  • Tone should be contemporary but with a strong intensity, delivering an instant hit of powerful emotion.
     
  • Give classic themes a fresh 21st century twist - tease, surprise and delight.

For explanations and tips about conflict, dialogue and emotion please click on How to Write the Perfect Romance

Featured in Sexy

Sexy has classic themes, but we're looking for innovative takes. What would you say if a billionaire demanded you agree to a marriage of convenience? Does a secret baby have to mean a shot-gun wedding? He might have a legendary playboy reputation, but what if she's just as notorious? Our heroes are 100% alpha but that doesn't mean they're perfect. Australian, Sheikh, Greek, Russian, Italian, English, American, wherever he's from, it's certain that he turns the heads of every woman he passes!

Sexy is

  • The home of the alpha male.
     
  • A whirlwind of intensely emotional highs and lows.
     
  • International settings from your every fantasy!
     

Click here to see what we're publishing.

Executive Editor: Joanne Grant
Acting Assistant Editor: Pippa Roscoe
Editorial Assistant: Laura McCallen

Editorial Office: London, UK

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Mills & Boon Forever Romance

Forever Romance stories are all about real, relatable women and strong, deeply desirable men experiencing the intensity, anticipation and sheer rush of falling in love.

Key Elements

  • As this is one of our shorter series with a word count of 50,000, the main focus of each story is the romance itself - the story is the romance!
     
  • These stories are high on emotional and sensual tension but have no explicit sexual detail.
     
  • Whatever the plot, stories should be character-driven with strong emotional conflicts.
     
  • The heroine is key in this series. Readers need to be able to relate to her, laugh with her, cry with her - as it's through her that we fall in love with the hero.
     
  • Our heroes are alpha but attainable - they're not all super rich international tycoons (although some might be!) but they're successful in their own right and should be a strong man our heroine would aspire to be with.
     
  • Settings are international and aspirational - you can travel the world with Forever Romance without leaving your armchair!

For explanations and tips about conflict, dialogue and emotion please click on How to Write the Perfect Romance.

Forever Romance is

Love Actually or Valentine's Day for their variety of storylines and tones but multiple happy endings and feel-good highs. One Fine Day for its warmth and its tear jerking properties.

Click here to see what we're publishing.

Senior Editor: Bryony Green

Editor: Meg Lewis

Assistant Editor: Flo Nicoll

Editorial Assistant: Laurie Prescott

Editorial Office: London, UK

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Mills & Boon Medical

Intense and uplifting romances set in the medical world. Experience the breath-taking rollercoaster of emotions, ambitions and desires of today's medical professionals.

Key Elements

  • Contemporary romance novels set in the medical world.
     
  • Focus of the story must be on the development of the central romantic relationship against the backdrop of a contemporary medical setting.
     
  • Strong, gorgeous, medical professional heroes at the top of their game with hearts of gold, and heroines to match.
     
  • Heroes and heroines who work together in a medical setting, - their working relationship, medical dramas etc, help to drive the romantic relationship.
     
  • Contemporary, international medical settings are , however, integral to the story, and the central relationship should rise out of them.
     
  • A range of sensuality from intensely passionate to warm and tender.
     
  • An emotionally intense read, ranging from the traditional to the ground breaking.
     
  • Innovative emotional conflicts, and traditional emotional themes developed in a unique way are all welcome.
     
  • Word count of 50,000

For explanations and tips about conflict, dialogue and emotion please click on How to Write the Perfect Romance.

Featured in Medical

A strong focus on the central romantic relationship. Relatable heroines and heroes in a medical setting - pulse-racing medical drama that throws them together is crucial. Dedicated top-notch docs, hot-shot surgeons, and equally matched , warm hearted, spirited, intelligent heroines, who reach all levels and areas of medical life. We find them everywhere-ER, heart and transplant surgery, city hospitals, GP practices, paediatrics, Maternity, IVF clinics, jungle or outback settings, medical rescue. Doctors to the stars, royalty or presidents etc. The characters, their romance, the settings, the drama must be appealing and accessible to a global readership.

Medical is

House, Grey's Anatomy, and Private Practice for their tone, medical settings and scenarios, complex characters with strong romantic themes, great dialogue and lives and hearts on the edge. However, the key difference is that the focus of each Medical story is first and foremost a heart-racing romance. The novels offer a wealth of experiences: from the high-octane excitement of the ER to the warmth of family GP practice.

Click here to see what we're publishing.

Senior Editor: Sheila Hodgson
Assistant Editor/Editorial Assistant: Laurie Johnson
Editorial Assistant: Charlotte Mursell
Editorial Office: London, UK

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Mills & Boon Historical

Richly textured, emotionally intense novels set across a wide range of historical periods - ancient civilisations up to and including Second World War.

Key Elements

  • Strong and dynamic characters with believable, relatable conflicts, appropriate for the time in which they are set.
     
  • Central relationship as the driving force of the story.
     
  • Historical research and accuracy are essential to bring the world to life! But remember to focus on the romance.
     
  • All levels of sensuality are considered. From the tingling sensation you get from a wet-shirted Regency hero, to the explicit bedroom romps of Tudor times, whatever the level of sensuality, chemistry and sexual tension are vital.
     
  • Variety is key in this line - we're happy to publish stories from ancient Greece to the Wild West and all the way through to the mid-twentieth century.
     
  • Word length: 75,000

For explanations and tips about conflict, dialogue and emotion please click on How to Write the Perfect Romance.

Featured in Historical

This is where the alpha hero began! From a rake with a wicked glint in his eye to a gasp-inducing muscled warrior brandishing a dagger, a gorgeous kilted Highlander or a rugged, hard-working cowboy, there's a man for everyone! Heroines should emotionally challenge the hero, and inspire reader sympathy, whether they are spirited and willful, an innocent governess or a sword-wielding Samurai . . .

Historical is

The strength of Russell Crowe's Gladiator, the sizzling sensuality of The Tudors and Rome and the scandalous society drama of Downton Abbey!

Click here to see what we're publishing.

Senior Editor: Linda Fildew
Editor: Sarah Stubbs
Editorial Assistant: Kathryn Cheshire

Length: 70,000 - 75,000 words

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Mills & Boon Blaze

Blaze is Mills & Boon's sexiest romance series, yet there's more to these books than simply sex. We ask our authors to deliver complex plots and subplots, realistic engaging characters and a consuming love story you won't be able to forget. Blaze stories are fun, flirty and always steamy!

Key Elements

  • Contemporary romance.
     
  • Highest level of sensuality among Mills & Boon series.
     
  • True-to-life characters put in realistic situations.
     
  • Sexy hooks-or classic romantic hooks made ultra-sexy-are essential.
     
  • No historical or paranormal stories.
     
  • Emotional payoff has to be as high as the level of sensuality.
     
  • Tones range from fun and flirty to dark and sensual.
     
  • Setting is primarily NA but open to other settings.
     
  • Word count - 60,000 words.

For explanations and tips about conflict, dialogue and emotion please click on How to Write the Perfect Romance.

The Players

A Blaze heroine is usually between 25 and 33. She knows what she wants, and isn't afraid to go and get it. She's confident and has a good idea of who she is. She doesn't need a man to fulfill her, but she'll happily take advantage of the situation if the right guy comes along. A Blaze hero is an extraordinary ordinary guy. He's usually between 28 and 38 and is the type of strong heroic hero who is attainable for the average woman. He's a cop, a firefighter, a businessman, a soldier and sometimes a cowboy. Money isn't all that important to him - being true to himself is.

Blaze is

The sexy situation in Friends with Benefits blended with the sheer romance of The Time Traveller's Wife.

Blaze is not

Erotica. While our books are very sensual, they deliver on the Mills & Boon promise of one hero, one heroine and an implied committed relationship at the end. Blaze books give readers a glimpse into what it's like to be young and single today.

Click here to see what we're publishing.

Senior Editor: Brenda Chin

Editor: Kathryn Lye

Editorial Assistant: Dana Hopkins

Office: Toronto, Canada

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Mills & Boon Essence     (N.B. published as Harlequin Superromance in North America)\

Essence

Are big romance novels filled with intense relationships, real life drama and the kinds of unexpected events that change women's lives forever!

Key Elements

  • A strong central romance that's big in scope and believable in execution. There can be a secondary romance and subplots.
     
  • High emotional stakes. The characters' goals mean something to them, might force them to make difficult choices and might be in conflict with the romance.
     
  • Characters and situations should feel familiar to readers. Even if the situations seem larger than life, the characters' reactions are believable.
     
  • The hero and heroine should work for their happily ever after so give them obstacles and complications that need to be resolved. Remember: resolve issues by moving them to the next logical step, but don't wrap everything up in a neat bow!
     
  • A sense of community. Paint a larger picture of the characters' lives by showing their relationships with family and friends, social lives and work.
     
  • Tone can vary from the lighthearted to the deeply emotional, from family sagas to light suspense. The common thread is the complexity of plot and depth of character as well as the unique, contemporary treatment of the themes.
     
  • Look at big cities as well as small towns. Even consider settings outside of North America.
     
  • Word length: 85,000 words. Our longest contemporary series with a big book feel.

For explanations and tips about conflict, dialogue and emotion please click on How to Write the Perfect Romance.

Featured in Essence

Relatable, true-to-life characters in high-stakes emotional situations-ones with genuine obstacles that require them to reexamine what they truly want from life. Superromance books focus on the romance between the hero and heroine while also exploring the community and relationships around them.

Essence is

Friday Night Lights, Parenthood, Love Actually, The Proposal, Serendipity, When Harry Met Sally, The Big Easy, The Vow, No Reservations for their complex characters, layered plots, strong romance and high emotional stakes.

Click here to see what we're publishing.

Senior Editor: Wanda Ottewell

Associate Editor: Megan Long

Editorial Assistant: Piya Campana

Editorial Office: Toronto, Canada

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Mills & Boon Cherish     (N.B. published as Special Edition in North America)

Cherish

Featuring relatable characters who strike a chord with the reader regardless of the book's setting or plot points. These are compelling, contemporary romance novels - with happy endings!

Key Elements:

  • Focus on the romance! However, secondary characters and subplots are welcome if they further the romantic relationship in a meaningful way.
     
  • Hero and heroine must both be proactive, dynamic, and good at heart - even if they are resistant to love at first!
     
  • Wide variety of themes welcome: families, babies, brides, cowboys, Westerns, reunion romances, and more!
     
  • Fresh twists on classic plot elements.
     
  • Range of sensuality, from subtle to sizzling.
     
  • Emotional depth of both story and character is paramount.
     
  • Strong internal and external conflicts.
     
  • Word count of 55,000-60,000.

For explanations and tips about conflict, dialogue and emotion please click on How to Write the Perfect Romance.

Cherish is

Think movies such as Dan In Real Life, Friends With Benefits, and Love And Other Drugs, and TV shows such as Parenthood and Modern Family - stories that feature intriguing and complex characters with meaningful, relatable conflicts, engaging dialogue, and (very important) happy endings!

Click here to see what we're publishing.

Senior Editor: Gail Chasan

Editor: Susan Litman

Editorial Assistant: Danielle Padula

Editorial Office: NY, NY

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Mills & Boon Intrigue

Crime stories tailored to the series romance market packed with a variety of thrilling suspense and whodunit mystery.

Key Elements:

  • Crime-solving and a complex mystery are at the foundation of every Intrigue series romance novel.
     
  • Well motivated hero and heroine must work together in a high-stakes, fast-paced framework to resolve the mystery.
     
  • The hero and heroine must share a palpable physical and emotional attraction throughout.
     
  • Classic romance themes integrated with and integral to a suspenseful crime drama, mystery or thriller are critical to every Intrigue novel.
     
  • North American settings.
     
  • No graphic sexual details, explicit language or gratuitous violence in text.
     
  • The mystery must be resolved and there should always be a satisfying conclusion to the romance by the novel's end.
     
  • Subplots should be kept to a minimum.
     
  • Word count of 55,000-60,000 words.

For explanations and tips about conflict, dialogue and emotion please click on How to Write the Perfect Romance.

Featured in Intrigue

Taut, edge-of-the-seat contemporary romantic suspense tales of intrigue and desire. Kidnappings, stalkings, women in jeopardy coupled with bestselling romantic themes are all at the forefront of an Intrigue novel. The Intrigue hero is not afraid to break the rules in order to see justice done and to protect the innocent. The Intrigue heroine is the no-nonsense, girl next door who may be caught up in dangerous circumstances. From stories of psychological suspense to murder mysteries and thrillers, the Intrigue line covers a wide range of mystery-suspense novels.

Intrigue is

TV shows 24 for pacing - fast and dangerous and exciting. Justified for the composition of the understated yet intense hero we like to see in an Intrigue. Unknown for the kind of complex mystery/thriller plot that can lend itself to a solid crime story and romance.

Click here to see what we're publishing.

Senior Editor: Denise Zaza

Editor: Allison Lyons

Editorial Assistant: Dana Hamilton

Editorial Office: NY, NY.

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Mills & Boon Desire

Contemporary, sensual, conflict-driven romances that feature strong-but-vulnerable alpha heroes and dynamic heroines who want love - and more! Reads that are always powerful, passionate and provocative.

Key Elements

  • Powerful, passionate and provocative contemporary romances set against a backdrop of wealth, privilege and glamour.
     
  • Juicy, intense, dramatic storylines with a highly sensual feel.
     
  • High-stakes emotional and/or external conflicts drive the plot.
     
  • Fresh, original takes on classic themes.
     
  • Stories can be set throughout the world, but should not feel exotic.
     
  • The author's voice sets the tone for each story.
     
  • Sexual language is euphemistic and romantic, not explicit.
     
  • The reader should feel swept away from the everyday.
     
  • Characters should have believable, sympathetic motivations.
     
  • An emotional payoff befitting a powerful, passionate and provocative read.
     
  • No paranormal or romantic suspense stories.
     
  • 50,000-55,000 words in length.

For explanations and tips about conflict, dialogue and emotion please click on How to Write the Perfect Romance.

Featured in Desire

A powerful and wealthy hero - an alpha male with a sense of entitlement, and sometimes arrogance. Beneath his alpha exterior, he displays vulnerability, and he is capable of being saved by the heroine. The Desire hero often has fewer scenes from his point of view, but in many ways, he owns the story. Readers should want to fall in love with and rescue the Desire hero themselves! The Desire heroine knows who she is and what she wants. She is complex and can be vulnerable herself. She is strong-willed and smart, though capable of making mistakes when it comes to matters of the heart. The heroine is equally as important as the hero, if not more so.

Desire is

TV shows Revenge, Dirty, Sexy Money or Desperate Housewives for their wealthy and glamorous settings, intense story arcs that sometimes span generations and highly dramatic, larger-than-life conflicts that characters address in a believable way.

Click here to see what we're publishing.

Senior Editor: Stacy Boyd

Associate Editor: Charles Griemsman

Assistant Editor: Shana Smith

Editorial Office: NY, NY.

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Mills & Boon Romantic Suspense

These novels are romance-focused stories with a suspense element. Powerful romances are at the heart of each story, and the additional elements of excitement, adventure and suspense play out between complex characters.

Key Elements

  • Romantic Suspense novels are fueled by the romance and not the suspense.
     
  • Big, sweeping romances amid dangerous and suspenseful settings.
     
  • Strong, compelling romance drives the stories but is matched by dramatic and layered plots.
     
  • Classic themes include revenge, women in jeopardy, espionage, family, Westerns, military and law enforcement.
     
  • Vivid conflicts, and stories can be set throughout the world.
     
  • A range of sensuality from high to low, as well as romantic and sexual tension.
     
  • Emotional payoff fits with the larger-than-life stories.
     
  • No paranormal elements.
     
  • Word count range of 70,000-75,000 means a wider breadth of story and potential for subplots that speak to the conflicts.

For explanations and tips about conflict, dialogue and emotion please click on How to Write the Perfect Romance.

Featured in Romantic Suspense

Relatable heroines in extraordinary circumstances - swept into the arms of powerful heroes. Romantic Suspense concentrates on the developing love story not the suspense. The hero should be a force to contend with, and the heroines are equally complex, strong and smart.

Romantic Suspense is

Criminal Minds, Bones or The Good Wife for their solid levels of story, three-dimensional characters and varying levels of suspense with strong romantic themes, witty dialogue and lives and hearts on the line.

Click here to see what we're publishing.

Senior Editor: Patience Bloom

Associate Editor: Keyren Gerlach

Assistant Editor: Shana Smith

Editorial Office: NY, NY.

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Mills & Boon Nocturne     (N.B. published in Australia in eBook format only)

Dark, sexy, atmospheric paranormal romances that feature larger-than-life characters struggling with life-and-death issues.

Key Elements

  • Fast-paced, action-oriented romances in which characters struggle with life-and-death issues in a paranormal world.
     
  • Themes include vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters, Native American and Greek mythology and fairy kingdoms.
     
  • Strong sexual/sensual overlay.
     
  • The hero is a key figure-powerful, mysterious and totally attracted to the heroine.
     
  • Vivid conflicts, and stories that can be set throughout the real world and fictional worlds of the author's own creation.
     
  • Characters do not live by predictable rules; instead they respond to the needs of the paranormal world that the author has created.
     
  • There is a "mythology" created to explain the characters' existence, and their actions must not run contrary to this setup. The mythology must remain consistent and support the action of the book.
     
  • While these are contemporary paranormal romances, the author may go back into history, depending on the needs of the story.
     
  • Word count of 80,000 to 85,000 allows for a wider breadth of story, subplots and heightened sensual and sexual tension.
     

For explanations and tips about conflict, dialogue and emotion please click on How to Write the Perfect Romance.

Featured in Nocturne

Powerful, mysterious Alpha male heroes facing life-and-death situations as they battle for the heroine's love. Nocturne romances are highly sensual and driven by the romance and not the paranormal element. The hero should be a force to contend with, and the heroines are vulnerable but equally complex, strong and smart.

Nocturne is

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn , True Blood or Dark Shadows for their solid levels of story, complex characters and varying levels of paranormal world-building with strong romantic themes, high levels of sensuality and lives and hearts on the line.

Click here to see what we're publishing.

Senior Editor: Ann Leslie Tuttle

Editorial Assistant: Dana Hamilton

Editorial Office: NY, NY.

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Mills & Boon Western Romance

If you love small towns and cowboys, you'll love Western Romance. Our stories are heartwarming contemporary tales of everyday women finding love, becoming part of a family or communityor maybe starting a family of her own.

Key Elements

  • Central romance is driven by the hero's or heroine's (or both) desire to be a part of a family or community.
     
  • Stories showcase the comforts of home and a sense of place particularly the charm of small-town America and the ruggedness of western locales.
     
  • Must be set in the USA.
     
  • Western heroes and heroines are very popular cowboys (ranchers, rodeo riders), law enforcement (sheriffs, deputies, Texas Rangers), etc
     
  • All stories must feature strong family elements such as pregnancy, young children, blended families, etc
     
  • Warmhearted stories offer a range of tones, from light humour to drama
     
  • Level of sensuality is low to moderate
     
  • Word count of 55,000 means stories must be fast-paced and plot-driven
     

For explanations and tips about conflict, dialogue and emotion please click on How to Write the Perfect Romance.

Featured in Western Romance

Relatable characters searching for love and the security of family in an increasingly complicated world. Heroes are rugged and strong; heroines intelligent and complex.

Western Romance is

Sweet Home Alabama's sweet and sassy city vs. country story, for its prominent sense of place and humourous portrayal of a classic first love reunion. Heartland for its extended family drama and ranch setting.

Click here to see what we're publishing.

Senior Editor: Kathleen Scheibling

Editor: Johanna Raisanen

Editor: Adrienne Macintosh

Associate Editor: Laura Barth

Assistant Editor/Editorial Assistant: Dana Hopkins

Editorial Office: Toronto, Canada.

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