The Global Boom in Bodice-Rippers

Torstar's Harlequin, publisher of steamy novels, remains a hot spot in a tepid industry

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Harlequin, determined to follow its female audience, is branching out into nonfiction and young-adult literature. It is a leader in e-book sales but intends to focus on romance novels for a happy financial ending. "Women for the most part are pretty obsessed with relationships. I certainly know I am," says Hayes. And in Harlequin's world, she adds, "they may not walk down the aisle, but the ending will be positive."

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