Harlequin Romance Novels Find a New Voice in Podcasts

Credit: DeadlineHarlequin, the renowned publisher behind beloved romance series like Sweet Magnolias and Virgin River, is embarking on an exciting venture into the world of podcasts. Deadline is reporting that, in a strategic partnership with podcast company Audio Up, famous for its adaptation of Stephen King’s Strawberry Spring, Harlequin is set to breathe fresh life into its literary treasures by transforming 52 of its romance novels into captivating audio series.

The first in this lineup is the captivating Montana Mavericks, a scripted dramatic podcast inspired by Christine Rimmer’s novel In Search of the Long-Lost Maverick. This enthralling series is a tale of love, passion, and secrets set against the backdrop of Bronco Heights—a small town with a Western allure and charming atmosphere. At the heart of this story is Melanie Driscoll, who, in search of a new beginning, returns to her hometown from the bustling city. There, she encounters Gabe Abernathy, a rugged cowboy hailing from the town’s most influential family, but he harbors secrets of his own.

What sets this podcast apart is the inclusion of an original soundtrack featuring rising stars in the country music scene. Names like Abby Anderson, known for opening for Stevie Nicks on her recent tour, Brooke Butler, whose latest release garnered over three million streams, and Clayton Johnson, an up-and-coming Nashville favorite, will contribute to an immersive auditory experience.

Scheduled to debut on October 16, this series is not just a podcast; it’s a groundbreaking audio adventure. Executively produced by Audio Up CEO Jared Gutstadt, alongside Audio Up president David Thwaites, and adapted and produced by Audio Up chief creative officer Jimmy Jellinek, along with Creator Rights Co. president Brad Pelman and Centinel Media CEO Craig Cegielski, it’s a collaboration of industry titans.

Jimmy Jellinek, in describing this project, aptly said, “This is a truly revolutionary audio experience.” It’s a unique blend, reminiscent of the rugged independence of Yellowstone and the enthralling relationship drama of Days of our Lives. Never before has a podcast been crafted with such a meticulous focus on elevating a genre into something truly spectacular.

Jared Gutstadt added, “Harlequin is the gold standard for the world of romance novels globally. This is the first time these stories are being brought to life in the dramatic podcast media space. The Audio Up dimensional media approach not only includes incredible storytelling but music discovery—the same way that Yellowstone integrates country music into their content and becomes a driver. We think this is going to be a groundbreaking moment for podcasting, country music and the world of romance novels all in one fell swoop.”

In a world where storytelling transcends traditional boundaries, Harlequin’s foray into the realm of podcasts promises to be a game-changer, blending the timeless allure of romance novels with the captivating experience of audio storytelling. Stay tuned for Montana Mavericks and prepare to be swept away by this extraordinary audio journey.

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Tina Pavlik

Owner of TRS since 2003

An aficionado of romance novels for many years, Tina has owned The Romance Studio since 2003 and for 20 years, has enjoyed highlighting the best books in the genre. She enjoys all aspects of marketing including writing content, book trailer design, and finding captivating new books for voracious readers. She has also written over 20 romance titles under various pen names. In another life, she writes horror and works as an extras casting assistant for TV shows and films in the North Carolina and South Carolina regions.