6 Sensational Silhouette Category Romances

Silhouette Category Line

The American-based Silhouette imprint existed from 1980 to 2011 when it officially went defunct. Simon & Schuster created the trade name to compete directly with Harlequin. During their run, they produced several innovative series. First the Romance line, then Desire, Special Edition, Intimate Moments, and more.

Although Harlequin acquired Silhouette in 1984, the imprint remained intact for over 25 years. Well, at least a few lines did.

Multiple talented authors wrote for Silhouette: Anne Hampson, Janet Dailey, Nora Roberts, Debbie Macomber, Diana Palmer, Elizabeth Lowell, Linda Howard, Jayne Ann Krentz (usually as Stephanie James), Sandra Brown, Barbara Delinsky, and Maggie Shayne, among many others.

We’ve picked one shining example of excellence from 6 of their lines. Since they published a vast quantity of great romances, it wasn’t easy to decide which ones. But we think you’ll like our selections! Have you read any of the following romances? Are you surprised by the books we chose? Please, leave a comment, and let’s talk romance!


Irish Thoroughbred, a Silhouette Romance, was Nora Roberts’s debut novel, originally published in January 1981. Right out of the gate, Roberts created characters and plots that engaged the reader. Adelia Cunnane lives in Ireland. She goes to America on her uncle’s behest to work with horses. Adelia meets Travis Grant, the stable’s owner, and the sparks fly. This is an old-fashioned, sweet-styled romance that will keep you warm inside on a cold day.


We’ve reviewed this wonderful, hilarious romance before. In Four Dollars and Fifty-One Cents by Lass Small created a fantastic friends-to-lovers story. The heroine only notices how desirable her long-time neighbor Junior is when his picture is placed in the newspaper after signing up for a charity auction. Jan has her eye on another man to bid on, although now, with Junior looking so hot, she’s not sure. This book is a riot!

Intimate Moments

Linda Howard’s Midnight Rainbow contains an exciting Costa Rican setting, a great kickass heroine, and a hero to die for. What more can you ask for in romantic suspense? The hero must rescue the heroine from the evil villain’s jungle lair. There’s plenty of intense action and witty banter between the main characters. This romance will have you thinking this should have been made into a Hollywood production, as it’s so well-written.

Special Edition

Yes, La Nora shows up twice on this list. She is that amazing! The Return of Rafe MacKade is the first book in a series about the MacKade brothers from Antietam, MD. Rafe MacKade is the prodigal bad boy who returns to town after a 10-year absence. Rafe is an old-school, traditional type of male. Regan Bishop is a prim and proper yet feminist Ms. These two contrasting individuals collide, and watch out! The intensity between them is hot, hot, hot!


Silhouette took many risks during its time. In 1993, they launched the first paranormal category line, Silhouette Shadows. Although the series was short-lived, running for only 66 editions, it was incredibly innovative. The PNR genre would boom by the end of the decade. By the early 2000s, it would outsell historicals. Twilight Illusions was part of Maggie Shayne’s “Wings of Night” series. Shannon is a PI on the hunt for her friend’s murderer. Damien is a 6,000-year-old vampire. This romance, which predates the vampire craze, mixes ancient mythology with stellar writing.


Not only did Silhouette publish romances that were more sexually explicit than ever before, but they also went to the other side of the spectrum. Inspirations was another line that had a short run, publishing only 36 books. In Blind Promises, Katy Currie (aka Diana Palmer) penned a haunting love story about a nurse who has to care for a difficult patient who is temporarily blind. Gannon van der Vere is a hard man to get close to. Nevertheless, Dana Steele valiantly tries to break through his reserve. With her faith and love, she will do whatever she must to help him heal, both in his eyes and heart.

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About Jacqueline Diaz

Old-School, retro, and vintage romance reads are my jam, baby! The good, the bad, the cheesy, and the sleazy! I have no shame about it; I love ’em! An auto-didact, amateur historian, and reader of romance novels since 1990, I hope to offer a unique perspective on the genre. As a blogger, you may know me by several names; here, I’m Jacqueline Diaz. I’m also the aspiring author of two works-in-progress, historical romances, The Savage Noble and What She Says with Her Eyes, which hopefully will be released in 2023.

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