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Movies Based on Romance Novels Part III: Silhouette Category Romances

silhouette romance movies

Silhouette Romances On the (Small) Screen

In the 1980s and 1990s, romance imprints Silhouette and Harlequin teamed up with Showtime and CBS to create television adaptations of some category novels. Here we’re covering the movies based on Silhouette romances.

Diamond Girl by Diana Palmer

Diana Palmer‘s 1984 Silhouette Desire, Diamond Girl is about a mousy secretary who gets a makeover. Her boss wants her to catch the eye of his stepbrother. However, a romance ensues between the boss and the secretary.

silhouette romance movies

A television movie based on the book came out in 1998. It starred Jonathan Cake and Joely Collins.

silhouette romance movies

Clair Barnard is an attractive–if somewhat dowdy–paralegal who takes care of the everyday running of a law practice owned by playboy lawyer Denny Montana. Denny is oblivious to the fact that Clair harbors romantic feelings for him.

Since the death of Denny’s father the family wine estate has been in financial decline and the family is considering a merger. Denny’s brother Regan has arrived to help protect the family’s interests as he does not have confidence that Denny will negotiate a suitable settlement, nor does he trust his gold-digging girlfriend Margo.

Regan has commandeered an office at Denny’s practice and the intrusion has meant that Claire and Regan bicker constantly. Despite this fact, he recognizes that Claire is a diamond in the rough and sets about transforming her into a ravishing beauty. Regan intends to enlist the air of the transformed Claire to lure his brother away from the seductive charms of Margo. She gets the man she loves and he gets Denny away from Margo’s evil clutches.


Watch Diamond Girl on Youtube

Love with a Perfect Stranger by Pamela Wallace

Love With a Perfect Stranger, Silhouette Special Edition #63, was the first of three books by Pamela Wallace that were adapted to the screen.

love with a perfect stranger

This 1986 film starred Marilu Henner and Daniel Massey.

A beautiful wealthy American businesswoman meets an eccentric Irishman on an Italian train, who sets out to woo her. What ensues is something neither imagined happening.


Watch Love With a Perfect Stranger on Youtube

Dreams Lost, Dreams Found by Pamela Wallace

Dreams Lost, Dreams Found was the next Pamela Wallace Silhouette Special Edition to come out as a film on Showtime. This romance took place in Scotland.

dream lost, dreams found
Dreams Lost, Dreams Found, Pamela Wallace, Silhouette, 1983

This 1987 production starred Kathleen Quinlan and Nick Nolte’s look-alike, David Robb.

A young American widow is mysteriously drawn to a historic castle in the Scottish Highlands…and finds herself at the center of a 200-year-old ghost story.


Watch Dreams Lost, Dreams Found on YouTube

Tears In the Rain by Pamela Wallace

Tears In the Rain is the third Patricia Wallca Sihouette romance to be adapted into a movie.

Wallace had experience working in Hollywood, having developed two previous stories for film She had worked on the story for the film Witness, starring Harrison Ford.

She would then go on would go on to write scripts for other television productions. These include Christmas movies and other films for the Hallmark Channel.

silhouette romance movies
Tears In the Rain, Pamela Wallace, Silhouette,1983

The book blurb for Tears In the Rain:

Kentucky born Casey Cantre London, determined to fulfill her last request and deliver a letter to a mysterious stranger.

But when she reached the home of wealthy old Lord Bredon, she was met with only coldness and anger. Vowing to solve mystery, Casey went in search of an answer–and walked straight into the arms of a golden-haired aristocrat.

As open and sensual as his father was` and distant, Michael Bredon filled Casey with a tender, passionate longing. But could she give Michael her heart, when the . key to their future happiness lay in the dark shadow of a past love?

category romance movie

This 1988 film had Sharon Stone and Christopher Cazenove in the lead roles.

When Casey Cantrell’s mother died, her last wish was that her daughter would give a letter to Lord Richard Bredon, living in the UK. When Casey arrives in London, Lord Bredon denies ever having known her mother. Casey meets Lord Bredon’s son Michael and they fall in love. When Lord Bredon finds out about this new relationship he furiously assumes that Casey wants to blackmail his family and starts to investigate her background. The plot heightens dramatically when it appears that an event from the past might part the lovers.


Watch Tears In the Rain on YouTube

Cloud Waltzing by Tori Cates

Tori Cates Cloud Waltzer is yet another Silhouette romance novel made into a movie.

silhouette romance movies

The title Cloud Waltzer was changed to Cloud Waltzing for the 1987 adaptation of the 1984 book.

The lead roles went to Kathleen Beller and François-Eric Gendron.

Journalist Meredith Tolliver is sent to do a story on wealthy wine vineyard owner Francois De Paul. Francois is a mysterious, gentle man who never talks about his personal life and seems to be hiding a secret. Meredith is a woman determined to get a story on him like no one has ever written-including an in-depth story on his personal life. Meredith is determined to become a fantastic journalist, even if it’s against her rich domineering fathers wishes. With Francois love, he’ll help her overcome her own secret, and she’ll help him overcome his.


Watch Cloud Waltzing on YouTube (Part I)

At the Midnight Hour by Alica Scott (aka Lisa Gardner)

Silhouette Intimate Moments #558, At the Midnight Hour by Alicia Scott, was a 1995 release about a nanny caring for a scientist’s child.

At The Midnight Hour, Alicia Scott, Silhouette, 1995, cover artist TBD

The film version starred Patsy Kensit and Keegan MacIntosh.

Watch In the Midnight Hour on YouTube

Young nanny Elizabeth Guinness arrives at the mansion of the brilliant, widowed scientist Richard Keaton, to care for his gifted but troubled son Andrew. Complications arise when the scientist’s younger brother, Blaine and his girlfriend Jillian arrive at the mansion for an extended visit.

While trying to reunite father and son, Liz attempts to unravel the mystery surrounding the death of Richard’s wife and at the same time find herself falling in love with the mysterious Keaton.


Watch At the Midnight Hour On YouTube

Your Opinion

Have you seen any of these movies based on Silhouette romance novels? Or have you read the books that the movies were based on? If so, what did you think of them?

As always, please drop a comment, and let’s talk romance.

movies based on books

Movies Based on Romance Novels, Part II: Best-Selling Authors

movies based on books

Harlequin Romance Movies

We’ve found more movies based on romance novels. These are adapted from bestselling bookd in the 1980s.

By the mid-1970s, the romance genre was hot, from historical romances to family sagas to Gothics to category romances.

It was no surprise when Hollywood would come knocking at the door. Despite the vast number of romance novels written and sold, surprisingly few of them were adapted to the screen.

In the last quarter of the 20th century, there would be a smattering of romance novels turned into movies, from Harlequin, Pocket Books, and other publishers.

Leopard in the Snow by Anne Mather, 1974

The Book

Mildred Grieves, better known to romance readers as Anne Mather, was Harlequin’s best-selling author in the 1970s. Her Harlequin Presents novels were fresh, exciting, and sensual.

Her 1974 romance, Leopard In the Snow, was a hit with readers. It has been republished several times and was–at one point–available on Kindle, although it doesn’t appear to be so now. The original edition of this book is highly prized, hard to find, and expensive if you do.

Leopard in the Snow, Anne Mather, Harlequin, Don Sinclair art

The Plot

Helen simply couldn’t believe her eyes when, stranded in the snow in the wilds of Cumberland, she found herself confronted by a leopard! But luckily it was a tame one, and its owner, the mysterious Dominic Lyall, was able to offer Helen shelter in his house.

Soon, however, the situation turned into a nightmare as she realized that he intended to keep her there, virtually a prisoner – and no one had any idea where to start searching for her! How could she get away? And, as time went by, did she want to get away?

Yet she was only too well aware that if Dominic did decide to let her go, it would only be because he wanted to get rid of her for good…

Leopard In the Snow by Anne Mather
harlequin romance movie
Leopard in the Snow, Anne Mather, Mills & Boon, 1974, cover artist unknown

The Film

This Harlequin Presents romance was made into a 1978 romance movie starring Keir Dullea, star of 2001, A Space Odyssey, and Susan Penhaligon.

harlequin romance movies
Leopard in the Snow, Anne Mather, Mills & Boon, 1978, movie-tie edition

The film wasn’t very profitable and garnered mixed reviews. It would be a long while before Harlequin romance movies would hit the screens again.

You can watch Leopard In the Snow on YouTube.

Leopard in the Snow, film

Janet Dailey Romances Made Into Films

English-born Anne Mather sold millions of books worldwide for Harlequin. She had an American counterpart in Janet Dailey. By the end of the 1970s, Dailey was Harlequin’s only American writer and an extremely popular one.

After producing more than 50 books with Harlequin, Dailey signed a massive deal with Simon & Schuster to write category and full-length romances for their Pocket Books Division and new Silhouette imprint.

She and her husband Bill developed a movie studio of their own, Ramblin’ Films, to produce their own films.

Foxfire Light by Janet Dailey, 1983

The Book

Janet Dailey‘s Silhouette Special Edition #36, Foxfire Light, was from 1982 and was the Daileys’ first foray into filmmaking.

foxfire light
Foxfire Light, Janet Dailey, Silhouette Special Edition #36, 1982, cover artist unknown

The Plot

The original Special Edition version is hard to find, but the book is available on Kindle.


foxfire light
Foxfire Light, Janet Dailey, Kindle version

The Film

In the wooded Ozark hills Joanna met proud-hearted Linc Wilder. His gold-flecked eyes mocked her, his country-born spirit clashed with her city-wise ways. His lean body challenged her, sparking her senses till Joanna was as sweetly glowing as the foxfire that lit their nights.

This was no will-o’-the-wisp, to slip away in the dark, but a bright and shining love to show the way into tomorrow.


This was the Daileys production company’s only romantic adaptation to film. The movie came out in 1983 and was neither a commercial nor a critical success.

It starred Leslie Morgan and Tippi Hedren as the heroine’s parents and Faye Grant and Barry van Dyke as the young lovers.

foxfire light movie poster
Foxfire Light, 1983 Movie Poster

Ride the Thunder (aka When a Spider Bites) by Janet Dailey, 1980

The Book

A decade after the release of Foxfire Light, the Daileys would have another of Janet’s books transferred to the big screen. This time, it was one of her full-length novels, Pocket Books’ Ride the Thunder. Bill Dailey acted as an Executive Producer.

ride the thunder cover
ride the thunder
Ride the Thunder, Janet Dailey, Pocket Books, 1980, George H. Jones cover art

Ride the Thunder is still available on the Kindle version. If you can get your hands on the original copy, it is a collector’s item, as it’s one of the first stepback romances.

Buy Ride the Thunder

The Plot

From the Driving Power of Manhattan’s Penthouses to the High, Wild Beauty of Idaho’s Mountains, a Love Story That Rides the Thunder!

Jordanna Smith was the wild and willowy daughter of a prominent banker and a glamorous socialite, a globe-trotting huntress who sought the world’s big game at her father’s side. No man was her father’s equal in her eyes–until the night she met the rugged stranger who, in one frenzied and exalted moment, tapped the roots of a desire she had never known.

Fleeing to Idaho to join her father’s hunting party, she hoped to forget the bronzed stranger’s fiery touch. But there he was — her stranger, their guide, Brig McCord.

Their days were filled with the wild beauty of the hunt, their nights with the primitive fire of their passion. But soon their idyll was shattered by jealousy, betrayal and murder.

Now Jordanna would have to face the hidden truths about her father and her brother, and a secret that already had claimed one life and threatened to destroy her newfound love.

Ride the Thunder by Janet Dailey

The Film

The title was changed from Ride the Thunder to When a Spider Bites to make the film sound less pornographic, more suspenseful.

When A Spider Bites had a small budget of $350,000. The film starred Andrew Lamond as Brig McCord and Sharon Young as Jordanna ‘Dannie’ Smith. It was released in 1993.

janet dailey movie
When a Spider Bites, Movie Poster, 1993

When Jordanna Smith accepts an invitation to accompany her father & three others on a hunting trip into the Idaho mountains, she doesn’t know the trip will lead to both romance & murder – & that the motive for each will be revenge.


Movie Based on a Lavyrle Spencer Romance

Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer, 1989

The Book

LaVyrle Spencer’s 1989 romance novel, Morning Glory, is a romance about:

The book is available on Kindle, but the original Jove edition with the James Griffin stepback is also a collector’s copy.

Buy Morning Glory

morning glory griffin
Morning Glory, LaVyrle Spencer, Jove, 1989, James Griffin cover art

The Plot

In town, they called her “Crazy Widow Dinsmore.” But Elly was no stranger to their ridicule–she had been an outsider all her life, growing up in a boarded-up old house under the strict eye of her eccentric grandparents. Now she was all alone, with two little boys to raise, and a third child on the way.
He drifted into Whitney, Georgia, one lazy afternoon in the summer of 1941, hoping to put his lonely past behind him. He yearned for the tenderness he had never known, the home he’d never had. All he needed was for someone to give him a chance.
Then he saw her classified ad: WANTED–A husband. When he stepped across Elly Dinsmore’s cluttered yard, Will Parker knew he had come home at last … 

Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer

The Film

Morning Glory was made into a film in 1993, starring Christopher Reeve as Will Parker and Deborah Raffin as Elly Dinsmore. Although it was not a box office hit by any means, it received some critical acclaim.

The movie has gone on to be an appreciated romance classic.

morning glory movie

You can watch Morning Glory on Youtube:

Your Opinion

Have you seen any of these movies based on romance novels? Have you read the original books? Let us know!

Please drop a comment, and let’s talk romance!

barbara cartland movies

Movies Based on Romance Novels, Part I: Barbara Cartland

barbara cartland movies

Old School Romance Novels on the Big (and Small) Screen

hazard of hearts

Considering the many romance novels written in the 20th century, particularly the last quarter of it, it’s surprising how rarely they were adapted to the screen.

Kathleen E. Woodiwiss had been in talks with studios to have Shanna released on film, but negotiations fell through. Most adaptations were small-budget numbers released on television.

The 21st century has been markedly different. Twilight, Fifty Shades of Grey, Outlander, and the Bridgerton series are popular now. Francine RiversRedeeming Love was recently released as a film.

But notwithstanding some miniseries based on Jackie Collins & Danielle Steel–authors who wrote romantic fiction, necessarily romance–rare was it for romance novels to be put on the screen, big or small.

Barbara Cartland Romances on Film

barbara cartland
Barbara Cartland

One exception is Barbara Cartland. Cartland had a series of movies based on her novels filmed for television. They came out in the 1970s to the 1990s. Most are even available to watch on YouTube.

The Flame Is Love by Barbara Cartland (1979)

The Flame Is Love starred Timothy Dalton. I didn’t see this one. But I should!

IMDB Summary: Linda Purl is a turn-of-the-century American heiress who, while en route to her betrothal to an English Duke (Timothy Dalton), encounters love and intrigue in the arms of a French journalist (Shane Briant).

A Hazard of Hearts by Barbara Cartland (1987)

I recall seeing A Hazard of Hearts on TNT back in the early 1990s. This is memorable for starring a young Helena Bonham-Carter.

I LOVED this one. The hero was to die for. And Diana Rigg as the evil mother-in-law was divine!

IMDB Summary: When compulsive gambler Sir Giles Staverley (Christopher Plummer) has lost his estate and all of his money playing dice, he realizes that he only has one thing left of value: his daughter Serena (Helena Bonham Carter). 

The Lady and the Highwayman by Barbara Cartland (1988)

This one stars Lysette Anthony in the heroine’s role. Remember her from the incredibly underrated 1991 reboot of Dark Shadows as Angelique?

Anyway, I liked this one.

IMDB Summary: Swashbuckling tale of romance, betrayal, jealousy, banditry, murder, and court intrigue set in the 1660s, during the Restoration.

A Ghost in Monte Carlo by Barbara Hazard (1990)

Again, here is Lysette Anthony starring in another Cartland TV movie. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a full version of A Ghost in Monte Carlo.

IMDB Summary: Weary of her very public life in Paris, an aging courtesan takes her orphaned niece from her convent home and relocates to Monte Carlo

Here’s a clip of the trailer.

Duel of Hearts by Barbara Cartland (1991)

The lovely Alison Doody from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was the leading lady in the adaptation of A Duel of Hearts.

She and her handsome, blond leading man made a beautiful couple.

Wikipedia Summary: An incognito lady (Alison Doody) helps a lord (Benedict Taylor) framed for murder by his greedy cousin (Michael York) in 1820s London.

Your Opinion

Have you seen any of these Barbara Cartland movies? You should. They’re pretty cheesy and enjoyable.

Do you wish more films based on romances had been filmed in the past? What books would you have liked to see make it to screen?

Please, drop a comment, and let’s talk romance.