The Washington Post

Valentine’s Day at Harlequin headquarters

"Her Valentine Hero," by Gail Gaymer Martin (Courtesy of Harlequin). “Her Valentine Hero,” by Gail Gaymer Martin (Courtesy of Harlequin).

You’d think that Valentine’s Day at Harlequin would be like Christmas at the North Pole. After all, the Toronto-based publisher releases more than 110 romance titles a month — more than 6 billion books since the company was founded. Talk about stamina!

But actually, the staff at Love Central sounds pretty low-key. The only thing you’ll see there that’s out of the ordinary on Valentine’s Day is some extra chocolate.

Harlequin senior executive editor Birgit Davis-Todd tells me that “every working day is filled with romance.” But she knows there’s something special about February 14. “It’s that one day when you realize how enduring love is and how nice it is to have someone special in your life,” she says.

Still, her heart goes out to lovers who are separated. “For the first time in many years, my hubby is away on the West Coast,” she says. “So we’ll exchange e-cards and then some photos or a short video greeting to each other. I suspect some flowers will be delivered to the office tomorrow, but I’ll wait and see first!”

(If you’re reading this, hubby, you’ve still got time to call FTD!)

Ron Charles is the editor of The Washington Post's Book World. For a dozen years, he enjoyed teaching American literature and critical theory in the Midwest, but finally switched to journalism when he realized that if he graded one more paper, he'd go crazy.



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