Skip to content Skip to footer

Love Is Fleeting, Books Are Forever

The only thing better than romance is romance novels. Here are some subcategories of the romance genre that you may not have heard of. Keep in mind that any given novel may encompass multiple subgenres.
Romantic suspense is a genre that is one part romance, one part mystery or thriller. The romantic interests work together to solve a mystery—and stay out of danger—while falling in love in the process. Oftentimes, one half of the couple must protect the other from harm. Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel, and Sandra Brown are some of the most famous authors of romantic suspense.
An erotic romance is a romance that contains explicit sex scenes. It differs from erotica in that the sex scenes are integral to the plot and character development. By contrast, a sweet romance is a romance without any explicit content. In a sweet romance, the scene either fades out with the implication of a sex scene, or nothing beyond kissing occurs.
A speculative romance is a romance with sci-fi or fantasy elements. Much like sci-fi and fantasy itself, the key to good speculative romance is an interesting premise and strong world-building. The Twilight series is an infamous example of speculative romance. The Time Traveler’s Wife is another, more high-brow example.
An inspirational romance is a romance that contains religious or spiritual elements. A romance subplot and a faith-based subplot often unfold simultaneously.
Gothic romance is defined by a gloomy and foreboding setting, unsettling and even paranormal characters, and a plot centering on emotional and psychological extremes bordering on madness. Gothic romance is not as prevalent today as it was in the 19th and 20th centuries, but lives on in the romantic suspense and speculative romance genres. Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Rebecca are some of the most famous examples of Gothic romance.
A historical romance is classified as any book set before World War II. Anything set afterwards is a contemporary romance. However, Regency romances, which take place during the British Regency period, are considered to be a category of their own. Regency romances focus heavily on the social mores and customs of the era, and often feature witty, snappy dialogue. Georgette Heyer is considered to be the progenitor of this genre, while Amanda Quick and Lisa Kleypas are some of its most famous authors of today.
So open that heart-shaped box of chocolates and curl up in an armchair with a romance novel. With so many subgenres to choose from, there’s something for everyone!

Leave a Reply

Jersey City Writers  is a (JCW) 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Hudson County, NJ

Newsletter Signup

© 2024. All rights reserved.