How to Understand the Different Romance Novel Genres

When going over some of the very first Romance Novels, it’s safe to say that the genre has definitely changed greatly. From novels based on chivalry and slaying dragons, to those depicting the life of a love-torn low society female, Romance Books have evolved over the decades. Nowadays, the books all seem to have a reoccurring theme- one that portrays love, passion, lust, and the emotional and physical effects of pursuing the emotion.

While romance novels today all revolve around a pretty common theme, as a genre overall, romance books don’t fit into just one category. Nowadays, romance novels are often listed under sub-genre titles, rather than just romance. If you’re an author of romance novels or a reader who loves these types of books, it may be beneficial to know the variety of subgenres that make up what we call the romance novel. Below are some of the most commonly seen romance novels in today’s world:

1) Contemporary Romance – Romance novels written after 1945 are often called contemporary romance books. They have a strong focus on love-based relationships. Characters are often those conflicted yet seeking love. These novels often revolve around a female character as opposed to a male.

2) Historical Romance – Historical romance encompasses books written before 1945. These books take place in various time periods and in variety of locations, and may have themes that involve adventures, love, and chivalry. Many of these novels have more of a focus on men and how they were meant to be unafraid and willing to do the unthinkable for their love of a woman.

3) Inspirational Romance – Inspirational romance involves a romantic relationship that is heavily based or revolved around some sort of religious or spiritual belief. The relationship within the book has a heavy connection to religion in this subgenre.

4) Young Adult Romance – Young adult romance novels are very similar to contemporary romance novels, although the characters and themes involved are geared more towards a younger crowd. This usually involves younger characters in situations that teenagers can identify with.

5) Paranormal Romance – Paranormal romance novels involve love and passion, but many times the main relationship involved takes place with paranormal events integrated into it. This subgenre also includes those novels that are set in some sort of fantasy or future world.

6) Erotica – Erotic Books are usually extremely romantic, as many of them follow the “happily ever after” guidelines. However, they have a bit more eroticism throughout them than other romance books. Erotica books are romance books with heavy touches of lust, passion, and sex.

As time has passed, the romance novel changed and was molded into what it is now. Because of these changes, it is no surprise that libraries are filled with all types or romance books that fall under a variety of subgenres. No longer are romance novels entirely focused around the same one theme. Instead, that theme has been altered, and with added elements that allow readers a wide range of reading options.

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