A romance novel is described as a work of fiction where the love story is the central theme. The primary focus is between the hero and heroine and the obstacles they must overcome to be together. The story must have a happy ending and be emotionally satisfying.
There are many subgenres in romance. These subgenres help to classify the works of fiction into categories so readers will know what they are buying. Keep in mind that a book can crossover into many subgenres and they often do.
Comedy – Stories filled with amusing antics.
Contemporary – Stories set in present time. The story must take place after the World Wars.
Erotica – Focuses on the sexual relationships in the story with graphical detail.
Fantasy – These stories take place in other worlds and contain elements of magic. Mythical or monster creatures are often present. Example: Fairies, vampires, dragons.
Futuristic – Stories set far in the future, often containing sci-fi elements.
Historical – Stories set before the World Wars. This is a huge category with many sub-categories. Example: Regency England, Medieval times, American West, Pirates, Vikings.
Inspirational - Stories with Christian themes with the development of a romantic relationship.
Paranormal – Stories with other-worldly elements. Example: a person with paranormal powers, ghosts, angels, demons.
Suspense – Stories contain elements of mystery and intrigue.
Time Travel – Stories set across two different time periods.
Traditional (sweet romances) – Stories that omit sex scenes and leave them implied by closing the bedroom door
Young Adult (YA fiction) - Stories written with teens in mind. Books rated PG-13.