Published on December 17, 2008
Romance What’s wrong with love and happy endings?
Quotes Romance novels are the last genre that librarians feel comfortable censoring. – Shelley Mosley Romance offers a guarantee to the reader…You are going to feel good. Characters are going to receive emotional justice and villains will get their due. – Charis Calhoon Few people realize how much courage it takes for a woman to open a romance novel on an airplane. – Jayne Ann Krentz
Characteristics • Love story is most important facet of the novel • Optimistic ending • Emotional appeal • Strong female characters • May be read for other characteristics: historical setting, adventure, humor, etc.
Romance Formats Series or “Category” – shorter romances that are released in order and by month, with a series number on each title. Typically published by Harlequin or Silhouette. Single-title romances – longer romances released individually.
Evolution of the Romance Novel Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte Gothic Novels Sentimental Domestics and Dime Novels Category Romances Bodice-Rippers Genre Blending
What a Difference 20 Years Makes
Romance Subgenres Contemporary “Chick Lit” Romantic Suspense Inspirational Historical Paranormal Regency Time-travel African-American Science Fiction
Contemporary Romance Romantic novels set after the World Wars Series: Harlequin, Silhouette, MIRA Popular authors: Jayne Ann Krentz, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jennifer Crusie, Christina Dodd, Diana Palmer, Catherine Anderson Website: www.eHarlequin.com
Romantic Suspense Romantic novels containing mystery and intrigue Most popular subgenre Popular Authors: Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Karen Robards, Elizabeth Lowell, Linda Howard, Julie Garwood, Suzanne Brockmann Website: www.rwamysterysuspense.org
Historical Romance Romantic novels set before the world wars Settings are vitally important to this category Popular Authors: Kat Martin, Lisa Kleypas, Johanna Lindsey, Candace Camp, Jodi Thomas, Heather Graham, Madeleine Hunter, Amanda Quick Website: www.historicalhearts.com
Regency Romances Set in England between 1811 and 1820 Traditional Regency – “comedy of manners,” mainly category (Signet Regency, Zebra Regency) Historical Regency – longer, more complex, more sexual tension Website: www.thebeaumonde.com
African-American Romance Romances featuring primarily African-American characters Series: Arabesque, some Silhouette Popular Authors: Donna Hill, Rochelle Alers, Roberta Gayle, Brenda Jackson, Gwynne Forster Website: www.romanceincolor.com
“Chick Lit” Romance Modern, realistic and humorous romances Children of Bridget Jones’ Diary Popular Authors: Patti Berg, Julie Ortolon, Susan Andersen, Carly Phillips, Rachel Gibson Website: www.chicklitbooks.com
Inspirational Romance Romances containing spiritual themes, predominantly Christian Series: Steeple Hill, Love Inspired, Heartsong Popular Authors: Lori Copeland, Robin Jones Gunn, Linda Windsor, Tracie Peterson, Gayle Roper Website: www.faithhopelove-rwa.org/
Time Travel & Futuristic Romance Romance novels with characters traveling between different time periods or in a futuristic setting on other planets Series: Timeswept, 2176 Popular Authors: J.D. Robb, Jayne Castle, Susan Grant, Robin D. Owens, Susan Krinard, Karen Marie Moning, Dara Joy Website: www.sfronline.com
Paranormal Romances Romantic novels containing “other-worldly” elements, such as magic, vampires, werewolves, fairies Series: Luna, Love Spell, HeartSpell Popular Authors: Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christine Feehan, MaryJanice Davidson, Lynsay Sands, Maggie Shayne Website: pnr.thebestreviews.com
General Romance Websites The Romance Reader www.theromancereader.com Romance Writers of America www.rwanational.com Romantic Times Book Club www.romantictimes.com
Linda’s Three Must-Reads Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson Seize the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon Fool for Love by Eloisa James
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