So, I did a thing. I wanted to write a list of subgenres in the Romance category as an FYI to me, and maybe a future blog. Because, really, nothing screams louder of procrastination than doing sublime shit like this when I ought to be writing.

I also spent a few seconds thinking of the poor souls who have never read a romance book. Yes, I’ve heard they exist. Hard to believe, I know. And I’ve also had people say to my face that romance books are “mommy porn” as they sneer down their nose at me. Sure, some are. But if that’s what a person is into, then who the fuck are they to judge? What if I snoop through their bedroom drawers, then compare their secret items requiring lube, to a romance book found in the checkout aisle?

The “no romance books for me” peeps might side-eye our genre, but they’re the ones missing out. I have seven reasons to give folks who are anti on why Romance reads—and their readers—are the bomb-dot-com!

First off, variety is the spice of life, baby! It’s good to download the brain with variations. I’m talking about different genres, not sexual positions, although there is a lot a person can learn in that department, too, from reading Romance. Don’t believe me? Ha! Ask my husband.

During high school, I wasn’t much into history. Though I sat next to a gal who gobbled it up and spat that shit all day long. Hand me a history book, fiction or non-fiction, and I’ll fall asleep faster than Ambien can work.

However, I’m more interested these days because of historical romance. You name it, and there’s a subgenre for it in Romance. There are the major subs, like Paranormal Romance and how HUGE the genre really is. I’m not talking the number of books available and the continuous number uploaded daily.

I like to think of it this way: The Romance genre is like a buffet for book lovers—it caters to every taste.

When I mentioned the genre is huge—

—I wasn’t kidding. Because in Romance, we’re allowed to mix subgenres! Yeah, I know! And there’s some wild ones out there. Most everyone has heard of Contemporary Romance, but subgenres also have their own subgenres. Here’s the ones I found just for CR:

  • Romantic Comedy (Rom-Com): Lighthearted, humorous love stories.
  • Chick Lit: Focuses on the heroine’s life and growth, often with humor.
  • Sports Romance: Focuses on athletes and sports-related settings.
  • Cowboy Romance: Yee-haw, you got it.
  • Military Romance: Involves characters who are in the military or dealing with military life.
  • Medical Romance: Set in hospitals or revolves around healthcare professionals.
  • Second Chance Romance: Characters rekindle a past romance.
  • Single Parent Romance: Features single parents finding love.
  • Baby Love Romance: Features pregnancy, babies, and kids.
  • Office Romance: Relationships develop in a workplace setting.
  • Small-Town Romance: Set in quaint, small-town settings.
  • Amnesia Romance: I can’t remember what this one’s about.
  • Celebrity Romance: Involves one or both protagonists being celebrities.
  • Holiday Romance: Centered around holidays like Christmas or Valentine’s Day.
  • Friends to Lovers: Characters start as friends and develop a romantic relationship.
  • Enemies to Lovers: Characters initially dislike each other but fall in love.
  • Billionaire Romance: Features wealthy protagonists, often with a power dynamic.
  • Romantic Suspense: Combines romance with elements of suspense or mystery.
  • Rock Star Romance: Focuses on musicians and the music industry.
  • Forbidden Romance: Love that is forbidden or faces significant obstacles.
  • LGBT Romance: Focuses on romantic relationships between characters who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
  • Multicultural Romance: Involves protagonists from different cultural backgrounds.
  • Interracial Romance: Focuses on relationships between people of different races.
  • Clean Romance: Minimal or no explicit content, focusing more on emotional connection.
  • Amish Romance: Set in the Amish community, with their unique cultural backdrop.

There’s a wide range of tastes going on there. Come on, if you can’t find something good to read out of that group, then how about… Historical Romance? HR has a LOT going on too:

  • Viking (Dark or Middle Ages)
  • Regency Romance: Set during the British Regency era (1811-1820).
  • Victorian Romance: Set during the Victorian era (1837-1901).
  • Medieval Romance: Set during the Middle Ages (5th to 15th century).
  • Georgian Romance: Set during the Georgian era (1714-1830).
  • Edwardian Romance: Set during the Edwardian era (1901-1910).
  • Tudor Romance: Set during the Tudor period (1485-1603).
  • Ancient World Romance: Set in ancient civilizations like Rome, Greece, or Egypt.
  • Renaissance Romance: Set during the Renaissance period (14th to 17th century).
  • Pirate Romance: Involves pirates and nautical adventures.
  • Western Romance: Set in the American West during the 19th century.
  • American Civil War Romance: Set during the American Civil War (1861-1865).
  • Colonial Romance: Set during the colonial period in various countries.
  • Scottish Highlands Romance: Set in the Scottish Highlands, often involving clans and lairds.
  • Viking Romance: Set during the Viking Age, involving Norse warriors.
  • World War I Romance: Set during World War I (1914-1918).
  • World War II Romance: Set during World War II (1939-1945).
  • Gothic Romance: Combines romance with elements of horror and mystery, often set in the 18th or 19th century.
  • Celtic Romance: Set in ancient Celtic lands, involving druids and Celtic myths.
  • Native American Romance: Set during various periods, focusing on Native American cultures and relationships.
  • Frontier Romance: Set on the American frontier during westward expansion.
  • Time-Travel Historical Romance: Characters travel back in time to historical periods and find romance.
  • Inspirational Historical Romance: Incorporates faith-based themes set in historical contexts.
  • Napoleonic Romance: Set during the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815).
  • Restoration Romance: Set during the English Restoration (1660-1688).
  • Gilded Age Romance: Set during the Gilded Age in America (1870s to early 1900s).
  • Prehistoric Romance: Set in prehistoric times, involving early human societies.

Remember above, where I admitted to snoozing through history in high school, then later I discovered Historical Romance and had an about-face?

While I’m still not voracious about the subject, most everything I learned of history I found between these novels’ pages. I know a few HR authors and I’m just aghast at the amount of research they happily perform. I mean, like, college history majors have nothing on this select group of authors.

Subgenres have subgenres. Each category has its own unique followers. For example, my friend and critique partner, Natasza Waters, writes great Military Romantic Suspense. (There’s a reason she’s a bestselling author) She’s my no-hesitation auto-buy. Guess that makes me her groupie. Grin!

Let me just say if you’re interested in seeing another blog post with the whole shebang of subgenres listed in order like above, gimme a shout. I have all the info (because I’m not a quitter!) but didn’t want this blog to turn into the post from hell. Which, based on its length, may already be heading in that direction.

The wild cross-genres, easily found on your friendly neighborhood online store, can be any combination of what’s been listed. Imagine a SciFi-Fantasy-Romantic Suspense! Or a cowboy vampire in a Sports Romance. Or my shameless plug: shapeshifting centaurs (Paranormal-Mythological-Fantasy Romance)!

Sounds cray-cray, but give it a go. It’s a wild ride!

What I would ask the anti-romance book people is when was the last time you dove into a novel and got swept away in a world of love, passion, and all the good vibes? Reading romance is like comfort food for the soul—satisfying and oh-so-good!

So run, don’t walk! And find a great romance to read.



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