- love is the main subject of the novel
- the main characters are the ones who fall in love with each other
- The Point of View is usually a woman
- romance novels are short (less than 200 pages)
- the main characters clash over a main conflict
- the characters fight and cannot choose between their heart (attraction, passion for each other) and what separates them (mind)
- the plot is about how the couple overcome their problem or conflict
- initially they dislike each other and deny the attraction they have for each other
- something forces them to be together (they have to work together, they share the same inheritance, etc)
- they fall in love, but something keeps them apart (one is already engaged, he is the boss and she is the secretary, their families hate each other, etc.)
- they have different goals, even opposite goals and they cannot achieve their goal without defeating the other
- the story always ends happily. Everybody gets what they really want.
- the relationship is at the heart of the novel, so dialogues are important
- dialogues are crafted like mini battles and passionate outbursts
- feelings are important and must precede all physical encounters because it is about people having
"If you can take the love interest out and it’s still a story, it’s not a romance.”
--Jayne Ann Krentz, author
Chick-Lit: humorous, breezy romantic adventures of women in their mid-twenties or thirties.
Christian: spiritual romance with chaste courtship.
Contemporary: modern heroes and real settings.
Erotica: also called “romantica.” Explicit sex in candid language.
Glitz/Glamor: portrays celebrities.
Historical: romance set in the past.
Multicultural: ethnic heroes, mainly African-American or Hispanic.
Paranormal: supernatural element including time-travel.
Romantic Comedy: heroes are witty and humorous.
Romantic Suspense: the heroes fight against some evil force.
Sensual: sensual tension and sizzling sex scenes.
Spicy: married couples work together to reestablish romance and solidify their marriage.
Sweet: virgin heroine falling for someone she knows. Quite pure.
Young Adult: for teens with focus on first love and self-discovery.
Michaels, Leigh. On Writing Romance. 2007.
Sambuchino, Chuck. 2009 Guide To Literary Agents. Articles. 2009.
Kath-Bilsky, Ashley. "101 best romance novels voted by readers of Romantic Times." Dec. 2008.
Website listing publishers of romance: Judith Laik.