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12 Romance Subgenres We’ll Love Forever

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But romance as a genre has countless sub-genres, and romance sub-genres are shifting, expanding, and rebranding all

So what exactly is a romance sub-genre? The first thing to know is that it’s different

A trope can be used in almost any situation: it’s an element to a story that

But what is a sub-genre, you keep asking? It’s just what it says

Within romance, there are several different thematic branches, or sub-genres

For the most part, they’re actually books that could technically be classified as members of different

So, were it a book, it would be categorized as a historical romance

It’s a romance novel set during the time that it was written

(If you’re picking up a Nora Roberts book that was written in 1985 and it seems to

It’s set in a present day that is familiar, with relatable characters, and while there are

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” A true romantic comedy has to have the romance at its core, but also have some wacky

A lot of the books that I would categorize as romantic comedies tend to be novella-length, just

This story is set over the course of about 24 hours, and the length is perfect for the

This is one of those that can fall into multiple categories as well, but it really doesn’

The relationship in the story is raw, almost toxically passionate, and there are often violent crimes involved

Historical romance is also an obvious one: a romance set prior to the time it was written

If we go by historical fiction requirements, the accepted “historical” period is 50 years before

But we’ve been seeing books that take place in 2016, or 2008, or 2000, and they feel very historical

We’re starting to see more historical romance set outside of Europe and the U

I could throw any Beverly Jenkins book into this box and you’d be just as delighted

They would all prove incredible examples of how great historical romance authors tell you a lot about

Okay, this one is kind of special because it technically falls under historical romance but is really

The Regency is a brief era in England between 1811 and 1820, in which King George III was still

And they continue to be prominent thanks to their ongoing success

I mentioned that there are just…countless Regencies, so I just picked one that I really liked

And her wealthy patron is ready to help her get that point across

While it’s not the first in the series, The Viscount Made Me Do It is a

A paranormal romance is often a contemporary romance (though sometimes they can be historical) that features creatures

The supernatural character probably has to hide the fact that they have a scary affliction, and more

The main thing is that the world in which they live is almost exactly like our own,

This is a fully contained story about a brilliant woman and the angry boss who turns into

There still has to be a central romance and an HEA, but the other issues of the

There could be a quest for the main characters, or a war with an evil sorcerer

But the development of the relationship has to have an equal or larger portion of the storytelling,

It’s set in a futuristic or space/science focused universe, and there can be heavy external

But the romantic arc has to have a prominent role in the story, or it’s not

This is an Earth-based book set in a futuristic world in which people can remotely drive cars

What’s not to love? The original production was developed with a full cast by Audible, but

If someone is running for their lives or trying to catch a killer, it’s gonna be

The usual story has oft times involved someone being in danger and someone keeping them alive, or

Note: this sub-genre usually has a lot more guns than the others, and you’ll usually see

There are also a lot that involve law enforcement or military protagonists

(You’re going to want to read the other two, and spoiler alert, you know who ends

Romantic mystery is almost romance suspense, but doesn’t have to be as high octane when it

This is where cozy mystery and romance converge, and the mystery to solve and the romantic relationship

(There are occasionally romantic elements in cozy mysteries, but they develop over the course of a series

One is a local doctor while the other is from out of town, and neither is quite

If you want something a little darker (and that has some scary elements to go with it),

It’s a great example of how the relationship and the problem solving can go hand in

I thought about whether I would include this as a sub-genre, but it really does have its

But a true Western romance, whether set in historical times or in present day, has something a

And at least one of the main characters is going to be out of their element — whether

All in all, it feels like a Western, but everybody survives in the end

I usually try not to duplicate authors in these things, but there isn’t a western like

Many people would say that Inspirational Romance is indeed a sub-genre

And it is almost always Christian, which is why I don’t call it “Religious Fiction

This book, which features relatively well off Black midwesterners, is an outlier, as are many of Pat

But if you’re looking to see how a properly balanced Christian romance might play out, this

There are definitely books that we can pull out into separate categories of reading, but they aren’

Romance by and with BIPOC people is something you can find in every sub-genre

These aren’t all of the sub-genres you might encounter, but the majority of romance can fall