Romance Genre: Subgenres & Examples in Literature

You are currently viewing Romance Genre: Subgenres & Examples in Literature

Everyone loves a love story, but a love story is not only limited to just love as there are many ways and circumstances or simply subgenres in which you can create a love tale making it more promising and appealing to its readers.

The different subgenres of romance give readers the advantage of enjoying a romance fiction in different forms and style.

What is Romance Genre?

Romance fiction explores one of the prominent human feelings which is love and the genre’s central plot revolves around a love story, often presenting the romantic relationship between two people.

Romance novels take its readers on a soothing romantic journey but also explore human’s genuine experiences while being in a relationship like conflict, troubles, issues and problems which comes in the way of two love birds but the stories often end with a comforting and at an emotional point.  

romance genre subgenres and examples in literature

6 Popular Subgenres of Romance

#1 Young Adult Romance

romance subgenres
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on
  • YA romance novels follow the plot of a romantic relationship between two young people in love.

Examples of Young Adult Romance-

  • The Faults in Our Stars by John Green
  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  • To all the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  • The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon
  • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
  • Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

#2 Historical Romance

romance subgenres
Photo by Flora Westbrook on
  • The romantic plot of historical romance takes place in the setting located in the past often prior to 1945 at any time.

Examples of Historical Romance Novels-

  • Arabella by Georgette Heyer
  • The Duchess War by Courtney Milan
  • A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare
  • Wicked Intention by Elizabeth Hoyt
  • Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah Maclean
  • Bridgertons: The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

#3 Contemporary Romance

romance subgenres
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on
  • Contemporary romance plot take place in the contemporary time period of the time of writing and showcases a romantic story, reflecting the mores of their time.

Examples of Contemporary Romance Novels-

  • The Kiss Quoted by Helen Hoang
  • You Me Everything by Catherine Isaac
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  • The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory
  • Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie by Kinsella

#4 Romantic Suspense

romance subgenres
Photo by Gabriel Bastelli on
  • The plot of this subgenre contains a blend of romance with mystery or suspense.

Examples of Romantic Suspense-

  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  • Nine Coaches Waiting by Sandra Brown
  • Naked in Death by J. D. Robb
  • Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard
  • The Witness by Nora Roberts
  • Open Season by Linda Howard

#5 Erotic Romance

romance subgenres
Photo by Marina Abrosimova on
  • Erotic romance novels showcase a developing romantic relationship between the characters through sexual interactions. This subgenre contains bold languages, sex acts and scenes with the central theme focusing sex.

Examples of Erotic Romance-

  • Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L James
  • Bared to You by Sylvia Day
  • The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A. N Roquelaure and Anne Rice

#6 Paranormal Romance

romance subgenres
Photo by cottonbro on

This subgenre focuses on a romantic story blending with the genres of speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy and horror). Paranormal romance novels showcase a romantic love plot and include elements beyond scientific explanation.

Examples of Paranormal Romance-

  • Dark Lover by J.R Ward
  • A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
  • Angel’s Blood by Nalini Singh
  • Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs
  • Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

Neel Rana

About the Author- Neel Rana is a YA short story author, flash fiction writer, literary enthusiast and the founder of Pandora Post. Neel holds a degree in BA Honours in English Literature and has been writing since 2017. Neel’s magnum opus YA short storybook, “The Drunken Ghost” has been well received by the readers.