Romance: It’s Only a Page Away

Wednesday, August 10th – Augusta Welsh, Adult Services

August is Romance Awareness Month!

Life has many great questions, and answers to them are hard to come by. Luckily for us, a dedicated group of authors is committed to answering these important questions for the world. Paramount questions such as: How many corny pick-up lines really exist? How many ways can someone screw up a perfect relationship? How many ways are there back to forgiveness (after messing up said perfectly good relationship)? How many meddling family members does it take to overcome a character’s stubbornness? How many Pride and Prejudice retellings can there ACTUALLY be? Romance authors have taken on the heavy burden of asking these heavy questions and discovering their answers.

Romances often get a bad rap for all being the same or unoriginal. While the storylines often do follow a similar structure, romance books manage to be unique through their characters, settings, and the situations their characters must face and overcome. Some authors have their stories set in different cities, countries, or eras, while others create entirely new worlds and peoples for their book’s backdrop. Where romances tend to all be the same are their relationship-focused narratives. The building and discovery of these relationships are what make romances such a powerful, and successful, way of telling stories. The genre is built on emotions and falling in love, often at the expense of some personal turmoil and self-discovery. Sometimes the story might find a few snags from outside forces, such as competing jobs, a meddling family member, or even some small thing like being in completely different universes. Whatever their hurdles to overcome, the end results are often the same: a happily ever after (or a happy for now) for our characters.

As part of Romance Awareness month, here are some terms that are important when talking about romance novels:
*Trope: a plot device or character attribute that is used so frequently within the genre that it is considered conventional or commonplace; enemies to lovers and grumpy-sunshine are two big tropes within romance novels (and my personal favorites)
*HEA (Happily Ever After): the book ends with a solid, concise answer as to how the couple’s future will go
*HFN (Happily For Now): the couple’s future is murky, they are happy currently, but there is no definite answer on how they will continue

Romance Recommendations by their subgenre:

*Historical Romance: These books are set in past centuries; regency era England is a favorite for many historical romance books and series.
1 . The Duke and I (The Bridgerton Series #1) by Julia Quinn
2 . Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas
3 . The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

*Fantasy Romance: These books are often set in fantasy worlds and tend to have a plot that focuses on overcoming some evil or enemy rather than just following the main character’s relationship.
1 . A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
2 . This Woven Kingdom by Tahereh Mafi
3 . The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jenson

*Contemporary Romance: These stories take place in modern-day settings.
1 . Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
2 . The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
3 . Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

*Paranormal Romance: These novels tread into speculative and science fiction, often having characters that are considered mythical, such as vampires, werewolves, fae, or even aliens.
1 . Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
2 . Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood Series #1) by J.R. Ward
3 . Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

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