By Lindsay Roseberry, Reference Department
Interested in branching out in the romance genre? Tired of regular historical romances and looking for something new? Consider paranormal romance (often confused with urban fantasy, which is its own subgenre). These novels are romances, but they include some element of the paranormal or supernatural, which is why they are perfect for October. Many characters have ESP, magic or other special abilities and oftentimes the hero (or heroine) is not human but a werewolf, a vampire, a faerie (The Fae), a god, a demon, an angel or anything else writers can think of, in disguise.
Paranormal romance has its roots in Gothic fiction, which involved the supernatural (or the promise of the supernatural) and it often included the discovery of mysterious elements of antiquity. Generally there was also a large rambling house, with glimpses of lurking unknown figures with a threatening mystery and a brooding hero. Think of Jane Eyre, with the creepy old house and strange things happening in the attic, or even Dracula and Frankenstein. Thank goodness this novel has morphed into the paranormal romance.
Most sources agree that the first big hit in the paranormal romance genre was probably Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, which won the 1991 RWA (Romance Writers Association) Best Romance award for a new “Futuristic/Fantasy/Paranormal” category. Jude Deveraux made it to the best seller list with A Knight in Shining Armor in 1989, telling a similar tale of time-crossed lovers. It is one of the fastest growing trends in the romance genre.
According to Romance Literature Statistics, in 2010 romance fiction generated just over a billion in sales, estimated to go up to $1.368 in 2011, and it has only increased since 2011!! (The Romance Market share compared to other genres – $759 million for Inspirational fiction; $682 million for mystery novels and over $500 million for the parent genre, science fiction and fantasy.) Who knew!
So romance fiction is no small thing anymore, but a force to be reckoned with!
So why is it so popular? Jordan Hawk, an author and blogger gives several reasons why this genre is still going strong:
- These books take us away from our every-day lives. If we have stress in our lives, pets and children who depend upon us, it’s nice to get away for a while.
- It exercises our imaginations. These novels are like living daydreams, where anything can happen and magical creatures exist. You could meet a Fae, a vampire, a wizard and/or help defeat evil, plus fall in love with the hero, just like the heroine.
- Some of the authors write books that can be considered fantasy adventure stories for women. If the female lead is a take-charge kind of girl we can all fantasize about living a life like that. There’s a reason people sometime call romance “mind candy”.
- You can read about people meeting their soulmate, and fantasize about this in your own life. Imagine there is someone out there just for you and he is looking for you, too. Some authors write racy stories and some write gentle romance novels, so you can pick what suits you best.
One thing: these books are in a series and are meant to be read in order. Don’t pick up the third or fourth book and expect to know what’s happening. You should try to read in series order, as they are meant to be read–not in random order. (We have Interlibrary Loan here at our library which will allow you get the books you’re missing in a series so you can read them in order.)
Paranormal fiction can be fun and humorous, or sexy and dark. There is something for everyone in this genre! Here are a few authors in each of the above categories.
Humorous and Light Paranormal Authors:
- Mary Janice Davidson
- Charlaine Harris
- Katie McAlister
- Molly Harper
- Shanna Swendson
- Michele Bardsley
- Mimi Jean Pamphiloff
- Lydia Dare
- Janet Chapman
- Nora Roberts
- Tracy Madison
- Mary Balogh
- Barbara Bretton
- Victoria Laurie
Sexy Paranormal Authors:
- Keri Arthur
- Christine Feehan
- Nalini Singh
- Kresley Cole
- Stephanie Rowe
- J R Ward
- Victoria Dannan
- Karen Marie Moning
- P C Cast
- Sherilynn Kenyon
- Lyndsay Sands
- Jeaniene Frost
- Charlene Hartnady
- https://www.stopyourekillingme.com/GenreCats/Paranormal.html huge a-z list
By Erin Holt, Teen Librarian
There’ve been so many times that our Teen staff have been asked for “safe” romance novels for their teens, starting at the age of 12. So we decided to create this awesome list of safe teen romance titles. Check it out!
The Summer I Turned Pretty, It’s Not Summer Without You, We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han – Follow Belly on her journey over several summers, including a best friend, two love interests, and a love triangle
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith – When four minutes changed everything in 24 hours.
The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg – What happens when Penny decides to give up boys and dating…
All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin – NYC in the year 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal and teen Anya’s mafia family is accused of poisoning chocolate that they have been distributing
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler – BFFs Frankie and Anna spend a 20 day vacation together, making a bet that they can meet one boy per day.
Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn – A sweet fun read involving books, New York City, and teen love interests.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – A beautiful love story, taking place in 1986, between 2 misfit teenagers.
What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen – A story about a girl…and the cute guy next door…
Just One Day by Gayle Forman – The lives of Allyson and Willem is transformed in just 24 hours
*See the Teen Library staff for a complete list of titles*