• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


File:Romance cover 015 7106.jpg

Plenty of Costume Porn, and actual porn.

A genre of Literature that has become popular starting in the early 20th century. While romantic subplots have existed in fiction since fairly close to the beginning, romance as a focal point and driving force hadn't really been explored in depth until the last few centuries. Romance novels as an industry started in The Thirties with the company of Mills and Boon releasing hardcover romance novels. The genre changed significantly with the distribution of The Flame and the Flower, which is noteworthy for showing that buyers of romance novels are more than happy to read about sex. The genre has since evolved over time, gaining a number of subgenres in the process.

While subversions, aversions, deconstructions, and parodies are prevalent, most romance novels are fairly idealistic and end Happily Ever After.

A couple of companies such as Harlequin (Mills and Boon in the U.K.) have started a business model of releasing relatively short (~55,000 words), Strictly Formula paperbacks. These are known as "category" or "series" romances because they are divided into series, each of which has its own requirements for setting, tone, and level of sensuality and is visually distinguishable by consistent cover design.[1] It's usually these that most people think of when the genre is brought up. Almost all listed authors of such books are female, although many are written by men using female pseudonyms, since the reader base expects the author to be a woman. Also, the main character is usually female - romance stories featuring a male main character are either rare or non-existent.

"Single title" romances -- those released as stand-alones rather than associated with a category -- are usually longer, sometimes come out in hardcover, and have more overlap with mainstream fiction. Particularly successful series romance writers often move up to writing books of this type.

The genre has always had a bit of a stigma to it, generally getting critically dismissed as "not literature" for most of its existence. They are often derisively known as "bodice-rippers" (particularly the historic ones) or "trashy romance novels" though it's obviously a stereotype that they all have gratuitous sex scenes. Some cynical souls have observed that the stereotypical "romance" book or movie shares a trait with most porn fiction, in that both stories end before the point where the natural consequences of the foolish or irrational choices and actions of the characters would arise.

For tropes popular within Romance Novels, see Romance Novel Tropes. Paranormal Romance is a subgenre.

  1. The "Harlequin Presents" line focuses on glitzy settings and wealthy, often foreign heroes, and has the cover art framed in a circle against a white background. The "Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical" line consists of inspirational (i.e., Christian) historicals and has the series logo on a maroon band across the top. The "Silhouette Special Edition" line has contemporary settings and, often, career-woman heroines, and has the logo in a curved blue band down the left side of the cover.

All items (82)