Do you want to be entertained with stories that are infused with hope and have a happily ever after? Are you interested in reading romantic fiction but you find the choice overwhelming? Refrain from downloading a free romance novel or choosing the top romance on the bestseller list. That’s not the way to start.
Why? The main reason is that many of those books are part of a series. The free book usually introduces you to an established series or gives you a continuing story about a popular couple. The bestselling books are often from a long-running series. Those romances have many characters and multiple storylines interlinked throughout the books. Chances are you’ll pick up a book from the middle of the series and feel like you’re constantly catching up on relationship dynamics and rules of the world.
Instead of looking at what Romancelandia is buzzing about, take inspiration with the TV shows and movies you enjoy.
Think your taste is too eclectic to pinpoint a genre? If you subscribe to a video streaming service, start by browsing through the suggestions it offers. The service’s algorithm should give you a better idea of your preferences. (Although there might be a few recommendations that will make you wonder who do you think I am, Netflix?)
Once you notice a pattern, it will give you a better idea about what kind of worlds, moods and storylines you favor. There’s a very good chance you will find that same kind of story in a romance novel. Romance fiction is such a large genre that there’s something for everyone.
For example, if you binge-watch everything from emergency room dramas to reality shows about veterinarians, read a medical romance from Tule Publishing or check out the Harlequin Medical Romance line.
Can’t get enough of spy adventures or psychological thrillers? Try a romantic suspense from Avon Romance, Penguin Random House or St. Martin’s Press. Don’t forget to look at military romance which often has action adventure plots.
What if you prefer stories that solve a mystery or crime? Harlequin Intrigue has you covered.
Love westerns? All things cowboys are extremely popular in romance fiction. Check out what HQN, Kensington Books and Tule Publishing is offering to romance readers. Harlequin used to publish a Western line and those love stories are still available in digital formats.
Do you watch a lot of faith-based films and TV shows? Bethany House, Harlequin Love Inspired and Thomas Nelson Zondervan offer Christian romance stories ranging from Amish, contemporary, historical and romantic suspense.
Enjoy LGBTQ+ storylines but don’t think there’s any in romance novels? Digital-first imprints such as Carina Press recently launched a trope-driven LGBTQ+ contemporary romance line, but you’ll find a wider selection with small presses that focus on LGBTQ+ romances. Visit Bold Strokes Books, DreamSpinner Press and Riptide Publishing for more.
Are you so over Regency England? Don’t worry! You can find everything from Medieval times to historical westerns. Scroll through the historical romance catalogs from HQN, Kensington Books, and St. Martin’s Press to find love stories set in different time periods up to the Second World War.
Do you prefer stories set in the future? It can be difficult to find fantasy, futuristic or sci-fi love stories because they are frequently grouped together in the paranormal romance subgenre. New York publishers such as Penguin Random House and St. Martin’s Press have a huge booklist of paranormal romances and you’ll have to dig deep to find niches. Fortunately, some of the smaller presses make it easy for readers to discover SF&F subsets. For example, you can find out more about their steampunk, urban fantasy and historical paranormal collections with a few strategic keywords.
Will you always like a romance subgenre based on your favorite Amazon Prime categories? The short answer is: no. Algorithms work with the data it’s given and humans are weird. You might be one of those people who will read lighthearted and sweet romances but watch dark and gritty murder mysteries.
But what are the odds? Using the suggestions from your video streaming service is a always good place to start.
New to category romance? Read this introductory overview!