What is Romance? — All about the genre and sub-genres.

What is Romance?

Romance is a story about love. Typically, the two characters meet for the first time at the beginning of the novel and confess their love by the end of the novel. This genre usually has a happy ending.

You will see: Handsome men. Beautiful women. Secrets. Love.

Popular romance novels and movies are:

The Popular Sub-genres of Romance

Historical Romance

Historical Romance is not from this time period. It is from a past era. No romantic phone calls. No online dating websites. Just traditional love. Many authors do a lot of research to write stories from other times, cultures and societies.

Many people like reading this genre. If you love history, this is the genre for you! Beginner readers might struggle with historical vocabulary.

You will see: Royal families. Hand written letters. Riding horses. Arranged marriages.

Popular historical novels and movies:

The classic romance between Jane and Mr. Darcy. The story is told through the eyes of sassy Jane. The story begins with hate and ends with love.
After the American Civil War (which freed the slaves) a young woman decides to open a school to help other African-Americans. She gets help from a single father who wants to educate his daughter.
A 17-year-old girl marries a royal Duke in the 18th century. When she finds out that he is having an affair, she starts her own affair, too.

Contemporary Romance

Contemporary Romance is from our time period (from the 1970s to present). It is the best selling sub-genre of romance.

Because this genre takes place in our time, it is easy for tadoku beginners.

You will see: Love and hate. Modern romance. Smart phones and computers. Career women.

Popular contemporary romance novels and movies are:

Two childhood friends work hard to follow their dreams: to become basketball stars. This story follows them from childhood to adulthood and their struggles with basketball, family and love.
A famous pop singer has a stalker. She gets a bodyguard to protect her. They soon fall in love.
A British prince and the son of an American politician meet and become friends. They soon fall in love despite political problems.

Romantic Thriller (also called: Romantic Suspense)

This sub-genre is a mix between romance and thrillers or suspense. There is double tension because of the romance plot and the thriller plot. Even if you don’t like romance, you might like this sub-genre!

This genre is often fast-paced! If you get bored easily, you might want to try this genre.

You will see: Love. Murder. Kidnapping. Heroic boyfriends.

Popular romantic thriller novels and movies are:

In 1912, the Titanic sets sail A poor boy and a rich girl meet and fall in love – just before disaster hits.
A scared woman runs away and starts a new life in a small town. She falls in love with a kind man… but soon, the police find her again.
A woman discovers that her husband is a serial killer. He vanishes, but three years later, he comes back. A sexy police officer becomes her bodyguard..

Paranormal Romance

Paranormal romance is a mix between fantasy and romance. Often, it is a love between a human and a fantasy creature. Sometimes, it is a love between two different fantasy creatures.

This is a great genre for tadoku beginners, especially if you love fantasy. Usually, the storyline and setting are not too difficult.

You will see: Sexy vampires. Beautiful angels. Handsome werewolves. Jealous fairies.

Popular paranormal romance novels and dramas are:

A human girl moves to a small town near Seattle. She falls into a love triangle with a vampire and a werewolf.
A young woman discovers that she is a Shadowhunter. Another handsome Shadowhunter trains her how to kill demons.
The devil leaves hell and comes to Earth for fun. He falls in love with a detective, but he can’t tell her the truth.

Romance is a fun genre because we know it will have a happy ending. There is a lot of dialog in these stories, so it is great for learning conversational English.


Published by Judy Shinohara

Hello! I’m Judy, living in Osaka! I love teaching English to my students. In my free time, I enjoy simple gardening, reading and writing, art, and watching Netflix.

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