Erotica focuses graphically upon
the sexual component of the story, often features alternative sex scenes,
and may make use of language not found in regular romance novels.
Romantica pays more attention to the emotional factors in the story, but
still contains the other elements which make up erotica.
Prime examples of contemporaries with a
risqué bent are Marilyn Lee's titles
"The Fall of Troy" and
Charmer", Emma Holly's
"Personal Assets" and
“Top of Her Game”, and Lori
Foster's "Too Much Temptation".
For historical erotic novels, look into
"Awaken, My Love",
Lady's Tutor", and
(Even though it sold as an historical
romance, Lisa Kleypas' novel
"Suddenly You" teetered on the edge of romantica because its sex scenes were highly erotic and included activities
not often seen in a mainstream romance.)
Futuristics are exactly what the name implies; the
time period of the book is set in the future, and the setting of the story
may or may not be the known universe. Some people consider this subgenre to
be romance’s answer to science fiction. Try reading Catherine Asaro's
"Ascendant Sun" to experience this type of novel. Also try
Katherine Greyle's "Oracle",
which has elements of fantasy, time-travel, and a futuristic setting.
Fantasies are novels which are set
in worlds different from our own and may be almost faerie-tale-like in their
feel, much like mainstream fantasy novels, but with a greater emphasis placed
upon the relationship between the hero and heroine. “Magick” by Mary Taffs
is a novel which takes place here on Earth, but which has elements of magic and
occultism in it.
Gothics can take place in any time,
but are generally associated with the 18th and 19th
centuries. They are spooky and eerie psychological thrillers, but do not necessarily have
supernatural components. The heroine is invariably in fear for her life, and
frequently thinks she is going mad. Try reading
"Devil Wind" by Catherine Blair or Beverly C. Warren's
"Lost Wives of Dunwick",
"Sapphire Legacy", and
"Bride of Hatfield Castle", and Daphne Du Maurier's
Time-travels may involve
either one or both members of the couple being somehow thrust forward or
backward into time. Judi McCoy
specializes in time-travels as well as in Paranormals, which have a
hint of magic, ghosts, or some other supernatural piece to them. Look
for her novels
"Heaven in Your Eyes",
"I Dream of You",
"Say You're Mine",
"You're The One".
Also try Karen Fox's
"Prince of Charming", Anne Stuart's
"Night of the Phantom", Diana Gabaldon's
"Outlander" and Barbara Bretton's
"Somewhere in Time".
feature characters who are African-American, Latino, Asian, Native American,
and so forth. Suggested reading for this category: Candice Poarch's
"Tender Escape", Evelyn Palfrey's
"Dangerous Dilemmas", and Raynetta Manees'
novels focus on the life of the high-flying jet-set. These are the
longer sagas such as those by Jackie Collins or Judith Krantz, who wrote
Finally, there is a broad category called
Inspirational which can encompass any time period or setting.
These stories mainly focus on the spiritual growth of the main character(s).
They are generally, but not always, Christian novels.
For a contemporary setting Christian
novel, try Gail Gaymer Martin's
"Dreaming of Castles", Ruth Scofield's
"In God's Own Time", and Cheryl Wolverton's
"For Love of Hawk".
For an historical setting Christian novel,
"The Bluebird and the Sparrow" by Janette Oke and
and the Dove" by Lori Wick.
Helpful links for Authors
to Part One: What is Romantic Fiction?
Back to Part Two: Subgenres of Romantic Fiction
Sources used: “How to Write Romances” by Phyllis Taylor Pianka, “How to
Write a Romance and Get It Published” by Kathryn Falk