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On Display at Odum 2022: Romance

Second Floor Display

Romance Genre Group Recommendations

About the Genre

Genre definition: The romance genre focuses on two characters and the development of their relationship. In order to create this story, there are conflicts and resolutions, but the ultimate focus of the plot is on the journey to the characters’ happy ending (Wyatt & Saricks, 2019). The romance genre is one that is “largely written and read by women” (Wyatt & Saricks, 2019, p. 215).

Common Themes/Tropes of the Genre:

  • Friends to Lovers - This trope is for fans of a slow-build romance. It is filled with relational intimacy because the leads start as friends before it turns into more. This theme is great for readers who don’t like steam without there being a solid friendship/relationship present first. 
  • Enemies to Lovers - The classic “I can’t stand them… until I fall for them” trope. This theme is often filled with witty dialogue and banter, as the leads fight through initial feelings of dislike to ultimately discover their true feelings for each other. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen is often credited with making this trope popular, and it has found mainstream appeal with romance fans (MasterClass staff, 2021). 
  • Fake Dating - Whether out of familial pressures, tense social situations, or to help someone stay in the country (an example being the movie The Proposal), fake dating is an often funny, quirky, and heartwarming romance trope (MasterClass staff, 2021). This theme is also fantastic for readers who love fun secondary characters, as the main couple’s need to fake date is often due to some pressures from family members or friends. The Dating Plan by Sara Desai is a great example of a character who fake dates to get her family off her back! 
  • Second Chances - These are stories where the main couple has lost their spark or relationship and through circumstances in the book rekindle this faded love (MasterClass staff, 2021). This is a great trope for those who crave do-overs in the realm of romance.
  • Forbidden Love - Romeo and Juliet fans flock to this trope of “we want, but we cannot have.” Forbidden love is a great read for those romance enthusiasts who like a little edge and a little risk wrapped up in their romance. 
  • Destined to be Together - This trope is likely what One Last Stop would fall under, where two people, against all odds, find themselves in a romance that feels predetermined by fate (MasterClass staff, 2021). This is the trope for those craving a classic happily ever after tale.
  • Love Triangles - The Love Triangle trope asks the question, “Who will they choose?” where the lead must decide who they want to be with between the choice of the two individuals in front of them. There are three people involved and only two will pair off in the final moment! This trope is fantastic for readers who love playing matchmaker and following a story to see who is picked in the end (MasterClass staff, 2021). 

Common Subgenres

  • Contemporary Romance - “These books follow the lives of modern women and thus involve family, friendships, careers, and current-day stressors as well as the stages of meeting and navigating the course to happily ever after” (Wyatt & Saricks, 2019, p. 221).
  • Historical Romance - “...Historicals feature heroines with modern sensibilities living in romantically evocative times” (Wyatt & Saricks, 2019, p. 221).
  • Romantic Suspense - “...include strong story line elements from the Adrenaline and Mystery genres…the novel further revolves around elements of danger” (Wyatt & Saricks, 2019, p. 221).; Characters are in danger, solving a mystery or crime.
  • Paranormal Romance - “Books in this subgenre typically include nonhuman characters as romantic leads, such as vampires, were-creatures, fairies, gods and goddesses, and other kinds of magical beings” (Wyatt & Saricks, 2019, p. 222).

Contact us

These lists and genre information are brought to you by the students in our genre literature class in the Master in Library and Information Science program. Thank you for sending in such good books, materials, and information. I hope you had a good time with this project!

If any material listed is problematic or you would like to suggest future recommendations and themes please contact Crystal Miller at! They would love feedback, or just to talk about books!