If you’re reading this, you probably already know that RWA is working on the ‘definition of romance’ again.
So what’s my definition of a romance? Everything that comes between Once upon a time and They lived happily ever after.
If you can pull the romantic conflicts out of the story and still have a book, it’s not a romance. If you take Roarke out of the In Death series, you still have a detective series starring Eve Dallas. Not a romance. And what’s with this Mainstream with Romantic Elements stuff? In Death is not a Mainstream with Romantic Elements. It’s a futuristic detective series with a heavier-than-usual focus on the detective’s home and love lives.
RDI, Bombshell, NEXT, etc–some are romances, some are not. I enjoy some of them, and some I don’t. I’m an HEA Junkie, which these days is starting to hurt the TBR pile.
A romance, no matter what else happens in the book, is the story of two people falling in love. I don’t care if they’re a Greek tycoon and his hired nanny. I don’t care if their mutual sexual tastes run to black latex and a third pary. I don’t care if they meet at church and pray before dinner. I don’t even care if they both have a penis. A romance is the story of this couple overcoming whatever obstacles are thrown in their way and falling in love. Everything else is stage dressing.
If, when I read the last line of a book, I can sigh and say, “And they lived happily ever after,” it’s a romance.