Paranormal Romance header

As most of you already know, my favourite genre is Paranormal Romance – or PNR for short. 💜 🧛 💜 You only have to do a quick search of my blog to see that it’s my favourite genre. I’ve used the paranormal romance tag over 250 times! 😲

What is Paranormal Romance?

Header image pictogram paranormal romance with ghost and pink heart

Well, according to Wikipedia:

Paranormal romance is a sub-genre of both romantic fiction and speculative fiction, i.e. fantasy, science fiction, horror.Although all paranormal romances have a romantic love aspect, the style can range from a traditional romance, such as those published by Harlequin Mills & Boon, but a paranormal setting or where the characters have supernatural abilities (e.g. telekinesis, some form of pre-cognition, telepathy, etc), to complete stories where the main emphasis is on a science fiction or fantasy-based plot but with a romantic sub-plot.

So, as the name suggests, paranormal romance focuses on love and relationships and includes elements beyond the range of scientific explanation (the paranormal bit). However, it also mixes together themes from other genres such as urban fantasy, traditional fantasy, science fiction, crime, thriller, and/or horror. This mean that, paranormal romance story-lines can be full of suspense, action, fear, chills, mystery, drama, thrills or humour. There really is no limit!

Some of my favourite PNR authors ensure that the romance IS the central part of their plots. However, they also give their readers gripping sub-plots that cross-over other genres. Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while will know three of my favourite paranormal romance authors are Felicity HeatonDianne Duvall and Teresa Gabelman.

However, you only have to read my Favourite Authors page to realise my actual list is so much larger! And it’s continuing to grow! 😉

Which paranormal romance sub-genre is best?

We’re all different. We all like different things and have different pet peeves or dislikes. Therefore, to help readers chose the type of story that best suits their tastes, a variety of sub genres have evolved:

DARK PARANORMAL:

These stories include paranormal happenings as a major element of the plot and contain ominous overtones.

LIGHT PARANORMAL:

These stories include paranormal happenings as a major element of the plot and are lighter in tone. Some would call these “cozy” or “romantic comedy” paranormal.

SCI FI & FUTURISTIC:

These stories may be set in an alternate reality or in the future. They’ll include elements such as technological advancements, space travel, and aliens. Dystopian settings are also included here as is stories about time-travel (by scientific means e.g., a time machine or wormhole).

FANTASY:

These stories always include mythical creatures and magical elements, however, they don’t have to just be set in the past. The stories can take place in any age and even include time-travel, as long as it’s by magical means (e.g., an object or supernatural portal).

URBAN FANTASY:

These stories take place in contemporary urban settings and include mythical creatures and magical elements.

STEAMPUNK: 

These stories are usually set in the Victorian era or American Old West with society and characters having “old-world-sensibilities“. The setting can be historical, contemporary, futuristic, otherworldly, or often they have alternate histories created from the author’s imagination. However, they always have the addition of advanced steam-powered machinery.

EROTIC:

These are paranormal books in which explicit sensuality is a key part of the story are are aimed at an 18+ audience. The stories can take place in historical, contemporary, futuristic, or otherworldly settings. Throughout this website any books that I deem as 18+ I’ve tagged adult only reads.

HISTORICAL:

These are paranormal stories that take place in the past, from ancient times to World War II. I’ve even seen stories set in the 70s and 80s added to the historical genre. Now I feel old!

YOUNG ADULT (YA):

These are paranormal stories that are appropriate for teen readers, featuring main characters aged 14-18. Many are written as pupils in high school but the stories can take place in historical, contemporary, futuristic, or otherworldly settings.

I’ve seen a shift in recent years with lots of books marketed as Young Adult (YA), that now include explicit scenes of sex and/or violence. I certainly wouldn’t allow my teenager daughters to read some of the stuff I’ve seen.

NEW ADULT (NA):

These are paranormal stories that feature main characters aged 18-24, and many are written as students in college. However, the stories can take place in historical, contemporary, futuristic, or otherworldly settings. The recurring theme in these types of stories are variations on coming-of-age.

PARANORMAL WOMEN’S FICTION (PWF):

2020 saw the introduction of this new sub-genre. I was filled with sheer joy, 😍 when I found out that one of my favourite authors – 💜 K.F. Breene 💜 – was teaming up with 12 of her author friends to write paranormal romance, urban fantasy and paranormal cozy mystery stories where the protagonists are women in their 40s or older. Woohoo! 🤸‍♀️

So, what’s next?

Once you’ve worked out what sub-genre you like, you can choose from a range of species for your main character. Paranormal romance can feature humans, vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, fairies, demons, witches, sorcerers, ghosts and any other being of a supernatural or otherworldly nature that an author can imagine.

So as you can see, Paranormal Romance is such a wide genre that I feel there’s a PNR book out there for everyone!

If you haven’t read a one yet, put aside your preconceived ideas and take the plunge into the supernatural. Your next favourite read is out there.

(Yes, I was a fan of The X-Files too. Lol! 😉  )

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