Paranormal Romance is the subgenre of romance
where, instead of being a Fantasy
or Science Fiction
story with a romantic subplot, the relationship is brought to the front and the heroine finds her true love when supernatural forces
or sci-fi Applied Phlebotinum
are involved. (For this genre, what's "paranormal" is defined as broadly as possible
So instead of the motley cast of misfits heading out on a journey to slay the Evil Overlord
with two characters suffering from UST
, the heroine gets zapped back in time. She's lost, lonely and confused with no known way of getting back. To add to her worries, she doesn't realize she has romantic feelings toward that man standing over there with the top hat and monocle
Using sci-fi and fantasy to create an exotic location for your romance story is fine, provided that the budding romance between the two lovers is the main focus, rather than the magical or scientific Applied Phlebotinum
. The story can even take place in the Standard Fantasy Setting
. Setting it in any established fantasy or science fiction universe
is also fine, provided it's just Fan Fiction
, or you have permission from that franchise's copyright holders. (With permission from Paramount, for instance, you could set a paranormal romance in a Star Trek Extended Universe
That being said, Paranormal Romance
can be combined with almost any other genre out there. These stories can sometimes blur the line between focusing on the relationship and focusing on the setting, plot, and action.
Common plots include:
Compare Urban Fantasy
, which is a (very) similar genre but without the focus on romance. (A common joke holds that the difference between the two genres is that Urban Fantasy has a half-naked woman on the cover, where Paranormal Romance has a half-naked man on the cover.) Also compare Romantic Pseudo Fantasy
, which has the appearance of a High Fantasy
novel but is almost entirely romance-driven, with fantasy elements remaining in the background. Compare Fantastic Romance
- The Abandon Trilogy
- The Anita Blake series
- Armadilha Para Lobisomem
- Black Dagger Brotherhood
- Blood And Chocolate
- Bloodsucking Fiends
- The Caster Chronicles
- The Cavaliers Series
- In The Changeover, the romance is between Laura Chant, a "sensitive", and Sorenson "Sorry" Carlisle, a troubled young man.
- The Cornersville Trace Mythos
- The Dark Hunters
- Dark Carparthians series, a Long Runner with the first book published in the early 90s, makes this a Trope Codifier for paranormal romance.
- Dark Visions series
- Golden Dawn
- The Guardians (Meljean Brook) series
- Guild Hunter has strong shades of this, despite being mainly an Urban Fantasy series.
- Heart of Steel features a Beauty and the Beast-esque romance between a disfigured, reclusive cyborg Mad Scientist and a troubled ER doctor he has captured.
- His Fair Assassin series
- The Host
- The House of Night series
- Hush, Hush
- Immortals After Dark
- Immortal Guardians
- Keturah and Lord Death
- Most Lynn Kurland novels
- The Lords of Satyr
- Lords Of The Underworld
- The Mediator series
- The Mortal Instruments is a borderline example—the protagonist, Clary, discovers that she is supernatural herself and has to help save the world, but arguably more focus is given to romantic issues.
- Nightshade Trilogy
- Night World series
- The Otherworld Series
- The Parasol Protectorate series
- Pretty Dead
- Pretty When She Dies
- Psy Changeling series
- Shifting Elements
- The Silver Kiss
- The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries
- The Turning Vampire Series
- In Twilight, Bella is a human torn between loving a vampire and a werewolf. Since the series is a huge seller with a devoted fandom, this led to Follow the Leader, making Twilight the Trope Codifier for Young Adult Paranormal Romance.
- Vampire Academy series
- The Vampire Diaries series
- Viridian Saga, about Andromeda Slate, the most ordinary girl in America, who winds up literally romancing Cthulhu. Also featuring said Lovecraft Lite Eldritch Abomination, Domestic Abuser portrayed as a likable character and Christian allegories. Actually a Stealth Parody of this genre written by several authors under a pseudonym.
- Warm Bodies has a Zombie Apocalypse where one of the zombies falls for a girl, in part because eating her boyfriend's brain gives the zombie his memories.
- Wicked Lovely
- Wolves of Mercy Falls Series
- Monster Hearts encourages this since its characters are all teenagers and supernatural beings.