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One of the earliest romance novels emerged in 1740. It was written by Samuel Richardson and it was called Pamela. A century later Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice, one of the most well-known romance stories of all time.  Austen inspired Georgette Hayer who introduced historical romance in 1921. From then on romance novels emerged more and more. In 1972 the modern genre of romance emerged with the publishing of Kathleen WoodiwissThe Flame and the Flower.The genre hit a huge boom in the 1980s. Romance novels are considered very popular in North America in modern literature. They are also popular in Australia and Europe. Romance novels are written and printed in over 70 different languages. [2]


According to dictionary.com "romance is a novel or other prose narrative depicting heroic or marvelous deeds, pageantry, romantic exploits, and etc." [1] But with such a vast history, the romance genre cannot be confined to a single sentence. Romance novels began in England but migrated to America towards the end of the 18th century. American romance authors took a different approach to the genre because Americans had different interests than the English. Authors in America added frontier life, morality, and domestic tales to the genre. American romance authors also focused less on supernatural themes and more on real life events where a main character would have to overcome outside forces to obtain lifelong happiness. [3]


Over the next two centuries the romance genre expanded even more and almost every possible subject fell under the genre. Some branches to come out of the genre are romantic suspense, cowboy romance, historic romance, holiday romance, paranormal/fantasy, and LGBTQA+. Within these subjects different issues like the necessity of marriage, social issues, and religion are also intertwined. [4]


Around the 20th century the romance genre may have lost some of its literary value because of the overwhelming majority of female authors and the addition of sexual details in the writing. This aspect of romantic literature emerged in the 1960s and 70s because of the open outlook of the authors. [3]


With so much variation in the genre it can be confusing to tell what is considered romance and what isn’t. Romance is very similar to the women’s fiction genre because they both consist of a main female character. The defining difference is how much of the romance is central to theme. [4]







 1. "Romance." Dictionary.com. 2006. 2 Dec. 2008. <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/romance> 


2. "Romance novel." Wikipedia. 2008. 2 Dec. 2008. < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romance_novel>


3. Haddrell, Elizabeth. "ROMANCE." Continuum Encyclopedia of American Literature. New York: Continuum International, 2005. 965-70. Literary Reference Center. Web. 26 Apr. 2016.


4. Tinton, Kellie. "The Heart of Romance." Library Journal 139.17 (2014): 42. Literary Research Center. Web. 26 Apr. 2016.


Sparks, Nicholas.  A Bend In The Road


Miles Ryan lives in New Bern, North Carolina, and is a single parent.  He seemed to have the perfect life, until one day a tragedy occurred.  Miles' wife was mysteriously killed in a car accident, leaving Miles, and their son, Jonah, alone.  For the past 2 years of his life, Miles had looked for the person responsible for the death of his wife, and eventually he just gave up.  Miles then meets Sarah Andrews, Jonah's 2nd grade teacher.  Jonah had been having problems at school, and Mrs. Andrews decided that it was time to call a conference with Miles Ryan.  Sarah had heard about Miles from the school secretary, and she knew that he was single.  At the conference Miles noticed how beautiful Sarah was, but was too shy to say anything to her.  At the same time, Sarah also found Miles attractive.  Miles and Sarah agreed that Jonah could stay after school for tutoring until he got caught up with the rest of his class.  Sarah and Miles continued to "secretly" like each other, and finally Miles got up enough courage to ask her out on a date.  Sarah and Miles continued to see each other, and their relationship grew stronger.  Everything had been going well with their relationship, until one day Miles finds out a secret that changes both his life, and Sarah's life forever.  I think that this was a great book, and I recommend this book to anyone who likes romance novels, and to anyone that likes suspense.      


Christine L.



Sparks, Nicholas. Nights in Rodanthe.


Adrienne Willis has decided to tell her duagter, Amanda, the "love story" of her life. She is doing this in hopes that her duaghter will get back to her old self after the loss of her husband.

      Paul Flanner has worked his entire life toward one thing: his work. He is a surgeon in the midst of what some might call a mid-life crisis. While being sued by Robert Torrelson who lost his wife in the middle of surgery, Paul has decided to sell his practice. This is motivated by the fact that he feels guilty for never being there for his ex-wife or there son. He receives a letter from Robert Torrelson saying that he wants to meet with him. This brings him to the Inn at Rodanthe. He has made reservations for the weekend. Little did he know, this weekend would change the rest of his life. He meets Adrienne, who is looking after the Inn for her friend, the owner. At first things are awkard but they get used to each others company. During the course of the weekend they form a love for one another. A love so strong that after Paul is done with his trip to Ecuador they plan to see each other. They are convinced that they have found true love. While in Ecuador things happen that will change all there lives forever. 


I think that this was a really great book. I would reccommend it to all who love to read romance novels. There were lots of flashbacks in the book but none of them were confusing and I was able to understand it. 


Ashley O. 


Sparks, Nicholas. Dear John


John Tyree, a 21 high school drop out, living in Wilmington, North Carolina.  Still living with his father, he doesn't quite know what to do with his life and is not sure where it is headed. While he was growing up, John, was someone that you would probably consider a rebel.  He would spend all his days and nights surfing and drinking at "Leory's Bar". Realizing that his life is going nowhere,  he decides to enlist in the army. When John returns on one of his leaves he meets and falls in love with the girl of his dreams, Savannah Lynn Curtis. The two try their hardest to stay in contact with each other while John is away so that their relationship will not disappear . They have the perfect love story, until 9/11 when things begin to change.


I think that this was a wonderful book! I would recommend it to anyone who likes reading about exciting love stories.


Sarah H.                                                            

Meyer, Stephenie. Twilight

Stephenie Meyer graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English Lit and she lives with her husband and her three sons in Arizona. After publishing Twilight she was named one of the " most promising new authors of 2005" by Publishers Weekly. I chose to read Twilight because it's about romance, which just so happens to be my favorite genre. The story mostly takes place in a small town near Washington State named Forks. This book is about a city girl, Isabella Swan, nicknamed Bella who moves to a small town and falls in love with a boy named Edward Cullen. Bella and Edward's love for one another is very strong but there is one big difference between the two - Edward is a vampire. Edward tries to resist Bella but it seems to be impossible for them to stay away from each other. To find out how things worked out for Bella and Edward, read Twilight, I'm sure you'll like it because I loved it. Twilight is the first of The Twilight Saga ( Four Book Series) and just reading this one will make you anxious to read the other three.


I think Twilight is a excellent book!!!! I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading in general.


LaTravia H.

Sparks, Nicholas. The Lucky One

You're probably wondering what or who the "Lucky One" is, aren't you? Well, there is a guy whose name is Logan. He's not just any ordinary guy, but a man of high importance in this day in time. Logan is an employee of the United States Marines, therefore serving our country is a high priority on his list of responsibilities. While in the line of duty, Officer Thibault, discovers a picture -half buried yet still visible- that will change his life forever. Unbeknown to him, that very picture holds the identity of a person who will greatly impact his life. Whether that impact is for the better, that's for you to find out! The picture was found in the middle of the desert and it sort of brought this officer some good luck. I don't mean just 'hey I found a dollar!' good luck, I mean landing jackpots of money. Logan was always a horrible gambler and lost a majority of what he had saved playing cards with his buddies. However, upon the discovery of this photograph he won it all back, and more. A wartime buddy of his mentioned to him that the picture was meant for him and brought him excessive amounts of good fortune and that he should hold onto the picture. With his dog and his good luck charm in his possession, Logan set out on an adventure. This journey brought him into contact with many different kinds of people who all changed his life. He most likely changed theirs as well. Anyway, the rest is amazing. I'd like to tell you,  but where's the fun in that? Please read this book or even purchase it! That would make Nicholas prettty darn happy or Wal*Mart - oh and definitely Barnes and Noble!


Jesse Wayde


Comments (9)

autumnwhisper89 said

at 10:21 am on Dec 8, 2008

Another good romance novel is "Twilight" by Stephen Meyer. What happens when a clumsy teenage girl falls in love with vampire and what if that vampire falls in love with her? A must read and hard to put down book, "Twilight" and its sequels capture the hearts of many.

Ronelle Howell said

at 1:18 pm on Dec 8, 2008

I love Romance novels and will definitely read some of your suggestions. I like the colors, they bring attention to the important facts.

autumnwhisper89 said

at 10:45 am on Dec 9, 2008

Yes, we definitely have to add Twilight to the romances. It wouldn't be a list of romances without it. And Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorites! Both the movies for these books are great too, but, of course neither does the book justice. I thought it was interesting in reading about the history of romances that for years, romances had little more than one kiss between the love interests of the book. Perhaps we've come full circle. There's not much kissing in Twilight, yet it is quite romantic!

Sarah Askew said

at 10:15 am on Dec 2, 2009

I love Romance novels I have read Pride and Prejudice and I want to read more of Jane Austin's books. I have not had time to read the Twilight books but I really want to read them.

Cameron H. said

at 1:50 pm on Dec 3, 2009

I would like to read some of Nicholas Sparks' books. They sound very interesting. I have read the twilight books. I would highly recommend these books to anyone.

Brooke Ventura said

at 1:10 pm on Nov 29, 2011

I enjoy reading romance novels, and the ones that are listed on this page are wonderful books. They make you laugh, cry and can even make you angry. I would recommend that anyone who likes to read romantic stories read these books.

Victoria Ballard said

at 9:43 am on May 2, 2012

Romance isn't my favorite genre, but I really love Richelle Mead's "Vampire Academy" series. It contains the perfect balance of action, drama, and love.

Tara Brooke said

at 3:28 pm on Nov 21, 2013

LOVE Nicholas Sparks!

R. Wartian said

at 2:42 pm on Apr 28, 2015

It's more of a classic, but The Great Gatsby by F. Scott. Fitzgerald is a romance. It's a very good book. Also, The Fault in our Stars by John Green. I hate sad books, but this book is a MUST read!

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