Romancing the Book: Romance Novels

Mara Alpert, Children's Librarian, Children's Literature Department,
heart illustrations in red and pink with the text, romance novels.

Romance is in the air, and on the page and the tablet and the smart phone. August is Read-a-Romance Month, and it’s a great time to settle into an air-conditioned library (or on a bright, sunny beach or really anywhere) with a fabulously satisfying romance. You won’t be alone. According to the Romance Writers of America, the romance novel share of the U.S. fiction market was 34% in 2015 (source: Nielsen BookScan/PubTrack Digital 2015) and 61% of romance novels sold are purchased as e-books (source: Nielsen BookScan/PubTrack Digital 2015; figures do not include self-published romance e-book sales or Amazon-published e-books). 

What this all means is that there are an awful lot of people who read romances. But what exactly is a romance? Well, all romance novels have two things in common: a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending, according to the Romance Writers of America. Which leaves an enormous range of possibilities—in fact there are over 35 different Romance subgenres, including: African-AmericanEroticFantasyMilitaryParanormal RomanceRegencyScience FictionUrban Fantasy and Young Adult.

Whatever kind of love story emotionally satisfies you and leaves you feeling optimistic, it probably exists, and can probably be checked out from the Los Angeles Public Library. Most of my favorite authors are available from the library, in print, e-book and audiobook formats. You could also find great romance recommendations by asking your local librarian. So enjoy a little romance this August.

Here are some Romance novels that you do not want to miss!

illusion town book cover with standing woman wearing black vest and jeans.

Illusion Town by Jayne Castle

dukes prefer blondes blonde woman wearing a green dress
pride prejudice mistletoe book cover
book cover of troublemaker. man stands in doorway as woman leans against wall
Nora Robert's Come Sundown book cover small sunset illustration within book title  
first star i see tonight book cover. dark blue sky background with crystal chandelier

What are some of your favorite Romance novels?

Let us know in the comments!