This week in Paranormal Romance, Magical School or Academy books are still doing really, really well, with the Harley Merlin series in particular holding multiple places on the charts.
Elsewhere, Shape Shifters are still winning in the magical boyfriend race, with numerous books involving this theme. The use of Shape Shifters in Paranormal Romance leads to several other niches and trends being incorporated into frequent use. These are, Alpha Males, Virgins, Fated Mates, Bonding, Alpha/Omega, Abduction, Claiming, Bonding, Pregnancy Kink, various levels of Dark Romance and BDSM, and many, many more. The most popular animals for Shape Shifters this week is more varied than last week, since bears, wolves, dragons, lions, tigers, and in one case, rhinos. However, this last one may be something of an outlier, since it was also the only LGBT+ book on the list. It is J. D. Light’s, No Passing Zone, in case you were interested in looking it up.
There are also small numbers of books dealing with Fae, or Elves, Faeries, or similar creatures. Often these are part of a world with Shape Shifters and Vampires, rather than on their own, but even so they are doing pretty well and there are a lot of Fae heroes and part Fae heroines on the shelves this week.
Vampires are hitting back a little, but are generally in a slow third place behind Shape Shifters and Fae.
Also on the list, witches are doing very well, as are super powers in general. Lots of heroines in these books are super powered, while their male counterparts are shape shifters or vampires and so are gifted with great strength or speed, or both. This is an interesting trend and one that is likely ready to be shaken up a little.
Reverse Harems are doing well, there are books in which this is promoted more heavily by the authors than the fact that it is a paranormal romance, indicating it’s importance to the market. Lots of books and series appear to be using the plot line in which as the series progresses a new hero is added to the line up with every book. There is also a split between the books where the members of the Reverse Harem are accepting of it, or are against it, wishing to be the heroines only partner. This week acceptance appears to be more popular and so the Reverse Harem is more often shown arriving as a group on stage, rather than one at a time over the series.
Some Science Fiction Romance has also sneaked onto the chart, mostly featuring aliens who are similar in many ways to the tropes and cliches of shape shifter heroes.
Primarily in this genre, the main character tends to be a young woman, of kick ass demeanour, with powers of some sort. She is usually an outsider to the magical society, either because she is new and did not know it existed until recently, or due to the magical society’s internal prejudices. Often these prejudices are because of the young woman’s ancestry, one or both of her parents belonged to a group considered evil, or were human, or both. Sometimes it is because of the nature of her powers, she is too powerful, or not powerful enough, or she can control “forbidden” powers. This is the basis for many of the characters in the genre and is one of the most obvious and well known cliches in the genre, outside of the multitude of species and magics on display.
Generally, there is a larger threat to the world than just the main characters’ hormones. This week evil organisations and cults are on the rise, and rituals designed to prevent the invasion from other planes and dimensions are going wrong, sometimes because of the actions of heroes and heroines, sometimes despite their best efforts. There are also a lot of mysteries going on, some are personal featuring amnesiac heroines or mysterious dreams calling people to new places and to meet new people, others have more standard fare, like murder, fraud and international corruption.
So what to take from all of this? Well, the Vampire market is not doing too well, but the Shape Shifter’s one is so over whelmed with the numbers of books in it that it might be difficult to break in. This might be the week to try out writing a Fae or Witch based story. Reverse Harems, Alpha Males, Fated Mates, are being combined into one massive niche and are being gobbled up by the readers this week. In books with a more complicated plot, world threatening groups are doing well, and threats against the world are doing better in general if they can have a human, or human looking, face to put to them.
Did we miss anything? Want to point something out? Leave a comment!