This week we are looking at the Romance Sub-Genre, Gothic Romance, as our surprise Romance Sub-Genre of the week. This is a Sub-Genre with a lot of movement and variety in the books and niches on show, but with several strong trends as well.

This week one of the most obvious trends is for Mafia Heroes, Stasia Black has multiple books on the chart with this premise, and Jane Henry also has several books in her Wicked Doms series, such as The Bratva’s Baby. This trend has a lot of other niches and trends adding to it, which might be one explanation for its popularity, it has many trends and niches which can be used and still come under it’s umbrella, and so the entire group is lifted up by their connection to those that do well. Here is a list of some of those trends;

  • BDSM, not much of a surprise considering the tag line on Jane Henry’s series,
  • Dark Romance, again, this is in line with the general theme of the niche,
  • Accidental Baby Acquisition is not very popular, but what is proving very popular is it’s opposite, people are making have babies, which brings us to,
  • Marriages of Convenience, and Arranged Marriages, these also lean fairly heavily into Abduction, Auction, and Capture fantasies,
  • Alpha Males are, of course, a given, while Warrior Males also comes up,
  • Virgin Heroines are also common,
  • And Revenge and Second Chances also appears frequently.

Elsewhere, Omegaverse, Omega/Alpha Male, and Reverse Harem books are selling well throughout the sub-genre. While the trend does encompass the Mafia niche as well, it is most concentrated in the Science Fiction Romances and the Shape Shifter Romances that are on the list. Bears are the most popular animal for Shape Shifters to turn into, in this sub-genre there are next to no wolves, though there are a few dragons on the list.

Daddy Kink is very popular this week, with it frequently being used in the title of works. Meanwhile, Princess is a popular word to describe the heroines, sometimes literally and sometimes in a more figurative fashion.

Captive, Hunting, and Kidnapping, fantasies are all popular in this niche this week. Often combined with Alpha Males, Omegaverse, and always, always, Dark Romance. This niche is also home to some Highlander Romances, with little else from the Historical Romance genre showing up. This does suggest some highlights for what readers look for in that niche, especially since the books seem to typically borrow from many of the same niches as I have listed elsewhere in this post.

Dark Elves, Fae, and Vampires are all proving more popular here than in the Paranormal Romance genre, and the Gothic Romance Genre seems to be a home for those books that gives them a touch more focus than they get in the larger genre which tends towards being filled with Magical Academy and Shape Shifter Romances.

Magical Academy Romances are present here, but in limited number. They also tend to be more explicitly adult, and less likely to fall into the shadowy grey area between Young Adult and Adult. Reverse Harems are popular here too, as are Dark Romances, and to a certain extent Bully Romances, though this is limited since authors are more likely to pick one of the other, similar, genres if they are writing an Adult book.

In some ways the Gothic Romance Genre seems to be a distillation of the Dark Romance parts of Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction Romance, and General Romance. With a few extra from Historical Romance. This is quite interesting, since it shows that it is not a list of things that makes a book part of the Gothic Romance Genre, but instead suggests that it has more to do with tone.

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