This week in Historical Romance there are some new trends trying to take on the hegemony of Regency, Highlander, and Western Romances.
First up is the modern classic, Time Travel Romance. Both Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon, and What the Wind Knows, by Amy Harmon, fall into this niche, despite taking place in very different eras, Jacobite era Scotland for one, and 1920s Ireland for the other.
Second is the connected niche of Highland Romances. Outlander was not the first and it certainly won’t be the last, that is beyond clear from the variety on show today. The heat levels are high, and many of the books involve relationships of convenience or enemies to lovers relationships. Outlaws and Rogues are popular this week, as are phrases connected to the idea of betting, Dare, and Game are both used. Forced reliance on each other is clearly popular, as is anything that forces the characters to spend a lot of time with each other despite their mutual hatred. Enemies to Lovers is a very popular trope this week.
Third has to be Cowboys and Western Romances, even though there is surprisingly few of them this week in comparison to the stampedes that normally fill the chart. Mail order brides are still very popular, as are women seeking an escape from their ordinary lives. A lot of these stories feature characters being forced together by circumstances outside of their control (weather, landslides, etc.) which shows that this is a trend moving across the different sub-genres in Historical Romance.
However, it’s the fourth niche that fills the majority of the Historical Romance genre this week, Regency Romance. On the whole most of these books fall into a similar formula, a nobleman, a woman of lesser social status, at least one dance, a misunderstanding, and relatives and friends either dubious of the match or determined to see it happen for their own reasons. But this isn’t all of it, thank goodness, or else Regency Romance would be a dead market. here are some of the tropes and trends selling well this week;
- Dukes and Duchesses, it’s the highest of the nobility that are popular this week, no Barons and few Lords to be seen. If you can’t quite manage to catch a Duke, then a Marquess is clearly viewed as the next best option.
- Rogues, Rakes, and Rebels, no reserved or reticent men need apply, this week the readers want people looking for trouble and who are ready to cause a little chaos on their route to falling in love.
- Danger and Mayhem are favourite words for titles, as are synonyms for seduction, like Lusting and Beguilement.
In short, readers are looking for books where the romance is hot and the men are similar, and where titles are a dime a dozen. Suspense and seduction are welcomed to the stage in equal measure. And, contrary to previous weeks, the favoured dress colours are blues and whites instead of reds and pinks.
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