The Paranormal Romance charts this week are showing several strong preferences for certain niches, while some of the popular trends from previous weeks (like vampires) have faded away to almost nothing.
First, to clear the air, so to speak, Magical Academy books are refusing to budge from their spot at the top of the charts. More than a quarter of the chart is given over to the niche and somehow it looks like it might be growing even more popular, despite all sense saying that that should not be possible. These books typically have a teenage or young adult protagonist, a young woman typically, who falls in love over the course of the book or books. Some of the books are Reverse Harems, others are Bully Romances, Fated Mates or any of the many, many tropes that are regularly found in this genre. Often the world needs to be saved, and the only person available is the protagonist. If you would like to read more about this niche, we have a 5 tips to help write better Magical Academy Books post, here.
Aside from Magical Academy Books, the most popular niche this week was Shape Shifter Romance, which again, should not be a surprise to anyone paying much attention. It would take something massive to knock Shape Shifters off their pedestal and it does not look like that seismic shift is on the horizon just yet. There is a reasonable amount of variety in the animals people are turning into, not a huge amount, but it is not just wolves and nothing but wolves. There are wolves, tigers, bears, and in one case alligators. These books tend to have a lot of the same tropes involved, Omegaverse, Alpha Male, Fated Mates, Forced Mates, Abduction Fantasy, and Hunting Fantasy, to name just a few. There are also a lot of Reverse Harems and Same Sex Harems in the LGBT+ books that are on the list. Some of these books can also lean heavily into the Dark Romance niche, with BDSM elements commonly incorporated into the plot. There are also a few books which have Small Town and Second Chance tropes in the mix, which is an interesting push from the Contemporary Romance side of the genre.
The next most popular magical boyfriend option is Fae. A lot of these books also blend in Celtic Mythology, which gives them the chance to incorporate the always popular Highander trope to the mix. Second Chances are also popular here, with past betrayals having to be overcome for the couples to get back together and sometimes save the world. Relationships of Convenience are surprisingly common in this niche, and not just in the Fated Mates way, often there is political manoeuvring which requires couples getting together. In fact, this niche tends to have a lot more political intrigue than other parts of the genre, authors seem to have come to the agreement that the Fae have royalty and royals mean things like assassins and arranged marriages.
Another important trend in this genre is that of women who are bounty hunters, private investigators, or work in some other profession that gives them the chance to kick ass when necessary. Often they are able to fight, or shape shift, or use magic, and rarely agree with the idea of them staying out of trouble. They often are on the outskirts of society, human or paranormal, and do not have very good support structures in place to help them either physically or emotionally.
Finally, magic. Magic is an interesting trend in the chart this week, because it veers up and down in use depending on the niche it is attached to. In the books about shape shifters it tends to be limited to just that, shape shifting. While in books about Fae it is a lot more common. Obviously, in Magical Academy books it is very common and most people can use it in some fashion.
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