MIxing genres. Romance/thriller?

I’m old enough to remember when a Romance was a Romance. Today, it seems we need more than that. Other genres mix, but Romance seems to be the genre that likes it most. I’ve written about this before, but I think the subject deserves a little deeper dive.

Is it because a love story isn’t enough? Or is it because the love story is enhanced by other plot

a stack of different mixing bowls

conventions? Let’s look at the romance/thriller combination.

What I remember

I read my fair share of romances in my teens – I’m talking Harlequin mostly. I remember that the romance was the clear plot. It was all about how the two people came together. There was a story that ran under the romance, but it was just there to support it. The man was always an alpha, the woman was independent as long as she was still needy enough to focus on romance.

What I see now

The plots and the characters are more equal. Romance is still primary, but the thriller story has to be a real story. The Romance plot is tied very closely to solving the problem and if you analyze it, you’ll see how the key plot points tie together. I try not to analyze books I’m reading, but as an author, I’m always looking at how to improve my craft.

The couple usually start out on apparent opposing sides of the problem. As the stakes increase, they are forced together. They can only save the world by working together, the romance has to rely on them working together as well.

At the end, there is often a romantic complication. The couple may have agreed to a temporary alliance to save the world. Now that they’ve done it. the alliance needs to end, but now they love each other.

One more thing, higher stakes means hotter emotions. There is more sex sooner, and it seems to make more sense to me. High stakes, high passions, high risk.

Good or Bad?

I like it. I read much more romance now that I can get a mix of genre. I find it more entertaining to worry about more than the love conflict, because I think  life is about more than that.


Samantha Graves – she also writes Scifi/Romance and Paranormal/Romance under the name of C.J. Barry

J.D. Robb – As I’ve mentioned before this is Nora Roberts writing futuristic Thriller/Romance.

Jennifer Crusie along with Bob Mayer – these two write some great romantic thrillers.

Do you have a favorite you would like to recommend? Post it in the comments here.

Have a great long weekend!