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Old 01-14-2020, 08:33 PM   #2251
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I would classify the Andrews' Hidden Legacy series and the Edge series as straddling the line between PNR and UF. Both have good romance elements but also have plenty of world building, etc. To me, the Kate Daniels series is strictly UF, while the Innkeeper series is pretty much straight SF/Fantasy.
Thank you both. I think my questions have been answered. I had to google these acronyms PNR, UF, HEA... whew! I liked the Innkeeper books I've read and I agree, pretty much straight fantasy. Sounds like I would also like Kate Daniels which is good news. Not sure about the others. If romance is the main element they are likely not for me.
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:34 PM   #2252
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Thank you both. I think my questions have been answered. I had to google these acronyms PNR, UF, HEA... whew! I liked the Innkeeper books I've read and I agree, pretty much straight fantasy. Sounds like I would also like Kate Daniels which is good news. Not sure about the others. If romance is the main element they are likely not for me.
Both the Edge and Hidden Legacy have some romance, but I wouldn't call it the primary focus. Many PNR series start out with more romance elements, but the longer they go on, the world building becomes much more elaborate and they start to feel more like UF. In fact, the romance readers sometimes start complaining that the romance isn't any good anymore once the other elements become stronger. Definitely give the Kate Daniels series a try. The first book in the series was the authors' very first published work and it's a bit rough, but their writing becomes much more assured as the series goes on.

I'd also highly recommend Patricia Briggs, Faith Hunter, and Jeaniene Frost as authors very popular with romance readers but whose books are more urban fantasy than romance.
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Old 01-14-2020, 10:19 PM   #2253
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The main difference between these books and the standard romances—again, to me—is that the romance is not the only thread and at times not even the major thread, in the story tapestry.
You seem to be using "standard romance" to only mean the subgenre of Category Romance, which even then does not always have the romance as the sole story thread. Category Romances are the short, pared-down (usually novella-short novel length) romances in a clearly delineated series format with similar cover livery, often numbered, like Harlequin Blaze and Harlequin SuperRomance.

Single-title romances (those which are not category romance) are a huge part of the genre and come in a wide variety of subgenres, like fantasy/paranormal romance (with lots of subsubgenres, like shifter romance), SF romance, romantic suspense/thriller, rom-com, historical romance (of which Regency is a major subsubgenre, but by no means the only one - there's Highlander, time-travel, pirate, Viking, etc etc), contemporary romance, small-town romance, YA romance, inspirational/religious romance, medical romance, sports romance, erotic fiction, Australian rural romance, western/cowboy romance etc etc etc. (And various of these can combine, of course.)

Virtually all of these will have subplots and side plots and even major plot threads that may include the romance but aren't limited to it, minor characters (some of which turn into major characters in future books in a series), etc etc.
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Old 01-14-2020, 11:39 PM   #2254
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I differentiate between what I think of as "romance set in other worlds" and what I think of as "science fiction/fantasy with romantic elements" by imagining whether my husband or other of my guy friends would like the books, or if they would find the romantic byplay between various characters to interfere with their enjoyment of the rest of the storyline. For almost all of the Ilona Andrews series, I think they fall on the side of "husband would be impatient" with them, so to me they are "romance set in other worlds".

But I certainly wouldn't argue too hard with folks who disagree...
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:05 AM   #2255
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I differentiate between what I think of as "romance set in other worlds" and what I think of as "science fiction/fantasy with romantic elements" by imagining whether my husband or other of my guy friends would like the books, or if they would find the romantic byplay between various characters to interfere with their enjoyment of the rest of the storyline. For almost all of the Ilona Andrews series, I think they fall on the side of "husband would be impatient" with them, so to me they are "romance set in other worlds".

But I certainly wouldn't argue too hard with folks who disagree...
Honestly, I think that is a great rule of thumb.
I have only read the first two in the Innkeeper series and I would say almost zero romance there. Hopefully they keep it to a minimum in book three. I guess I'll soon find out. I had not read any of the rest but started Iron and Magic a couple days ago. Not hard to see where that is going, I get a laugh out of the bickering. I also intend to sample Kate Daniels. No so sure about the rest.
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:18 AM   #2256
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Originally Posted by sufue View Post
I differentiate between what I think of as "romance set in other worlds" and what I think of as "science fiction/fantasy with romantic elements" by imagining whether my husband or other of my guy friends would like the books, or if they would find the romantic byplay between various characters to interfere with their enjoyment of the rest of the storyline. For almost all of the Ilona Andrews series, I think they fall on the side of "husband would be impatient" with them, so to me they are "romance set in other worlds".

But I certainly wouldn't argue too hard with folks who disagree...
I don't know that it's an "agree or disagree" thing - I don't know your husband or your guy friends. There are men who read (and write) romance, and women who don't like it. *shrug*
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:10 AM   #2257
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You seem to be using "standard romance" to only mean the subgenre of Category Romance, which even then does not always have the romance as the sole story thread. Category Romances are the short, pared-down (usually novella-short novel length) romances in a clearly delineated series format with similar cover livery, often numbered, like Harlequin Blaze and Harlequin SuperRomance.

Single-title romances (those which are not category romance) are a huge part of the genre and come in a wide variety of subgenres, like fantasy/paranormal romance (with lots of subsubgenres, like shifter romance), SF romance, romantic suspense/thriller, rom-com, historical romance (of which Regency is a major subsubgenre, but by no means the only one - there's Highlander, time-travel, pirate, Viking, etc etc), contemporary romance, small-town romance, YA romance, inspirational/religious romance, medical romance, sports romance, erotic fiction, Australian rural romance, western/cowboy romance etc etc etc. (And various of these can combine, of course.)
I haven't read much in the romance line since I spend a couple of months in hospital when I was a kid and 80% of the books in their collection were Harlequin doctor/nurse romances. Hmmm... I think I just dated myself. I suspect that those books still define what I think of as romance.

The last "science fiction" romance I looked at was one my wife was reading and I managed to get about half-way through it. To me, making your shifters aliens does not make the book science fiction. And a plot depending on humans and aliens being able to cross-breed? That goes well past the boundaries of science fiction into the uncharted depths of fantasy. I did have to admire the amount of handwavium used in the chapters I read.

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Virtually all of these will have subplots and side plots and even major plot threads that may include the romance but aren't limited to it, minor characters (some of which turn into major characters in future books in a series), etc etc.
I'm tempted to recommend the Grantville Gazette's 87 issues to date which give that chance for the smaller characters to have their time in the spotlight. The text version of a soap opera.
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Old 01-15-2020, 02:06 AM   #2258
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The last "science fiction" romance I looked at was one my wife was reading and I managed to get about half-way through it. To me, making your shifters aliens does not make the book science fiction. And a plot depending on humans and aliens being able to cross-breed? That goes well past the boundaries of science fiction into the uncharted depths of fantasy.
Yes, I call books with time travel or faster-than-light travel "fantasy", too. Gets all sorts of other SF fans riled up from time to time.

And yes, those medical Harlequins were category romance. It's just one subgenre.
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