More books are sold in the romance category than any other category in fiction. Within the romance genre, paranormal romance is the most popular subgenre. While regular romances feature romantic heros who are larger than life men who are everything a woman could ever want, paranormal romances feature romantic heros who often have fangs and claws. Vampire, werewolves, shape shifters and men who aren’t anything like the men around us are the dream guys heroines swoon over, and whom the reader falls for. So what gives?
As little girls, we were brought up on fairy tales. Cinderella meets Prince Charming who swoops her of her feet and they marry and live happily ever after. Snow White runs away from the wicked stepmother, takes care of seven drawfs, bites a poisoned apple as is awakened by kiss from Prince Charming who marries her and they live happily ever after. Sleeping Beauty sleeps in an enchanted castle guarded by the wicked witch until Prince Charming rescues her, marries her and the live happily every after. That’s what little girls are brought up to believe. Then they grow up and reality hits. Hard.
The little girl grows up into a fine young woman. She meets fine young men who woo her, charm her and break her heart. Disillusion sets in.
Maybe she gets far enough in a relationship for it to end up in marriage. The Prince Charming who won her heart turns out to be a bully, or even a wife beater. They set up home together and she ends up as his slave. Serving him and his buddies beer, and snacks while they mess up the house. She cooks and cleans for a husband who yells at her. Domestic abuse. Wife bashing. Verbal abuse. All these are swept under the carpet while she puts up a brave front for the world to see.
Then there are cases where Prince Charming sets off to charm other women instead. Instead of a faithful husband, she ends up with a faithless womanizer that leaves her stranded, who strips away her self worth as he goes for a younger, prettier woman.
Barna Research Group conducted a poll in 1999. Seems that in U.S., 25% of the adults would experience one divorce in a lifetime. That excludes those who stick on in loveless marriages.
Is there any wonder why many women get disillusioned by the classic fairy tale romance. Imagination is a form of escape. Books offer an escape from the current unpleasantness in life. To some women, classic romances are hard to swallow. Not after all they’ve been through. What they’ve seen of the men around them. In paranormal romances, these men aren’t like the regular men. Many are of a different species altogether. That could be the appeal of paranormal romances. They are far enough from regular men to make the happily ever after ending plausible. These heros typically yearn for their one and only soulmate, forsaking all others, forever. They pair up and stay in love for life. Something that is so rare in the real world.
Another appeal of the paranormal romance that gives it a broader appeal than classic romances is the fantasy element in it. Why is Harry Potter so popular? How about Lord Of The Rings? Or even Narnia? It is the fantasy element which draws the reader into a new world. Through this element, paranormal romance books gain a fan base beyond the regular romance novel. One new series that can be considered paranormal romance is the SFX fantasy series. The first book, Warrior Girl [http://www.sfxfantasy.com/Warrior-Girl.htm]. This starts off with a chase scene where the protagonist, Sarah runs flees from one supernatural horror to another. Along the way, she meets Jake, a warrior chief with many amazing powers. A sweet romance develops. This is one of the stories that appeals to both romance readers and fantasy readers alike.