Romance Fiction

A Guide to the Genre, 2nd Edition

by Kristin Ramsdell


Fact: Romance books comprise the largest and most popular of all of the fiction genres. In 2009, romance accounted for $1.36 billion in sales. Romance titles are also high-circulation items in most public libraries, typically second only to video media. For librarians, readers, writers, and scholars alike, having a definitive guide to this genre is a must.

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Cover image for Romance Fiction

March 2012

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 719
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Reference and Information Services and Tools/Readers' Advisory and Leisure Reading
  Reference and Information Services and Tools/Arts and Humanities Literature Reference Tools
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    Hardcover: £58.00/63,00€/A$97.00

A comprehensive guide that defines the literature and the outlines the best-selling genre of all time: romance fiction.

More than 2,000 romances are published annually, making it difficult for fans and the librarians who advise them to keep pace with new titles, emerging authors, and constant evolution of this dynamic genre. Fortunately, romance expert and librarian Kristin Ramsdell provides a definitive guide to this fiction genre that serves as an indispensible resource for those interested in it—including fans searching for reading material—as well as for library staff, scholars, and romance writers themselves.

This title updates the last edition of Romance Fiction: A Guide to the Genre, published in 1999.While the emphasis is on newer titles, many of the important older classics are retained, keeping the focus of the book on the entire genre, instead of only those titles published during the last decade. Specific changes include new chapters on linked and continuing romances, a new section on "Chick Lit" in the Contemporary Romance chapter, an expansion of coverage on the alternative reality subset. This is THE romance genre guide to have.


  • A core collection list in chronological order
  • An exhaustive bibliographic listing of romance titles
  • Research materials and a brief history of the genre
  • Indexes organized by author, title, and subject


  • Updates and expands upon a primary reference resource on the popular romance fiction genre
  • Defines and explains the entire genre and its myriad subgenres, including the latest "Chick Lit," urban fantasy, ethnic/multicultural, and gay/lesbian romances
  • Provides invaluable collection development, programming, and readers' advisory suggestions
  • Serves as a practical resource for both practitioners and researchers in the field as well as romance readers seeking informed reading suggestions
Author Info

Kristin Ramsdell is librarian emerita at California State University, East Bay, Hayward, CA. Her published works include Happily Ever After: A Guide to Reading Interests in Romance Fiction and Romance Fiction: A Guide to the Genre. She also edits the romance section of What Do I Read Next? and is romance columnist for Library Journal. She received the Romance Writers of America Librarian of the Year Award in 1996 and the Melinda Helfer Fairy Godmother Award from Romantic Times in 2007.



"Librarians have waited a long time for the updated edition of one of their most popular and heavily used readers'-advisory tools, and they are now well rewarded for their patience. Noted romance expert Ramsdell delivers a comprehensive second edition to update the first, which appeared in 1999. . . . This long-awaited revision of a classic readers' advisory resource is an essential purchase for public and academic library readers' services collections."Booklist, Starred Review

"Essential for public librarians overseeing fiction collections, especially when they are without subscriptions to fiction-advisory sources. The go-to book for guidance. Previous editions should be retained. Highly recommended."Library Journal

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