What genre will be red hot in 2013?

By May.

Paranormal Romance bottomed out a while back for me, it’s been a long time since I read an amazing one, and any I did really like were part of a long-established series. At the start of 2012, historical romance was my #1 producer of amazing reads.

As we wind down 2012, I have read a slew of forgettable, repetitive, nothing special, absolute waste of my time historical romances which has me wondering:

What genre is going to dominate 2013?

I have no idea, and thus the reason for this article. While there are still some authors absolutely dominating their genres, I don’t have a clear strong candidate going into 2013 of a genre that in general is just above and beyond. Here are some wishful thinking hopes of mine:

1. That the superhero romance genre will take off. Pickings are intensely slim, but I hope to see this change. I cross my fingers and wish for more great romances with men in tights.

2. Not quite superhero, but I would like to see more action-adventure in the historical realm. Zoe Archer’s Blades of the Rose series comes immediately to mind. Strong women and men battling evil and working with mystical forces… amazing! I’m not after copycats of that series, but I’d like to see a bit more variety and some magic/mystical elements in more historicals that add that Indiana Jones-esque adventure to romance.

3. Revitalization of the contemporary romance genre. Please, oh please someone write some boy meets girl adorable, funny, sweet, tender, lovely contemporary romances. They’re really hard to find, and this was my first love (and is always my first choice). When I want to read a great one, I have to go back deep into my bookshelves and pull out an old Jen Crusie, Lori Foster, or the like. I miss those days.

4. Griffons and other mystical shifters/creatures will grow stronger, take over PNR world. If I never read another vampire or werewolf it’d be fine with me.

5. Spy and secret agent romances, across all genres. We have military and special forces like crazy, I’d like to see even more (GOOD) spy romances. I don’t care if it is contemporary, historical, or even PNR – I want more cloak and dagger, more mystery and suspense.

Those are just a few ideas in my mind of some books I’d really love to see and read in future – how about you? Do you already know what is going to be the dominating genre for romance in the new year? Or do you think we’ll see a more leveling out and less trendy spikes in what is being released?


  1. Lynnd says

    Definitely would like more of the action/adventure type romances as in #2. With respect to # 4, I’m so with you on wanting to see something new in PNR – I am so sick of the vampires! With respect to historicals, I also found it very hard to get excited about much that came out this year (Courtney Milan, Cecilia Grant, Jeannie Lin and Meredith Duran excepted).

    I suspect that we’ll cntinue to have to put up with the 50 Shades clones for 2013 – that is the hottest “trend” and publishers are going to milk it for all it’s worth. If that’s the case, I suspect that I’ll be reading a lot of fantasy and mystery this coming year.

  2. ClaudiaGC says

    I would love to see more contemporaries with heroes with an every day job and no gazillionaires, something like Shannon Stacey’s Kowalski series, for example. I wouldn’t mind if the hero is a carpenter or lumberjack. :)

    • ClaudiaGC says

      I forgot to add erotic romances without a lot of BDSM in it. I like to read a BDSM romance from time to time but I want straight erotic romances again! So, I think that’s it now. ;)

        • may says

          well Adair has “Kiss & Tell” one of her original TFLAC novels that is a virgin heroine + ex-military mountain man who lives in a cave/cabin in the remote wilderness that is over the top nonsense that I loved.
          Penny Watson also has “Lumberjack in Love” which was a cute contemporary.

          Oh but I need some more. LOTS more!!!

          • may says

            I also recall an old Evanovich where the hero was an ALaskan native and he falls for a heroine who just moved up on a whim to his small town… but it’s been many years I’m not sure if that would be one I recommend.

  3. Lege Artis says

    Great question, May…
    I think that current trend with clumsy girl/millionaire with BDSM tendencies will continue in 2013, too. Maybe, this is one of the reason we didn’t have memorable contemporary for some time (Samantha Young excluded)…? All the boys are to busy with chains to be more romantic.;)
    Temptress bu Lola Dodge was recommended by Tori and it was my first encounter with superhero romance. More, please!
    I think there will be more new adult novels, as transition between YA and adult.

    • may says

      I reviewed + enjoyed Temptress! I hope she writes more of them for sure, but I’d like more than her + Jennifer Estep to be producing great superhero stories…

  4. says

    I also seem to be getting tired of historical romances, with the exception of my favourite authors, but I still have not had enough of PNR/UF by a long shot. There are a lot of new-to-me series on my shelves waiting for when I have the time to tackle them.
    Have you ever tried a cozy mystery series? Not big on the romance part, but it is sweet, and often a good mystery, and contemporary.

    • may says

      for me PNR and UF are totally separate… UF I’m super into these days!

      and yep, I’ve read a ton of light/cozy mysteries over the years. Heather Webber writes a series I read currently, and there’s a dog walker one I read… but it’s not been a top genre for me in oh, probably 6-7 years. I get tired of the “nothing ever changes” heroines.

  5. Marissa says

    Great topic!
    I’m betting on the post apocalyptic and zombie variations getting a lot bigger. However, my hope is that steampunk will pick up, ahem, steam. :)

  6. says

    I’s love more spies, I am sick of special forces books and I have not read that many.

    I’d want more…<adult dystopia, really shake things up and make it dark. No more cute YA

  7. says

    I thought this was such a forgettable year, but when I was making my Top 10 list, I realized that there were some hidden gems in every genre, and in contemporary in particular. At least if we only look at some of the great authors, new and not-so new like Ruthie Knox, Molly O’Keefe and Sarah Mayberry. My main wish for contemporary romance would be: no more series, or no more never-ending small-town series, to be precise. I would love to see the standalone book become a hit on 2013, regardless of sub-genre.

    If the latest trend is anything to go by, though, I think New Adult fiction will dominate next year, at least at first. We’ll see how that goes.

    Great post!

    • may says

      there were a lot of great reads this year for me, but also a TON of bad reads or nothing special reads. I really want (like you) for stand-alones to come back into fashion most especially Contemporary!!!

    • says

      I agree with you! I’d like some good, stand alone contemporaries that have a slow build and where the characters don’t confuse lust with love. I hate when 30-something characters act like teenagers because their hormones are taking off…or stories where the hero and heroine ‘fall in love’ and plan to marry within a few weeks of knowing each other. Lisa Kleypas always does a nice job with balancing the sexual tension with the development of a genuine ‘love’ story.

      Sadly, I think the Fifty Shades effect will be with us throughout 2013. I see more and more of ‘erotica’ being sold (reported on Publishers Marketplace).

  8. Maija says

    Never been fond of books with spies. But would love to have more basic contemporary romance novels. Sweet, tender love stories – come back! :)

  9. says

    New Adult. Most of the book deals trad pubs have currently been snagging are new adult books. I’m not really into the genre, I feel like it’s a notch or two better than YA contemporary in the sense that the characters curse and have sex but are still emotionally juvenile as their YA contemporaries. But in fairness, the YA genre is growing up with its readers and NA is a good transitional tool to slowly ease them into adult reads that deals wig more intricate issues.

  10. Selena Mc says

    Good Topic May! I too am sick of Vamps & Were’s & the like. I want something new, I just don’t know what! I just know I don’t want any more 50 shades drivel! *shrugs*

    I really love Janet Evanovich. I read that book years ago, but just recently listened to the audio version. Its called Manhunt. Its a cute little stand alone. I really like her older stuff.

  11. Michael Cain says

    Molly Harper wrote a funny, sweet, hot PNR with some cloak and daggar in it. The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires.

  12. Dani says

    I think JR Ward is going to hit every single best seller’s list with a MM book and that’s going to be a big help for the genre, maybe we’ll start to see other series with a gay or bi hero/heros in the mix. Maybe a gay Kresley Cole gay hero? I die!!!!

  13. Evelyn says

    I agree with Dani, I think Wards mass market book will open the m/m genre to a broader audience, though there might also be some protests on that.

    I myself mostly read m/m stories, because they have this kind of angst, especially GFY stories, which I tend to categorize as paranormal fiction ;-)

    Greetings from Germany

  14. Tripoli says

    I’m tired of kick-ass heroines. Just give me a woman with a brain in her head and a sense of humor. Sick of alpha males and the “must-mate” theme. Sick of vampires and werewolves. I’d like more adventure romance too, and some great futuristic romance that takes place on other planets, and not something cartoony with space pirates – something more like a regular, gritty scifi but with a love story in there too.

  15. says

    I’m over movie stars, king-of-his-domain rich guy heroes, pony-tails on guys, and yes sex-with-restraints (who knew that would become ho-hum?)…

    What I’m not over: Tattoo artist-muscle car driving heroes, or shaved head heroes, guys who work outdoors, or shifters minus the must-mate impulse (soooo over that). And, I’m not over the less-is-more-man-of-few-words hero.

    I’m also over the heart-of-gold heroine, and adorably klutzy heroine, and the doormat so-giving-I-can’t-stand-her heroine which has resurfaced as the submissive-but-didn’t-know-it heroine.

    I’m not over women who think before they speak (mostly) and who know their sexuality–whether it’s vanilla or D/s–and women who laugh and heroines who don’t take shit but who are also have their own flaws, flaws they are trying to work on.

  16. says

    I can’t stand the whole 50 Shades thing, but I’d guess it will continue to be big in 2013 as writers try to capitalize on the upcoming movie and related hype.

    Fingers crossed on the superhero thing though. I’d love to see that genre take off, as I’m a big fan of comic books. They’re like soap opera, only in tights. There really isn’t a lot out there for it right now, which is surprising, as superheroes are so big in popular culture. In fact, I got so sick of looking, I just started writing them myself. :)

    I remember reading Night Shadow by Nora Roberts way back when, and thinking, “Wow, I’ve never seen an author use a superhero before.” Sadly, it wasn’t the main point of the story, but ever since then I’ve thought it’d be cool.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *