We here on the Internet aren't really in a position to judge readers of romance novels. Sure, people stereotype the books as wish-fulfillment fantasies for housewives dreaming of muscle-bound doctor-sheik-Navy-SEAL-Vikings, but at least they're less weird than the crazy stuff you'll find online. For the most part, that is. Look a bit deeper into the romance genre and you'll find all sorts of stories about ...

The Amish

Many of us look at the technology-free Amish with longing, thinking of simpler times in the past when we didn't feel so anxious about all the movies we have to get through in our instant queue. There's also, however, a subgroup of readers who look at people in straw hats and suspenders and think, Boy, I sure want to have sex with that.

The 5 Most Baffling Genres of Romance NovelKensington, Bethany House and Love Inspired
We'd raise those barns.

The Amish generally don't believe in lawsuits, but we are sure that they are willing to make an exception here for restraining orders.


NASCAR has its own official line with the romance publisher Harlequin, producing books about handsome drivers that have plot descriptions like "The spark plugs between the two start firing almost immediately" and "What will it take to give him the chance to finish first -- with her?"

The 5 Most Baffling Genres of Romance NovelNascar Library

So whether you're a sexually repressed female American racing fan who likes bad car puns, or a ... well, that's actually all of the readership, really.

The Personification of Death

With the paranormal romance genre as big as it is, you'd only expect that at least one author would eventually get to writing a story about a romantic interlude with the Grim Reaper, perhaps while glancing at the English literature diploma on her wall and crying. It's just probability.

The 5 Most Baffling Genres of Romance NovelKristen Painter via Amazon.com
Reaping burns a lot of calories.

Oh, except there's more than one book about grappling with your own inescapable mortality by having sex with it. Here's one more. And another. And oh dear Lord here's a whole series of them. The things are everywhere, which might explain those weird clanking sounds you keep hearing from your upstairs neighbors' apartment, and why they keep ordering all those pieces of medieval farming equipment and tetanus boosters.

Murder. Sexy, Sexy Murder.

At least one romance publisher also produces a "romantic suspense" genre, in which women and sexy men are thrown into sexy danger together. Like this one, where the couple in question is sexily hunted down by a sexy Mexican drug cartel:

The 5 Most Baffling Genres of Romance NovelHarlequin
Wielding sexy blunt machetes and slutty AK-47s.

Oh, and sometimes the male love interest is the suspected murderer, as in this book, where "Sean has been accused of murder. Sean's smile can't quite conceal the darkness in his eyes, but is he really capable of such a crime?" We assume that Sean turns out to be innocent, but if he doesn't, there's always room for the book to turn into a Grim Reaper romance at the end.


Do you like horses? And also sex with really hairy men? Well, now you can literally halve the size of your bookshelf. The romance genre has a whole selection of novels written for the only people ever to have been banned from My Little Pony conventions:

The 5 Most Baffling Genres of Romance NovelEllora's Cave, Tease Publishing and Kensington Books

There's also satyr romance, in case you're really into the idea of sex with someone who is non-human from the waist down but not interested in the love contortions necessary for getting it on with a quadruped. Because that would just be weird.

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