We are all big fans of the romance genre here at Book Riot. Especially as it becomes ever more diverse, queer, equitable and thus, even more interesting. Romance has always been a feminist exploration of the courtship that leads up to happily ever after; the recent (and long overdue!) expansion into love that is not cisgender and heteronormative makes the genre ever more inclusive and anti-kyriarchy.
The thing about romance as a genre is that, just like there are as many ways of recognizing compatibility and love to chose a partner(s) as there are people, there is almost certainly a sub-genre out there that can catch your notice. Do you lean historical or more contemporary? Do you like your romance with a little (or a lottle) more flesh-on-flesh? Prefer more fantastical settings or perhaps a vampire or two? There’s a sub-genre for that. And then there are the endless variations on how one gets to happily ever after. Romance novels almost always come to a happy resolution at the end; most of them have a female protagonist because, as mentioned, they are also a deeply feminist fantasy about women who can be both individualized human beings and find love — something the “real world” struggles with (although the “protagonist as female” rule is being challenged as more authors with diverse interests and experiences enter the arena — more diversity everywhere, please!).
Whether you’re a newbie or have read every Nora Roberts novel ever published, you’ll appreciate the ability to proclaim your love of romance to the world with these romance-themed goods.
Starting small! Proclaim your reading preference quietly and clearly with this enamel pin from ReaderZing. $11
This 3″ wide sticker from CardiganLibrarian would be perfect on a water bottle, in a journal, or really anywhere! $2.25
Another sticker I can’t resist! Proclaim your addiction to Sapphic romance with this book cover sticker celebrating the love only two ladies can share. From fuglybarbie; comes in three sizes. The smallest is 3″x3″ at $6.
One of my favorite tropes, especially with LGBTQIA+ romances is the “oh dear whatever shall we do? There is only one bed!” If you, like me, think this trope is both darling and hilarious, you’ll appreciate this “Clean Cotton” scented candle (a scent choice that garnered another snicker) from RomancelandiaCandles. $12
Any reader worth their library card knows that if you’re going to read physical books that don’t belong to you, you’ll need a bookmark. And what better way to mark the page in your romance novel than with an appropriately-themed magnetic bookmark from CarleyDesignsCo? $5 each or $15 for the set.
Another sticker set! I adore stickers, and this set from TusksandPeonies is charming. $13
For those of you with an electronic cutter like a Cricut, here is a file from FancyCaseStore for you to cut out your own announcement about your favorite therapy and put it wherever you choose. $3
If you’re ready to announce your affection for historical fiction, this comfy T-shirt from ILoveHEAs might be exactly the right way to do it! Dashing lords are a weakness of mine, too. Who doesn’t want to be a duchess, after all? $24
Another gem from ILoveHEAs is this polyester zip bag. The bag comes in small ($13) and large ($16) and is the perfect carrier for anything from pencils to makeup to snacks for kids.
If romance novels are your therapy, you could do your therapy journaling in this 118-page spiral notebook from kissandletmetellyou! $18
You’ll have sweet dreams when you rest your head on this pillowcase from BigBookLoverShop, reminding you of the dashing heroes and plucky protagonists who all live rent-free in your head. $20
If you like a little smut with your coffee, then this 11 oz. mug from RooReadsALot is the perfect accompaniment! $10
This mid-century modern style art print from DexMex would look divine next to your overstuffed romance novel bookshelf! $27
Obviously you need another tote bag for library books, groceries, or anything that strikes your fancy. Remind people that fairytales are still legitimate adult reading — especially if they have a bit of smut involved! This one is from StephaniesCreativeCo. $25
Romance novels are not all smutty, but let’s face it: the ones that are, tend to be more fun. Let everyone know which hill you’re prepared to die on with this sticker from TheKraftyWon. $4
Currently my favorite sweats are grey and say, “100% that bitch” on them with a lip print on the ass; I got them at a Lizzo concert right before lockdown. But these cozy-looking ones from TheDearWriterCo are in very close contention! $30
Don’t know which one is your favorite? Feeling like you don’t want to have to choose? Then this Hero Tropes bag from MeetCuteCreative is for you! $23
And there you have it! Enough romance goods to shout your favorite genre to the world. Go forth and represent equality in love! And once you’ve loaded up your carts with romance goodies, pick up some books too, including excellent contemporary romance novels and these romance novels by Indigenous authors.