I’ve been reading a lot of paranormal romance and fantasy romance lately. I decided to try out a Kindle Unlimited subscription and got sucked into a few shifter serials. For those not familiar, a serial is one big story split into bite-sized pieces that usually ends with some kind of cliffhanger between installments. You know with those going in that you have to read more than one installment to get the full story, though you don’t always know upfront how many installments the author has planned. But, no surprises!
What did take me by surprise was the last traditionally published paranormal romance I read that ended with a cliffhanger. The catch-the-bad-guy plot was wrapped up but the romantic arc was completely unresolved. It was a great book, but I found it frustrating because I wasn’t ready to get involved with a whole new series. Paranormal romance has always meant resolved romance/possibly unresolved overarching action plot to me. In one book. Romantic Urban Fantasy was where I went to for a series-long romantic arc. I like both. I just like to know what I’m getting into.
The last three fantasy romances I read were the same way. All of them were the first books in the series, all ended with the resolution of some action/conflict, but the romance wasn’t fully wrapped up in any of them. Looking forward, the hero/heroine are the main characters throughout each of the series. I can kind of see it more with fantasy romance because following the same characters through multiple books is pretty standard in fantasy.
The paranormal romance blindsided me.
So my questions for you are: Are you seeing this same trend with spec-fic/romance crosses? How do you feel about it?
Eleri Stone is a RITA-nominated author of paranormal and fantasy romance. She was born in New Jersey, but now lives in Iowa with her husband and their three children. All of her stories have some element of speculative fiction in them and they all end with a happily-ever-after.