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The "Bs" of Romance Fiction: 2016's Most Popular Themes

Romance sub-genres are constantly changing and evolving. If you're an avid reader and have been for some time, you've probably seen a few shifts here and there over the years. But if you're new to romance and trying to figure out what "MC" stands for or what this sudden fascination with bikers and billionaires is all about, you're probably not alone. Here are the "Bs" of romance fiction and 2016's most popular themes.


The 50-Shades phenomenon is still ever-present, and it doesn't look as though it's going anywhere anytime soon. BDSM romance novels usually feature a dominant and a submissive character, and the common elements can vary greatly. They might feature couples that are already in a kinky relationship. But often they contain a heroine or protagonist that is just curious about the lifestyle. In swoops the dominant hero. The simple fact that these books are so taboo is probably the one thing drawing such a huge readership.


Bikers have been appearing in romance novels for years, but the MC romance genre (Motorcycle Club) has recently gained in popularity. Think criminal heroes and outlaws or Sons of Anarchy. These stories feature the real bad boys of society. You know, the reformed Hell's Angel who lives to protect on wheels or the drug-dealing thug just released from jail.

MC heroes are always alpha, know what they want in a woman, and stick tightly to the rules of the club. These stories will even typically weave in details of the club itself, like what their primary purpose is or what their colors are. MC romances usually contain violence, so if you're squeamish about that sort of thing, you may want to pass.


Christian Grey quickly comes to mind when referring to billionaires in romance novels. And while BDSM isn't necessarily always present in these stories, most billionaire heroes are alpha males—they surely didn't earn their money by being someone's doormat.

It's not hard to figure out why billionaires have become popular in the modern day romance story. What woman doesn't dream of being swept away by a rich man?

Bad Boys

This one is mostly self-explanatory, but believe it or not, not all bad boys are "bad."

So what makes a "good" bad boy? The guy who's ultra protective, confident to the point of cocky, and refuses to ask permission for anything. He takes what he wants and always wants what he takes.

Bad boys can make you crumble with a look, have absolutely no fear, and are natural leaders, whether they're leading their company to a multi-million dollar merger or their "boys" to a drug deal. They're passionate about all that they do, and they don't take "no" for an answer. They pave their way, no matter what the rules or consequences of breaking them are.

Bad boys are often misunderstood and are sexy to the extreme. It's no surprise that women who love bad boys love them in their romance novels as well.

If one of these romance genres strikes your fancy, check out online retailers like Cali-mod and get reading.