the ask@AAR: What were the trends in romance in 2022?

Now that 2022, is in the books, what did you notice about it in romance? From my perspective, there definitely were some trends. Here, in no particular order, are some things I think happened.

  • Was it just me or were there a lot more cooking/reality TV based shows?
  • Lead that struggled with mental illness seemed to be a lot more prevalent.
  • BokTok sold more romances than ANYTHING… for better or worse. This has helped contemporary romances and self-pubbed authors rule.
  • Sexually diverse leads were everywhere compared to earlier years. Trans, gay, asexual, polyamorous–it felt like this was the year that non-het lovers were found in every sub-genre.
  • Leads must now be saving the world to be respected. Across genres, heroines and heroes are trying to, no matter their context, to rescue the poor, topple the patriarchy, eradicate disease, etc….
  • Neurodivergent characters also began to appear with far more frequency in the past.
  • Nothing has dethroned cartoon covers.

What do you think? Did you notice these trends? What did I miss? What did I get wrong?



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