A Visual Map of the Romance Novel

by The Hairpin Sponsors

This post is brought to you by Open Road Integrated Media.

Picture a typical romance novel. Are you thinking of one of the following?

  • A bare-chested and gleaming Fabio
  • A billowing shirt (or blouse? What is that garment, exactly?)
  • Pastel colors
  • Bodices, ripped or intact

It’s time to forget what you think you know about romance novels. As a genre, romance is as broad and diverse as any in fiction. Skeptical? We happen to have a visual aid to help support this claim.

The folks at Open Road Media have designed a guide to help you discover the full range of romance — an interactive, New York magazine–style Romance Matrix featuring seventeen popular romance ebooks charted from the wildly mild to utterly smutty, detailed historicals to fast-paced contemporaries. It’s a new way of thinking about romance, whether you’re a Fifty Shades devotee, a reader with a stash of Loveswept paperbacks under your bed, or someone who has never read a romance novel in her life.

View the full-sized matrix here and click on any cover image to sample a page of passion from the ebook. If something strikes your fancy, grab the ebook forjust $1.99 from December 4 to December 17 at participating retailers. Go ahead, take a chance on a romance novel.