Romance is a natural part of the human experience. To fall in love, and out of love, to have flings and passionate relationships, is all part of life. It’s completely understandable to have romantic subplots present in urban fantasy. This is a bit of a look at some of the possible forms.
I want to complain about how paranormal romance is/has taking over urban fantasy, but I’ll restrain myself 😛
Enemies to lovers.
These names are pretty self-explanatory 😛 This is where the two love interests start out as rivals, and enemies. There’s a palpable hatred between them, sparks fly, and quite often fists. Yet over time that shifts and evolves. The passionate hate gradually becomes lust and a passionate love. The next thing you know the clothes are flying off! I have to admit that I love this one. It’s just so much fun to both read and write.
Friends to lovers.
This is that slow burn, where people have known each other for a long time and gradually they realise their feelings have shifted. This is far sweeter and more delicate. It can be one-sided for a while, where one knows they’re head over heels for the other, but it takes some time for the other to realise that they feel the same. This is quite adorable and you can’t help but 😍 when they take that step.
Ah Romeo and Juliet, the forbidden fruit thing. When two people aren’t allowed to have each other they suddenly become so much more irresistible. I’m not as keen on this one, but it depends on how it’s handled. If they come together purely because it’s rebellious it’s very meh for me. Whereas if it’s two people falling in love and having to hide it, it can be a wonderful thing that really pulls me in.
There are a whole bunch of different takes on this. It’s basically where there’s a bond in place between the two people that means they’re destined to be together. In Urban Fantasy is quite often takes the form of a mate bond, as in between two shifters, or a shifter and their other half. This has potential for some fun, I’ve toyed with it and can definitely see some scope for something interesting there. Generally speaking I haven’t enjoyed reading it, but that’s because I’ve only really seen it in erotic paranormal romance, which isn’t my thing.
This is where, due to politics or somesuch, two people are forced into a long-term relationship, usually a marriage. It quite often starts out that they hate each other but over time they grow to love each other. Again this has a lot of potential to be interesting, there can be a lot of character growth there.
Fake love becomes real.
I haven’t seen this in Urban Fantasy, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t out there. This is where for whatever reason, two people pretend to be in a relationship and then it becomes real over time. They spend time together and fall for each other. I’m pretty ambivalent about this one.
There are lots more options, what are your favourites?
If you’d like to see how I handle the romantic subplot in Infernal Hunt you can pre-order Infernal Bonds here.