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How much sex is one of those issues. There are many options. It can be sweet, spicy or erotic. Even within a plot type, it can be any of those. Some rank the sex from 1 to 5 with 5 meaning anything pretty much goes. 1, of course, is sweet kisses and no tongue-- think Jane Austen where there might not even be a kiss.
A romance will also be set into a category that is defined by its time period-- contemporary, historical or future? Future times are fantasy to some level.
In each time period, you can find romances that are sci fi; time travel, erotica; inspirational; suspense; mystery; paranormal; multicultural; adventure; and what might be termed chick lit not to mention standard literature which is where you often find Nicholas Sparks books even though they are clearly romances.
Historical can be any of the above as well as what nation and what time period. A lot of writers, and I am one, tend to stay within a nation. I write about the American West whether its historical or contemporary because it's what I know. If I was into traveling and spent time say in England regularly, I might've chosen to write then as I enjoy reading English history in a romance.
Well, I did when I had time to read for pleasure. Right now I barely can read a novella or skim through a book that I don't expect to be demanding-- other than when the latest Longmires come out. Addictions must be fed, dontchaknow. Otherwise I guess I prefer reading contemporaries (at the moment) but that changes when an exciting possibility comes along to tempt me into someone's historical.
I like contemporaries because the women are more like I am. The expectations and her possibilities are endless. The books I write and enjoy reading often involve a criminal element with maybe an investigator which could be her, him or both. It's fun to read something about a woman who could be me but isn't. And who what she goes through I'd never want to but have fun being there for a few hours in the safety of my Kindle.
Many readers only read within a specific genre. Others move around from one to another field. I am not sure what's better from a writer's standpoint. I have heard that the most popular historical romances are set in England but I personally prefer them set in America.
What I write, always are stories about couples who are falling in love or rediscovering their love while they wrestle with an emotional complication and face a danger. I want adventure along with the romance. I want a situation that tests these two people against the elements or an enemy. I've only written a few stories where that isn't the case.
In romances there is always a conflict between these two potential lovers. I want that to be believable without some kind of phony conflict that literally makes no sense other than a writer's fun. My own writing makes me very picky about the books I read and where another reader might love some element that to me seems forced, I will be grumbling. I think writing yourself both adds to and detracts probably from enjoying reading your own genre.