“Every romance novel has two basic parts: a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and hopeful ending,” says the Romance Writers of America. The main conflict and climax of the book should both have something to do with the main theme, which is building a relationship. However, there may be other plots in the book that aren’t directly about the main characters’ love life.

There are different ways to define a romance novel. Some include different plots and endings, or more than two people. Others are more specific, limiting the types of relationships or conflicts.