Excellent question. The Romance Writers of America (RWA) define a romance novel as having a “central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.” By that definition, yes, my book is a romance novel. But the emotional satisfying ending may not be what readers are expecting.
And this is where I should probably disclose that the New Hampshire Chapter of Romance Writers of America ejected me (in a nice way) from their meeting because my plot doesn’t meet the “one boy and one girl” requirement for true romance.
For that reason, I prefer to call my book “a contemporary women’s novel with a romantic theme.” Or how about just “a love story”? In many ways, Almost Right with the World is the anti-romance novel. Genre romance would have you believe that the sociopathic CEO or rock star or cowboy or bad boy can be turned into perfect husband material with the love of the right woman. I’d like to think my story takes a more realistic view of love relationships.At least that’s what I was striving for.