What are common writing tropes in dark romance? What do readers expect from a dark romance?

For those of you who don’t know what “dark romance” is, here is a list of examples https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/dark-romance

A famous book I can think of closest to the genre would be Fifty Shades of Grey (if you take out most of the sex scenes).

  • Hi Klara! This is a pretty broad question; it'll be hard to answer in Q&A format. Is there maybe a particular issue you're trying to solve; something you're uncertain about, that makes you ask this?
    – Standback
    Commented Dec 31, 2017 at 14:22
  • I want to know what I need to have in a dark romance novel so as to not disappoint readers. Like, what do they expect a dark romance to have? Commented Dec 31, 2017 at 14:25
  • I have been encouraged to phrase these types of questions the way I have. I’ve posted a similar question before. Commented Dec 31, 2017 at 14:32
  • 1
    This question is similar to writers.stackexchange.com/questions/31361/… so I suggest to leave it open, but I suggest @KlaraRaškaj to edit it and be more specific, so that the question does not result too broad. For instance what do you mean with "dark romance"? What examples of novels of that genre can you make? etc.
    – FraEnrico
    Commented Dec 31, 2017 at 18:14
  • 1
    As far as I can tell there are at least two types of dark romance - The contemporary (heatherknight.net/what-is-dark-romance) and the Victorian Gothic (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_romanticism) version. Which? The very least you need is a heroine in the clutches of a dark hero, and ending well is entirely optional.
    – Bookeater
    Commented Dec 31, 2017 at 18:17

1 Answer 1


Heather Knight covers it here briefly.


It lists some of the basic fundamentals of dark romance.

And. . . .


The latter could be applied to nearly any genre, I figure.

  • Thank you :D I haven’t come across that one! Really helpful! Commented Dec 31, 2017 at 19:15

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