What defines a romance novel? Romance Writer’s of America has stated the definition of romance is essentially a love story which concludes on an optimistic note for the protagonists. Either a “Happily Ever After” or “Happy For Now” ending will suffice. But labels can be limiting or deceptive. A single work of fiction can belong to multiple categories. Literature can be mystery or romance, just as romance can be fantasy, erotica, science fiction, suspense… And just about everything else.