International Festival of Authors Hosts Ghost Bureau Partner Chantel Guertin

To mark the success of her ninth novel, Two for the Road, Ghost Bureau’s bestselling author Chantel Guertin spoke at one of the world’s biggest literary festivals about the enduring appeal of the romance genre.


Ghost Bureau partner and bestselling author Chantel Guertin appeared at the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) in September 2023. In a panel entitled “Re-Imagining Romance“, Guertin and fellow contemporary romance author Uzma Jalaluddin chatted with moderator and author Rebecca Fisseha about how romance novels are currently the most popular and highest-earning genre of fiction today (with more than $1.44 billion in annual worldwide revenue).

Why are romance novels so popular?

Guertin shared her thoughts on how romance novels no longer resemble the traditional Harlequin romance of the 1950s-1990s. Today’s romance feature strong, independent, successful female main characters. They’re looking for a relationship with someone who will bring out the best in them, complement them, challenge them, or cause them to do the same for their counterpart.

What are popular romance novel tropes?

Chantel’s most recent novel, Two for the Road, featured a romance bookshop owner who takes a leap of faith by embarking on a 10-day tour of England to see if the voice behind her favourite audiobook could be the one. Some tropes it includes are forced proximity, enemies to lovers and love triangle. In Instamom, an advocate for the childfree by choice lifestyle falls for a single dad. It’s an enemies to lovers novel.

Christmas Romance Books & Holiday Romance Books

While contemporary romance novels are popular all year long, Christmas novels for adults are huge in November and December. Chantel’s ninth novel, It Happened One Christmas, features a Hollywood film director who needs to convince the mayor of a small Quebec town to grant her the film permit needed for her next film. It’s now available for pre-order at Amazon and Indigo.

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