Image of a heart with rainbows

What are the 100 Reading Challenge Categories for 2024?

You asked, so here they are!

Below is a list of all 100 categories.

One aspect of the reading challenge is to read books of all varieties. This might mean seeking out some books in categories you may not be familiar with. Below we’ve given a brief description of each category, but please know, this can be very subjective and as long as you genuinely feel a book fits a certain category, we won’t argue. We do ask you to play fair and be honest about the book’s content.

API / AAPI Author

Asian / Pacific Islander or Asian American / Pacific Islander Author.

Action & Adventure

The characters are embroiled in exciting and usually dangerous activities and adventures.


The story includes a character who is dealing with or has dealt with an addiction, such as alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc. Addiction should be an element but does not need to be the story’s only theme.

Age Gap

A story where one character is at least 7 years older than their romantic partner.

Asexual / Ace Spectrum Character

A story with an asexual or ace spectrum main character. An asexual person typically doesn’t have sexual feelings or desires for physical intimacy. For all the nuanced types of attraction and a more thorough explanation, here’s an article to read.


Stories that involve BDSM, which typically includes elements of roleplaying, dominance, submission, etc.

Beach Reads

Usually light and fluffy books that are hard to put down.

Billionaire Romance

One of the love interests is a billionaire.

Bisexual or Pansexual Character

A story that has a character who identifies as bisexual or pansexual.

Black / African American Author

The author is Black or African American.

Blind Date

A date where the individuals haven’t met before, often set up by a mutual friend.


One of the characters is protecting an individual.

Butch / Femme

A romance with two characters and one identifies as butch and the other as femme.

Celebrity Romance

A romance involving a celebrity.

Character has a Disability

One of the main characters has a disability of some type.

Coming Out

A story where a character deals with coming out about their sexuality.

Cozy Mystery

A mystery where the violence takes place off page and usually involves an amateur sleuth.

Cute Animals

A cute animal(s) plays a role in the story.

Dark Romance

A romance that dives into the darker side of things, such as morally gray characters, perilous situations, and/or high stakes.

Dating Disaster

A story that includes a dating disaster, such as dumping an entire drink in your date’s lap. Not that TB has ever done that…

Divorced Character

One of the characters is either divorced or is going through a divorce.

Dual Timeline

A story that includes two time periods. It can be historical or contemporary fiction.


A futuristic and imagined story that has oppressive societal measures. It may seem like they’ve created a perfect society, but it’s enforced via totalitarian control.

Enemies to Lovers

The love interests start off as enemies, such as coworkers vying for a project, opposing teammates, etc.

Erotic Romance

A story centered on the romantic nature of a relationship through sexual intimacy. Sex plays a strong role in the romance and character development.


A story that includes fanciful happenings and beings (such as elves, fairies, wizards, and goblins).

Fake Relationship

Where the pairing in the novel starts off faking a relationship but end up falling in love.


A story with a fantasy plot. It can have a romantic subplot, but it doesn’t have to.

Femme / Femme

A romance with two characters who identify as femme.

First Love

A romance about a character’s first love.

Fish Out of Water

One of the characters is placed in a situation they’re unfamiliar with, such as a city girl having to run a ranch.

Foodie Romance

A romance where food plays a part in the love story.

Forbidden Relationship

Involves a relationship that is considered taboo or forbidden.

Forced Proximity

A story where the two main characters are forced to be around the other, such as by being stranded in a cabin in the woods, or where they are forced into working or living together.

Found Family

When characters who aren’t related form family bonds.

Growing Older

Stories that involve characters who are dealing with the consequences of getting older.

Grumpy / Sunshine

A story where one of the mains is the grumpy sort and the other is cheery.

Historical Fiction

A story that is set in the past by at least 30 years. (TB and Miranda acknowledge this definition makes any story set during the time they went to high school “historical.”)

Holiday Romance

A story revolving around a holiday, such as Christmas, Passover, Hannukah, etc.

Hot & Steamy Romance

A romance with full, graphic description of sexual acts.

Hot for Boss

One of the characters is attracted to their boss.

Ice Queen

A story where one of the main characters comes across as cold, indifferent, and prickly. Usually, by the end of the story, she thaws somewhat, often as a result of the love interest’s influence.


A romance where two characters fall in love quickly.

International Setting

Books set in an international setting, such as South America, Africa, Asia, etc.

Interracial Romance

A relationship involving two people who belong to different races or ethnicities.

Jewish Author

The author identifies as Jewish.


A soldier in armor who serves a sovereign or lord.

Latinx Author

An author of Latin American origin or descent.

Long-Distance Relationship

The characters do not live in the same location.

Main Character in Uniform

One of the main characters wears a uniform (police, military, firefighter, etc.).

Medical Romance

One of the loves interests is a medical professional.


A half-human sea creature.

Mistaken Identity

When one of the characters is mistakenly believed to be someone or something else.


Stories around an unsolved element that attempts to solve the mystery.

Nerdy / Geeky

One of the characters is nerdy or geeky.

Neurodivergent Main Character

A story where one of the main characters is on the autistic spectrum or has dyslexia, ADHD, etc.

No Strings Attached

A story where the characters become involved without having certain relationship or emotional connection expectations.

Nursed Back to Health

A story involving one character being nursed back to health.

One Night to Forever

When a one-night stand turns into a forever relationship.

Online Dating

When the characters use the internet to find a romantic or sexual partner.

Only One Bed

A situation when two characters who are not in a romantic relationship must share one bed.

Opposites Attract

Two people who are opposites, yet they still fall for each other.


Stories that involve paranormal events or creatures like ghosts, vampires, werewolves, etc.


Stories that deal with pirates, whether in the historical sense, modern day, or in space.

Quirky Supporting Cast

A supporting cast that includes characters with peculiar, often humorous, traits.

Return to Hometown

When one of the love interests returns to their hometown, willingly or unwillingly. Usually for a short stint, but they wind up staying.

Road Trip

Stories that involve character(s) traveling by road.

Rockstar / Musician

One of the characters is a rockstar or musician.

Romance between 2 characters over 40

Where both main love interests are over the age of 40.

Romance Set on a Ranch / Farm

A romance that takes place on a ranch or farm. Can be historical or contemporary.

Romantic Suspense

A story with suspense but also has a romantic plot or subplot.

Roommate Romance

A romance that involves roommates.

Royal Romance

One of the main characters is royalty.

Saving the World

A storyline involving saving the world, such as an alien attack, stopping a pandemic, or dealing with climate disaster. It can have a broad interpretation and will depend on the worldview of the characters.


A science fiction story that does not have romance as a central theme, though there may or may not be a romantic subplot.

Second Chance

Where a couple had been in a relationship and failed, but then try again later in life with an HEA.

Secret Crush

One of the characters has a secret crush.


The character learns about themselves.

Set in Australia / New Zealand

A story set in Australia / New Zealand.

Set in Canada

A story set in Canada.

Set in Europe

A story set in Europe.

Set in the UK / Ireland

A story set in the UK / Ireland.

Single Parent Romance

One of the characters is a single parent.

Slow Burn

Where the characters develop romantic feelings at a slow pace.

Small Town Romance

A romance that takes place in a small town.

Speculative Fiction

A story set in a world entirely different from reality with fantastical, supernatural, or futuristic elements. Some refer to them as what-if stories that involve changing the laws of what’s possible and/or real and what that outcome would look like.

Sports Romance

A romance where at least one of the characters is an athlete, umpire, or coach.

Starting Over Romance

When one of the main characters has to start over in life, such as getting divorced, starting a new career, etc.

Summer / Vacation Fling

A story that involves a summer or vacation fling.

Time Travel

A story that involves time travel.

Toaster Oven (Sapphic Awakening)

A story when one of the mains comes out later in life (after the age of 29), because they either didn’t know or didn’t want to confront their identity. The story generally involves the character’s first romantic or sexual experience with a same-sex partner.

Trans / Nonbinary Main Character

One of the characters identifies as trans (a character whose identity doesn’t match with the sex recorded at birth) or nonbinary (characters who do not identify as exclusively male or female).

Urban Fantasy

A type of fantasy that takes place in a city.

Valentine’s Romance

A romance that involves Valentine’s Day in some way.


A story with immortal beings who consume blood to survive.

Wartime Romance

A romance that occurs during a war.

Wears a Toolbelt

One of the characters wears a toolbelt, whether (but not limited to) a construction worker, handy person, house flipper, or hobbyist.

Werewolf / Shifter

A storyline that involves a werewolf or shifter, which is someone who appears human but can shift their physical form to that of an animal or a mythical creature, such as wendigo, werecat, banshee, etc.


A storyline that has witches.

Workplace / Office Romance

A romantic relationship that happens in the workplace/office.

Other questions we’ve answered about the reading challenge:
share on:

← All FAQ