A lot of romance novels don't seem to realize when they're veering into horror territory. What's the line between horror and romance?
Consent is curiously absent from a lot of romance novels. But a/b/o stories tend to play with this in a more intentional way. A lot of stories featuring a/b/o dynamics feature dubious consent—but does it have to be that way?
In the romance genre, the subject of consent is sometimes murky and often contentious. The power dynamics of relationships demand that writers explore it.
Who has power in a relationship and how do they wield it? That's a question every romance reader should ask, especially as heterosexual romances usually fail to interrogate power dynamics, ultimately modelling abusive or toxic relationships.