Publishers love to classify books by genre. I'm sure it makes things easier for them to do so. But a work of fiction should defy easy classification. My new novel, Message on the Wind, would most likely be classified first as romance, second as historical fiction. Why? It does explore the relationship between a woman and a man, and it is set in a fictional place within the context of real history.
The books I read that I would consider romance, first and foremost, are generally about the courtship of a couple. Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Someone is hiding something that angers someone else. Boy loses girl. Boy and girl end up together. End of story. That is not at all the story of Message on the Wind, because the real story is about what happens when two people fall in love, stay in love, and face life together.
So, rather than the genre of my novel, I'd like to explore the themes within the story. Love of all different kinds. The consequences of one's decisions. The effects one person can have on a number of other people. Themes, definitely not genres, please. That's a conversation I'd love to have!