Differences between Paranormal Romance and UF

This question comes up quite a bit. Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance have a lot of similarities since they both involve many of the same creatures, plot tropes, and complicated world building. Many popular series blend both - standing out as Urban Fantasy where the plot is the most important, but romance is still a heavy consideration and focus.

Urban Fantasy
  • While Urban Fantasy can be written in third person point of view, it's usually in first-person
  • Usually series have the same main character leading each novel
  • Romance is usually not the focus of the story. Sometimes it is not a focus at all.
  • Sex scenes are not usually as frequent
  • Urban fantasy is usually more action orientated because of the plot focus instead of the relationship
  • Can be darker in tone and heavier on mystery sub-genre.
  • Fantasy elements may combine romance, but some UF never has any romantic involvement.
 Paranormal Romance
  • While Paranormal Romance can be written in first person, it's more commonly used in multiple point of view
  • Some Paranormal Romance series have different couples as the main focus of each book
  • Romance is the main point of the story 
  • Usually there are more sex scenes
  • Since the main point is the romantic relationship, it may not be as active with action scenes.
  • Can be more emotional and/or melodramatic.
  • Basically it's primarily a romance with fantasy elements - HEA is almost always guaranteed.