Usually written in the 1st person. Chick Lit stories involve a young heroine, in her mid-20's, less well established, who usually lives with roommates and has an entry level job. The heroine is more interested in building a career than looking for Mr. Right. The heroine, however, maybe interested in Mr. Right Now.
This genre leans toward breaking more traditional rules. Heroines have been known to smoke, binge drink, and cuss. The writing style is up front, breezy, with less introspection. The end doesn't necessarily have the heoroine and hero together.
From what I've heard around the web, chick lit isn't as popular as it was when it was first introduced. While it's waning, I would say it still interests readers.
These romances are set in the past. There are even subgenres depending on the time period. The perferred setting is Europe or North America, but it could be anywhere including ancient Rome, China, or Japan. These stories are usually longer. Some "elements" are polished for modern readers. For example: heroines tend to be more independant and heroes are more enlighted than peopel of the time period actually were. Another point: In the Middle Ages, young women were married by 13, having children. By today's historical, heroines tend to be older.
A regency is a specific type of historical romance, usually set in England between 1811 and 1834. These stories focus on the upper classes and the characters ability to make or break a socially acceptable marriage. It's called a regency after the regency of Prince George (IV) and again, the time period is up until Victoria takes the throne. They are usually sweet, short novels, and less sensual. The darker side of life is seldomed mentioned.
That's 3 for now, but I'll cover more subgenres as the weeks go on. Do you like chick lit, historicals, or regencies? Do you have a favorite author in these genres? Share your thoughts!