Speculative fiction, whether sci-fi or fantasy or paranormal, is all about the what if? questions. Those wonder and awe inducing daydreams that have been a part of the stories we've heard and read since we were kids. What if we could fly? What if there are unicorns in another realm? What if there's a big red dog that wants to be my friend? What if there's something hiding in my closet, and does it want to eat me or play with me? What if I could command magic? What if aliens landed on Earth . . . and they looked like smoking hot men?
The questions may change in detail between when we're young and when we're adults, but the invoked awe and wonder doesn't.
Why does romance need to be in the mix of speculative what ifs? Why not? Everything's better with romance!
But more seriously, romance is also a genre of awe. Two disparate people come together against all odds and realize and express their love for each other. The romance novel, with its tight focus on character emotions and overcoming personal baggage within the course of a compact sweeping courtship, is in many ways more of a fantasy than fantasy fiction. It is the slaying of a different kind of dragon no less awe-inspiring. So the sliding together of tangible and metaphorical dragons feels not only natural to me, it feels like love.