This is the area where the fantasy and romance genres meet. Although fantasy settings are integral to the sub-genre, the main focus of the story tends to be on character interaction, with a notable element being a burgeoning romantic relationship between the protagonist and a love interest companion. The main characters usually form a tight-knit pack who adventure together in a group, and much of the focus is on the interactions of the group themselves, both internally and with the beings they encounter. This frequently spills over into at least a little political intrigue.
One notable difference between romantic fantasy and most of the other sub-genres is that magic is seen as a consequence of the natural order of the world. It’s not some demonic force from outside, as is often the case in Sword & Sorcery, or a highly arcane science that isolates its practitioners, as frequently depicted in high fantasy. In romantic fantasy, magic is a simple talent, an inborn channel of mystical self-expression. The key difference is that magic here is a wholesome force, in tune with the world. For the heroes, anyway.
The heroes of romantic fantasy are typically either young, recently bereaved, or otherwise just now finding themselves pushed into the wider world. In fairly short order, they discover dread plots against the world they live in, their own burgeoning talents, a group of talented companions who become close friends, and a life-partner-in-waiting. Companions are frequently titled nobles or other persons of responsibility and influence; the hero may be too. By the end of the story, the hero will have gained victory, magical power, true love and a place to call home. This is a shamelessly feel-good sub-genre, not a challenging one. The most influential romantic fantasy series remains David Eddings’ charming “Belgariad”.