I came to reading romance after already being a longtime reader of science fiction/fantasy and mystery, which meant that my tastes in matters fantastical and suspenseful were already pretty well formed. So when Urban Fantasy came along, my particular favorites reflected—and still reflect—my love for serious worldbuilding.
Worldbuilding that works doesn’t have to dump facts about the world on every page; details are a big part of what I like, but what I care most about it is how the writer uses those details, along with plot and characters, to give me a richer reading experience, to make it feel as though the reader is in the world.
The worldbuilding of a novel has to have room for surprises. That’s why I prefer most Urban Fantasy over most Paranormal Romance, simply because UF tends to offer longer, more complicated plots spread over several books. (I realized the PR I tend to like is often the same, with an overarching plot, even if there’s only one romantic couple per book). The benefit of these meta plots is that they both create and reward my reader’s curiosity. These books bring up questions about the world, then give me opportunities to answer those questions by poking my nose into all the interesting nooks and crannies. The best worldbuilding always goes deeper. Reading, you get the feeling there’s always more to be discovered.