I've been reading romance books for many years - all I'm admitting to is that it started a long time ago...
My long term relationship with romance novels really began when I picked up a Mills and Boon in my city centre library, from then on I was hooked.
Recently Sally Quillford highlighted an article by Claudia Connell that featured in the Daily Mail. Sally rightly called it patronising and I agree with her, romance writers don't automatically wear twin sets and have blue rinses, or any of the other suggestions.
Now the Guardian has an article discussing claims made by a religious Psychologist on the effect that reading romance books has on women- "women can become as dangerously unbalanced by these books' entrancing but distorted messages as men can be by the distorted messages of pornography".
Romance books have always suffered disparaging comments, and the term 'bodice-rippers' usually features as it did in the Daily Mail article. Ripping bodices to me suggests aggressive sexual violence, that isn't romance.
I don't see Psychologists suggesting that authors of crime novels are all balding nerds, dressed in black who really want to go out and murder numerous people in the most horrible ways possible...
(Okay, I know I got carried away there, but you know what I'm saying.)
Romance writers are inventive-I'm not even going to try counting how many sub-genres there are. They're smart, helpful, very knowledgeable and they like a happy ending.
(In this current world that's something that should be applauded and encouraged.)
Romance writers took on the challenge of e-books early and are getting the sales to prove it was a wise move.
Your choice of romance reading can have the intimacy go on behind closed doors or in full view of the reader, but it is never tacky- porn is.
To paraphrase something someone else said on the subject, what's so bad about love and monogamy?