Popular romance fiction constitutes the largest segment of the global book market. Bringing together an international group of scholars, The Routledge Research Companion to Popular Romance Fiction offers a ground-breaking exploration of this global genre and its remarkable readership. In recognition of the diversity of the form, the Companion provides a history of the genre, an overview of disciplinary approaches to studying romance fiction, and critical analyses of important subgenres, themes, and topics. It also highlights new and understudied avenues of inquiry for future research in this vibrant and still-emerging field. The first systematic, comprehensive resource on romance fiction, this Companion will be invaluable to students and scholars, and accessible to romance readers.

chapter |23 pages


ByJayashree Kamblé, Eric Murphy Selinger, Hsu-Ming Teo

part Part I|72 pages

National traditions

chapter 1|24 pages

History of English romance novels, 1621–1975

Byjay Dixon

chapter 2|21 pages

The evolution of the American romance novel

ByPamela Regis

chapter 3|25 pages

Australian romance fiction

ByLauren O’Mahony

part Part II|170 pages


chapter 4|19 pages

Gothic romance

ByAngela Toscano

chapter 5|23 pages

The historical romance

BySarah H. Ficke

chapter 6|27 pages

Paranormal romance and urban fantasy

ByMaría T. Ramos-García

chapter 7|23 pages

Young adult romance

ByAmanda K. Allen

chapter 8|21 pages

Inspirational romance

ByRebecca Barrett-Fox, Kristen Donnelly

chapter 9|17 pages

Erotic romance

ByJodi McAlister

chapter 10|23 pages

African American romance

ByJulie E. Moody-Freeman

chapter 11|15 pages

Explorations of the “desert passion industry”

ByAmira Jarmakani

part Part III|126 pages

Methodological approaches

chapter 12|25 pages

Romance in the media

ByJayashree Kamblé

chapter 13|26 pages

Literary approaches

ByEric Murphy Selinger

chapter 14|15 pages

Author studies and popular romance fiction

ByKecia Ali

chapter 15|17 pages

Social science reads romance

ByJoanna Gregson, Jennifer Lois

chapter 16|19 pages

Publishing the romance novel

ByJohn Markert

chapter 17|22 pages

Libraries and popular romance fiction

ByKristin Ramsdell

part Part IV|153 pages


chapter 18|16 pages

Class and wealth in popular romance fiction

ByAmy Burge

chapter 19|17 pages

Sex and sexuality

ByHannah McCann, Catherine M. Roach

chapter 20|26 pages

Gender and sexuality

ByJonathan A. Allan

chapter 21|31 pages

Love and romance novels

ByHsu-Ming Teo

chapter 22|26 pages

Romance and/as religion

ByEric Murphy Selinger, Laura Vivanco

chapter 23|18 pages

Race, ethnicity, and whiteness

ByErin S. Young

chapter 24|17 pages

In response to Harlequin

Global legacy, local agency
ByKathrina Mohd Daud