There is a fascinating interview up at Dear Author with two professors who are studying the romance genre. Swing by and have a read.
They speak about outmoded ways of viewing romance, which got me to thinking what we, as readers think of the genre. Why do you read romance? Personally, I like the hope and emotional intensity in these stories. I also like the fact that romances are very much focused on the protagonists - there's a deep sense of connection with the characters.