I bought a copy of this book by Maya Rodale and, after some investigation, I am very happy I did because it is not widely available. I think it is based on her graduate work and some of her essays. The book is a key resource for readers' advisors who need to serve romance readers or advocate for the importance of romance to senior management.
I admit to having prejudices against romance, thinking that they were anti-feminist. There are many sub-genres of romance and some put women in a more subservient position but many do not and the beauty of the romance genre is that there is something for everyone.
I also stay away from romance because it might be a little too "salt in the wound" as I am still single but that isn't a valid reason to never have a fantasy. I like my romances with a "damaged but redeemable hero" who sees beyond a woman's plain exterior into her full and loving heart. Luckily, that is a very common theme so I'll have books for years. As a realist, I thought this kind of escape was silly and immature. Paraphrasing Rodale, "What's wrong with wanting a romantic partner who treats you with respect, is tender and who loves you for who you really are?" Preach.
Rodale's book focuses on the reasons why we discount the value of romance and relegate it to back corners and dismiss the readers who love to read book after book. Rodale, herself, is a romance writer and has done a significant amount of research in the genre. Check out her infographics.