I love romance novels. I would rather buy a romance (more like dozens) than shoes. And I have the closet crammed with paperbacks to prove it. That's why I laugh when I hear that some women hide their novels behind anything so long as the world doesn't see the bare-chested hero and the heroine with her unraveling corset. Not I, I proudly display the covers. Some are mass-marketed works of art. Eloisa James' covers are visual delights and Sourcebooks reissues of Georgette Heyer's novels are works of art from a time long ago.
Yesterday, I was in a bookstore, searching for a romance to purchase (I decided on The Bridegroom by Linda Lael Miller), an employee came over to help a female customer. She curled her lips and said, "oh this is the section with the Fabio covers." Not able to stop myself I told her that Fabio hadn't graced the covers in years. She gave me an embarrassed smile and hurried away.
I doubt the woman ever read a romance novel. And she's the one missing out on some great tales. In full disclosure, I have a 80s romance with Fabio and his long golden locks predominantly featured.
I'm never ashamed to hold my novel before all. One wouldn't hide a James Patterson novel or a Philippa Gregory book even one of those juicy biographies about some silly scandal.
So my fellow romance lovers, proudly display your novels, whether they're frothy hues of a Regency or the dark Gothic style of a paranormal.