I just read this post by Jennifer Probst, and had to share it with my readers.
As hard as I try not to feel ashamed of reading and writing romance novels, when I am with certain groups of people, I find myself saying it a little quieter or trying to talk it down a little. I hate that I do it, and I can only hope to grow as confident as Ms. Probst someday.
At the end of the day, the reason I read and write romance is because I know I'll feel good when it is done. I started reading romance during a year where it felt like bad things were coming one right after another, and I didn't want to read about tragedy and dark worlds when I was surrounded by it everyday. It wasn't an escape, it was just something I could go to that I knew I could trust to end up a certain way. I've never been a hopeless romantic, and I bet my husband and close friends were more shocked than everyone when I started reading more and more of the genre, but it makes me happy to read and write in the genre.
Enough of my ramblings... read her blog post for a much more coherent explanation.