Rewriting the Romance

Bodice rippers are more popular than ever, and Julia Quinn is taking them into the postfeminist future

There are two great things about reviewing a romance novel. One is that you don't have to be worried about giving away the ending. Even though Susannah Ballister is stubborn and not conventionally pretty and the Earl of Renminster is stiff and pompous, I will tell you right now: they hook up. Here's the other great thing about reviewing romance novels: people actually read them.

A few statistics: romance novels are read by 51 million Americans. They account for more than half of all paperback fiction sold in the U.S. If you thought feminism, postmodernism and the Internet had done away...

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