What I love in romance novels is pretty simple: two men overcoming obstacles to find love with each other. As a gay man, the acknowledgement of m/m relationships as mattering is at the core of what I get out of any book. Invisibility is corrosive. Visibility is healing. LGBTQ folk have been left out of romance--indeed 90% of all fiction--for far too long.
A good romance is like a good landscape painting: everbody knows what it is, but the artist's skill makes the experience memorable and unique.