I think one reason I was always drawn to them is because they are so female centric and female driven. Maybe it comes back to Virgina Woolf and her writing about what men think are “important” books and that books about women and feelings aren’t -and my annoyance with this attitude.
Romance novels were one kind of literature (unlike the many, many male centric books I read endlessly in school) that were all about women, their feelings, what they liked, their adventures etc. They were (predominantly) written by women and seemed to be written directly by women TO other women saying “Hey, we know MEN look down on these books and certainly wouldn’t DREAM of reading one, so we can say whatever we want to you and make it all about women. This book will be exactly what you dream about or want, or hope to be or have and you don’t have to feel guilty or explain to anyone else why you like it.”