In 22 essays, romance novelists address why romances are popular. These authors are convincing when they simply write what they think, as when Sandra Brown flatly asserts that romances "are fun--fun to write, fun to read, fun to dissect and discuss." Some more complex arguments, which invite closer scrutiny of their logic, don't always fare as well. For example, Linda Barlow and Jayne Ann Krentz maintain that "outsiders tend to be unable to interpret" the language, images and symbols that recur, but only a few pages later they claim that such "codes" are "universally recognized by women." When disjunctions arise from the arguments of different authors, however, they can be intriguing: Elizabeth Lowell says of romance heroes that "at core, they are decent"; Anne Stuart maintains that her heroes are men "whose sense of honor and decency is almost nonexistent." There are hints of how interesting these authors could have been, had they not been tied to the book's fairly defensive theme. Notable are Kathleen Gilles Seidel's comments on the nature of romance (prompted by her judging a Valentine's Day essay contest) and her suggestion that information theory might offer useful insights on repetitive reading of romances.