Have you had a bad experience reading this genre before?
Last year I tried my first romance novels and it went quite well, but I'm still trying to find my footing in this genre. As in any other there are indeed flops, clichéd and badly written books. My problem is twofold: romance writers are very prolific, y'all, and I don't know how to separate the wheat from the chaff, as I'm not familiar with the writers.
I'll be completely honest: I'm also kind of ashamed to be seen reading romance. People think all sorts of wrong things about romance readers and the covers don't help! I'm fighting hard against those prejudices, since what I've read doesn't really support what I though I'd find. While the love interests are all too good-looking to be believable (can't fat people fall in love?) and the writing is never going to land a Pulitzer, the novels are quite more than fluff. They explore the breadth of human feeling, and that's no easy task. We should give more credit to romance.