Ah, Valentine's Day - the one time of year the rest of the world pays attention to romance novels and their writers....
Contrary to popular opinion, however, I do not live for, long for, or particularly enjoy the orgy of "romance" articles at this time of year and here's why:
Mostly, they talk about/flog what I call the "props" of romance, in the form of gifts. Chocolate, jewelery, lingerie. Or the setting - "romantic" dinners by candlelight, in supposedly romantic places.
Essentially, we are told that love means spending money. Lots of money, or you don't care.
I ain't buyin' what they're sellin', either specifically or implied.
Give me genuine affection, respect and passion between two people. That's what I call romantic - and it doesn't cost a dime.