This study explores the narrative and ideological development which unfolds in the contemporary popular romance novels of the American romance writers Jayne Ann Krentz and Barbara Delinsky over a period of time of twenty-five years. As in the first ten years of their writing careers, the chosen authors were writers for the restrictive uniformity of the romance genre predominantly published by Harlequin Enterprises, the study addresses the industry of romance writing that targets women as an audience and uses women writers for the task. To verify that this section of literature, represented partly in both authors' novels, mirrors specific contemporary American concerns and beliefs, transports social and ethical values in the narratives, and adapts to changes of taste and values in the American society, giving the Zeitgeist its due in order to stay marketable, is one main objective of this study.
The study contains an in-depth analysis of three of each authors' novels, novels of 1982, 1992, and 2007. Moreover, the author proposes the hypothesis, that, by reading romance novels, a reader reenacts the mythic rite of the old oriental myth of the 'Sacred Marriage'.