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Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Sara Webb-Sunderhaus

Sponsor Department/Program

Department of English and Linguistics

Student Department/Program

Department of English and Linguistics, Department of History

University Affiliation

Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne


This study compares a contemporary historical romance novel series published between 2001 and 2004 by Karen Marie Moning with an older historical romance novel series published between 1980 and 1994 by Joanna Lindsay, in order to assess changing values regarding idealized romantic relationships between men and women. To determine these changing values, the plot progression, exposition, internal and external dialogue, and characterization of the male and female protagonists in each novel was individually analyzed in order to make inferences about the relationship between the male and female protagonists. The individual results were then compared with the other novels within their respective series to assess for continuity. Finally, the older series was compared with the contemporary series to assess similarities and differences in what values about romantic relationships were portrayed. Additional research published by other scholars on feminist theory and on similar studies about romance novels was incorporated into this study to emphasize the primary research results. These results reflect values that romance novel readers have about romantic relationships.


Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature

Romance Novels as Models of Acceptable Romantic Relationships