Shelf Love
Shelf Love
What's Love Got To Do With It? Quite A Bit!

Shelf Love is a podcast and community that explores fictional stories of romantic love across media, time, and cultures. For the curious and open-minded who joyfully question as they consume pop culture.

Latest Episodes


  • Breaking News! Harlequin Associate Editor John Jacobson is here to give the scoop on Harlequin’s newest, currently unnamed line of sexy new contemporary romances. We talk about Harlequin’s intentions, hopes, and dreams for the line, and also talk about the unfulfilled… gaps in the market, especially for younger readers who want to imagine their own unique, personalized, non-normative happily ever afters.

  • Classic fairy tales Cinderella & Beauty and the Beast may have gotten their Disney-fication, but there are many ways to slide your feet into these glass (or are they fur?) slippers, and romance novels love to play with these tropes. Writer Renee Dahlia and podcaster Philippa Borland join the podcast to discuss fairytale retellings, reversions, and subversions in romance novels.

  • What is beastliness? Little Red Riding Hood stories used to be tales of warning for young women to manage their sexuality in the face of the dangerous beasts of court, who were smooth on the outside, but hairy on the inside. In the 21st century, paranormal teen romances use enchantment to transform the beasts into objects of desire. Dr. Nicola Welsh-Burke, a scholar of fairy tales and romance, is here to discuss hot wolf boys, brooding Byronic figures, pseudomarriage and pseudovirginity, hot villain discourse, and why young women need beastly men to unlock their sexuality.

  • Junior novels were early romances for young readers, published in the 1940s-1960s. Learn from expert guest Dr. Amanda K. Allen how the didactic and heteronormative messages in these novels make a lot of sense when you consider that they were created to respond to demand from librarians and schools for “bibliotherapy” texts to “teach teenage girls how to be women,” which included winning that class ring and becoming besties with the popular girl who you’re not sure if you want to be or date. Guest: Dr. Amanda K. Allen is a professor of children's and young adult literature.

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