Shelf Love


Despite Tina Turner's claim that love is "but a second-hand emotion," human beings sure do seem obsessed with the pursuit of romantic love - so much so that we dedicate a lot of our storytelling power to exploring it.

Shelf Love explores fictional narratives of romantic love through podcast/written discussions with experts and original research collecting real stories and data from the consumers to understand how these narratives impact us.

Join the community that's critically engaging with romance in fiction. Whether you identify as a Romance Nerd, a Shelf Lovely, or you're just Romance Curious, you'll learn new ways to think about romance novels and other fictional representations of romance in media.

You can listen to Shelf Love on your favorite podcast app (like Apple Podcasts or Spotify), or visit the website to stream audio and read episode transcripts.

Looking for Shelf Love on other platforms? Here are some other places I hang out:

Why do we love love so much?

What do fictional representations of love say about what we value? How does fiction deviate from what we want in reality, or explore the darker side of human desire?

Shelf Love Podcast launched its first episode in September 2019 and season 1 and 2 focused exclusively on discussions of the popular romance genre (i.e. romance novels).

In season 3 (Fall 2021), I'm broadening the discussion and the format. While Shelf Love has provided transcripts for over half of the available episodes, I'd like to present more information in a written-first format, along with creating videos and generally mixing up the presentation of information beyond just the podcast format.

About Andrea Martucci, Creator of Shelf Love

Andrea Martucci is the host of Shelf Love, a podcast and community that critically examines the meaning and structure of romantic love stories in pop culture. Andrea's conversations with academics and genre lovers share pop culture criticism that is joyful and accessible. Shelf Love has released nearly 100 episodes since its launch in 2019. In 2021, Andrea presented a paper at the Popular Culture Association on her quantitative research exploring how Bridgerton on Netflix impacted popular perceptions of romance novel readers. Andrea is two-time alum of Emerson College in Boston who has worked in publishing and marketing for over a decade.

Hi, I'm Andrea Martucci and I have always loved thinking about why people do what they do and how the stories we're surrounded by shape us, our perceptions, and our behavior. I read my first romance novel at the age of 12 and over two decades later, I am still fascinated by how romance novels, among other forms of fiction, explore romantic love and other important relationships.

When I'm not podcasting, reading, or writing about romance in fiction, I also enjoy spending time with my husband, our daughter, and our two cats, Maggie & Jake. I live north of Boston, MA, USA.

Shelf Love's Patreon Supporters!

Joyful Hags:

John Jacobson, Frederick Smith, Copper Dog Books, Gail

Nuanced Patrons:

Louisadora, Jennifer Porter

Shelf Lovelies:

Alexa, Sri, Tala Hobballah, Gwenda, Katie Matson, Katrina Jackson, Maria DeBlassie, Katie Flanagan, Jess, Rebecca Romney, Robin LT, Madison, Vanessa, Betsy B., Sarah G. Skilton, Alyssa, British Jayne, Dominique, Kamala Englin, DK Jones, Kylee, Genesee, Virginia, Ellie, Alexa, Diana Filar, Michelle, Brenna, Tehyah

Support Shelf Love on Patreon and get listed here! Tiers start at $3 a month!

How to Listen

It's free! Shelf Love can be found on any podcast app or listening platform. Search for the podcast name, Shelf Love: A Romance Novel Book Club on your favorite listening app. Or, if you're new to podcasts, you can listen right here on the website.

Here's a guide for people who are just getting started with listening to podcasts.

Once you find the Shelf Love podcast on your app, download individual episodes and make sure you subscribe so you get notifications about new episodes.

Heard Elsewhere:

Praise for Shelf Love:

Amazing author and historian Katrina Jackson discussed my book An Unconditional Freedom on Shelf Love: A Romance Novel Book Club Podcast! This podcast, hosted by Andrea Martucci, is fantastic overall, and I highly recommend even if you don’t listen to this episode.

-Alyssa Cole (author)

Listened to 2 episodes (61&62) the other night and it was awesome. I only meant to wash the dishes but ended up cleaning the whole kitchen to keep listening. Fun and fascinating. I don’t listen to podcasts normally so this is a high compliment - but seriously ep62 was like a college seminar I would pay for with no regret!! So deep and insightful and I know y’all didn’t even get to it all. I loved it so much and felt so smart and entertained


Tried to listen to this while working. Gave up working and just listened to this. No regrets.

-Ash Dylan (author)

This @ShelfLovePod episode with @katrinajax about An Unconditional Freedom is incredible. The book was amazing and this discourse is just... *chef’s kiss*. Can I take classes from Professor Jackson??

-@jhughe17 on Twitter

Speaking Opportunities

I’m open to opportunities to speak on or moderate panels, visit your podcast or blog, or give a quote for something you’re writing. I strongly believe in a diversity of voices being presented at events, on platforms, and represented in engaging in discourse. Therefore, I have a policy of asking how people from marginalized groups are represented in whatever event or media opportunity I am approached about. I am really interested in working with organizations that share my values, and I’m happy to step aside so that someone else’s voice can be heard.

All inquiries can be directed to [email protected].

Book/Guest Pitches

It is very unlikely that I will cover a book that is pitched for coverage. I am open to discovering guests through pitches - the best way to catch my eye is to tell me about the romance-related or romance-adjacent topics your guest can speak to. I’d suggest listening to my podcast to get a feel for the types of topics I cover. I’m very unlikely to respond to generic pitches.

I invest considerable time in producing each episode, so I like to get to know potential guests before scheduling a recording. If you’re interested in being a guest, the best way for me to get to know you is by engaging with me on social media. I am always actively scouting for guests who have interesting takes on romance.

All inquiries can be directed to [email protected].