Thought provoking, critical discussions about literature's most polarizing genre: Shelf Love is a podcast that unpacks romance novels with nuance.

On each episode, host Andrea Martucci is joined by a guest or guests - in conversations with scholars, readers, and other experts, Shelf Love contextualizes the popular romance genre within the broader critical discussion of identity, culture, and love.

The central thesis for Shelf Love is that romance novels deserve nuanced criticism. As texts that can celebrate and center marginalized voices, many romance novels are complex, intersectional works of art. I'm also aware that, just like any type of literature, some texts fall short of that bar or have problematic elements.

Join the community that's critically engaging with romance novels. 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.

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:

About the Host, Andrea Martucci

Andrea Martucci has been reading romance novels for over 20 years.

Andrea started her career in publishing as managing editor of a literary magazine, and was an affiliated faculty member at Emerson College, which is also where she earned a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing and MA in Marketing Communications.

In addition to a career she's passionate about, Andrea podcasts, is a prolific sewist, and also enjoys spending time with her husband, their daughter, and their two cats. Andrea lives north of Boston, MA, USA.

Editorial Advisory Board: Katrina Jackson

Katrina Jackson is a romance and erotica author, as well as a history professor. She is mostly found on Twitter, although she discourages all others from engaging in Twitter.

Find her here: https://twitter.com/katrinajax

Editorial Advisory Board: Tasha L. Harrison

Tasha L. Harrison is a romance and erotica author, freelance editor and creative entrepreneur who is dedicated to helping aspiring wordmakers become authors. This is what she does.

Find her here: https://www.tashalharrison.com/

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.

Definition of the romance genre

The definition of a "romance novel" is a fictional story that centers the romantic relationships between its protagonists and has an emotionally satisfying, optimistic ending.

As Heard On:

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

My Working Theory of What Romance Novels are Really About

As discussed in full in episode 049 with Katrina Jackson! Thank you to everyone who participated in my Twitter thread and poll where I explored this. Big contributions to my working theory came from:

  • Jack Harbon
  • Fangirl Jeanne
  • Angelique Migliore
  • Bree (Kit Rocha)

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 andrea@shelflovepodcast.com.

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 andrea@shelflovepodcast.com.