Late in 2013, Noah Berlatsky, who writes for Salon and a number of other on-line publications, began reading and writing about popular romance fiction. He's coming to the genre from a background in comics and other popular culture, and he's been very responsive--on Twitter and in comments--to suggestions from the romance author and romance scholar community.
Recently at The Hooded Utilitarian he posted some thoughts about Pamela Regis's A Natural History of the Romance Novel, and they've sparked a long discussion in the comments about the virtues and drawbacks of Pam's definition of the romance genre ("a work of prose fiction that tells the story of the courtship and betrothal of one or more
Berlatsky is an American writer, but it's clear that his heart is with the Romantic Novelists Association, over in the UK: that is, he thinks of the genre in terms of the central love story, and not in terms of a particular ending. (You can read their discussion of the genre here.) I'm comfortable having two different terms to distinguish the broad category (the "romantic novel") and the narrower one (the "romance novel"); he's not, and sees some potential drawbacks for both authors and readers.
Feel free to weigh in, there or here, on the topic--and keep an eye out for Berlatsky, who's bringing a fresh set of eyes to the genre and to our academic musings about it!