I write romance. I love to read romance. So people wrinkle their noses at me when I name Louis L'amour, Dean Koontz, and Phillip Dick among my favorite writers. I defend these three guys, however, as real romantics. Their wonderful stories usually have a love story.
First, L'amour. Anyone who reads Connagher without a catch in her throat misses the point of that story. It's a western about a widow who runs a stage stop and a cowboy who works cattle drives. They don't acknowledge their love until the last page, but it's a romance. I'm still mad at L'amour for dying. I miss his books.
Dean Koontz cut his writing teeth on romance by writing genre romances under the pseudonym Leigh Nichols. Wonderful stuff, but my favorite of his romance novels is written under the name Dean Koontz. Lightning. It's a beautiful love story that happens to be a science fiction time travel. The hero keeps jumping through time to save her. Love this story!
Finally, the late Phillip Dick. Though not the best writer I've read, he had an amazing imagination and came up with great story ideas, most of which contained a romance. If you aren't familiar with Dick as a writer, perhaps you've seen movies based on his stories: Total Recall (We Can Remember It For You Wholesale), Next (The Golden Man), and The Adjustment Bureau (Adjustment Team). Romance!
Just remember you can venture beyond the romance section of the bookstore and still find romance. Happy reading!