There are a couple of anecdotes from
Joshua Thorburn (2023). "Exiting the Manosphere. A Gendered Analysis of Radicalization, Diversion and Deradicalization Narratives from r/IncelExit and r/ExRedPill." Studies in Conflict & Terrorism.
which I wanted to share. The whole article's open access, from https://doi.org/10.1080/1057610X.2023.2244192
Amusingly, one user on r/ExRedPill stated that his deradicalization journey was prompted by reading “soppy romance novels” targeted for women, while in concurrence, another replied that romantic poems and historical period dramas helped him question his red pill beliefs. Because this media focused on romance beyond sexual gratification alone, and the fact that it was either popular with women or targeted towards them, such materials again therefore challenged manosphere claims that women are exclusively driven by an innate desire for the physical attributes of so-called alpha-males. (17-18)
On the topic of men/masculinities, I missed Jonathan Allan's Men, Masculinities, and Infertilities when it first came out in 2022, but the good news is that it's also downloadable for free, from https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003010432 or https://library.oapen.org/handle/20.500.12657/57071 and includes a chapter each on LaVyrle Spencer's The Fulfillment and The Trouble with Joe by Emilie Richards.
"Hetero Ever After? Romance Novels, Race, and the Limits of Social Dreaming."
Post45. ["Chiara Giovanni shows that popular romance novels by and about women of
color often indulge a positive orientation toward heterosexual desire.
Giovanni calls this orientation "heteroidealism" and sees it as an
adaptive strategy to forge solidarity between men and women along racial
Leenstra, Lisa (2023). Covers of Lovers: A Multimodal Comparison of the Front Covers of Romance Novels in 2011 and 2021. Masters thesis, Universiteit Utrecht.
"Love matters: the case for an inclusive, contemporary approach to romance themes and texts in subject English." The Australian Journal of Language and Literacy. [This is about teaching YA romance/romantic fiction to future teachers of English.]
Stobaugh, Rebecca (2023). Halfway-Sexual: Exploring Demisexuality in American Literature. PhD, Louisiana State University. [This is embargoed until 2030 but apparently discusses Fifty Shades of Grey and Jack Byrne’s Ace. The abstract can be found here.]