But to millions of people around the world, the pursuit of romance happens 365 days a year.
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It happens with smoldering gazes, forbidden embraces and chance encounters with dangerous, mysterious men.
It's a love affair between readers and a genre of literature some elitists like to mock.
It's the romance novel.
Call it fluff. Call it fantasy. And mock all you want.
It's a multibillion dollar business that shows no signs of cooling off.
About half of all paperbacks produced in the United States are romances. And romance is now the fastest-growing segment of the e-reading market, according to data compiled by the Romance Writers of America.
It's huge following has made celebrities of some of its authors, who consistently find their books on the best-selling lists, and has created a whole new world of blogging.
For Sarah Wendell, it's a little of both.
Wendell has written several books that explore the world of romance novels. But she also has found her niche by creating an irreverent website that specializes in all things romantic.
Called Smart B****** and Trashy Books, the website offers reviews and of romance novels and explores the past and future of the genre.
But most of all, Wendell said, you'll find "a community of smart, screamingly funny women all discussing the books we love."
It has become so popular, the site receives between three and six million hits each day.
"I think people come to the site not just because of the entries, but because of the women and men who comment and hang out there," she said. "We are a boisterous and irreverent community of readers from over 150 countries."
Wendell's blogs have made her somewhat of a celebrity — the subject of feature stories in The New York Times, People Magazine and USA Today and interviews on national television shows.
Her legion of area fans will have the opportunity to meet with her in person on Saturday, Feb. 18, when she participates in Turn the Page Bookstore's Valentine book signing event from noon to 2 p.m.
Other participants include Nora Roberts, Mary Burton, Mary Kay McComas, Donna Kauffman and local authors Mary Alice Baumgardner and Michael Douglas Jones.
Wendell grew up in Pittsburgh and calls herself a late reader.