I could do this as a "currently reading" title with periodic updates, but too much is going on, so I'm just going to leave a few notes here and there. You can follow, or not, as you choose.
Regis bases her analysis of the content of romance novels on the literary theories of mid-20th century critic Northrop Frye. She seems, therefore, to be trying to fit the popular fiction form of the romance novel into the academic model of "literature," as though the two were almost entirely distinct. Any prose narrative that has already been accepted as "literature" by the credentialed academic community -- such as Pride and Prejudice or Jane Eyre -- has been granted respect. Regis seems to be attempting to squeeze romance novels into the same mold while at the same time insisting they are so different from literature that they cannot be considered literature, but if they can be seen to share some characteristics, then they might be worthy of some respect.
Yes, it's contorted logic. But Regis never comes out and admits romance novels -- as they are written, published, read, and enjoyed today -- are essentially no different in content or form from "literature." That would be academic sacrilege. A kind of "separate, but sort of equal" compromise that would allow her to sell her book without losing her academic standing.
Jane Austen didn't write "literature." Neither did Charles Dickens. Neither did Wilkie Collins or Victor Hugo. Maybe it's time to look at more than a few samples from "literature," samples which already have the stamp of "romance novel," and look at more than a few samples of real romance novels from the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and compare them to a more neutral standard, and perhaps a more universal standard. Then see how both of them stand up.