The genre of the popular romance novel – or Chick lit – has experienced an unparalleled boom. However, there is little empirical research on how this literary genre portrays the contemporary woman and what influence it has on its predominantly female readership. By referencing theories on how identity, femininity, and patriarchy are constructed, this study argues that despite the claim of depicting a new and contemporary heroine the genre still adheres and fosters old and conservative value and belief systems on femininity and patriarchy. In its analysis the study considers publications from the Harlequin Presents series to demonstrate how the publishing house and its authors continue to construct the female character based on conservative views. “Romance Novels and Women” contributes to the scholarly discussion on popular romance novels and is addressed to students of Literature and Cultural Studies as well as researchers in this field.