According to the Introduction to the volume: "In "Women Policing Whiteness: Deviance and Surveillance in Contemporary Police Procedural Romance," Nattie Golubov takes a hard look at race, class, and the related themes of this subgenre."
this essay takes up Dreama Moon's effort to "particularize white experience" (1998) so as to better understand the fictional depiction of the material and social effects of discourses that reproduce the conceptual and symbolic frameworks of white racial formations in romance procedurals. This "particularizing" of whiteness calls for the analysis of the specific social locations and power relations in which whiteness is enacted by specific bodies. The two contradictory yet interrelated discourses which work to create the figure of the bourgeois "good (white) girl" (181) studied by Moon are applicable to the contemporary white female cop and her world: "white solipsism" (the belief that whiteness is normative, pervasive and general rather than positioned and particular), and "white-evasion" (the notion that whiteness and issues of race are not connected) (Moon 179). In procedural romance, the heroines' battles against both crime and sexism rely upon their loyalty to a (white) male-dominated institution to which they gain access because they are white women who reproduce and uphold the values, expectations, aspirations and morals of their class: their whiteness is disavowed as the bedrock of their race and class loyalty and solidarity (Moon 195), although their whiteness is manifestly inscribed in their bodies and classed habits. (168)
Here I will focus on series by three seasoned romance authors, based upon two criteria: they can be categorized as police procedurals [...] and the protagonists are professional law enforcers. Catherine Coulter's ongoing FBI series, which she began to publish in 1996, Marie Force's Fatal series, starting in 2010 (and continued as the First Family series as of 2021), and Kendra Elliot's completed Oregon-based series illustrate the diverseness of the subgenre, yet they are similar in that whiteness is an unmarked normative identity. (170)
Re the classification of the novels in these series, Golubov notes that "The FBI novels have at least two strong plot lines: one unites a new couple and another develops the relationship between the nuclear pair of agents, Lacy Sherlock and Dillon Savich" (174). I've looked up the other series and I think they've just got the second of these (i.e. they're series with a single central relationship which progresses over the course of a number of novels, rather than each novel having a complete romance relationship arc). This makes it a bit difficult for me to be sure whether to classify a single novel in those series as "romance". However, the authors of these two series are described by Golubov as "romance authors".
I excluded the essay in the this collection which is about the Outlander series because Outlander's author has stated that Outlander should not be considered romance (even though it was originally marketed as such). Items on series like Twilight and Fifty Shades which are similarly difficult to classify have been included in the database when romance scholarship and/or comparisons with romance form an important aspect of the discussion.
Irrespective of their specific institutional and geographical environments, the normative social milieu is predominantly white and middle-class: in the Fatal series the rich and powerful are capable of unspeakable evil, while it is the socially and culturally marginal in the Mercy Kilpatrick novels who commit atrocities. (170-171)