Reprinted in Fireworks: The Best of Fireweed. Ed. Makeda Silvera. Toronto: The Women's Press, 1986, pp. 69-82. (Snippet view). Margaret Ann Jensen (1984) writes that
Janet Patterson begins her analysis of Harlequins by criticizing the devaluation of women's culture, but shortly after she asks: "What is it that makes so many women dedicated to such a sadomasochistic cultural and literary experience?" (Jensen 25)
Jennifer C. Bun's thesis (2007) includes the following quotations from Patterson:
Harlequins address this fundamental tension in women’s lives; the Romances create and solve the problems of social bonding in a patriarchal world, but do so in a female language created by the joint effort of the narrator of the heroine. Because the narrative technique is female...Harlequins can be seen as active attempts by readers to interpret their world through their own language (Patterson, 1986, pg. 80).