For some reason, it's sort of "cool" to dis romance. I'm not sure why--maybe it's the bosomy and manchesty covers that once characterized the genre. Maybe it's because it's targeted so towards women (and everything woman-focused is lower status in our culture). Maybe it's because our society embraces cynicism, so a genre that unapologetically embraces happy endings that most see as "unrealistic" is seen as frivolous. But this forum is about taking romance writing seriously and respectfully.
It's also sometimes pseudo-feminist to diss romance--a sort of "cooler than the other girls" move. I'm not interested in doing that, or in suggesting that a story about love (an extremely powerful and important part of human life) is inherently inferior. I've gotten increasingly aware there's a lot of cool stuff out there, but I just haven't gotten into it. My dislike is quite specific to the Christian romance I've read so far (and of course my sense of the genre needs a serious updating as discussed) with certain added... reasons for doubt as to whether it's changed all that much. There's a certain muting of the realities of life, a certain we're-the-good-guys pandering that I don't expect to see completely gone from the genre. (But I'm keeping an open mind dammit!) I mean you're looking at someone very conflicted here. I posted elsewhere a few months back about whether I should seek a new publisher so as to get out of the Christian market. I ended up deciding not to do so after my publisher, who'd been hesitating, ended up biting on my next novel partly because it's a romance... which is strong in the Christian market. (That's not what drove the romance decision for me--history did. It's complicated, but a romance seemed the only way to tell a particular story I had in mind. ETA: and I want to mention, I've been really enjoying it. Falling in love is a really fun thing to write about.)
I do think what I have is really a romance. The love story is structurally central to the novel, the crisis is the lovers breaking apart, the climax is their forgiving each other and reuniting. There's a good deal of suspense (they are French people at the end of WWII, he's in the Maquis, she's got her own underground activities) but since the stakes are not life-or-death at the climax it probably doesn't qualify as romantic suspense, at least from what I've read on the topic.
Interesting point about who's hiding what from whom. That sort of thing will come into play, so I'll remember that. & thanks for your interesting post.