As much as they were called "love stories", sometimes the portrayal given by the artist suggested the story was more about lust.
Not just any illustrator had the ability to reinterpret the sqeaky-clean romance scene of the 50's as a place bubbling over with unbridled sexual desire. But from the first Alex Ross 'romance' illustration I ever saw, I had the sense that this guy was different.
Ross' couples have a certain knowing look about them. They clearly intend to take things well beyond a chaste kiss!