I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately, so I thought I’d toss it out on the blog. For those of you who enjoy reading sexy romances, how hot is too hot? (And by the way, since there is no contest involved this week, if you would feel more comfortable about posting without your real name, feel free.)
I have always enjoyed romances with wonderful love scenes. I started reading Lori Foster in Harlequins long before I knew who she was, and I really enjoyed the way she wrote her sex scenes. I started reading Bravas for the same reason.
Now, new publishers and lines are popping up all the time… Kensington’s new Aphrodisia line, for example. And by the way… that line is being marketed as “erotica” and not romance. Do these distinctions make sense to you as a reader? Does it matter?
I’ll admit that there are certain words and situations that turn me off. But since I can’t be anonymous, I won’t write them down here. Ha! But I do have my preferences when it comes to the nature of a sex scene. For one thing (and I will admit this), I hate to see a woman do anything stupid or dangerous in the name of sexual fantasy. I can’t separate my judgment about what is safe and smart from the fantasy aspect.
In other words, you’ll never see me write about a woman having sex with a total stranger she just met in a dark bathroom. See what I mean? The guy could drug her or knife her, or who knows what? Even though I have written (and will still write) super sexy scenes, my mental editor stands by my side making sure my heroines are doing these fun, sexy things in relatively safe scenarios.
And what about language? Are there words that are “too” coarse? Maybe I shouldn’t get into that here… but I do wonder. For example, I never curse in real life, but my characters do. Does that make me a hypocrite? I’m writing fiction, and everyone is not just like me… so that’s my take on it. But everyone may not feel the same.
I guess in a way, romance novels are a lot like TV. When I was a little kid, Lucy and Desi were still sleeping in twin beds. Now, if you’re watching cable, almost anything goes. The world has changed. Books have changed, too, and one thing I love about the romance genre is that there is something out there for everyone… from sweet inspirational romances to fantasy worlds where sexual taboos are ignored.
So tell me what you think. What spoils a sexy romance in your opinion? What makes your heart race in a good way? And if you need to answer under an assumed identity, we promise not to reveal you for the scamp you are.
P.S. Don’t forget to stop by my website and enter my February contest. I have two fun prize packages up for grabs. www.janicemaynard.com