The Spice of Life
By Nina Pierce
“Wow, Nina, you’re a writer? What do you write?”
“I love romance. Boy meets girl. Girl plays hard to get. Sunset moment when everyone finds true love.” *sigh* “I’d like to read yours.”
“Just a caveat…mine are spicy romances.”
“Of course they are. All romances are a little naughty.”
“Weeellll, it’s more than a little. Mine are true romances with the bedroom door wide open. There is no fade to black when it comes to the sex scenes.”
Heavy pause. Whispered response, “Erotica? Why didn’t you say in the first place? What’s your website addie?”
I can’t tell you that’s how all the conversations go when I reunite with old friends and tell them about my new career. But it amazes me how many women of all ages are enjoying erotic romance. This genre that began in the back rooms of small internet publishing companies a decade ago has exploded in the digital age and has now gone mainstream with Berkley, Harlequin, and Kensington, just a few of the NY publishing companies that are jumping into bed with this genre.
But what’s the allure? What fascinates women enough to seek out erotic romance books?
Well, for one it’s the quality of the storyline and the writing. Erotic romance is not pornography. Let me repeat that lest you become confused. Erotic romance isn’t about writing a story around one gratuitous sex scene after another (that’s pornography). In erotic romance, the character’s love story, as in all romances, is the primary push of the plot. The conflict of emotion and the tension between the central characters is high even if the relationship is consummated. It’s the journey of the characters to find—if not their happily-ever-after—at least their happy-for-now ending. The plot may be central to the character’s sexual awareness, but having lots of sex is not what’s driving the main characters.
Also, the length of erotic romances varies immensely. Harlequin’s Spice Briefs and EC’s Naughty Nooners can be as short as 5,000 words and all publishers accept erotic romance stories up to a full novel length of 90k and everything in between. This means there is something for every reader from the “quickie” to the satisfying “take-it-slow-lounge-in-bed-for-the-whole-weekend” story.
Secondly, I think women are more in touch with their own sexuality. We know what we like and what gets our juices flowing and we’re not ashamed to seek it out. Our fantasy lives are as diverse as the authors and their stories. Want a vampire to seduce you? That’s out there. How about a little public sex? Oh, yeah available by the truckload. A little seduction with leather bindings and a ball gag? Bondage/Dominance/Submission/Masochism (BDSM) is one of the highest grossing erotic romance genres. Perhaps the idea of two men finding love through a vigorous sexual experience is what you’re looking for. The m/m erotic romance abounds. And of course the fantasy of multiple men intently focused on satisfying one female is growing exponentially. (That’s my personal favorite—both to read and to write.)
So what is it about erotic romance that draws you or makes you shy away? What component keeps you coming back to the genre as an author and/or a reader?
I want to thank Delilah for letting me hang out on her blog today. If you want to find out more about my erotic romantic suspense stories you can visit:
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Nina’s newest release A Touch of Lilly, a futuristic ménage, is available from Ellora’s Cave.
Ex-Chicago detective Lilly D’Angelo is part of a secret alien race living on earth. With a gentle caress she can elevate the sexual energy of any male. Apprehending criminals lost in an erotic fugue is almost too easy—until she uses her gift on the wrong alien. Kidnapped and shipped into deep space, Lilly barely escapes with her life. Now she travels the galaxy alone working as a bounty hunter and hoping to find a soul mate unaffected by her touch.
Agent Dallas Sawyer works for QAL—deep space’s version of the FBI. After a disastrous mission that left a president murdered, his team member executed, and Dallas near death, he’s determined to take down the assassin targeting government officials. When a sexy human female gets between him and his goal, Dallas and his alien partner find themselves on the receiving end of some wild sex and a proposition that may very well blow up in their faces.
Because in deep space…true love can happen with just a touch.