Now here’s a topic that will certainly get you a wide array of answers, and the remarkable thing is – every one of them will be “correct” to the view that expresses it. We all see romantic in a different way, and what is highly romantic for one person is a total turn off for someone else. Erotica is for many an expression of romantic thought, for others it’s a variation on pornography.
What defines the word/concept that is romance? I have my view, and I’ve stated it often. What is your definition? What is romantic in your mind? Is it the explicit sexuality of erotica? Or the gentle awakening of sweet love and passion? I think we all carry the two aspects within us, and depending on what situation we’re in, one is always more appropriate than the other would be.
In romantic fiction, the barriers have long ago been crossed and forgotten. We’re in an “anything goes” sort of atmosphere, and in truth if you look at the vast array of publishers who are now publishing the minted genre “erotic romance” you can see the diversity of definition. I don’t think a lot of what is being labeled in that genre is either erotic or romantic, but that’s my personal mindset and I accept it as such.
I grew up reading Harlequin’s Presents imprint–in fact my first “grown-up” book purchased was a title from the relatively new imprint called “Moon Witch” by Anne Mather. It made me a lifelong fan of her work. I still remember the 34-year-old hero, and it’s been a few years! The line has changed with the times and it’s still their most popular imprint. A few years after I discovered these books, I began buying the racier ones, and they were fabulous, too. (And, yes, I remember my first title in that line, too!) I always come back home to Presents, because for me, the type of stories are the definitive romance stories. Larger than life heroes, the Alpha-male as they’ve since labeled him, exotic settings–in my case, I can’t get enough stories set in Italy–and scorching, tension laden awakening to burning and enduring passion. For me, that’s romance!
So, what are your favourites and what is it that sets them apart in your mind as the definition of romance? Do you prefer detailed sexuality, or the sensual middle-ground, or even behind closed doors love scenes? I’m curious, and would like your thoughts?
Ironically, I’m one of those authors who actively avoids the sex scenes in my books until I absolutely have to deal with them, so how in hell did I end up writing three ménage stories back to back? Believe me, no one is more surprised than I am by this strange turn of events. All three of these books are currently in the top ten best-sellers for the publisher who contracted them, too. Apart from the trio of lovers in these stories, when I wrote Stolen Rapture, I discovered one of my vampires was a dominant, and my heroine was waking to her submissive nature, so that was another new element for me.
I can’t really say that I’m wildly enamored of this kind of story, but it’s certainly been fun to touch the genre, and I might very well get back to it, if in small ways, for future stories. I like mixing genres as most of my readers know, so taking ménage, as requested by the publisher for their anniversary print release, then adding in a paranormal element with my sexy vampires–it was, I admit, a lot of fun! I hope you’ll enjoy this peek at Stolen Rapture… I’ve already been asked to create a story for the secondary male of the trio, and he’s speaking loudly at the moment, so I may not be able to ignore him for much longer!
We’ll do the usual, and I’ll offer one of our visitors today a free eBook of any title on my site, as well as a surprise that I’ll post to you! So, let’s hear your thoughts?
When work brings Deluna Jordan face to face with a man who knows her better than she knows herself, she soon discovers he shares everything with his boss, including lovers…and a thirst for blood…and she is about to become the lucky recipient of all their desires…
Rahve knew the instant Cord and his playmate arrived. He turned and even with a room between them, he could smell sex. He snorted silently. So Cord had fucked her already tonight. That explained the limousine service. His eyes swept over the woman, cataloging the elegant dress, the voluptuous curves that were just a little too rounded for current fashion, and the sparkling hazel eyes that were still a little dazed from orgasm.
He went to join them.
“Nice of you to show up,” he said to Cord.
“Screw you,” Cord snapped, then laughed. “This,” he turned to the woman at his side, “is Deluna Jordan. Baby, this is my partner—”
“Partner,” he repeated, ignoring Rahve’s correction, “Rahve Falcon.”
“It’s lovely to meet you, Mr. Falcon,” Deluna said, offering her hand. He took it and brought her fingers to his lips, kissing the backs of them very softly. She stared in surprise.
“Rahve,” he requested. “Cord’s told me a lot about you. It’s nice to put a face to the name. Welcome to my home, and thank you for coming to the party.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Cord hasn’t told me a lot about you,” she replied.
“I’m not surprised,” Rahve answered. Falcon was genuinely amused. Cord watched him with thinly veiled suspicion. “Would you like a drink?”
“Thank you, that would be lovely.”
Rahve was being summoned from the other side of the room and his dark eyes flickered with annoyance that was easily read. He excused himself and on his way to the agitated woman waving less than discreetly to him, he stopped and directed one of the waiters to bring her a glass of champagne.
“Be careful around him,” Cord advised. “He’s interested in you.”
She stared at him, eyebrow raised. “You can tell that from hello, can you?”
“I’ve known Rahve a lot of years, baby,” he said, tone ominous. “He enjoys dangerous games.”
“And you don’t?” There was ice in her voice, making the words caustic in tone.
Cord’s blue and green gaze was hard when he met hers, and she shivered.
“You like my games,” he stated. “Rahve plays by different rules.”
She shrugged with false indifference and strolled into the crowd, fully aware of Cord’s eyes watching every move she made. The night was going to be a long one. The thought had barely passed into her awareness when she felt someone staring at her, the look almost a tangible touch that brushed her spine and made her entire body tingle.
There are things Cord should have told you. Rahve’s voice was inside her head somehow and she looked around, trying to locate him in the large crowd. Chills that had nothing to do with the actual temperature make her quiver. She closed her eyes, her equilibrium gone as the room faded to grey shadows. Her last thought was that she’d never fainted in her life, and this was not the time to start.
“Live the Romance, Become the Fantasy…”
** Predators & Editors Best Author 2012 **
i to started with M & B and like Anne Mather, still got her early work. although i dont read them. Went on to longer novels to with Jude Deveaux and Johanna Lindsey, but with the e book making it easier to pick and choose the older ive got the more paranormal and comptempory erotic im reading. I still like to read an action packed 1 with a gentler romatic story. I think a book has to have a good story, whether the sex is hot or not
I couldn’t agree more, Julie! We’re inundated with books of all kinds now that internet publishing is so prevalent, so it’s not always easy to pick and choose. Funny how we always remember those first real loves in books, though – years after tastes have changed and matured, and just grown – I still go back to some of those books. They seem a bit hokey now, some of them, but I still enjoy them! Thanks for coming by!! 🙂
I just finished reading “Too Hot” by Delilah Devlin. Wheh; where did I put that fan. Is it getting hot in here or is it just me? 😉
I started out reading Harlequin Romances back in the 70’s when I was in Jr. High and I actually still have the first one that I read and the first Presents that I read also. Over the years my reading preferences has changed and cycled around at various times. I read many different genres but they have a bit of erotica to them.
I think my first actual romance book was a Katie Macalister book. I was always way ahead of my reading level so like in 3rd grade my mom started giving me James Patterson and Stephen King books to read. I think it was like 7 or 8th grade she gave me Katie’s book and said it was really funny and that I would like it. So from there I expanded. I had just never really tried “romance” until then but now its practically all I’ll read. I venture from really tame to OMG hot!
Dating myself but I started back in the day with Victoria Holt and Jude Devereaux but I’ve gone through all the phases. I think it all boils down to the characters. I still read pretty much everything romance. I don’t mind steam with my story as long as there is story to go with it.
Like Susan I started reading Harlequin books then over time I start reading others.I don’t remember when it happened but I then got caught up in reading m/m and multi and got hooked .firstname.lastname@example.org
My First ever romance novel is the italians loved-child
By Sharon Kendrick. I loved that book but I gradually
Climbed the ladder from Menage to M/M. I love all
Genres of romance; which usually depends of my mood
For the day.
I started reading again about 5 years ago and I went with exotic and paranormal romances and I have been in heaven ever since. I read about 5 to 7 books a week. When I find an author or a book that I like; I start with the first one and then read all of them until I’m waiting on the next one that is being written. The more sexual reading in the book the better. 😉
It’s amazing how many of us began with Harlequin and then went in such diverse directions! Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments!! 😀
Anne Mather was one of my favorites,though my first romance’s were Barbara Cartland and Georgette Heyer,I have to admit though that now that I have hit 50 ,fade to black,just isn’t enough anymore.Now Im more into authors like Cynthia Eden,Lora Leigh,Im sure you get the picture lol. Its about every 5 to7 years I seem to want more detail in my books,whereas when I was younger I dreamed of what the romance could be,now I know what it can or cannot be and I want to see how the author fleshes in the details now that Im older because if they don’t,I always seem to think the same scenerio and I enjoy seeing how the author interprets the scence so I don’t have to think,I can just sit back and enjoy and maybe learn something along the way!!
I read Harlequin and many of the other series romances at first but I branched out to many other authors. I love a story that has characters who feel things deeply and have overcome obstacles to find a safe harbor with one another. I read all types of romances and don’t mind spice as long as there is a logical story to connect the intimate encounters. Thanks for the post and the excerpt, sounds like a yummy read.
The winner is Toni Whitmire, I’ll send your book in a few minutes, Toni. Thank you again, everyone!! And thanks to Delilah for allowing me to invade her space and chat with you today!! 🙂
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