I’ve just had a sweet or clean fantasy romance released from Astraea Press (read below to find out how to win a copy). In this age and market, sweet romances often seem a thing of the past. Erotica is everywhere, which is fine. But what if that’s not your cup of tea? It’s not mine, not so much because of any moral stance, but because I don’t like the heavy reliance placed on sex as a plot device.
Sweet romances do exist, though they’re kind of the ugly duckling of their older sisters--erotica and mainstream romance. Sweet romance writers can get as much negative heat as explicit writers from the public. I daresay they receive more than their fair share from certain sectors. Not only are they writing romance, but they’re not including those all-important sex scenes that titillate readers. How dare they! Most people think if they pick up a romance, it must have the requisite bedroom scene every chapter or so.
Sometimes the most sensual moments come from the two characters standing together, almost touching. The tension is thick, both wanting more but knowing it’s not the right time or place--or maybe even the ‘right’ person. It’s this inner push-and-pull I love to see. If the bedroom scenes pile up or come on too strong, these kinds of moments get smothered between the sheets.
I’m not bad-mouthing more explicit works, but sometimes I want to read something focused on the romance, the growing relationship between hero and heroine. Unfortunately, too many sex scenes, especially graphic ones, leave me wondering where that very romance is. Yes, I get that sex is an important part of a committed relationship. But I don’t like when that aspect makes up a third or a fourth of the book. One or two scenes I can skim over, but when I have to skip pages and pages to get to the ‘good’ parts -- those touches and glances -- I feel cheated.
The bedroom door doesn’t even need to be fully closed. But I prefer not to have a play-by-play description of what each body part is doing, especially every few chapters.
What do you prefer? Or can you read all heat levels without a problem?
For more posts on sweet romances, check out Kay Springsteen's blog. She has a great series on the subject going on.
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Here's the blurb:
Social worker Natalie Danvers never thought she would fall head first into her very own dimensional tear — straight into a fey lord’s lap. The handsome but infuriatingly vague Lorh insists she’s stuck in his land for three weeks and that only she can discover the reasons behind her appearance in TirAnn. Natalie’s convinced this is all nonsense until forgotten memories of Lorh and his siblings resurface and collide with reason. Just who and what is she to Lorh and his family?