I've noticed a trend in romance books lately, perhaps you've noticed it too? I remember ‘borrowing' my mum's Mills and Boon as a teen, and reading them under the covers at night, and the trend was pretty similar. The characters met, got to know one another, then towards the end, when they were sorting things out, they slept together.
These day's, you're just as likely to find a sex scene in chapter 3 as in chapter 23. Sex is no longer the culmination of a relationship, it's present in the beginning. Of course, this mirrors the change we've seen in society at the same time. Sex is no longer just an expression of a couple's love, it's part of getting to know one another.
And as such, it makes sense that it's place in romance novels is changing. People like reading about sex, and it's place in romance, and readers are seeking out romances that are high on the ‘heat' scale.
But, is this level of heat necessary for a good romance? Can a romance novel have a slower build up, with a couple getting to know one another before they decide to ‘go all the way'? I have to admit, I'm a little biased. The romance between Tyris and Marlee in Reckless Rescue has a slow build up. It takes the characters a while to realise that they do, in fact, care for each other, then a little longer to decide that they want to commit to a relationship, despite the possible risks of being separated again.
What do you think? Does a romance novel have to be ‘hot' to be good? Do you have a preference to heat level, or do you enjoy a variety of different styles of romance novels?
(Sorry if this post isn't up to my normal quality. I'm rather miserably sick at the moment, so just typing this out and posting it as it is!)
Sorry you’re feeling poorly, I thought this post was great as a discussion topic. I think I enjoy a romance that has lots of teasing and anticipation rather than jumping in at the first few chapters, but certainly having a bit of steam later in the writing. I delved into Mills and Boon as a teenager when it was right but the times move on and everything happens quickly now, I wander what will be left to discover soon!
Yes, times are changing for sure. (And it’s making me feel OLD!) Anticipation is good, especially if it’s done well.
I prefer traditional style regency romances where sex is left out. I wish more modern romances had romance in them rather than focusing on lust & sex & immediate fulfillment. What happened to dating & getting to know a guy. Plus in most cases I can imagine better sex scenes than what the authors write. Too many times I find the sex scenes unrealistic. People always orgasm together, sex 6-7 times a day, lets do it in the car, elevator, against the wall, all on the 1st time. Give me a break. Ummm yeah I have strong negative feelings about a lot of today’s “romance” books.
I admit to having a fondness for regency romances. 🙂 I read a lot of them as a teenager, and probably they’ve influenced my writing as well. Sex scenes are definitely unrealistic, and not all writers can do them well at all. I tend to skip over most of them.
I like the slow burn. Even when it comes to kissing in a novel. The tension builds, and the more the characters get to know each other, the better it seems things are between them.
I think kisses can be even hard to do right then sex! So little physically happens, but they can be so emotional if done well.
I enjoy a romance novel in which the couple really has to work for their relationship and the passion and love is put on hold just a little bit. It’s all about the sexual tension and build up that makes the relationship more enjoyable to read about(my opinion anyways….) I read a fantastic book recently that follows this formula called “Come Fly With Me” by author Judith Whitmore (www.judithwhitmore.com/books/come-fly-with-me/). The story follows Kate, a beautiful, intelligent aerobatic pilot trapped in a loveless marriage with a man who works too much and takes her for granted. She uses flight as a means of escape and eventually looks to get her certification as a jet pilot. This is when she meets Rick, her brilliant, handsome and single instructor 🙂 Rick has always had bad luck with women (major abandonment issues!) and he never thought he would love again. The two have a fantastic exchange and they bring out the best in one another. I feel the characters really do fall in love before “passion” gets in the way. Their love doesn’t come easy though and the book has some surprise plot twists that you will not expect! I highly recommend this novel for those who are looking for excitement, love, wit and something more than just a sexy steamy romance novel!