As I’m pulling together the last pages on the website before what I hope will be an honest to goodness relaunch, something I added to another page triggered this topic in my mind – the ever present question I think romance writers always have about what steaming hot sexy level is in our books. Well, here’s my take on it!
Sweet Romance: Character development with a romance storyline where the characters hold hands and maybe kiss – and would never discuss THE ACT
Steamy Romance: Character development with a romance storyline where the characters get physical, but here’s where there’s a range of Spiciness, where the detailed scenes fade to black to where THE ACT is happening in front of the reader’s face – but only up to a certain level of detail. Usually on the spicy scale clean is a 1 and erotic romance is a 5, to give the reader an idea of what they’re getting heat-wise.
Erotic Romance: Character development with a romance storyline and there is real sex here – you see it up close and personal like you’re in the room when the characters commit THE ACT
Erotica: There is no story, only THE ACT – take out the sex and there’s nothing else.
None of these options take into consideration the subgenre or language choices of the author. I could get really vulgar describing THE ACT but I find dirty language distasteful, so my books refer to THE ACT without devolving much (I hope). And I’m a writer of time travel romance, frequently involving secret romances or star-crossed lovers as I send lady leads back in time to fall for hot historical men! The same steamy levels and tropes apply to all romance subgenres.