I write erotic books for a living, so it should make sense that I’d be able to heat up a sensual category romance for reissue. It DID make sense with four of my five New York-published books, but the process just wouldn’t work for the fifth one, no matter how many weeks/months I spent trying to turn it into an erotic romance.
At first I didn’t understand why. The hero and heroine enjoyed plenty of hot, imaginative sex, way more than in most category romances. No, there were no ménages, BDSM scenes or kinky dream sequences, but that has been the case in several of my better selling, award-winning original erotic romances, as well as in my four previously revised reissues.
I originally proposed the book that just wouldn't turn erotic for Berkley’s limited “Quilting” series, though it was published by Kensington in its short-lived Bouquet line. The quilt-maker heroine was too innocent. The hero, a self-made millionaire seeking to rediscover his roots, was Alpha in the bedroom but a pussycat everywhere else. Worse, the story premise and setting didn't lend themselves to erotic romance. I thought about adding some kinky sex between the hero and his former fiancée…creating a hot, dream sequence between the heroine and her dead fiancé in which she didn’t wait for a wedding that never happened…making the heroine sexually repressed until the hero takes control, as in BDSM light. None of these options made sense for the characters or their worlds.
This wasn't the type of book I've been writing over the past few years. Still, I liked the story and wanted readers who missed it during its brief time in a poorly distributed category line. I'd spun wheels revising it, getting rid of a lot of problems I hadn’t recognized eleven years ago when I first wrote the book. Because I believe my readers expect my sex scenes to be graphic and detailed, I beefed them up but tried to stay within what I thought Althea and Jared actually would do.
The result is MOUNTAIN HEAT, a very sexy conventional romance with a folksy tone befitting a country quilt-maker and a guy searching for his long-lost roots, coming soon from Ellora's Cave. I hope readers won’t be disappointed that the story’s not quite as sizzling as most of my more recent books. I just may write a couple more super-hot but not exactly erotic romances because I occasionally like the one man, one woman scene, even though it seems a little old-fashioned in a romance world of ménage a trois, voyeurism, BDSM, shapeshifting, and so on.
What do you all think? Do you sometimes go for erotic romance "Light", or does your taste always run more toward the no-holds-barred, completely uninhibited tales that leave you panting for your guy/toys/whatever more than sighing over the happily-ever-after conclusion of lovers whose lust is tempered by conventional, vanilla love?
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