Apr 7, 2010

Spicing it up

I am reading: Editing Tracey O'Hara manuscript
I'm listening to: Best of Fleetwood Mac
I'm watching: The original 1975 series of Survivors
Making me smile: Cat picture below (Sigh!!! Work, work, work - that is me at day job)

Last month Mel Teshco did a blog on Romancing Erotica and it got me thinking – not as a writer but as a reader.

What is it about erotica I enjoy? I’ve seen many erotica writers say that it has to have romantic growth of the characters or it is little more than porn. Well, I’m not sure that I agree with that. I guess that is the difference with erotic romance and erotica.

I am not adverse to reading erotic romance. Some of the best erotic stories I’ve read have a strong romantic story. Denise Rossetti, Meagan Hart, Portia Da Costa and our own Mel come to mind. Their stories give me the nice romantic tug as well as the warm tingly, uh-hmm feeling.

But I don’t necessarily need that romantic pull if is a satisfying read (and NO - I don’t mean in satisfying in that sense - you naughty thing). For me it has to be: well written; explicit but not crude; exciting but not depraved; and ending in a way that makes sense to the story—whether that is a happy ending or not.

There are certain things I don’t want to read about, certain things that challenge my sense of moral ethics. We all have our own boundaries, our own lines we aren’t comfortable about crossing. Someone could blush at a chaste kiss and others are happy to read much more risqué romp. One woman’s trash is another’s treasure so to speak.

My first Spice Brief, TONIGHT MY LOVE was definitely not a romantic read. Those of you that have read it will know what I’m talking about. However, my next Spice Brief, BLAME IT ON THE MOONLIGHT (out in August) is totally a love story. The inspiration for each was different, so the stories flowed differently.

(Thanks Tina Clark for the great Cat pic)

So — if you read erotica — what do you look for in your erotic stories? Is it titillation, fun, excitement, or just good ol’ romance with a touch of spice?


  1. Valid points Tracie. (and thanks for the plug!)
    If the story is well written, believable, and really really hot - but not icky - I'm sure to love it. Throw in a bit of danger, excitement and lots of emotion, and it'll be a keeper for me =)

  2. I'm not all that widely read in erotica but when I find someone I like I usually stay with them. I've three authors I read when I can - Denise Rossetti, Lora Leigh, Sydney Croft.

    I think rather than straight erotica I enjoy the erotic romance where there's a blending of all the elements that make up both genres.

    Well written is the key.

  3. Hi Tracie, I'm definitely with you -- hot scenes are fine, but having a sense of how the hero and heroine are connected as part of that definitely adds to the spice and enjoyment of the story as a whole. You're right though, it's almost impossible to draw lines around what exactly makes up an "erotic romance". At a discussion at my writers group, there was shared opinion among a number of ladies that Harlequin Blaze are "practically porn"! I quickly shut up about my collection of Lora Leigh, Lacy Alexander, Maya Banks and Megan Hart!

    If you're interested in a recommendation, one writer who I have found does a fantastic job of combining very hot and explicit sex with characters you just want to take into your heart is Barbara Barnett (Ellora's Cave). I just love her books, cry with her characters, and still get that definite uh-hmm feeling, as you put it!

  4. I'm sorry -- I got the name wrong!! It should be Barbara ELSBORG. Oops!

  5. Interesting post Tracie. And yes, I do recall your Tonight My Love was not a romance per se; though I do think the couple in it do love each other - it's just so different. And I must say I was drawn into that world. So basically erotica has to suit the story and the characters IMO.

  6. Mel - you are welcome - you know I am your #1 fan.

  7. Kylie - as I said, it is personal taste. But yes you have some good authors there

  8. Thanks Emmie - and one woman's porn is another's erotica :)

  9. Eleni - I totally agree. it really has to make sense to the story.

  10. Tracie, great post. It really got me thinking. I'm a sucker for a romance, so erotic romance is my preference, but as Kylie said above, well written is the key.