How much sex do you want in #romance novels?


 

I’ve had a file sitting on my Kobo for a couple of years. It’s quite a popular book in the gay romance genre, and the plot involving sports and a closeted athlete is right up my alley. So what’s the problem? Well, according to multiple reviews the sex is fade to black, with only kissing on the page. One reader commented on how “clean” the book is.

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No sex, no service

Every so often I pull this book up on my ereader and think I should finally give it a try. (I did this past weekend, and stared at the cover for a few minutes before choosing something else.) It’s not that I don’t believe all those glowing five star reviews, and I’m sure I’d enjoy the story. But it’s almost 400 pages. And there’s NO SEX? It’s a roadblock for me every time.

I’ve read countless books of that length or longer that didn’t have sex in them, but the key is that they were not romances. With a romance the rest of the plot is secondary and the main thrust (if you will) of the story is the connection between these characters. When I’m investing in a couple, I want the sex. It’s not just about titillation, although that is part of it. Certainly I do read (and write) erotic romance because it’s hot and I enjoy it.

Show me the money feelings

But the major issue for me with off-page sex is that as a reader I’m missing out on a vital aspect of the couple’s relationship. I want to see them connect in every way — not just in the physical aspect of sex, but the emotional facet. I want to see the tenderness (or roughness), and hear what they say to each other, and know what they’re thinking, and how they’re feeling.

When they kiss and then wake up the next morning with cuddles, I feel cheated. It’s like the author invites us into these characters’ lives, but then shuts the door in our faces when we get to the bedroom. I don’t want endless sex with no meaning, as that just gets boring. I think there’s certainly a happy medium. The sex doesn’t even have to be explicit. An author doesn’t need to use frank language to get across how the characters are feeling while they have sex.

Of course this is my personal preference to always show sex in romances, and to each their own. I know there are plenty of  authors and readers out there who don’t want to write or read sex in their romance novels. How about you?

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What’s your grammatical Achilles’ heel?


 

I’m not too shabby when it comes to grammar. I’ve worked as an editor for more than a decade, and I’d say I have a strong grasp of the English language. (I’m not perfect, but who is?) Yet there is one grammatical pickle that is forever a mystery to me, no matter how many times I check the proper way to do it: lay vs. lie. It just will not stick.

When I’m writing and have to use lay or lie, I’ll examine the sentence, flip-flop a few times on which word it should be, and then go boldly forth with my choice, confident that I’ve made the right one.

Oh yeah, I've got this down.

Oh yeah, I’ve got this.

Then my good friend/beta Amy will read the passage.

Nope.

Sigh.

I can’t be the only one with a grammatical Achille’s heel, right? What’s yours?

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4.5 stars for this figure skating romance: “Their chemistry is off the charts”


 

4.5 stars from Mrs. Condit & Friends Read Books:

Keira Andrews writes this story with such detail and description. I am in awe of the research that must have taken place. I honestly felt I was part of the skating world, waiting and anticipating, as I sat in the bleachers, watching. The story runs a little over 100 pages, but what she has written within, is incredible. This is a story of teamwork, dedication, commitment, strength, and last, but not least, Love. It will make you smile, have you biting your fingernails, back to smiling, and finally, taking that much needed breath, you didn’t realize you were holding, and release.

Buy now:
Loose Id | All Romance eBooks | Barnes and Noble
Sony Reader Store
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Poll: May-Dec? Hate to love? Undercover lovers? Fave romance tropes!


 

I love romance tropes. Love. Them. These oldies but goodies rarely disappoint! Which trope tickles your fancy?

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These gay figure skaters offer “a thoroughly enjoyable and sexy read”


 

Rainbow Book Reviews raves about Cold War:

This was an exciting, drama filled short story with a lot of heat and ice (yep, pun still intended) that really captured my attention. I love the Olympic Games and have the utmost respect for all the competitors so a love story set around the winter games was simply excellent fun. Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable and sexy read.

Buy now:
Loose Id | All Romance eBooks | Barnes and Noble
Sony Reader Store
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WANTED: Established authors not afraid to give a little to (hopefully) gain a lot


 

I’m very excited to be taking part in a new gay romance box set about military men. (Especially considering military men won my recent poll on your favourite romance heroes!) Cat Grant is the editor, and she’s looked for a few good men authors to contribute. Interested in writing about gay soldiers? Here’s the info from Cat below.

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Gay-military-CoupleI’m putting together a self-published boxed set of M/M military man stories for release later this year. Right now there’s me, LA Witt, Keira Andrews and two other possible authors on board. Ideally, I’d like ten authors in the bundle.

In a nutshell, I’m looking for: Novella length stories – 15 – 25K. Contemporary preferred, the hotter the better. I’d like to have the bundle available in time for GayRomLit this October, which means I would need the completed stories (beta’ed, edited and ready for publication) in hand no later than August 15th. (I will, of course, copy-edit for consistency in grammar, spelling, etc., but the stories will have to be beta’ed and/or edited at the authors’ expense.)

The bundle will be available for a limited time only (October through next February or March). After that, we settle accounts, take the bundle off sale and all rights revert back to the individual authors.

The object here is not to make wads of cash, but gain greater exposure — ideally, to hit the NYT and/or USA Today lists. No guarantee it’ll happen, but that’s what we’re shooting for. I will be the editor/project manager on this bundle, and will publish it under my Cat Grant Books imprint on Amazon. (I will probably upload it to Nook, Kobo and iTunes through my Smashwords account as well.) I estimate the cost for cover art, formatting, etc., to be about $300-400, the cost of which will be split among all the participating authors (so if we get ten authors – $30-40 each).

Interested? Shoot me a proposal at: bittermint2007@gmail.com

~

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Love figure skating? “Keira Andrews brought the sport to life”


 

4 stars for Cold War from The Novel Approach:

I think the author did a great job with the technical side of the book also. I have loved figure skating for as long as I can remember and Keira Andrews brought the sport to life. The struggles, the sacrifices and the hard work all come down to five minutes on the ice. She made the tension real and had me on the edge of my seat waiting to see who would take home the gold, and if Dev and Misha could find happiness.

I highly recommend this title and I would love to read more about Dev and Misha.

Buy now:
Loose Id | All Romance eBooks | Barnes and Noble
Sony Reader Store
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The easy way to find your next great M/M romance read!


 

My March gay romance newsletter featured hot books from Cassandra Carr, Cheryl Dragon, Jacob Z. Flores, and more. Each month I spotlight new releases and older gems you might have missed. I don’t know about you, but now that spring has sprung, I’m in the mood for romance! (Okay, I confess I’m always in the mood for romance, even in the dead of winter. :D)

Spring is in the air!

Spring is in the air!

Sign up now, and in the coming months you’ll get exclusive giveaways, free reads, and much more from the world of m/m romance. You’ll be up to date on my latest releases — and just by signing up, you’re automatically entered into a monthly draw for one of my backlist ebooks or a future release.

Get on the list today!

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“Reading this book actually gave me chills”: 4.5 stars for sexy gay figure skaters! #figureskating #MMromance


 

Sensual Reads gives Cold War 4.5 sizzling stars:

Reading this book actually gave me chills. When the subject matter is so well timed, it actually seems to give that punch that makes a person shiver. This was a story that really speaks to the romantic reader and the reader who appreciates the beauty of the Olympics. Cold War hit the perfect note of romance while also giving us the drama of competition.

Buy now:
Loose Id | All Romance eBooks | Barnes and Noble
Sony Reader Store
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Poll: Cops, doctors and cowboys, oh my! Who’s your fave romance hero?


 

There are some professions that pop up over and over again in romance novels. I know I have my faves (hey there, soldier!), and I want to know yours. What’s your poison? Cowboys who make your pulse giddyup? Billionaire businessmen who send your stock soaring? Or how about firefighters who set you ablaze? Or do you go for the more unassuming heroes?

Inquiring minds want to know!

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