Bestselling erotic romance author Amanda McIntyre writes about getting hooked by the hot stuff.
I was asked to write a few words on what the allure of erotic romance is. I’ve written it of course, or a version of it that my editors seem to like at any rate. But what I’ve discovered is that between publishers and readers the definition of “erotic romance” is a bit blurred—or so it seems.
There is the term “erotic” which, by Webster’s definition, means, “having to do with sexual love.” Then you have “romance”—interestingly, there are a number of definitions for this one: 1) a medieval tale of knightly adventure; 2) a prose narrative dealing with heroic or mysterious events set in a remote time or place; and, the most popular in fiction writing, I think, 3) a love story or attachment or episode between lovers.
Now I’d like to make clear one thing, erotic romance is not to be confused with “erotica”, which is a horse of a completely different colour!
So, what is its allure? What keeps readers gobbling up romances that feature the sizzling heat between hero and heroine? I say it’s the same thing that has continued to make romance books the leading seller of over half of all book sales (at least in the United States)! Are we really so different as readers, searching for that fantasy hero, getting lost in the trials and obstacles of a story where the passion and emotion radiate off every page? It’s wanting that connection to what makes us feel good, makes us feel alive, makes us feel like anything is possible—if only for a few moments in the often chaotic and not-so-loving world we live in.
Erotic romance, in my opinion, is not about the euphemistic terms, the bondage aspects or other kinky aspects that are added to stories to create varied levels of heat. To me, the label was created to introduce the reading public to a stronger, more candid style of writing romance. These days, you can pick up nearly any book—save maybe YA and Inspirational—that features as much, if not in some cases more, of the sizzling sex between characters as those labelled “erotic romance.”
I think the important thing to do as a reader is to keep an open mind. Sample a wide variety of books, and see what heat level suits your tastes. Certainly, there are enough levels of erotic romance out there!
Amanda’s passion is in taking the ordinary and creating something extraordinary. Her work is published internationally, in audio, in e-book and in print. She currently writes steamy contemporary and historical romance.