At one of my first booksignings, a lady I knew asked me, "Why do you write those kind of books?" The subtext of the question was "Why do you write explicit sex scenes?" My answer is that I write about life and I don't want to put any aspect of my character's experiences off limits if it advances the story or deepens my reader's insight into the secret life of my characters.
It's been noted that having sex is the most intimate thing you can do with someone while not really knowing what's going on in the other person's mind. Sometimes, you're not even sure what's tumbling around in your own. My heroine Rosalinde experienced that in A Knack for Trouble, my novella in the new anthology IMPROPER GENTLEMEN. In the following excerpt, Rosalinde is having a bit of an argument with herself while she allows Aidan to take more and more liberties:
If we only kiss, we’ve been a bit improper, but no worse than if we were alone in an alcove sneaking a kiss at a ball somewhere, Rosalinde reasoned. Their kiss deepened, an undiscovered country, soft and wet as an autumn evening with the promise of a crackling fire later. His tongue invaded and she gave it a suckling
Aidan laid her back down and stretched out beside her on the bed, kicking off his boots and dropping them by her bedside.
Lying beside a man is improper, she admitted to herself, but it’s not as if he’s on top of . . .
He settled over her, his hard groin pressed on her belly. His iron-hard length rocked on her in a slow knock.
Well, at least we’re both still dressed.
He raised up and pulled his shirt off over his head. She couldn’t keep from smoothing her palms over his chest. His nipples hardened under her touch.
I suppose it’s less improper for him to be shirtless than if I were the one who’s undressed, she decided. Rosalinde continued to stroke his broad shoulders and down his arms. Muscles rippled under his smooth flesh and he cast off as much heat as a fire.
“I want to learn every inch of your skin by heart,” she said, planting a kiss at the juncture of his shoulder and neck.
“A pleasant prospect.” He chuckled and raised himself on his arms to peer down at her. “Why?”
“So I know where I am with you. So I can close my eyes,” she suited her actions to her words, “and say to myself, ‘Yes, that’s the little scar on his shoulder.’” She fingered the slightly raised weal of skin and then planted a kiss on the spot. Then her fingers drifted lower past his navel, slipping beneath his waistband which seemed unusually loose. “Or I can think ‘Oh, there. That’s his lovely flat belly and . . .’”
Her eyes flared open.
“That’s not me belly, love.”
Hope you enjoyed a taste of IMPROPER GENTLEMEN. It's available in stores now. This is one of the last stops on my Improper Blog Tour so I'd love to offer a free read to a random commenter. I recently scored a few ARCs of SINS OF THE HIGHLANDER (coming January 2012!), my first collaborative novel with NY Times Bestseller Connie Mason. Some lucky commenter will receive a copy four months early!
Here's a question to kick off our conversation:
Do you prefer love scene written from the heroine or the hero's POV? Does it matter to you who's head you're in?