Friday, September 30, 2011

Love After Lust


by Olivia Cunning

It's no secret that I write erotic romance, heavy on the erotic. One of my goals is to get my couple into bed quickly. This is made easier by the fact that my heroes are gorgeous and talented rock stars in a band called Sinners.

My heroes have no problem finding a willing bed mate. Or three. The challenge is finding them love after lust and making the reader believe that they are going to make their relationship work despite the groupies throwing themselves at them night after night.

Typically, in a romance book (though there is so much variety these days, that the old standard isn't necessarily true any more), the sexual tension is high, but no one acts on it for a long while. The couple makes moon eyes at each other for pages, they accidentally touch (and almost swoon) and eventually smooch (weak in the knees...) and if they're really into each other, they might do some petting (spontaneous combustion!). Then somewhere after the halfway point they FINALLY get some sex. Sometimes. Sex is often the way the couple physically expresses their love after much romancing. They are probably already in love at this point or nearly in love. The sex scene is the icing on the cake and completes the relationship.

You get icing near the beginning of my books. Lots of icing. And the icing has to carry throughout the whole book without getting boring. It varies in duration, consistency, location and let's face it, acrobatics. Lead singer, Sed, in Rock Hard is particularly athletic. *cough* There has to be some connection between the characters for all the hot sex to work, but they're not in love. They're in bunnies-in-spring lust. And they are acting on that lust (boy, are they ever), so where do you go from there? You've already got to the "good part" (yes, I used to skip ahead to the good parts. I'm so glad there are books that are mostly good parts now...) and  you're only on page twenty-four.

Well, we got that first bothersome sex scene out of the way, now we build the relationship. Wow, that's bassackwards, you say. Maybe, but it makes for a hot story and because it's erotic romance, you still get your happily ever after. The couple just gets a whole lot of happy before happily-ever-after was even on their radar.

11 comments:

  1. Olivia, fun post! I've never thought about erotic romance in these terms. Thoroughly enjoyable!

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  2. Yep, you've nailed it! Love those Sinners!

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  3. Olivia, do you know how difficult it is to read a post with THOSE covers sprinkled through the text? Geesh. I think the plotscape you describe--heat first, romance later--is probably a closer approximation of the road many people, particularly young people these days, travel. The cost of a moment of passion has gone way, way down compared to where it was a century ago (especially for women), and so the flow of the relationship takes off from a different point--as in your books, much to the readers' delight.

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  4. Olivia, I thought you did a great job explaining how your books get to that happily ever after point. And I've always thought Rock Hard is one of the sexiest covers I have ever seen.
    Amelia

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  5. Olivia, what a great post. Never thought about writing from that standpoint before and the challenges it presents. Wearing my drooling bib as I look at your covers...

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  6. That's funny. Like you, I'm pretty eager to get to the "fun" stuff. Tension is nice, but it's nice to have there be other issues and get the sex thing (initial sex thing) out of the way. In a WIP that's since been written off, my main two jumped into the sack about 25% of the way through and then had to work through their issues about the matter later on. Like you, I like lotsa icing. :)

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  7. "A whole lot of happy before happily-ever-after" is a great definition of erotica! Thanks for the fun post.

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  8. I know what you're saying Olivia! In a way, I'd hoped to convey that yesterday. You just did it better!

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  9. Thanks, ladies. I appreciate you stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

    Ashlyn, I thought you said it better. LOL!

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  10. Enjoyed your post and the differentiation between erotica and traditional romance. Good stuff. BTW..can't wait for the next Sinners book!

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  11. Yep, I luvs the icing...lots and lots of icing. Your books are perfectly balanced in my humble opinion, heavy on the happiness and there is so much to savor and enjoy. I definitely want to savor the Sinners, every mouthwatering inch errrr page.

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