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Following my Characters into the Bedroom

from Mia Marlowe...

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?

Mia's e-novella A DUKE FOR ALL SEASONS is coming soon. It will be available free for a limited time. Be first to be notified when it's released. Sign up for Mia's Newsletter.


  1. Great love scene, Mia! I love it when there's a bit of humor. Oh, and I like love scenes from both POVs--just not at the same time!

  2. I like both POVs in other people's books, Mia. But while I enjoy writing both POVs, I really love writing from the man's perspective. It gives you that "undiscovered country" feling...

  3. I agree about both POV's - the more the merrier. I bet the lady that said that devours "those kind of books." My answer back would be "why not."

    And highlander books are some of my favorites.

  4. Shana--I think it's important to find the humor in almost everything. And let's face it--sex is pretty funny sometimes.

  5. Joanne--Agreed. I like to get into the guy's head, then switch at some point so readers get a sense of what the encounter means to both parties.

  6. Catslady--I did find it odd that she asked the question with one of my books already paid for and tucked under her arm. ;-)

  7. I love Highlander books, so I'm hoping ot score this ARC.
    Thanks for the chat above, too.
    Sherri A. Dub

  8. I love humor, too, in a story and the lightness in a love scene can be refreshing.

    I would love to read a love scene from the hero's POV because I'm not sure that I really have.

  9. What a way to whet my appetite. I have Improper Gentlemen in my bag right now. Can't wait to see what Mia and Connie can get up to with a Highland hero, either.

  10. What a great scene! I love all sorts of love scenes, but those with a sense of humor are so much fun to read!

    I think I prefer a 50/50 POV when it comes to the love scenes in books. Some in his POV and some in hers. I don't mind an entire love scene in one POV so long as I get the opposite POV in the next one.

    And I like your perspective on love scenes. Having sex with someone is both the most intimate thing you can do with another person and the most reckless. And what is life without a little recklessness? :)

  11. I like love scenes from both points of view. I think it is so great that you have written a novel with Connie Mason. She is one of the authors on my keeper shelf.

  12. I think sex scenes from both POVs, like when an author alternates between characters not within one scene but kind of takes turns in their heads over their different encounters. Loved Improper Gentleman, Mia's novella was my favorite and I can't wait for her next work!

  13. Mia, terrific scene to share with us. It really helped give me a sense of how the story will procress.

    I like learning both the heroine and hero's point of view when I'm reading a love scene and enjoy the humor you bring to make the scene even more realistic.

    I was raised with only sisters so when I ended up being outnumbered by all males learning more about a male point of view from my reading helped give me a "heads up" when my boys were teenagers! Needless to say we ended up having some interesting (and humorous) conversations. They've even shared some of those talks with their wives who have called me (laughing) which has really helped us to form a bond I don't think that many mother-in-laws have with their daughter=in=laws. They've told me they will be calling me "when the time comes" for them to have "that" talk with their sons!

  14. I don't really have a preference as to viewpoint in the bedroom - I just want a well written scene and no super ridiculous gymnastics taking place:)...if you can add humor to the scene...that's even better

  15. It doesn't matter to me whose view describes the love scenes (just as it doesn't matter to me whose on top!) Thanks for the giveaway!

  16. I like both.

    The excerpt is most amusing! I love a bit of humor in the books I read.

  17. Thank you for such a lovely excerpt which I thoroughly enjoyed. I don't mind if the POV comes from both sides. It makes it more interesting to see how things play out.

    I would dearly love to read this story as it appears to contain everything that I love, passion, intrigue and romance. I love to be carried away to another time and place where people lived, loved, and were finding their way to each other. I especially love highlander books.

    Thank you for this opportunity.

    dpd333 AT aol dot com

  18. Thank you for the Tease I must Now get this book,, ( not that I wasn't getting it anyway)As for who's head I'm in not really an Issue Unless he's Scottish the Accent in my head drive's me wild ;)
    Can't wait to read it .
    Congrats on the new Novella with Connie.

  19. I think it's tough to do funny in sex without spoiling the mood, but I really liked what you did here.

    Either (or both) POV is fine w/me in love scenes. Sometimes there's a really compelling reason (as a writer) to choose one--like if one person is having conflict or a sense of discovery or moving to a new level of intensity in the relationship. I do occasionally find mid-scene switches distracting--they can take me out of the moment. But in general I like to know what both people have experienced.

  20. Hi Mia!
    Loved the excerpt... to bad it had to stop there, but you've definitely got my attention:)

    To me, it really doesn't matter who's POV I'm reading. I guess it just depends on my mood or the tone of the story like if I wanted a more aggressive accounting of their intimacy then I like the male perspective or if I wanted something a little more sensual then the females have it.

    Thanks for writing "those" kind of books:)

  21. Holy.Mother. Now THAT was sexxay. Love it and can't wait to read the rest!

  22. beautiful love scene mia, and yeah, a humor is very needed ^^

    i like from both POV, thus be balanced, no one dominated =D

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  24. Love scenes can really show how characters connect on a whole new level. It's sort of like a first meet, first kiss, first fight between characters. These are all part of relationships and if it suits the story then there's no sense constraining it. I don't have any preference and like love scenes from both points of views. A male POV might be a tad more intriguing just because he's the opposite sex and it'd be interesting to see how their minds work.

  25. Update: Thank you all for commenting. My DH has chosen my random winner. Congrats to yadkny! You'll be receiving a signed copy of SINS OF THE HIGHLANDER. If you didn't win, please be sure to sign up for my newsletter. That way you'll be first to know when my e-novella A DUKE FOR ALL SEASONS is available free. I don't want you to miss it!

  26. Skillfully done, Mia! Looking forward to reading this book!


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