Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sex or Story?

As a romance author, I read a lot. In between reading romance, I delve into other genres and over the past couple of years I’ve found many great new authors. New to me, that is. Among them:

Russell Blake:  Russell has exploded onto the scene in the past couple of years, garnering a legion of fans with his Jet series, his Assassin series, and his newest, featuring Artemus Black, a series he describes as ‘hard-boiled, noir detective’. I’ve read and enjoyed most of Russell’s books.

George Wier:  George’s book, Long Fall From Heaven, co-authored with Milton T. Burton, has recently been named as one of MysteryPeople’s Top 5 Texas Mysteries of 2013.

Nick Russell:  Nick’s newest, Dog’s Run is receiving rave reviews. More than a finely crafted mystery, it picks you up and sets you down in a small Ohio town in the 1950s. The language, the descriptions, the undercurrents are so powerful you feel you’re there!

   But I digress... as usual. For those of you who read romance, you can’t help but notice the trends these days. All the ‘grey’ covers, for example. Now where did that idea come from? All of the bared chests with sharply defined abs. Shirts hanging open. And billionaires. According to the current wave of romance books, in most big cities, women must be wading through waist-deep piles of billionaires!
   Am I knocking these things? Absolutely not. That’s what romance is, after all... it’s fantasy. I have plenty of fantasy in my own books, and it’s fun.
   So what’s my point? My point is that in most of the romances I’ve read lately, the story takes a back seat to the sex. Romances are becoming little more than a series of sex scenes, linked by the thinnest story line you can possibly imagine. And that bothers me.
   Give me some story with my sex. Please. Make me care about the characters. Tell me why they do what they do. I don’t care if they have sex the day they meet, or a month later, or ten years later. I personally feel that a romance needs some sex – be it implied, or explicit. But please! Give me a story as well to hold my interest. Without that, frankly, too many of the current romances out there are boring.

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