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What Makes a Romance Erotic?

26 Jun 2010

So far, two reviewers and several other readers have labeled Parker’s Price an erotic romance. I–and Carina Press–classified it as a contemporary romance, albeit a very hot one because that’s how I like my romance.

Parker’s Price is 51k words in length and there are five sex scenes that make up 11% of the book. Also, coitus doesn’t actually happen until half-way into the story. I don’t consider that enough to be an erotic romance. Or am I being too technical? Is erotic romance defined by quantity (I’m not certain what the quantity should be, but I think it’s more than what’s in Parker’s Price)? Or is it more about the heat level of the individual scenes themselves?

My Ellora’s Cave releases are what I would consider erotic romance: more sex scenes, longer sex scenes, and a little kink thrown in every now and then. However, I think the graphic language and…well, heat, I suppose, are the same as they are in Parker’s Price. Is that why some readers are labelling it an erotic romance? (If you want to judge for yourself, here’s a sex scene from Parker’s Price and one (kind of) from Before Dawn.)

So, help out a curious writer here. What makes a romance erotic? What are the qualities of an erotic romance? Where is the line?

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