Romance & erotica for your pleasure.

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When I look at my fully stocked bookshelf I have to admit: it lacks... spice.

I’ve fallen prey to the stigma. The cultural reinforcement that prompts brilliant authors to publish their steamy stories under pen names.

Somehow, somewhere, I learned that “serious literary people” just don’t go there in writing. Or even to read.

Come on! Romance sails ships!

Take Bridgerton, originally a widely popular book series. Eventually Netflix’s biggest hit ever, according to Vanity Fair. (And nominated for twelve Emmy awards!)

So much of the genre is beautifully written, and it’s rarely fluffy or unserious. After all, what deeper intimacy, what more meaningful event, what more powerful shared experience is there to speak of in life?

It’s simply a flaw of patriarchy that wherever there is sensual pleasure there is also shame and stigma.

That’s why, as Bridgerton author Julia Quinn said, “In some ways, portraying a healthy relationship in literature is the most revolutionary thing you can do.”

I’m done with it. I’m not going to miss out on this party anymore! Smart people write brilliant stories full of love, beauty, pleasure, and passion.

This is my summer of correcting my broken relationship with romance fiction.


Here’s what’s on my reading list:


#IndianLovePoems by Tenille Campbell I was so lucky to read alongside Tenille Campbell at the Moose Jaw Writing Festival a few years back. Her award-winning poetry is unashamedly sexy, political, humorous, and alive, exploring the complexities of race, culture, and intent within relationships.



The Sumage Solution by G.L. Carriger The bestselling author of The Heroine’s Journey offers steamier titles under this pen name. I’m excited to drop into her San Andreas Shifters series, which promises “everything you ever wanted from a sexy gay werewolf but were afraid to read.”    



Rouge by Em Demaison A très petit collection of erotic microfiction written for the person who isn’t sure if they’ll enjoy erotica or not. I’ve known the author for some time under a different name. Imagine my delight to find this beautifully written little secret!  




Teasing the Princess by Nana Malone I asked the good people of Kobo Writing Life who they recommend for erotica. In sync, they all enthused, “Nana Malone!” Nana is a prolific bestseller and the creator of the #BrownNippleChallenge, empowering women of colour in romance. This one will be good.




And that’s my romance renaissance... to start! Are you already there? If so, let us know what you’re reading in the Centered forum.

To your steamy summer,  

 


Photo credit: Susan Wilkinson on Unsplash.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something using one of these links, I may earn a commission. I only recommend books or products I trust.


What feels most alive in me.
Passion doesn’t have to be big and bombastic.

4 comments

Pamela Vanderwoude

Here's to romance and sensuality. I love to write it and enjoy reading it when it pops up. I just finished reading Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. Toward the end of the novel, an erotic scene appears that is vibrant and full. After I read it, I thought how parched we are as readers for this type of writing. I am not shy about writing about erotic scenes but found that I' am tentative in posting this type of writing. But perhaps no more. We are humans and this is all part of the human experience and I think, no matter the age, it prompts the reader back into their own memories. Which is of course, the power of writing. I think, let the romance bloom as it happens from your pen.
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'I'm rediscovering the romance genre too. For too long I've been fed up with poor quality Rom com movies as produced by Hollywood. I've always felt that it is a genre that should be good but usually it devolves into little more than a comedy of manners at best. I've been getting my hit from K drama romances which mix melodrama and tragedy with the comedy. I discovered them during lockdown and the typical 16 episodes also fits better with the structure of a novel than a 2hour movie- I've been dissatisfied with the latter format for a while too. I feel that the k-dramas have woken up my emotions again. It makes me think of the Kafka quote of smashing the frozen seas within us.
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Anita Chauhan

Oh, I so agree. I think what needs to happen is a collective reimagining of how we express romance, or find ways to give more profile to those authors who are doing different things with this genre. Thanks for the K drama tip - have yet to explore that!
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Anita Chauhan

Yes, cheers to romance and sensuality!!
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