Clean Romances discussion

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General Chat > Why does quality go down when sexual content goes up?

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message 1: by May (new)

May Abbey (MayNicoleAbbey) | 76 comments Okay. Let me know what you think after I express my opinion on this fascinating subject.

I'm about to make a sweeping statement, be forewarned.

It has become evident to me that books which contain explicit content tend to lack in quality, character development, story line, etc. and I have often wondered why. Even within the same authors work, I will read books which were written before sex was as accepted a part of literature and they will be good books. Well written. Twenty years later, I will read the same author and find her characters shallow, full of lust, even trite. Even the quality of her writing goes down. This is not an isolated case, either, in my experience it is across the board. So, my question to you is WHY?

I have some thoughts. I believe that our talents all come from God and that he assists us in our work. If it uplifts, it is his work as well. So, when we, in a sense, turn away from morality, could that be considered turning away from God to a small degree? And if our writing does that, then will he add his inspiration to the mix? I don't think so. When I write words come to me that I know aren't mine, insight to my characters, development in story-line, all of it I believe comes through some form of inspiration. If I, knowing the importance of morality, stop writing moral things, then I don't think I will be entitled to Gods inspiration.

What do you think?? I would love to hear your thoughts, experiences, etc.


message 2: by Nellie (new)

Nellie (havureadit) | 14 comments Wow! Very thought provoking. I will pay more attention when I read now. I agree, the characters are less developed, and the story line can only goes one way when sex is included. I love your thoughts about inspiration guiding your words. I agree, God won't inspire you when you turn away from him. I also agree, the characters in stories where sex is the focus, are very shallow and trite. They seem to show lack of control and respect. (If he really loved her he would want her forever, not just one night) Even though they wouldn't "ruin" a woman otherwise, they seem to lose control with this one, the one they are supposidly in love with. The characters need very little accomplishments to recommend themselves besides being good in bed, to make them SEEM great together. We all know it takes much more than sex to sustain a good relationship. I think you can get across that they slept together while not dragging the reader down that road. I would think the consequences after being intimate would be more recognized too. It seems most have no consequences afterward. Not really reality. Especially in a renessance period. Now, I'm ranting, but I appreciate your thoughts on this matter, and I will definately note your comments when reading. Thank you.


message 3: by May (new)

May Abbey (MayNicoleAbbey) | 76 comments Nellie, I love your comments! You make so many great points that are totally valid. You mentioned 'A lack of control and respect' and I think that hits it right on the nose. Like it is somehow more appealing that this man wants to ravage you and can't control himself in your vicinity.

When you mentioned that the characters need very little accomplishments to recommend themselves besides being good in bed, something clicked. Do you think this is why characters AREN'T more developed in so many stories, because suddenly they don't have to be? Oh! It makes sense. The only thing needed to recommend them is a good libido and completely no control with the heroine, cause that is somehow 'hot'.

Intimacy with no consequences is a complete fallacy. We are teaching our women that men will be faithful to these casual affairs and that commitment is not needed. Sleep around, have children, and the man will remain faithful with no marriage covenant. When most of the time it is not true. It is even portrayed that it is the man who pursues marriage instead of the woman. Oh, these lies are so damaging to society and women.

What do you think? Does this literature that we speak of play a part in society and how it acts/reacts?


message 4: by May (new)

May Abbey (MayNicoleAbbey) | 76 comments Okay, I have a great example. This is from movies, but illustrates my point. In the movie Beastly, there is a scene where the hero places his hand at the small of the heroine's back while they take a picture and it is sooo romantic. Oh! It is wonderfully filmed and I FELT so warm from that simple gesture. It was so intimate! *sigh.

Okay, now compare that with the tv show psych. It is a fun show and I really like it - very light hearted on the whole. When the hero and heroine finally get together after how many seasons, it could have been very sweet but instead they jumped each other and totally made out. It was NOT romantic at ALL.

Can you think of any other examples? Or why such small gestures can be so intimate? OHH, another good small gesture is on the movie Mansfield Park when they ALMOST kiss. My heart skips a beat. So, I guess the trick is to find that heart thumping intimacy and tenderness, and not cross over to the baseness of simple lust. Okay, I've talked enough. :)


message 5: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 209 comments Cutting in the convo here!
I LOVE the small and intimate gestures!! There are ones from like the stroking back of hair which has fallen in front of the face to the almost kisses or tender kisses :) all that gets me!! A do like to have a few kisses in a romance but that is all I need (and want).

Love that moment in Mansfield Park!!
There are so many moments from the books I have read which are small gestures or actions but I won't list them all. There are also those in films as well :)


message 6: by Animalia (last edited Dec 19, 2012 06:19PM) (new)

Animalia | 14 comments I agree completely that the smallest gestures are much more sweet then the having the hero and heroine act like savage wild animals, no offense to the animals. One of my favorite scenes in a film ever is from near the end of the 2005 Pride and Prejudice, she just kisses his hand. :) Altough, I do have to admit that I did enjoy watching the end scene from the Lake House where they make out heavily. ;)

As mentioned on why the quality goes down, I think that the reason the quality of the book goes down when it is steamy is because a lot of the authors portray lust as love whereas I've seen it fewer times in cleaner books. Most characters that are in lust I find usually tumble into bed much more then characters who are truly in love.

Also, is it just me or does anyone else notice that when one of the main characters backs off from intimacy and says they shouldn't have intercourse until they are married, it is always the heroes who say it instead of the heroine. Which frankly bugs me, I find it very unrealistic, most guys even the nicer ones I doubt would refuse something that is offered to them. It makes the heroine look like a doormat without convictions!

May wrote: "What do you think? Does this literature that we speak of play a part in society and how it acts/reacts?"
I think it absolutely does. I'm pretty sure one of the reasons why teen pregnancy is up, is because books, tv, film, etc show it in a glorious light and say if you think you love someone it is okay to sleep with them just because it feels good and of course if you have a child, parenting is fun and easy.

Just had to get my say. :D


message 7: by May (new)

May Abbey (MayNicoleAbbey) | 76 comments Soph wrote: "Cutting in the convo here!
I LOVE the small and intimate gestures!! There are ones from like the stroking back of hair which has fallen in front of the face to the almost kisses or tender kisses :..."


Oh Soph! Join in! The more the merrier,I love to hear what you have to say! :) I have a question for you, actually! You seem like a really wise 16 year old! And I have really enjoyed hearing your comments both here and in the JA group. How have you found your truth midst all the false messages that abound? What helped you?


message 8: by May (new)

May Abbey (MayNicoleAbbey) | 76 comments Oh my GOSH Animalia! I cannot agree more! What a LIE, that it is the man who backs away from intimacy and that it is the man who pushes for marriage. And this is a lie that is soo abundant everywhere you go. I heard a quote from I don't know who, talking about the women setting the standard for a society. Men's actions are determined a lot by a woman's expectation. When I woman sets no standard for herself, a man treats her with no standard. At least that is what I see. A man likes to be held to a certain standard of expectation and the good men will live up to it.

I wonder if what we have been talking about has anything to do with the general decline of MEN in our society. Fewer people expect them to act like men, there are no longer 'rights of passage' for men to be challenged and grow, and so many men never really grow up... hmmmm, what do you think?


Zoe and the Edge | 19 comments Just backing up to the earlier comments about the smallest gestures being the most romantic - I totally agree! Ally Carter does it really well especially in her Gallagher Girl series.

I'm not sure if any of you've read Untouchable but it's a really good example of intimacy without sex. It's brilliant!
(The later books in the trilogy aren't clean though)


message 10: by May (new)

May Abbey (MayNicoleAbbey) | 76 comments I will check those out Zoe! Thanks!


message 11: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 209 comments Animalia wrote: "I agree completely that the smallest gestures are much more sweet then the having the hero and heroine act like savage wild animals, no offense to the animals. One of my favorite scenes in a film e..."

I LOVE when she kisses his hand! It is adorable! That scene is a perfect example of how things can be romantic and emtionally without even a kiss! (though the other scene is fun to watch as you say ;) )


message 12: by Jennifer (last edited Dec 20, 2012 08:46AM) (new)

Jennifer Comeaux | 57 comments May wrote: "I wonder if what we have been talking about has anything to do with the general decline of MEN in our society. Fewer people expect them to act like men, there are no longer 'rights of passage' for men to be challenged and grow, and so many men never really grow up... hmmmm, what do you think?"

My friend and I were talking about this one day... how so many guys these days have lost all gentleman manners. They barge into elevators ahead of you, let doors slam in your face. I think those are little signs of respect and courtesy that men should give women.

Jennifer Comeaux
Author of Life on the Edge and Edge of the Past


message 13: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 209 comments May wrote: "Soph wrote: "Cutting in the convo here!
I LOVE the small and intimate gestures!! There are ones from like the stroking back of hair which has fallen in front of the face to the almost kisses or te..."


Thanks for the compliment! Quite a few people have said i seem mature for my age which is a real compliment so thank you. In answer to why... well...
Well, I hate the sterotype of teenagers. Although there are many, unfortunatley, who fit the description, there are some who aren't, and i am one of them! I suppose it is partly down to my upbringing. I do not wear ridiculously short skirts or stupidly low tops nor do I wear make up very often (I don't see the point) I don't spend my life on the computer on Twitter etc I rarely check facebook and I would rather come on here and discuss literature. I don't watch all the trashy programmes that are on telivision, I would rather watch a classic or just read, and when I say read, I mean a decent book not a magazine filled with nonsense... I don't know how I avoid it all, i just seem really strong-willed when it comes to this and I never give into peer pressure. As for my taste in books, well, that comes from my love of Jane Austen I guess...
I never used to read (which is awful I know!) but I was introduced to the classics, well, Jane Austen when I was 9, when I saw the 2005 Pride and Prejudice (but I was too young to understand the language so it didn’t really make an impression on me) I watched that film a few more times and as I grew up I began to love it (and understand it!) Still hadn't moved to the books though, but then last year, I studied Pride and Prejudice for my English classes at school so last summer I had to read it. Over the summer, I went on holiday and I read it in a week – pretty quick for a new reader! ;) I couldn’t put it down! My mother found it strange to see me reading – I guess I was like Emma Woodhouse in regards to books and reading ;). It was amazing and from then on, I was hooked! Following this, I wanted to read the other novels so I did!
And from this my love of clean (regency) romances developed! (I knew I was always a romantic ;) ) From reading the Austens and similar and from not being a converntional teenager I guess that is why I like my reads to be clean :) and that is where I get my truths from I guess - sorry, not a very well put together answer! ;) does that sort of answer you question?

I will put in a little word about my blog here. incase anyone would like to read more of what I have to say :)
http://laughingwithlizzie.blogspot.co...


message 14: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 209 comments Jennifer wrote: "May wrote: "I wonder if what we have been talking about has anything to do with the general decline of MEN in our society. Fewer people expect them to act like men, there are no longer 'rights of p..."

COMPLETELY AGREE!!


message 15: by athanasia (new)

athanasia (blueseychild) Soph wrote: "May wrote: "Soph wrote: "Cutting in the convo here!
I LOVE the small and intimate gestures!! There are ones from like the stroking back of hair which has fallen in front of the face to the almost ..."


Unbelievable!!! Soph, are you my friend-soul-mate? We have so much in common! I totally agree with you! I started reading and became addicted one year and a half ago. It wasn't a good start... My first books (3 or 4) were un-clean! I was shocked! Disgusted even! So, I started reading only clean romances... Georgette Heyer, Jane Eyre, etc. I do believe that sexual content destroys the whole romance. I know I have little experience in erotic romance but I remember that when I was reading them I was thinking "Can't they think about something else?" I have an interest in film direction. So, when I read a book I make a film of it (in my head, of course :) ) I love those small gestures!!! And when I envision them... *sigh* *dreamy smile*


message 16: by D.D. Chant (new)

D.D. Chant (DDChant) | 188 comments I am in complete agreement: small gestures, a touch on the shoulder, holding hands or stroking the heroines cheek, shows that the hero CARES!!! He is supporting the heroine, comforting her or trying to give her the strength to go on. It shows an emotional attachment, expressing his love for her without expecting anything in return.

For me it makes more of a romantic impact.


message 17: by D.D. Chant (new)

D.D. Chant (DDChant) | 188 comments Athanasia wrote: "Soph wrote: "May wrote: "Soph wrote: "Cutting in the convo here!
I LOVE the small and intimate gestures!! There are ones from like the stroking back of hair which has fallen in front of the face t..."


I LOVE Georgette Heyer!!! Cotillion is my favourite!


message 18: by athanasia (new)

athanasia (blueseychild) D.D. wrote: "Athanasia wrote: "Soph wrote: "May wrote: "Soph wrote: "Cutting in the convo here!
I LOVE the small and intimate gestures!! There are ones from like the stroking back of hair which has fallen in f..."


I haven't read all her books. I haven't read Cotillion either but I will some day! I've seen good reviews! My favourite Georgette Heyer regency romance is Venetia!! I love it!! <3


message 19: by D.D. Chant (new)

D.D. Chant (DDChant) | 188 comments Athanasia wrote: "D.D. wrote: "Athanasia wrote: "Soph wrote: "May wrote: "Soph wrote: "Cutting in the convo here!
I LOVE the small and intimate gestures!! There are ones from like the stroking back of hair which ha..."


I'm so envious!!! I've read all of her regencies several times!!! Freddy in Cotillion is different for her usual hero's in that he's a 'pink' not a 'nonsuch'. I really loved him!!! Friday's Child is my next favourite.


message 20: by athanasia (new)

athanasia (blueseychild) Oh my god!! Friday's Child is my second favourite, too!!!


message 21: by D.D. Chant (new)

D.D. Chant (DDChant) | 188 comments Athanasia wrote: "Oh my god!! Friday's Child is my second favourite, too!!!"

Really?!?!?!

I love the friendship between the hero and his friends, and Ferdy V Nemesis had me in stiches!!!


message 22: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 209 comments Athanasia wrote: "Soph wrote: "May wrote: "Soph wrote: "Cutting in the convo here!
I LOVE the small and intimate gestures!! There are ones from like the stroking back of hair which has fallen in front of the face t..."


we do sound so similar from what you are saying!! maybe we are! ;D

D.D. wrote: "I am in complete agreement: small gestures, a touch on the shoulder, holding hands or stroking the heroines cheek, shows that the hero CARES!!! He is supporting the heroine, comforting her or tryin..."

yes!! it is so much better that way!! stroke of the cheek is soo intimate - i love it!
Definatley more romantic!!

D.D. wrote: "Athanasia wrote: "Soph wrote: "May wrote: "Soph wrote: "Cutting in the convo here!
I LOVE the small and intimate gestures!! There are ones from like the stroking back of hair which has fallen in f..."


Love Cotillion!! The underdog hero! ;)

Athanasia, I have yet to read Venetia, i will enjoy it then?

I haven't read Friday's child yet!! But loved Arabella and The Nonesuch, and can't wait to read more!! :)


message 23: by Nellie (last edited Dec 20, 2012 02:40PM) (new)

Nellie (havureadit) | 14 comments May wrote: "Nellie, I love your comments! You make so many great points that are totally valid. You mentioned 'A lack of control and respect' and I think that hits it right on the nose. Like it is somehow more..."

Marcia Lynn McClure does the Small touches and intimate looks so well, you want to melt! And...no sex. You don't feel dirty reading it! The sex scenes in typical romances are so over done, if you take the "excitement" out of it, or the "unreal" out of it, it really would not be so hot. It SEEMS really hot, but if you analyze it, not so much. They are really good at getting your libido going, but reality is NOT the same. I remember when I dated thinking, if this guy is this out of control with me, there have been many others. I also thought, "If he really LOVES me enough to get into my pants,he will want me forever" And he'll wait to marry me. No committment, ahead of time, means he's not really thinking about you. I also, remember thinking it was hard to turn off the "Good girl" when I got married. It took a while to switch gears, and get comfortable. I don't see how a "Good Girl" can really be good, and one day, let some guy get crazy with her, and her relax "enjoy it". I wish it was that easy to switch gears, but I don't think it is. Maybe that's just me???


message 24: by D.D. Chant (new)

D.D. Chant (DDChant) | 188 comments Soph wrote: "Athanasia wrote: "Soph wrote: "May wrote: "Soph wrote: "Cutting in the convo here!
I LOVE the small and intimate gestures!! There are ones from like the stroking back of hair which has fallen in f..."


Another Heyer I really loved was The Unknown Ajax/the. Again it isn't a 'normal' Heyer but so much fun!!! The Talisman Ring and Simon the Coldheart are great reads too.

Do you have any side character that you really love??? I love Pelham and Pom in The Convenient Marriage


message 25: by D.D. Chant (new)

D.D. Chant (DDChant) | 188 comments Another thing that I've noticed lately is when the hero and heroine finally kiss, instead of the author just stating that they kiss, they go in to a load of detail!!! When I read that the hero's lips touch the heroines I get a soppy smile on my face, however when I read that he sticks his tongue down her throat I gag!!!

Seriously?!?!?

Do you really think I want to hear HOW they're swapping spit???

It takes a romantic moment and kills it stone cold dead!!! Yuck!

It's enough to put you off kissing for life!!!


message 26: by Ian (new)

Ian Loome (lhthomson) | 5 comments May wrote: "Okay. Let me know what you think after I express my opinion on this fascinating subject.

I'm about to make a sweeping statement, be forewarned.

It has become evident to me that books which conta..."


For the same reason it holds true in porn; people are more interested in the sex than the story. It's not rocket science.


message 27: by May (new)

May Abbey (MayNicoleAbbey) | 76 comments You know, there were some GH that I didn't quite like. Of course they all have the great conversation that she is famous for, but certain aspects of some books don't mesh as well with me. It is funny because you mentioned two of the books that I didn't particularly like - Unknown Ajax and The Convenient Marriage... or wait, maybe it was 'A Civil Contract', not The Convenient Marriage. Yes. 'A Civil Contract' is kind of depressing. Side characters? I'm going to have to look up The convenient Marriage again and refresh my memory!

Hmmmm I think I often times like the side love story better than the main one - like in The Talisman Ring. I love the father in The Masqueraders (one of my absolute favorite!) And can the Duke from These Old Shades be considered a side character in Devils Cub? I love his conversation with the heroine in the end...


message 28: by D.D. Chant (new)

D.D. Chant (DDChant) | 188 comments Nellie wrote: "May wrote: "Nellie, I love your comments! You make so many great points that are totally valid. You mentioned 'A lack of control and respect' and I think that hits it right on the nose. Like it is ..."

I'm with you again!!! I think about it every time I read a regency where the heroine falls in bed with the hero. Aside from the whole 'her reputation would now be in tatters and she would live the rest of her life out in disgrace' thing. There is NO WAY some innocent girl who has never even held hands with a guy outside of a ballroom is going to allow the kind of torrid liberties some writers suggest!!!

Are you mental?!?!?! She'd freak out and run screaming for the hills!!!


message 29: by D.D. Chant (last edited Dec 20, 2012 04:11PM) (new)

D.D. Chant (DDChant) | 188 comments May wrote: "You know, there were some GH that I didn't quite like. Of course they all have the great conversation that she is famous for, but certain aspects of some books don't mesh as well with me. It is fun..."

I didn't like A Civil Contract either, isn't it the one where the heroine loves the hero and he decides she'll 'do'???

I love the duke in Devil's cub!!! And Rupert!!! I love the way he's always on edge in case the numerous romantic parties go all mushy on him!! Although I will never be able to forgive Georgie turning the handsome young man I imagined him to be in These Old Shades into an over weight old libertine!!!

The thing I love about The Unknown Ajax is the last scene with the excise men and Hugo's adopting a 'common' voice to horrify his stuck up family!


message 30: by May (new)

May Abbey (MayNicoleAbbey) | 76 comments Nellie wrote: "May wrote: "Nellie, I love your comments! You make so many great points that are totally valid. You mentioned 'A lack of control and respect' and I think that hits it right on the nose. Like it is ..."

I think women naturally ARE modest. Tack onto that a rigid upbringing, as in Victorian or Regency times, and it is sooo true that a girl would not allow such invasion.

I think you are right on the money when you say that if a man really loves you - they hold back. Life is so paradoxical, we've been told over and over again that women are sexual creatures just like men (and a lot of the men today cling to this notion with glee because they have free sex with no commitment involved. Everyone is better off in a moral society! Men, women, and children.


message 31: by May (new)

May Abbey (MayNicoleAbbey) | 76 comments D.D. wrote: "May wrote: "You know, there were some GH that I didn't quite like. Of course they all have the great conversation that she is famous for, but certain aspects of some books don't mesh as well with m..."

LOL! I remember that about Unknown Ajax. It has been years and years since I have read some of these GH. And YES, A civil contract is so pathetic and sad. The hero is handsome but the heroine is a little overweight and she flushes a lot and the very last scene explained that - though they did not have a great love for each other, they had experiences from being together and those experiences would give them things in common. Geez. I don't read romance for that kind of conclusion.


message 32: by D.D. Chant (last edited Dec 20, 2012 04:22PM) (new)

D.D. Chant (DDChant) | 188 comments May wrote: "D.D. wrote: "May wrote: "You know, there were some GH that I didn't quite like. Of course they all have the great conversation that she is famous for, but certain aspects of some books don't mesh a..."

I knew it was that one!!! Since when has 'well, we don't hate each other' passed for a romance!!! Indifference is worse than hate somehow!!! Lol!

Another thing: who else is tired of hearing about the hero's bulging, corded and bountiful arm/chest/thigh muscles??? I like some eye candy as much as the next girl, but come on!!!


message 33: by Zoe and the Edge (new)

Zoe and the Edge | 19 comments D.D. wrote: "May wrote: "D.D. wrote: "May wrote: "You know, there were some GH that I didn't quite like. Of course they all have the great conversation that she is famous for, but certain aspects of some books ..."

Hahaha! I so agree about that! I often complain about long ramblings on a hero (or a heroine's) marvelous physique. There's more to life than appearance! Gosh! =D


message 34: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (melissa_jagears) | 5 comments Oh! I do not find sex at all "romantic", it's respect warring with attraction that tells me they love each other. It's the small things, whether it's Elizabeth and Darcy touching foreheads in P&P 2005 or the look Darcy (firth) gives Lizzy while turning piano music or the fidgeting/jabbering when he finds her at Pemberly, the "leaning" in While You Were Sleeping. Swoon worthy! When I write, I want the touch of the hand to mean something--And it can't mean much if they've been in bed together a bazillion times, right?

And yeah, I don't want to read sex, because if my neighbors asked me to come watch them have sex, I'd be utterly disgusted, but I can "watch" characters? No thanks.

But when I see an old couple holding hands or a groom at the front of the church wink at his bride coming up the aisle? Aw, melt in real life.

I rarely read general market romance because I want to steer clear of the sex, so I can't really give an opinion on writing quality on much outside of Christian romance since I've read very few modern novels --mainly just the classics(that's why I joined this group, I'd like to find some!), but the romance story just turns flat for me with sex(unless they happen to be in a marriage, but I'd still prefer not to see it even then).

And going back to some thoughts about erotic romances affecting women in real life? Is it just me or after you read Jane Austen, does your vocabulary and grammar syntax get better/more complicated for a few days? I sound different just by immersing myself in Jane Austen's world, so why should I believe that immersing myself in a all sex all the time world wouldn't make me more susceptible to living out that life style? Not that it's impossible, obviously, but if you are what you eat, doesn't it follow that your brain is changed by what you watch/read/role-play?

My 2 cents anyway.


message 35: by Animalia (last edited Dec 20, 2012 10:05PM) (new)

Animalia | 14 comments D.D. wrote: "When I read that the hero's lips touch the heroines I get a soppy smile on my face, however when I read that he sticks his tongue down her throat I gag!!!"

Same here. When tongues start getting involved instead of thinking "that is so hot!" I think "eww"

D.D. wrote: "Another thing: who else is tired of hearing about the hero's bulging, corded and bountiful arm/chest/thigh muscles??? I like some eye candy as much as the next girl, but come on!!!"

I'm so tired of it. I can't stand it when the author starts blathering about the hero's wonderful physical qualities and how sexy he is. If the writer had to rattle on about anything why couldn't it be the eyes? I don't care at all how sexy his butt supposedly is.

Melissa wrote: "the "leaning" in While You Were Sleeping. Swoon worthy!"

Complete agreement. When that scene happened and Jack was so intense I was like "take me I'm yours!". ;)


message 36: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 209 comments D.D. wrote: "Another thing that I've noticed lately is when the hero and heroine finally kiss, instead of the author just stating that they kiss, they go in to a load of detail!!! When I read that the hero's li..."

I KNOW! As you said, I go soppy at the first sentence but then more than that - no thanks!! I have been lucky so far, all the regencies I have read have had a kiss (mostly) which goes into just the right amount of detail :)

ANd I couldn't agree more about the bulging muscles ;) I prefer descriptions of their eyes etc, not body, and not pages and pages of description!


message 37: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 209 comments Melissa wrote: "Oh! I do not find sex at all "romantic", it's respect warring with attraction that tells me they love each other. It's the small things, whether it's Elizabeth and Darcy touching foreheads in P&P 2..."

agree with everything you said!!

While you were sleeping! LOVE! The proposal (apart from the family being there ;) ) was so PERFECT! as well as much else in the film!

LOve both those things about P&P!

and you do 'watch' chaarcters so the way you praised it is perfect!

and my vocab definatley improved after jumping into the world of Jane Austen!


message 38: by Nicole D. (last edited Dec 21, 2012 03:55AM) (new)

Nicole D. (thereadingrebel) | 17 comments I think a lot of romance authors now a days confuse love with lust.Falling into bed ever few pages doesn't equal love.I love the little gestures like everyone esle like putting a hand on the middle of there back to let them know that they are there and brushing hair back form the face or holding hands.

I have never minded passionate kisses or even having the scene fade out and the characters wake up the next morning(like has happened in a few of my favorite YA fantasy novels). I don't read many adult novels in less I have looked into them and found that they are clean.Even Fantasy adult books have sex scenes and I love Fantasy so I stick to YA Fantasy.

I agree with Melissa my Vocabulary does improve after reading Jane Austen and even Georgette Heyer.I love Georgette Heyer but my least favorite of hers is A Civil Contract.So unromantic and the hero is worthless.


message 39: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (leenbee) Very interesting discussion to read through. I've read romance books from sweet, Christian romance to pure erotica romance because I'm a writer and many of my writing friends aren't Christians. I like to write clean romance with a bit of passion, but no sex inside. I have to stick up for my erotica writer friends though - it's very hard to write sex scenes and bring in the progression of a romance into it too. They are skilled and talented people. Most of the books I've read have been carefully constructed and are romantic but they disturb me in many ways. One of them is that building a romantic relationship or courtship will be stronger and more ready to face a marriage, if sex hasn't entered the picture yet. You need to build a friendship first but if sex comes in, it becomes the only focus so when the couple get married, they haven't learnt to get on without the sex. (Sometimes you need to when you have kids or very busy lives at times.) There's got to be more to the relationship. But it is very romantic to know that a man is crazy about you and your body - doesn't every woman want that. But we also want to know that he can wait.
Also, the sex scenes are not realistic to me. They're too idealistic. The women never seem to have periods and always seem to be in the mood which just isn't true to life. They make one feel like a failure as a woman for not being totally amorous and a sex kitten at all times. But it's fiction and it's fantasy.
Just some of my thoughts.
Kathy Bosman
Author of Wedding Gown Girl


message 40: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 209 comments I completely agree with you Nicole!! One of my books had a scene when they kissed (which was nice) and he swept her off he feet and then the chapter ended. Next chapter next morning. That's the only scene I have come across in my books I have read and it was fine (in the book it was an important moment so I understood why it was in, also they were married.) so, I share your opinion completely Nicole.


message 41: by athanasia (new)

athanasia (blueseychild) Soph, Venetia is a great book! You will like it, I'm sure! Friday's Child was a wonderful book, too! I highly recommend them! I've also read Arabella and I loved it! I haven't read The Nonesuch, though... The Convenient Marriage was my favourite until I read Venetia and Friday's Child! Her speech problem was adorable! I agree with May. A Civil Contract was a disappointment... It wasn't a love match in the end... I wanted Adam to be in love with Jenny... As for These Old Shades I loved that, too! I think it's obvious that I love all her books!!(excluding A Civil Contract) Now about kisses... I don't like the mentioning of tongues, either... I adore kisses on the cheek or the forehead! They're cute!!!


message 42: by Nicole D. (new)

Nicole D. (thereadingrebel) | 17 comments Athanasia wrote: "Soph, Venetia is a great book! You will like it, I'm sure! Friday's Child was a wonderful book, too! I highly recommend them! I've also read Arabella and I loved it! I haven't read The Nonesuch, th..."

I LOVED Jenny is A Civil Contract and in fact she,her father,and Adam's younger sister are the only reasons I liked the book.Adam was worthless and Jenny was way to good for him.So sorry to get off topic.


message 43: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 209 comments You do like them!! ;) thanks for the ideas :)

Kisses - yeah, younger no! On the forehead is so sweet and also on the hand!! :D


message 44: by May (new)

May Abbey (MayNicoleAbbey) | 76 comments Nicole D. wrote: "I think a lot of romance authors now a days confuse love with lust.Falling into bed ever few pages doesn't equal love.I love the little gestures like everyone esle like putting a hand on the middle..."

Mellisa, You make a great point here. We absorb that which we surround ourselves with be it vocabulary, or social situations, or... other stuff. I've read that our chemical makeup actually alters when we view or read pornographic things. I know that is opening up a whole other bag of worms, but just to reiterate your point.

Nicole, I agree that lust is absolutely portrayed as being love these days. And it IS in everything - suspense, thriller, sci-fi, it is literally EVERYWHERE. I think there is a division being made as is evident in groups like this, self publishing becoming more accepted, and the serge of inspirational literature. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE intensity of feeling, a profound kiss, and having the hero and heroine aware and attracted to each other but when there is no other character development than the physical aspect of their relationship, IT LOSES ITS EFFECT. IMHO. :)


message 45: by May (new)

May Abbey (MayNicoleAbbey) | 76 comments Kathleen wrote: "Very interesting discussion to read through. I've read romance books from sweet, Christian romance to pure erotica romance because I'm a writer and many of my writing friends aren't Christians. I l..."

Kathleen, I really appreciate your view on this. I agree with a lot of what you say. I watched a talked show on relationships years ago. Couples came on and tested how much they knew about each other. Across the board, those that slept with each other and were not married knew LESS. Maybe that is the answer to a lot of the questions brought up here - relationships CHANGE when sex comes into the mix. I don't know about everyone else here, but I'm religious and believe in waiting until marriage to have sex, and in pondering your post, Kathleen, I understand why it is important: not only emotionally, and making a commitment to each other, but so the foundation of the relationship has a better change being built. It is true that sex cannot be the only thing in a relationship, or it will eventually crumble, yet literature often portrays that as the most important thing. It has a place, for sure! Just as you stated, I don't know a girl alive who doesn't want to feel desired. OH! But girls are growing up believing that that need to feel desire will be fullfilled if they let a man ravage them AND IT WONT if it is not in the right time and place (in a marriage).

I found it interesting what you said about your friends who write erotica, but I will hold to what I say. They may be talented and effective writers, I'm sure they are, but I believe they would be even better writers if they left that stuff out. And as mentioned earlier about absorbing that which we surround ourselves with, the truth is that erotica is not life. It is unrealistic. It makes men and women one dimensional sexual creatures who have no conscience when it comes to sexual escapades - animalistic. And I have to believe that when we absorb this kind of literature, our ability to be touched by small and simple acts of kindness and goodness diminishes. I know it is a touchy subject because it is so prevalent these days, but I profoundly believe that lives change for the worse when sex is not treated with the respect and honor it deserves. It becomes something dirty and ugly when it is beautiful in the right setting. It unites couples, creates life, and should be considered sacred, and celebrated in the privacy of a married couples life.


message 46: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 209 comments I am 16 and proud to say I am going to remain pure until marriage, however much it goes against the grain of teenage society these days :)


message 47: by May (new)

May Abbey (MayNicoleAbbey) | 76 comments Soph wrote: "I am 16 and proud to say I am going to remain pure until marriage, however much it goes against the grain of teenage society these days :)"

I never replied to your other comment when you spoke of how you got to where you are in your mindset. But I will reply now. I checked out your blog and thought it was really beautiful and actually left a comment there. I love that you quote Lizzy saying, "I dearly love to laugh".

I really do admire you Soph. You are a jewel and should be treasured and will be treasured as you stick to your guns.

I realize more and more that what defines our character is what we do when we DON'T feel like doing the right thing. Too often as I was growing up, I would think that I was so strong or determined or whatever because I made certain choices. But then I would go around and totally throw away my conviction when I didn't feel like doing it, whether it was exercising, eating right, or kissing, or what have you. Honor, and integrity, and CHARACTER are developed when we do what we know is right, even when we don't want to do it. It is a great lesson that I continue to strive to implement in my own life. You're pretty darn awesome Soph!


message 48: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 209 comments Aww May :') thanks!!
I saw your comment on my blog (and replied ;) ) and I am glad you like it :)

Your compliments mean a lot as sometime my ways do seem so different and I stand out a lot from the 'crowd' and it does make it hard sometimes. I also find it hard to believe I will be rewarded later as so many boys in relationships would be put off by the purity thing! Which is such a shame!
Of course I will always stick to my guns and keep my views, mindset and beliefs even if it seems wrong and is very hard at times, which it is. :)


message 49: by Teryn (new)

Teryn | 84 comments Soph wrote: "Aww May :') thanks!!
I saw your comment on my blog (and replied ;) ) and I am glad you like it :)

Your compliments mean a lot as sometime my ways do seem so different and I stand out a lot from ..."


Hang in there Soph! The guys that are worth it WILL wait, and respect you even more for it. My husband and I always tell each other that that is one of the greatest gifts we gave each other. You are awesome! Always remember that you are worth it.


message 50: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 209 comments Aww thanks! The encouragement is great!! I am glad such happiness in marriage does exist out in the real world :)


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