Saturday, May 23, 2015

Are Romance Novels a Thing of the Past?

Welcome back to another episode of the ROUND ROBIN BLOG!! 
This month's blog post is based on the topic:
What changes have you seen in romance novels in the past decade? Is there a change in romance novel direction? Is there still a market for non-explicit sex stories?

Even though I don't write romance novels, I do incorporate non-explicit romance in my mystery novels. Why non-explicit for me? My mom and my grandma read them! Seriously, I write to please a portion of my audience. That and I just don't enjoy writing explicit scenes...unless they are very well written.

Cover your eyes if you loved 50 Shades, but I couldn't get past the first paragraph of Chapter One because of the writing. I'm not that much of a masochist. I want to read books I can relax and lose myself in.

Don't get me wrong, I've read both romances and mysteries with sex scenes (explicit and non). If the book is well written, a surge of heat through the body is welcome. I do know a lot of people who write erotica, which have explicit scenes on nearly every page. Many people read for the sexual content, an escape from a boring job, boring life, etc. Many people find it a turn off that things that "should be private" are laid out bare (sorry, bad pun) for the world to read.

I think there will always be a market for both explicit romances and non-explicit. There will always be the variety of people to accommodate both, just as there will always be readers of every genre out there. Different genres go through surges of readers and may fall off in popularity for a while, but there will always be another surge. For those of us who prefer our romance with less spice, rest assured, our favorite types of stories will always be there!

Feel free to hop over to Rachel Kosinski's blog and see what she thinks about today's topic!! While you're at it, stop by and meet all of our great writers!

Love ya, 

Beverley Bateman
Fiona McGier
Connie Vines
Skye Taylor
Margaret Fieland
Helena Fairfax
Anne Stenhouse
Marci Baun
Diane Bator
Rachael Kosinski
Rhobin Courtright


  1. You're right. Regency romances were huge in the 80s but fell out of favor until the new round included explicit sex and more aggressive rule-breaking heroines. Everything old becomes new again at some point in the future. Great post Diane.

  2. I don't mind explicit sections, but when they start to repeat and each sessions is several pages long, I start skimming. I know their sex is amazing. One scene to establish that is enough for me, really. I don't need 20 more scenes of the same thing. I'd rather see the characters solve their issues.

    But maybe that's just me.

    I enjoyed your post.


    1. I totally agree, Marci. I don't mind the odd bit of heat, but when it's on every single page, I lose interest. Thanks!

  3. I enjoyed your post. I chuckled over why you don't write sex scenes. A sex scene that is well-written and adds to the story is fine, but sex for sex sake doesn't interest me.

  4. I'm glad to find someone else who couldn't force themselves to read 50 shades. And I think it's a sad commentary when it can be even called a romance. Even those who liked the book admit that Christian is a narcissist and narcissists don't love anyone but themselves, nor do they change. So, how can that be a romance. As for explicit sex, if the plot calls for it, yes, if tastefully done, but the emotions and the character growth and the sexual tension are what keeps the reader riveted to the book and coming back for more.

    1. I agree! Great characters and story are what get and keep my attention.

  5. Hi Diane, thank you - good points. I sometimes seek out the romance in a mystery and the mystery in a romance. Way the brain works, I suppose. Anne Stenhouse

  6. Diane--I know the feeling of having family read your books! I even get a little nervous if my characters speak inappropriately or swear, and that's just using "damn" or suggestive language. :P I enjoyed your post; romance does cover a lot of bases so there's a little something out there for everyone.

  7. I wish my mom was still around to read my books. She'd have really enjoyed the sex scenes, since the books she loved to read never had enough, according to her and her sisters. One of my sons, and my daughter, along with my husband, have read many of my books. That son gives me helpful tips when I'm stuck, or encouragement because he likes my "style".

    My daughter read all of the FSOG books and says she skimmed the frequent sex scenes because they got boring. She likes that I don't make it the major focus of my books...just one part of how the heroine/hero fall in love.

    I feel no need to read the infamous trilogy because I've read some excerpts and quite frankly, as an English teacher, I don't think I'd be able to read that level of grammatical errors and boring, repetitious verbiage. The author doesn't need my money, and I'd hate to ruin a library book by drop-kicking it across the room. Besides, I've read some very well-crafted erotica, and some BDSM books that helped me to understand "the lifestyle", even if I don't want to participate. I prefer well-written, even if written by unknowns, to famous yet poorly-crafted.

    1. I love that your kids help you out, Fiona. I have a son who does the same for me!


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