While the trope of friends to lovers has been around since the beginning of the romance genre, recently I have been seeing it more and more in the erotica genre. In fact, in the past few months’ digital publisher Ellora’s Cave has released several novellas that feature friendships between the heroes and heroines that span decades. However, some authors are more successful than others when it comes to evolving a couple’s relationship from platonic caring to red-hot sexiness. Which of the "friends to lovers" tales works best? Check out my critiques of three recently release erotic novellas below.
Fan-favorite paranormal erotica author (and the winner of RT's 2010 Career Achievement Award for erotica) Kate Douglas shares some inside information about her wolves and other "sexy beasts" with RT's Elissa. Find out how the Wolf Tales series grew because readers loved it so much, the many different ways the author thinks about romantic love and how she incorporates this into her writing. Plus, Douglas shares why she loves pushing the limits in erotica and discusses how far the genre has come since her career's beginning.
Delilah Marvelle's steamy historical romances are always fan favorites, and between books the author keeps the historical romance love going at her terrific blog A Bit O'Muslin. We love to read Delilah's in-depth posts about the history of sex and society's fascination with it. So when we were putting together the "Sex Throughout History" workshop for the upcoming RT Booklovers Convention, we knew that Deliliah was the perfect fit to run the panel. For those looking for a taste of what will be covered during the talk, we asked the author to tell us ten totally true (and totally shocking) moments in the history of sex. Here's what she said ...
Here are ten things you may not know about sex history:
1) The oldest model of the male anatomy used for the purpose of “satisfaction” is 28,000 years old.
2) Egyptians wore condoms. They were very unattractive, made out of linen and tied around the waist like a belt.
It’s that time of year again, when you’ve got to make a list and check it twice to figure out what you’re going to get your loved ones. But don’t worry, we’re here to help with suggestions for each type of person on your list. Today we bring you our top suggestions of what to get for the hard to gift-to erotica reader …
If your loved one already has an e-reader, we suggest that this year you fill their digital device with spicy tales. This year we love the Harlequin Spice Briefs Bundles offered in a variety of fun fantasies: there's everything from sex at work, to exotic encounters and the popular Mistress Diaries series. These steamy collections will warm up any winter holiday. And if you can't choose, an Ellora’s Cave gift card, new for the holiday season, is sure to delight! (If gift cards seem too impersonal, we suggest something from the popular online publisher's store. A few of the Ellora's Cave items topping our wish list are a 2012 calendar featuring the sexy Ellora's Cavemen, one of their Bad Girls of Romance t-shirts and a deck of naughty playing cards from their wide assortment here.)
But if your special someone still prefers print to electronic reads, why not keep it old school this season? Consider gifting this collection of classic erotic poems or go back to the beginnings of erotic writing with the books that started it all, the Kama Sutra.
After the preliminary rounds one, two and three, ten stories have been judged as the best works in the erotica anthology Agony/Ecstasy edited by Jane Litte of Dear Author. Each unique story has a different focus and setting, but they all have in common the exploration of using pain in order to find pleasure. But there can only be one winner of JDAEEOA (aka "Judging Dear Author's Edited Erotica of Awesomeness"), and that winner is … Jean Johnson's “The Sybil”!
Best known for her smoking hot fantasy romance novels, Jean Johnson has been an RT reader favorite for years. (She has also picked up two RT Reviewers' Choice Award nominations for her Sons of Destiny series.) Johnson’s story “The Sybil” stands out from the other 20 tales in Agony/Ecstasy because of the deep relationship the author crafts between her two main characters.
In Part 1 and Part 2 of the preliminary rounds of JDAEEOA (that is "Judging Dear Author's Edited Erotica of Awesomeness"), I picked the best stories from Agony/Ecstasy new erotica anthology edited by Dear Author's Jane Litte. Today I finish up the prelims by choosing three favorites from the collection's remaining seven tales.
Bracket #8 - Body Modification
Yesterday, I looked at six short stories from Agony/Ecstasy new erotica anthology edited by Dear Author's Jane Litte. And just as Dear Author and Smart Bitch Sarah judge the year's romance novels in their annual DABWAHA tournament, I am pitting the short stories from Agony/Ecstasy against each other to find the very best one. With the Part One of the preliminary round of JDAEEOA (that is “Judging Dear Author’s Edited Erotica Of Awesomeness”) yesterday, today I am on to Part Two seeing which tale will come out on top when eight more stories face off.
Bracket #4 - Kidnapped
Every year Jane from Dear Author and Smart Bitch Sarah host the annual romance tournament DABWAHA (for those not in the know, that stands for “Dear Author Bitchery Writing Award for Hellagood Authors”). The tourney has several different brackets that include 64 of the year’s best books. Blog readers vote for their favorites until a winner is chosen.
I am an avid follower of DABWAHA and love the idea of pitting story against story to see which one comes out on top. So when I heard that Dear Author, aka Jane Litte, edited an erotica anthology, I thought why not use her system to rank the collection. The anthology is titled Agony/Ecstasy and split into two sections - you guessed it Agony and Ecstasy. (And as a special treat, the book's cover is double sided to represent both types of stories - you can check out the cover art below.) All twenty-one short stories included in the collection investigate the line between pleasure and pain. This means bondage, spanking, domination and all sorts of other bed sports in every setting imaginable.
In my very own JDAEEOA (that is “Judging Dear Author’s Edited Erotica Of Awesomeness”), I will whittle the twenty-one short stories down to my top ten picks and from there choose the best five and finally the winning story. Let’s get started!
I have lots of author friends and I know how much time goes into crafting a story. It takes effort to get to know a hero and heroine. It is difficult choosing the right descriptors for the setting and plotting the story.
So it is always hard to give a one star review.
Unfortunately, I have to report that “Saved From a Killer” by Miranda Stowe has just received a one. A romantic suspense erotica, the story picks up as Jenna Daggert is found by Deputy Joseph Morgan. Captured weeks earlier, Jenna has endured abuse at the hands of the Miners Bend Woman Snatcher but because of drugs, she barely remembers her experiences. However, the cuts and bruises on her body tell the story of her trauma.
Just a day after being released from the hospital, Jenna decides it is time to speed up her recovery, so she wants to experiment, sexually, with the man who saved her. Joseph makes her feel safe and she hopes that being intimate with him can help her heal.
Erotic romance author Alisha Rai takes on one of mythology's worst (or is it best?) bad boys with her latest project. Discover what drew the author to the ultimate bad boy — Hades — and the five ways she re-imagined him for "Hot as Hades".
I love a good Bad Boy.
That fascination is probably why, when I visited the British Museum last year, I kept circling back to a sculpture depicting the Greek God of the Underworld, Hades, stealing his bride Persephone away to his dark abode. In a pantheon of philandering deities, I suppose the committed couple also appealed to my romantic side.
Sadly, I could never write their story. Hades was just too bad of a Bad Boy. Irredeemable. I mean, just look at the way he allegedly handled courting Persephone.
Oh, that word. Allegedly.
Right then, I mentally cleared my schedule and said goodbye to any prospect of keeping my kitchen clean for the indefinite future. Because maybe—and yes, I pray if I ever have a teenage girl, she never says these words about a boy—maybe Hades was just plain misunderstood.