Spicy or Sweet? Why both are beautiful…

girl peppersI love romance.  Period.  Sure I have a preference for vampires over Wall Street tycoons and werewolves over playboys, but I never met a romance I didn’t like regardless of author, genre or level of heat.  Whether you prefer to close the bedroom door or prop it wide and position a chair, whether you prefer holding hands or holding…other things;>, a good romance is a good romance. Period.  But, just suppose there was an author, genre or heat level I didn’t like.  I’ve never been one to want to take away what someone else enjoyed just because I didn’t care for it.  Not once have I ever complained that my local movie theater  sells Jujubes even though it’s a candy I don’t like.  If my neighbor wants to binge on it, why should I care?(Though I might say a little prayer for their poor molars!)

Romance is an escape, a celebration, a liberation and an addiction.  Some readers escape to moonlit strolls.  Some readers escape tochocolate tummy moonlit sheets.  Some celebrate one man and one woman finding HEA.  Some celebrate finding love.  Some are liberated by a chaste kiss.  Some are liberated by much, much more!  But most of us, whether we prefer spicy or sweet, are addicted to romance because, in whatever form it takes, it is a rich and wonderful experience for us, to write and to read.  Romance is beautiful to me in all its variations.chocolate peppers

So, do you prefer sweet or spicy?  Bedroom door open or closed?  Graphic or glossed over?  Who is the best spicy author you’ve ever read?  Who is the best sweet?  And, above all, how the heck do you get that Jujube candy out of your teeth????

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17 Responses to “Spicy or Sweet? Why both are beautiful…”
  1. Suzanne Rock says:

    LOL, Barbara. Great post!!! Love the pics. To answer your weustions…

    For me, it’s all about the romantic/sexual tension. If that’s high, then I’m hooked. Spicy, sweet, doesn’t matter. I think some books on the erotic side don’t do it for me because they sacrifice the romance for the sexual journey. Some sweet romances don’t measure up because the tension is lost while the characters focus on other things in the story and are rarely together. If the tension is high between the couple throughout the story, the author will hook me ’til the end.

    Best spicy author…hmmm…that’s hard. Charlotte Featherstone writes some great erotic historicals…and Megan Hart…Lauren Dane…Anya Bast…Shiloh Walker…but I guess I’ll have to go with Lora Leigh. Her breeds series is beyond fantasic.

    As far as sweet author’s go…it depends on how you define sweet. None of the books I read are really “sweet,” LOL. If by sweet you mean non-erotic, then I highly recommend Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter Series, Angela Knight’s Mageverse Series (okay, I might be stradling the erotic line with that one), Christine Feehan’s Dark Series…there are just too many good books to write down here! LOL.

    And I have no idea how to get Jujube out of my teeth. Like you, I don’t particularly care for them. 😉

  2. More coffee for Suzanne! lol You hit it on the head when you pegged the quality of tension as being important. It is for me too. Surprisingly, I like sweet Regencies. Actual Regencies not just Regency set historicals. I think they manage to capture the sexual tension without being explicit. Karen Harbaugh wrote a hand-holding scene once that blew my mind. Amazing!!

  3. Dawn McClure says:

    I’ve heard from so many readers/writers/industry professionals that hot is very ‘in’ right now. Erotic romance is doing very well. I tend to like fast-paced, witty romances with little to no sex. I honestly think this is because I began reading romance when I was 12, and I was too shy to read the sex scenes. lol I skipped them entirely, and I still do. I guess it’s turned into habit.

    Barbara – if you like Regencies, read Kresley Cole’s Regency series. The last one is called If You Deceive…I LOVED it. I would say it’s sweet/hot. And the interaction between the main characters is to die for.

  4. Susan Falk says:

    I like them both, depends on my mood I guess. Erotic romance isn’t something I pick up randomly, I have to be in the mood for it, but everything else I just go by what sounds good for the now.

    I read for the HEA, how they get there doesn’t matter to me in general. For me, over the spicy or sweet, are the characters. I have to like them. Monkey sex, no sex, or missionary sex – none of that really matters if I’m not feeling the characters.

  5. Thanks for the book recommendation, Dawn. I’ll check her out. I’m kind of like Susan I guess. I’ll follow characters I care about *anywhere* including into the bedroom;>

    I write stories with a lot of sexual tension. One of the reasons I decided to go for it and do an all out erotic romance was because my editors kept pointing out the ST as a strength in my writing. CAPTURED is scorching. Definitely the hottest thing I’ve ever written. It has graphic language and graphic situations, but I also think I kept true to the heart, the romance and the characters. There’s a real story in CAPTURED and it’s one that’s only enhanced by the sexual intensity. (I hope!!)

  6. Cathy M says:

    Saw your note over at the Samhain Cafe and wanted to say hi. For me, the spicier the better. Give me a great story, some risque humor, off the charts sexual chemistry and some wildly erotic lovemaking and I am a happy camper. Your story, Hunger, sounds like a perfect example. Haven’t read it yet, but the excerpt has me hooked.

  7. Chris J. says:

    🙂 Fun post and oooo all the possibilities! Thank you for letting the Cafe know about this blog Barbara! 🙂
    As to the candy…you can’t I don’t think, sometimes it is still there the next day no matter how hard you brush! lol
    I love romance, all kinds though paranormal is my fave.
    As to smoking/hottest it is between Lora Leigh and LK Hamilton.
    As to sweetest it is Diedre Knight and Julia Templeton.
    As to the funniest it is Toni Causey and Janet Evanovich.
    As to just an over all always great romance it is Sherilyn Kenyon, Jeanie Frost , Michele Bardsley and Charlaine Harris.
    As to the Hotties anyone would love to find living among us, that would be JR Ward.
    The only erotic romance I don’t care for is when the woman is and even if she is a submissive…is when they are degraded, abused and mistreated. I can not read the Anne Rice series about Sleeping Beauty for this reason but one of my best friends loves that series. We all are different and like different things. Awesome that we have some many talented authors!
    Have a Great Day!

  8. Both, definitely 🙂

  9. Great post, Barb. i escape to believe in romance!! i want to believe in an HEA. So I don’t like just Sweet, because it ignores the basic concept of getting married! Most people get married to make the sex legal–and to procreate and give the children a family name that society demands.
    . I hate to be crass but it’s reality IMO.

    No matter how spiritually attracted to someone, we are immediately drawn to their physical attributes. Maybe we are unconsciously looking at their reproductive qualities (evolution). So I love the spicy. But I prefer it couched in less graphic terms. Because the true en of a physical consummation of love if not just the physical satisfaction but the spiritual and emotional.

    Julie

  10. Oh yeah, and I was also going to say that “Just Sweet” IMO ignores the basics of what brings couples together, but too spicy ignores the emotional and fulfillment of sex.
    Julie

  11. BTW, saw you were blogging on the samhain loop so came on over.
    Julie

  12. Thanks to everyone who came by today to share in our spicy/sweet discussion;>

    Like many of you, I like a little bit of both. As the release of my first erotic romance approaches, I’m glad to know that there’s an audience for the hot. But as an author who always focuses on heart, emotion and characters, I’m glad readers crave those things as well!

    Chris J. I owe you a little treat:) Can you send me your e-mail addy so I can send you a copy of HUNGER?

  13. Sherry says:

    I saw your post on the Samhain Cafe. I love my romances spicy and hot. Every so often I’m in the mood for sweet but I have to say most of my buys lately have the scorching factor. The hotter the better! 🙂

  14. elove says:

    I love anything, and I’ve even increased my poor heart rate considerably with a few erotics. I’m lovin’ these, too, but I’m still getting used to the frank language. Every time I read ‘c#@k”, I hear a rooster crow in my head! And funnily enough, sometimes I hear miaowing…
    LOL! E x

  15. Nicole says:

    Hi Barbara!
    Sorry, a day late.. 🙂 That’s me.
    But I put my little two cents in and say that I don’t mind either way. Both are wonderful in their own ways and it depends on the rest of the story that is built around it. If the story calls for the spice or the sweet, then the flavor of the love scenes work with it.
    For me personally, I first start out sweet when writing my love scenes down. Mostly just getting the basics of the scene worked out. 🙂 Afterwards, if the story and the line I’m aiming for calls for stronger, then I’ll go back and draw and whip in the spice into the scene and turn the flames up under my lovers.
    Ahhh… amore. It’s so wonderful to have the ability to switch back and forth.

  16. Hi Nikki, I’m so glad you came by. For me, intense sexual tension comes naturally. Seems as if I always throw characters together who are instantly charged around each other. I also go more graphic in revision based on the pub. E, I’m laughing at your comment. There are lots of roosters and kitties in Captured so watch out! I tend to be a little more comfortable with softer language as a whole, but for Loose Id I broke western. LOL

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