Sex, that is.
Can there ever be too much sex in a romance novel? I've been asking myself this question all week as I work on a hot little scene that pretty much came out of nowhere (Yay for us pantsers!). Now, I'm not talking about an erotic romance novel here. Yes, there's tons of sex in those, and rightly so. I'm talking just your everyday romance book -- a sensual romance, if you will. At what point does the book cross the line and fall over into the erotic category? Is it language? Is it what they do? Well, I'll let you in on what I learned:
According to a couple different agents that I met and talked to (and it's funny how they both had the same, exact answer), to be considered an erotic romance, your novel has to have "extras". Extra people, extra props, extra, um, activities, etc. Language (yes, those words) was not a factor, really. Without all those "extras", what you really have is a sensual romance. Interesting, huh? And it's a concept I really like. As an author, I can teeter on that line of being either sensual or erotic. I've written both, and as a matter of fact, one of my current WIP's (works in progress) is very definitely erotic romance and the other is more on the sensual side. So, I'm getting the best of both worlds!
What about you? As a reader, which do you prefer? Do you like those "extras"? Do they have to be there for you? Or will a hot and steamy sensual romance do the trick? If you're an author, which way do you prefer to write? Can't wait to hear your thoughts!