You know what makes a good romance for me? Pain, and lots of it.
I’m all about the Power of Love bringing people to their knees. When it hurts so good? I AM A HAPPY CAMPER.
Okay, I think that was enough clichés to last a lifetime.
But I’m mostly serious.
I’m not so much a fan of literal pain, although Laura Kinsale’s Shadowheart rocked my socks off.
“Tell me what you wish.” he murmured.
A deep thrill of excitement sank down through her. “You know what I wish. Do you know it?” It was half a question, half a cry.
His lips parted. She saw his chest rise and fall. “Tell me.”
“To give you hurt again!” she exclaimed, with a tinge of panic. “God save me.”
He made a sound like a muted growl. “Hurt me, then.”
She was panting. She turned away, in recoil from her own self. “Nay,” she breathed.
“I want it,” he whispered. “I have lived in dream of it for days.”
“Allegretto,” she said, closing her eyes.
The water swirled as he moved. “It is so sweet to hear you say my name.”
Oh, sex scenes. I love them. LOVE them. I’ve always been surprised when I read about people skipping them because the hell? Bring it ON. Bring on the licking and the nipping and the laving and the sucking and the …well, the fucking.
That’s what it’s all been leading up to, right?
Lately though, I feel like I’ve been reading the same scene over and over again. It’s like all of the heroes and heroines in Romancelandia are following the same script.
Her: HOLY CRAP will it fit?
Him: You’re so tight.
Her: You’re so big!!
Him: You’re so wet.
Him: Please what?
Him: Please what?
Her: *eyes narrowed* Please.
Him: *hammers into her* Come for me.
Her: *immediate orgasm*
Lately I’ve been reading Kristan Higgins’ entire backlist, and have been THOROUGHLY enjoying them. This is kind of crazy because there are zero sex scenes in her books. ZERO. Zilch. At first I couldn’t wrap my head around the whole “She took him by the hand and led him to the bedroom. The next morning…”
Me: “Wait a second. Hol’ up. Don’t leave me hanging like this!”
But they’re extremely satisfying. I like not knowing what the hero’s penis looks like or if the heroine has been doing her kegels like a good girl. I like seeing the two leads actually, ya know, get to know each other and witness the first falling in love moments. The heroes aren’t constantly strutting around like roosters and the women are actually nice people who I’d possibly like to hang out with! And there’s a good amount of WE CAN’T BE TOGETHER WAAAAAH pain too – *fist pump*. But what’s even more awesome is that the heroine is resolved to make a go at it alone in the end WITHOUT THE HERO IF NECESSARY.
Now that’s love.
P.S. I still love sex scenes.