With my exclusive pre-release copies of my novel now being passed around, many people not necessarily familiar with the romance genre are asking me, “is it sassy?” I’ve then gone on to explain the different levels of spice you might find in romance.
Whilst there are many definitions of what constitutes romance sub-genres and heat levels, (on which there is a plethora of blogs already written and available on the internet), for my readers, here’s a brief explanation so it’s clear where my books fit in.
“Ouch – don’t burn your fingers!”
If you’re looking for explicit page melting romps where the story line is either less or as equally important to the novel as the physical intimacy scenes, you should be looking for erotica. The intimacy scenes make up a large percentage of the content and often take precedence over character and plot development. Definitely intended for an adult only audience and often not regarded as “romance”.
“Feeling hot hot hot”
Erotic romance is a step down from erotica and the development of the characters and story line is important. The plot may fall apart though without the intimacy scenes, which are detailed and very frequent, but ultimately a key part of the novel.
Novels where the love story is the focus and the intimacy between the characters is explored because their interaction is key to the plot are called spicy romance. My novels fall into this category. Scenes of intimacy are exciting but kept to a level which does not distract from the story and only added if they contribute to a reader’s understanding of the characters.
“I’ve got this loving feeling”
Flirty romance includes the physical chemistry between characters, but keeps intimacy scenes to a minimum. Explicit details are not explored and this is often popular and more appropriate for YA readers.
“Sitting on the dock of the bay”
Clean romance, although the story lines may be evoking and passionate, you will not read about the details as intimacy scenes are not included. As one blogger wrote “it ends at the bedroom door.” Christian novels will be in this segment.