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Monday, March 14, 2011


Defining Romance....

Now here’s a topic that will certainly get you a wide array of answers, and the remarkable thing is – every one of them will be “correct” to the view that expresses it. We all see romantic in a different way, and what is highly romantic for one person is a total turn off for someone else. Erotica is for many an expression of romantic thought, for others it’s a variation on pornography.

What defines the word/concept that is romance? I have my view, and I’ve stated it often. What is your definition? What is romantic in your mind? Is it the explicit sexuality of erotica? Or the gentle awakening of sweet love and passion? I think we all carry the two aspects within us, and depending on what situation we’re in, one is always more appropriate than the other would be.

In romantic fiction, the barriers have long ago been crossed and forgotten. We’re in an anything goes sort of atmosphere, and in truth if you look at the vast array of publishers who are now publishing the minted genre “erotic romance” you can see the diversity of definition. I don’t think a lot of what is being labeled in that genre is either erotic or romantic, but that’s my personal mindset and I accept it as such.

I grew up reading Harlequin’s Presents imprint – in fact my first “grown-up” book purchased was a title from the relatively new imprint called “Moon Witch” by Anne Mather. It made me a lifelong fan of her work. I still remember the 34 year old hero, and it’s been a few years! The line has changed with the times and it’s still their most popular imprint. A few years after I discovered these books, I began buying the racier ones, and they were fabulous, too. (And, yes, I remember my first title in that line, too!) I always come back home to Presents, because for me, the type of stories are the definitive romance stories. Larger than life heroes, the Alpha-male as they’ve since labeled him, exotic settings – in my case, I can’t get enough stories set in Italy, with Italian heroes, my own real-life romantic hero is a handsome Italian – and scorching, tension laden awakening to burning and enduring passion. For me, that’s romance!

So, what are your favourites and what is it that sets them apart in your mind as the definition of romance? Do you prefer detailed sexuality, or the sensual middle-ground, or even behind closed doors love scenes? I’m curious, and would like your thoughts?

Viva la dolce vita!
Ciao for now…

Canadian born and bred, and a lifelong dreamer, I began writing at an early age and can’t recall a time when I wasn’t creating in some artistic form. My life has had several on-going love affairs that shape much of what I write, the American West, Victorian England, cowboys, a passion for pirates, Greek Gods, and Ancient Egypt. The other endless love affair in my life is Italia and all its magic, beauty, and dazzling culture. That passion spills into all aspects of my life. I am currently signed with ten publishers, and am delighted to now count Ellora’s Cave among them. My first book with them will be arriving soon. There are many new titles in a wide array of genres currently being worked on, so lots to come! I hope you’ll all find something you like in the old and new titles. Thanks.



Penny said...

My idea of romance are the little things, a phone call because he misses my voice, a text with a simple "I love you". Cards that are thoughtfully purchased, an offer to do the dishes.
Over the top hearts and flowers don't cut it, the small everyday gestures, do!

Lisa J said...

Romance is an intensely personal thing - if a gesture is done with thought for the person recieving it, rather than any personal gain, then it's romantic in my view. Whether it is something as simple as having a bath run for you after a long hard day at work, or simply bringing you a snack cos you've been working so hard, you missed lunch.
I guess it's the thoughtful things, done for YOUR comfort, rather than theirs that really count.

Lisa J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa J said...

Hopefully, my bad spelling isn't a barrier to romance....

LJ x

James L. Hatch said...

As I've grown older, I think my view of "romantic" has softened. I like a glass of wine at sunset, and that's the mood I try to set with mature heroes. On the other hand, my alter-ego (you know who she is) can be pretty obnoxious and open to anything. BTW, you write beautifully. I've noticed that in your blogs before. It is really impressive.

Michael said...

Romance means something different to everyone. To me it means enjoying the person you are with, having a sensual and sexual connection.

Great post Denyse. Continued success!

S.Lira aka Rawiya/Michael M

kim said...

The only romance I know about is what I read in books. I dont think my husband knows what romance is..Love this blog :)