I am pondering romance formula today kids. You know. The Rules. When you toss the "erotic" into the description, things can get dicey but for most publishers, The Rules Remain the Same:
Alpha or at the very least Gamma Hero. Betas are fine but only for brothers or "besties."
No bitchy, whiny, unlikeable (TSTL) Heroines. Period.
No marital infidelity.
I get it. It's meant to be fantasy. But that whole 'no adultery' thing I think is something that could be breached, should be actually given how real it is.
Are we, hard wired as we are to procreate (i.e. F$#@ like monkeys) REALLY meant to be monogamous? I'm a preacher's kid and as such took the creation myth pretty seriously. If there were such a thing as creating a man out of sand a woman out of his rib and then programming their brains to take one look at each other's nekkid selves and get busy, a lot, how does that square really?
I guess that begs an entire Fox News screaming match on "Darwin vs. God" but that is not my point. You don't have to dig too deeply into zoology/biology to get it that every living creature on our planet is all about survival. Roses grow thorns to keep birds away. Skunks are little stink bombs to keep from getting eaten by wolves. The venus flytrap can eat an insect that might otherwise eat it. And we all live to procreate and make more of ourselves. Why do YOU think having sex feels so damn good?
We are all selfish, and the way we act and interact in our worlds just proves it. A FANTASTIC if a bit depressing piece by my favorite "dude writer" on thefrisky.com puts it perfectly:
"Here’s what is natural: ferocious self-interest. Take, eat, rut. Organize in order to take more, eat more, rut more. This is the base line of all existence. All animals are compelled to survive and, if possible, thrive. In this context, monogamy is unnatural. The more sexual partners a male is exposed to, the better chance that he’ll fulfill the commands of his basic programming. A female also benefits from a variety of potential male suitors. She would get to pick and choose the superior genetic specimen for hot mating. What an unbelievably unsexy verb. “I’m going to mate your brains out.”
So lighten up all ye publishers! We can write stories about infidelity that still end in HEA's sometimes even between the two fornicators themselves. It's called: The Healing Power of Love. Having experienced it first hand, I can assure you it works, at least it did for me.
"If you are an erotic pioneer hungry to explore the undiscovered countries of human sexuality, if you are truly in it to win it, then chances are you should seek out someone who you don’t have to explain yourself to. But if you want a monogamous relationship, you should have one standard. That the person you want to be monogamous with is in silent agreement with you. That they are willing to make an uneasy truce that puts them in a permanently vulnerable position."
My upcoming release: Vegas Miracle, found a home at a publisher willing to take a risk on a story about a relationship that actually grows and becomes better after the infidelity.
Ryan and Grace Sullivan have all the outward indications of a happy life: money, success, an undeniable physical attraction that quickly evolved from whirlwind relationship to marriage. But lately, Ryan's become moody and distant. As their relationship starts to crumble, Ryan discovers something about himself he can't admit just as Grace realizes the young man she encounters at an invitation only party, Henri Christophe, a celebrity chef with the most successful restaurant in Las Vegas, is her husband's lover. But Henri holds a secret himself. He wants to be more to both of them.
Trying to make their unconventional arrangement work, Ryan's deep-seated fear of relationship failure continues to thwart everyone's happiness. When he finally walks away instead of confronting the emotional connection the trio share, he returns to find their lives flipped inside out. A sought after hotel and resort consultant, Ryan has yet to meet a problem he couldn't solve. But when it comes to his own heart, Ryan may be too late.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Microbrewery owner, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three teenagers, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great middle west, in a Major College Town. Years of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as an ex-pat trailing spouse plus making her way in a world of men (i.e. the beer industry) has prepped her for life as erotic romance author. When she isn't sweating beer inventory, sales figures or promotional efforts for her latest publication, doing pounds of laundry for her sweaty athletic children, watching La Liga on the Fox Soccer Channel, or trying to figure out what to order in for dinner, she can be found walking her standard poodles or doing Bikram Yoga. Liz loves her Foo Fighters Pandora station, and watching reruns of Deadwood, when there isn't any decent European football on the telly. If you want a beer education follow her: www.a2beerwench.com. For writing related stuff, including her backlist, go to: www.brewingpassion.com.