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Tina Donahue discusses Sex and the Erotic Romance

Sex and the Erotic Romance

Readers who are unfamiliar with erotic romance mistakenly believe that the most important element of the story is the physical encounters between the characters. While no erotic author or reader will deny that there are few things as gratifying or pulse pounding as a great sex scene, it’s the journey to that point that makes all the difference in the ultimate impact.

To explain what I mean, recently there was a Calvin Kline Jeans ad where a young woman (nude to the waist) is on a couch kissing one bare-chested young hunk, while another embraces her, and a third lays on the floor asleep as if he’s already had his fun. Titillating? Sure. Shocking? Maybe to some. Gratifying. Hmmm, not so sure.

There’s another ad (can’t recall the advertiser, but I believe it was for life insurance), where a muscular young guy – also bare-chested – is holding an infant in one hand. The baby is curled up and sleeping blissfully while this oh-so-virile guy looks down in wonder. The contrast of the baby to the fully grown man brings a smile because you just know that guy will protect the infant with his life. He’ll do anything for the child. And you know what – that makes him sexy as hell. . .far more so than the good-looking dudes in the CK ad.

And that’s why books with lush sensuality, physical and emotional, are called erotic romance. It’s about the soul-deep connection between two people that precedes the physical gymnastics. It’s the look in the hero’s eyes when he first sees the heroine. How his heart beats wildly. How the world seems to shift for a moment, a warning that his life is about to change and in the best way possible. That’s sexual tension and it’s what brings the most satisfaction when the characters finally do make it to the bedroom.

In my latest novel, Adored, I wanted readers to feel the pull between my characters Danni and Adam, to know the torment of their being apart, and to root for their eventual connection (or reconnection). Here’s the blurb of the story and an excerpt to illustrate what I mean:

Adored – A shameless fantasy come true… When tall, dark and delicious Adam Farrell crosses Danni’s radar at a trade show in Vegas, it’s not lust at first sight. He’s been the star of her wicked fantasies for a while, pleasuring her in acts of domination and submission that leave her breathless. Aching for his masterful touch, believing she’ll never have it, Danni indulges in a public sex act Adam alone witnesses. What follows is a night of wild and unrestrained passion in his powerful arms. It’s only the beginning. An undisclosed business deal has turned Adam from competitor to Danni’s new boss. His hunger for her is absolute and he’ll make her fantasies seem tame as he takes her in ways she never imagined – whenever he wants, wherever he desires. Seduced by Adam’s plan to mix exquisite control with adoration, Danni’s swept into a sensual adventure she can’t resist. Until corporate politics intrude and she learns what Adam’s been hiding to protect her. . .a secret he’s long feared will tear them apart.


Planting his hands on either side of the sink, Adam’s shoulders bunched. He was so hard his teeth hurt, and Danni wasn’t going to be giving him any relief. Damn. How different he’d expected this morning to be. For days, his mind imagined his and Danni’s legs touching beneath the conference table while Roger droned on about the business. He pictured her naked toes sliding up his calf. They’d reach for a pen or printout at the same moment, their fingertips meeting, lingering. Each time she looked at him, her expression would say he owned her. After the meeting, she’d follow him down the hall, obedient to his will. They’d slip into one of the empty offices and he’d bury himself in her snug warmth, making good on his promise to have her where he wanted, when he wanted.

Yeah right. Adam’s head fell forward. He inhaled deeply, trying to relax. Didn’t work. He ran the company’s outlays in his mind. Minutes later, his temples ached from all the figures, but the mental exertion did deflate his cock. Now, if he could just keep it down and find a quick solution to this mess. Cursing Roger and himself, he opened the door and flinched.

Danni’s pale brows lifted slightly. “Hi.”

A moment passed while his heart slowed enough for him to speak. “Hi.” He swallowed and kept his voice down. “This is the men’s room.”

“We need to talk.”

The muscles in Adam’s chest tensed, making it difficult to breathe. Of all the things he wanted to do with her, talking wasn’t on the list. “All right.”

Her composure wavered, as if she’d expected him to stall or refuse. “Not here.” She snuck a look to the left, women’s voices coming from the end of the hall. “Don’t worry, Adam,” she said loudly for the others’ benefit, “I have that data. Come with me, and I’ll show you where it’s stored.”

Reluctantly, he followed her down the hall toward the empty offices on the south side of the building. With each step, her fragrance wafted toward him, driving him wild. The ends of her ashy-blonde hair glided across her shoulders, reminding him of how it fanned over his thighs as she’d sucked his balls in Vegas. Her ass bounced within the confines of her trousers. He looked for the faint line of her panties or thong, until she slowed and went into a corner office.

The moment he was inside, she closed the door and leaned against it, facing him.

Color darkened her cheeks. Her eyes shimmered. Tension filled the air. Never had Adam wanted a woman more, though he didn’t dare make a move.

She regarded him for a long, agonizing moment, as if challenging him to confess.

When he said nothing, she frowned. “Did you know about the acquisition when we were in Vegas?”

His belly twisted at the righteous anger in her voice. “I knew the plans. I wasn’t certain they’d go through.”

“And that’s why you didn’t tell me?”

He stepped closer. She stiffened. He stopped. “I didn’t want the acquisition to color your responses.”

Her brows lifted. “You mean you thought I might pretend I was having a good time after I spilled my guts to you about my fantasies and lousy boyfriends and…” The rest of her words trailed off in a mortified moan.

He struggled for the right thing to say. Shit, he hated to see her like this and all because of what he’d done. “What I meant is…would you have allowed me to touch you if you’d known?”

She turned her face away. Her words came out on a sigh. “I don’t know. Maybe.”

“Because you genuinely wanted me or because I was going to be your new boss?”

Her head jerked to him. She pushed away from the door and approached so quickly, he instinctively stepped back. “You mean would I have slept with you because I wanted to get in good with the boss?”

“No. Would you have thought you had to?”

“No. Now if you’d been Roger? Yeah. He strikes me as a real prick. But I slept with you because I thought you were a nice guy and I genuinely liked and wanted you.”

His cheeks stung at her use of the past tense.

The conflict in the above scene builds and builds until the inevitable happens. And when it does? Magic. And that’s what makes erotic romance sexy.

To purchase Adored, click here.

***Leave a comment or a question to Tina for a chance to win a paperback copy of  her previous Kensington title, Close To Perfect!


39 Responses

  1. Thanks for having me today, Lilly – and thanks for the wonderful review!

  2. Hi Tina,
    Nice excerpt! Good luck with sales, I know it’s on my TBB list.

  3. How right you are about the anticipation in erotic novels. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of your novel.

  4. Love the excerpt Tina and the post!

  5. Tina, you are so right on! To me, if I don’t feel the connection between the h/h, the sex scene isn’t going to make feel that conncetion no matter how well written it is. It’s the relationship between the h/h that makes me love the book.

  6. Hi 🙂
    Thank you for the excellent post. You explained the eroticism perfectly and I enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for sending out the email letting me know you were here. ADORED sounds like a great read and it’s my ToBeRead list.
    Happy Holidays,

  7. I loved the interview! You hit the nail on the head. That is exactly it! The characters have to have that tension and the desire for each other. If they don’t, you have nothing!

  8. […] Cave author Tina Donahue is on I Do Not Want to Wait, I Want The Book Now, talking about her latest erotic contemporary romance, Adored.  Come and chat with her and be in […]

  9. I love the cover to Close to Perfect. Not so much on Adored. 😦

  10. Great excerpt on Adored! Makes me want to read more. And I agree with your take on erotic romance. All those descriptions build the images in my mind and just make the story so sensual.

  11. Thanks for visiting today and for your comments, Connie Jessica, and Tamsyn!

  12. Enjoyed reading the comments. I learned a new way to look at erotic writing. Thanks a lot for sharing. t The book sounds really good

  13. What a great scene, Tina. You gave us a peek at the characters, some sexual tension and a pivotal moment in the plot. All which makes me want to read this story. Congrats on your new release, it definitely has me hooked.

  14. Tina neat post…loved the contrast you showed with the advertisements. I hate when people want to badmouth romance but ecspecially erotic romance. It’s just a different genre and so much more if you actually read it! GREAT POST!

  15. Hi, Tina! Congratulations on your latest release. Thank you for the thought you put into explaining “the romance” in erotic romance. We live in world overflowing with choices to match our varied tastes in literature. The quality of character development and an interesting story line heightened by the sexual content is what separates erotic romance from other sexually-based writing.

  16. Hi Tina! Congrats on the release!

    As a graphic designer I am constantly clipping out advertisements that “do it” for me, as reference material and inspirational (I have so far refrained from plastering my walls with them ala college dorm-style)… Do you do the same?

  17. Hey, Miranda –

    I don’t clip advertisements, but I do confess to adding the online ones (at least those I love) to my computer favorites and using them for inspiration in my writing! Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  18. Tina, congratulations on your recent release. Very nice excerpt. It sounds like a great read.

    And I so agree with you about erotic romance. If it has the right balance of lush sensuality, physical and emotional elements it makes it wonderful. Added with a soul deep connection between characters makes it a beautiful romance.

  19. Hi Tina!
    Thanks for visiting with us today! I love this post. Erotic romance is one of my favorite genres and , I feel, the most misunderstood. I like the,ummm, physical aspects of these books as much as anyone, but it’s the emotional connection that always makes me buy more. Without that connection, it’s just well written erotica, not romance.

  20. hot exceprt
    great cover whoo
    very hot congrats

  21. You described erotice fiction perfectly! It’s not just about the sex, it’s that deep connection between our h/h. And thanks for the excerpt, it was great!

  22. What a marvelous and apt analogy – you nailed it. And a great excerpt to boot!

  23. Hi Tina 😀
    it’s great to see you here – loved your post and the excerpt! you are a new author to me but I can’t have enough good stories so your book is now on my wishlist!
    wish you all the best,

  24. I love the build up of sexual tension in erotic fiction!

  25. Who chooses the covers of these books? Amazing!
    I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks!

  26. Hi, all – thanks for visiting and commenting.

    Wanda – Ellora’s Cave chooses the covers; however, they kindly allow authors to provide them with what they’d most like to see.

  27. I really loved the excerpt this sounds like a really good book.

  28. Hi Tina,
    Congrats on the new release. I agree with you about erotic romance being more than just the physical interactions.

  29. Hi, Tina.

    What is your opinion on book trailers? Do you think they help in book sales?

    Tracey D

  30. Hi, Tracey –

    I believe they do if they’re done well and they’re promoted in the appropriate venue. I’m planning to do one for my next release Deep, Dark, Delicious. I believe one has to try everything at least once to reach their fans.

  31. I agree with you about erotic romances. Most of us read romance for the long, sometimes painful journey getting to the HEA, those hot romantic scenes, and of course the HEA.

  32. HI Tina
    That analogy with the ads is perfect. Since I’ve been reading erotica it has raised the bar for me in terms of what I like to read. That connection makes everything else so interesting even if the couple has just met. Don’t enter me – I already have Close To Perfect.

  33. I enjoyed the excerpt. I will look forward to reading your book.

  34. I was just reading about your book, Adored, the other day and it sounds like a really good book! One I will be definitely picking up! Thanks for the excerpt and post! 🙂

  35. FANTASTIC excerpt! Definitely will be reading this one!

  36. Adored sounds like a really great read. Looking forward to finding out how the story turns out.

    Happy Holidays

  37. I haven’t read that many erotic romance books, but I am into my fourth book now. I must say that the frist three books had a great story with hot sex scenes. The book I’m reading now, has no story and nothing but sex scenes. It really makes me appreciate a good author. Great interview.

  38. Thanks for the great post! Wonderful excerpt, I’d love to read your sexy romances!

  39. Tina, congratulations on your recent release.
    Thanks for the Post and the Excerpt.
    You are a new author for me. I loved the excerpt and the sound of your new book so I am now off to wander around your website for more.

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