Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pushing The Envelope And Liking It!

Barbara from the Happily Forever After has finally read and posted her review of Pamela Clare’s Surrender. Surrender is my all time favorite book by Pamela, that is, until she writes about the dastardly Lord William. I left a comment on her post about how much I loved Surrender, and of one of my favorite scenes that involves some shaving between Ian and Annie.

For those who have read Surrender, you know what scene I am talking about. For those who haven’t read this book, let’s just say that while Ian is shaving his beard, he decides to give Annie a shave somewhere else, that eventually leads to some really hot sex between the two. I was so surprised how I really enjoyed this particular intimate act between this couple, because it comes out of the blue and is a bit shocking.

I also started to think about other shocking sex scenes I have read in romances that were scandalous, but weren’t disturbing or made me squirm uncomfortably. One such scene, that to this day is one of the most sensual and sexiest I have ever read, is from Lisa Kleypas’s Suddenly You. Jack and Amanda are the couple in this book whose marriage is not in a good place towards the end because Amanda has miscarried their baby. She wants to be left alone, and in her despair, she wants a divorce. Jack refuses and takes control of the situation by admitting his love for his wife as well as feeding her, since she has neglected eating. And when the time comes for dessert, he uses a bowl of raspberries in a very interesting way. Amanda becomes his desert as he eats the raspberries out of a certain part of Amanda’s anatomy. For some reason, I was not turned off in the least by this scene, and whenever someone mentions Suddenly You, that is the only scene that comes to my mind.

There are some other authors who are very skilled with pushing the sex envelope, and one such author is JR Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Almost every book I have read by Ward has some love scenes that enter the NC-17 territory. These male heroes she has created sure do love to use their mouths in creative ways. Not only are her love scenes some of the best written out there, but she is not afraid to push the trust these between these men and their women. In Lover Eternal, Rhage has to be careful how far he will go emotionally with Mary, his mate, because if he doesn’t have a level head, his curse, which is his dragon, may come out and hurt her. Mary decides to take things into her own hands and chains Rhage to the bed, so she can have her way with him. And even if the dragon decides to make an appearance, she is willing to accept it. Ward has taken bondage to a whole new level.

Sarah McCarthy is one of the best authors who can write some of the best anal sex scenes, and quite honestly, I have never been a fan of that act, but for some reason, McCarthy really makes it work; even if her characters tend to have some of this loving while riding on a horse.

I understand that we each have our own likes and dislikes, especially by how far an author will go to get our attention, especially when they must come up with more creative ways to hold our interest. While, I may not be a big fan of some erotica that has the male hero with two penises, or a ménage a trio with the hero’s shadow involved in the loving of the heroine, I have to give kudos to these authors who are trying to keep things fresh and exciting.

Why not celebrate those love scenes that have us reaching for an ice cube or a fan? What are some of your favorite love scenes that you still remember fondly? What authors push the envelope in their books in regards to sex, but not too far that you will stop reading in disgust?

Katiebabs (KB)


Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm going out on a limb here. No poking fun now, lol.

As of a year ago I had never ever ever ever even read an erotic romance novel. The "C" word alone was enough to make me turn beet red. But, now that I have a few under my belt, I will say that undoubtedly the most moving love scene of all time (for me) occurs in Samantha Kane's At Loves Command.

The scene where Derek and Sofie first make love. ((Sigh)) It stole my breath. The emotions that both of them were enduring druing the scene, it was almost too much for me to handle. She wanted him to desperately just accept her, and he wanted desperately not to love her. It was a the combination of their emotions and physical part of it. I don't know, that scene was just so powerful.

Now, what I have learned in reading erotic romance is that if the story lacks "love" and is merely a bunch of sex scenes, then it is not for me. I'm so big on emotions it's not even funny. I think that alone is one of the main reasons I love romance novels. When the author does it right, they are extremely powerful. I've been brought to tears on many occassions because a scene has moved me so much.

Ok, this is like the longest comment ever. I'm gonna zip it now. LOL. Good post Katie.

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

Barbara:I have grown as a reader because I used to be very particular by what I would read. Now there are so many authors writing outside the box and some amaze me because they make certain scenarios work that you wouldn't think would be acceptable.
OMG I am a true fan of Sam Kane's Brother in Arms series. She was one of the first MM authors I read.

Kristie (J) said...

One of the most memorable scenes for me is in After The Night by Linda Howard. After a previous very hawt scene between Gray and Faith, Gray said something almost unforgivably rude to Faith. Wanting to make it up to her, he tries to get in touch with her but she wants nothing to do with him. They finally bump into each other in the court house and she runs away from him and into the ladies washroom. He follows her in and thus follows one of the hottest and funniest scenes I've ever read.

Anonymous said...

I'm still pretty particular. I don't really read fantasy although Amy is trying desperately to get me to. I'm still a blusher, and likely always will be. But sometimes it's like that scene in Nicholas Sparks' The Notebook, when they are together FINALLY. He's tearing at her clothes, she's gripping at him. ((Sigh)) sometimes you NEED steamy.

RE: Samantha Kane..

She is a phenominal author!!! Seriously. I try in vain to get people to read her books. She is also the first M/M/F author I've read. Initially, I was left slack jawed, lol. But once you really read the story, it's truly a wonderful romance.

Sarah said...

I think the whole two penises book by Morgan Hawke had to rate up there with fresh and original for me!! LOL. Lora Leigh can push the envelope and Laurell K Hamilton and her 3+ moresomes!

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

Sarah: If you like your heroes with 2 penises, check out Elizabeth Amber! I didn't know there was another author that wrote that also.

Renee said...

Man, I really have to read Samantha Kane! She seems to pop up everywhere lately.

There is a scene in Karen Chance's Embrace the Night that reminds me of the one in Suddenly You, between Cassie, the vampire Mircea, and some wine. One of the hottest scenes, ever!

For a scene that sort of brought me out of the hotness, was in JL Langley's The Englor Affair, and involved Simon, Payton, and the dreaded jock! lol

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

Renee: You should read Josh Lanyon's latest, Mexican Heat. There is a great scene with some alcohol and a bed. :D

Lea said...

I think you ladies are probably far more literate as far as romance stories than I am. But I guess Maya Banks' "Coulters' Woman", is a favorite. It was the first book I ever read that had a menage a quatre theme and I still pick it up for a re-read. It is I think not just the steam level in that book, which boils, but the realtionship between these four people and the strength of the characters that made it good read for me.

I'm not a BDSM fan, there is something about the whole submission and beating thing that I have difficulty with. But I've read a couple of Eden Bradley's short stories and the erotica in her books is off the charts hot. For some reason the BDSM theme doesn't make me want to rip out pages. I have "Forbidden Fruit", here but haven't had time to read it yet.

I also like Devyn Quinn's books.

Wonderful post Katie.

Thank you and best regards

Renee said...

Mmmm... been waiting for next week for JL's Ghost Wore Yellow Socks. Guess I'll be picking up 2 new books!

What is it about food and sex? Actually, it brings to mind the AWESOME, sexy, funny Japanese movie Tampopo. They have an opening (sex) scene with an egg yolk and a live shrimp that is totally over the top!

Jenre said...

I've just read "The Lover" by Robin Schone and there were several interesting sex scenes, one of which involved melted chocolate and a banana. It reminded me of that scene from "Suddenly You".

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

Renee: The jock strap love was a bit too intense for me in The Englor Affair. But overall JL writes some great love scenes. My Fair Captain is oh so good, especially how much Adrian loves Nate's ring ;)

Lea: I read Forbidden Fruit and it was a great read! Reminded me a bit of 9 1/2 Weeks. A great erotic books.

Jenre: Schone is more of a darker type of erotica. But it took me awhile to enjoy bananas after The Lover.

little alys said...

You've mentioned a few (I was so shocked when I first read the Suddenly You scene).

Um, the mermaid sex was rather interesting.

Elixabeth Boyle's Tempted by the Night with the invisible heroine sex.

Anything Emma Holly often shocks me. Heh.

Bev(BB) said...

The standout for me in terms of erotic romance type scenes is menages. I've always thought I couldn't get into them and I still can't. Usually. The one author that seems to do it right for me, though, is Bianca D'Arc. I absolutely love her Dragon Knights series and have even read and enjoyed a couple of her other books/series that touch on that theme. No particular scene comes to mind at the moment, though. She gets the attitudes and emotions right for me, I guess.

By contrast, I like Leigh's Breed books but have yet to be able to get into another series by her. I tried one, published in mainstream print no less, and was way turned off by the anal sex scene in it. The hero's attitude bordered, if not crossed the line into rape, for me and I don't say that lightly.

So, yeah, it's definitely not the actions but the emotions and attitudes that sell the romance, one way or another, doesn't matter how many or who is involved.

AnimeJune said...

I haven't been badly shocked by anything in a romance novel yet, but the closest I've come is Edward's dream about Anna in in Elizabeth Hoyt's "The Raven Prince."

Best erotic love scene? Um...I guess it's more creative than envelop pushing, but it's the love scene in Sophia Nash's "A Dangerous Beauty" where the hero doesn't use his hands. At ALL. Until the very, very end - the heroine had some abusive sexual experiences with her late husband so she detested having men touch her with their hands.

So he does it without hands - oftentimes using her or his teeth for assistance. I liked it. ^_^