Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sex or Romance

A while back I was taking a Romance writing class.  The instructor had many published novels.  Before the class began, I purchased one of her books to read.

To put it delicately, the book had a cute story, but the writing was vulgar.  She could have left out several of those scenes because they added nothing to the story.

My daughter in law is an avid reader and we frequently recommend good reads to each other.  She's a young twenty-something, but even at her age, is turned off by some of the scenes in "romance" novels.  We discussed this at length and here was the general consensus between the two of us:  even though we are from two different generations, we both feel that vulgar raunchy sex takes away from the story.

The picture above is one of the covers for the book Shanna.  This was the first romance novel I ever read and it made me read many more.  The cover is subtle, with the photo of a couple inset within the flowers.  Covers have changed over the years and now many show ripped torsos and couples going at it.

I haven't read the Fifty Shades of Gray series.  As soon as television reports said they are pornographic I tuned out.  As a Christian woman, it just doesn't seem like something I should be reading.  A few women I know have purchased the books.  One said she read part of the first one and just couldn't get herself to finish reading it.  Another one said the story is good if you can get past the explicit scenes.  I'm not knocking the author or anyone who has read them.  It's just not for me.

During that Romance writing class, I commented that you could write a romantic scene without being crude or vulgar.  The instructor was incensed at that, but the rest of the class agreed.  I believe a book that makes you feel the love between two characters is much more effective than one that gives you explicit down and dirty sexual acts.  Meaningless sex is just that: meaningless. 

What do you think?  What do you like to read when it comes to romance novels?