Today I’m super excited to have Tina Donahue visiting to promote her new release Losing Control. Take it away Tina!
That Four-Letter Word in Erotic Romance
Okay, get your mind out of the gutter. I’m not talking about the F-word or god-forbid the C-word. It’s love I’m referring to. A simply awesome four-letter word that finds its way into all romance novels during the plot. IMO, it’s as essential to romance as a hot sex scene is to erotica. However, to ensure reader satisfaction, there is a proper time to bring in the word. It’s also important as to who speaks it first.
For me, love should be mentioned sparingly in a romance. It’s like a super hot spice or a decadent sweet. So powerful, it should be used sparingly. If the writer slathers it on, the word loses impact. That’s why in all great romances, the characters wrestle with their emotions, trying to determine the depth of their feelings. Is this the real thing? Is this fleeting? Is this just sexual attraction?
When characters finally speak the word, when they commit, it should have impact. Their declaration must shake the characters’ and the readers’ world.
In Emma Holly’s The Top of Her Game, an erotic romance, the element that compelled me most was the love story between Julia and Zach. Julia wasn’t going to love anyone, especially a Montana cowboy given that she’s from New York City. You know the type. She was too reserved, too unemotional, too unsentimental for deeply felt emotions. But it happened. We knew it well before she did. It wasn’t until the last page of the novel that she admitted her love to Zach. It was a quiet moment, a quiet line, but the impact – wow, wow, wow! I had tears in my eyes and I was grinning like a fool. I so wanted that to happen for them, for her to admit it.
In my recent release Losing Control, Book Two in my Appointment with Pleasure series, I strove for the same impact. Although I don’t want to give away when the L-word is finally spoken, I will give you a peek of some of the action early on in the story that leads to the memorable moment. Here’s the blurb and an excerpt:
When it comes to passion, there are no rules…
She wasn’t supposed to hunger for him. Tim Bellamy was off-limits to Catherine, a high-priced call girl with an uneasy past. Indulging in his raw desire shouldn’t have happened, especially at a District party attended by the nation’s elite. Tim doesn’t know she works for the agency. If he did… That’s not something Catherine wants to confess. Drowning in his strength and heat, aching to see him again, she keeps her secret.
From old wealth, Tim has never met anyone quite like Catherine. Exotic, elegant, earthy, she’s the best of all worlds. Their evenings are sensual delights where voyeurism, bondage and a growing bond satisfy carnal needs and stir something deep within…until he stumbles upon the truth.
Shaken by her lies, Tim needs to prove the depth of Catherine’s lust and yearning once and for all. For him, their erotic adventure has only begun…
Hungry to know the real Tim Bellamy, an injured soul beneath his effortless charm, Catherine rested her hand on his.
His face colored with what looked to be embarrassment. He searched the room. For the server? Another drink? Fortification against his feelings?
Catherine didn’t want him anesthetized. Suddenly…heedlessly…she needed him vulnerable to her alone, forgetting that other woman, seeing only her. “Have you eaten?” she asked.
He studied her. A measure of surprise at her concern and a great deal of feral heat transformed his expression, replacing his previous gloom. “No. You?”
“I will now.” She went around him, deliberately brushing his arm, and headed for the buffet. Even though it was foolish of her to want it, she hoped he’d follow.
Inwardly, Catherine smiled at his continued pursuit of her, eager for them to flirt again. She’d had so few chances to simply be a woman guided by her heart and reckless desire, rather than seeking momentary pleasure and the money she had to earn.
Leaving her wine glass on a side table, she went to the appetizers and selected the smoked trout terrine with apple. Turning to Tim, she murmured, “Open up.”
On her soft directive, she slipped her free hand beneath his chin and brought the treat to his mouth. Playfully, she ran the food across his lips.
He stared as though she were the hors d’oeuvres, what he really wanted to taste and enjoy. Her body softened beneath his intense scrutiny. The pleasantly toasty room seemed ungodly hot now, what little she wore restrictive.
Tim wrapped his fingers around her wrist, his hand warm, his strength gentle. Because they were in public? Damn right. She sensed he’d be demanding behind closed doors, pinning her with his weight. His mouth, hands, cock taking what he wanted, insisting upon all she could give while he indulged, losing control.
Her belly fluttered. It took all of her strength not to whimper.
He accepted the food she offered, chewing slowly, his attention never leaving her. Other attendees milled about. A plump older woman draped in yards of wine-colored silk bumped into him as she passed.
“Oh, excuse me,” she said.
Tim didn’t acknowledge her apology, not seeming to notice she existed. He brought Catherine’s hand to his lips and licked a trace of the pate from her thumb and forefinger.
She pushed back a moan of delight at his tongue, so deliciously wet and hot. Warmth pooled in her pussy, sending moisture to her cunt, dampening it even more. She sensed those soft folds were puffy with arousal, eager to have him inside of her. As deep as a man could go.
“Thank you,” he murmured, his pitch resonant, rumbling. “Now you.”
Damn, he was sexy. “Now me what?”
Holding onto her wrist, he answered by bringing one of the dainty French pastries to her mouth.
“Don’t make me wait.”
Catherine smiled at his teasing command. Defiant, she took her time, running her tongue over the edge of the delicate crust and his thumb, liking the taste and feel of his skin the best.
His Adam’s apple bobbed with his hard swallow.
Tina Donahue is an award-winning, bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, and Kensington. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. Three of her erotic romances (Adored, Lush Velvet Nights, and Deep, Dark, Delicious) were named finalists in the 2011 EPIC competition. The French review site, Blue Moon reviews, chose her erotic romance Sensual Stranger as their Book of the Year 2010 (erotic category). The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for Lush Velvet Nights, and two of her titles (The Yearning and Deep, Dark, Delicious) received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition (2011 and 2012). Take Me Away and Adored both won second place in the NEC RWA contest (different years). Tina is featured in the 2012 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. She was the editor of an award–winning Midwestern newspaper and worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company.
To celebrate the release of Losing Control, I’m offering a contest.
I’ll choose THREE winners (at random) from those who comment on the various sites during the tour. The more you comment, the greater your chances of winning one of my backlist ebooks from this list:
1. Adored – RWA award-winning; EPIC 2011 Finalist; 4 Stars RT
2. Deep, Dark, Delicious – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Holt Medallion Award of Merit
3. Lush Velvet Nights – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Golden Nib Award
4. In His Arms – SIX 5 Star Reviews; 4 Stars RT
5. Sensual Stranger – 2010 Book of the Year (erotic); 4 Stars RT
6. The Yearning – Top Ten Bestseller
7. Take Me Away – #1 Pick, Miz Love Loves Books
8. Unending Desire – Best Book Rating LASR
9. SiNN – Nominated for Book of the Week LASR
10. Sinfully Wicked – Magnificent – Romancing the Book