Erotic romance novels

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Erotic romance novels are stories written about the development of a romantic relationship through sexual interaction.[1] The sex is an inherent part of the story, character growth, and relationship development, and could not be removed without damaging the storyline.


The subgenre got its start in E-publishing/ small press. High volume sales showed New York publishers there was an untapped market for erotic romance that they could fill and since 2005 they have incorporated new imprints to meet the demand of readers,[2] of which is difficult to verify as publishers tend to lump erotic romance in with established categories such as historicals, contemporaries, paranormals and other subgenres.

Focus of novels[edit]

Erotic romance novels have romance as the main focus of the plot line, and they are characterized by strong, often explicit, sexual content.[3] The books can contain elements of any of the other romance subgenres, such as paranormal elements, chick lit, hen lit, historical fiction, etc. In fact, many erotic romance novels are often categorized by one of the categories already defined in the industry.

Erotic romance novels take the reader beyond the bedroom door where more traditional romance does not breach that barrier. The sex scenes, while explicit, are there for the purpose of character development. Erotic romance is not classed as pornography. Works of pornography consist of sexual acts without a plot line. Erotic romance however includes well-developed characters and at least one primary plot with the possibility of subplots. The primary and/or subplots can stand alone without the explicit sex, but the characterizations in the story will suffer dramatically if the sexual content is removed.

Guidelines for authors[edit]

Erotic romance writers generally have more flexibility in pushing the envelope of erotic romance than authors for traditional print publishers, although this has changed dramatically since 2005 when NY publishers began to explore the subgenre with lines such as Aphrodisa, Avon Red and others. With electronic publishing the writer has even greater leeway in most instances to write on subjects that in the past have been taboo, such as BDSM, gay lit and other topics.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Author Organization - faq", organization website, Passionate Ink special interest group of Romance Writers of America
  2. ^ "Stats RWA National" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-05-17. Retrieved 2008-05-15.
  3. ^ Kent, Alison (2006), The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Erotic Romance, ISBN 9781592575466
  4. ^