I’ve been reading a lot of mysteries, back to back. Some cozy, some thrillers, some historical, but I was in the mood for something different, and then I read a fun review on Goodreads for a romance: HOTSHOT DOC, by R.S. Grey. A grumpy, dedicated-to-his-job surgeon scares away one assistant after another until he meets Bailey, a cute blonde who knows her stuff. I don’t read romance often, but this sounded like the kind where sparks fly, so I decided to give it a try. And I really enjoyed it. The story has a lot of heart. It also has some steaming hot sex. If you’ve recently decided to become celibate, this isn’t the book for you. It could make you change your mind.
When I choose a book to read, I don’t LOOK for sex, but I sure don’t mind it, either. I admire good writing when I find it, whether the author’s describing a Regency social gathering, a tense suspense scene, or two bodies that can’t resist being together. (I can’t handle too much gore or torture, though, even when they’re well done. I’ve gone soft in my old age).
When I first started writing urban fantasy as Judith Post, I tried to write hot sex scenes, and I was only so-so at it. They’re hard to write. It’s not just about body parts fitting together. It’s about emotion and passion, too. Desire. Need. When I signed a contract to write clean romances and cozies, it was a blessing. I could focus on my strengths. Passion seems to be one of my weak points.
A wonderful woman who used to insist on editing my early books told me to get past my hang ups, that sex is a natural thing between two people who love each other. And then she analyzed my handwriting. That was a revelation. When there are no lines on the paper, my words start at one end of a line and go higher by the time I reach the other end–the sign of an optimist. I cross my t’s higher than usual–I enjoy work. And my a’s, e’s, and o’s are closed–the sign of a person who likes her privacy. She said that’s why I didn’t open up when I wrote steamy scenes. She told me if I’d open my vowels, my writing would follow. I’ve tried. I really have. It hasn’t worked. What happens behind closed doors, stays behind closed doors.
Whatever. In HOTSHOT DOC, I sure enjoyed reading it, but it was because the characters were so RIGHT for each other. And I liked each of them so much. They fit together in every way, not just in bed. And now that I’ve kicked up my reading heels a little, I’m ready to go back to murders and clues. Happy reading and writing to you!
4 thoughts on “Whew! The steam…”
Okay, this was a revelation. I’m thinking that you, too, are younger than myself and although I don’t mind some hinted sex scenes (let your imagination provide the rest), I don’t want to read specifics–like I won’t watch it either. Good article, Judi–I really enjoy your writing thoughts.
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I bet I’m not younger than you are. My grandsons are in their twenties:) But I’m pretty eclectic. I can enjoy chaste or…not…as long as it’s not just body parts and no character development. But my BFF wouldn’t read my urban fantasies, and they were pretty mild. Mostly because I’m no good at WRITING steamy scenes. Everyone likes different things, and I’m okay with that.
This is a great post. It’s as important to find out what we aren’t good at as what we are. As an example, I don’t feel I write Space Opera well. I like to read them, but any science fiction I produce seems to be better if it’s near future. I have a long planned story that needs romantic tension to work, and honestly, I don’t know if I have it in me. Part of this may be that a guy’s point of view is different than a woman’s. I can’t bet the farm on that, but it’s a working theory.
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I love romantic tension. I’m thinking of authors who I think have done it really well, and mostly think of women authors. Did Zane Grey do romantic tension? There’s some in The Witcher. Michael Connelly had some in The Poet. It can be done. You can do it! It might even be a fun new challenge for you.