I confess, there has never been any chastity going on in any of my books. I started writing traditional romance, both historical and contemporary. Lots of sexual tension, followed by much teasing and foreplay, eventually culminated in my characters doing the deed at least twice per book.
Orchestrating the act was sometimes trickier in historicals, particularly if the heroine was a virgin like Anora in Anora's Pride, but I enjoyed stretching my creativity to make it credible both for the reader and the character.
I don't know who was more sexually frustrated, my characters or me, but after eight or ten novels I decided everyone should have more sex. This was the early days of erotic romance so there were no guidelines to follow, I was pretty much making it up as I went along.
What I enjoyed about what I was doing was the ability to torture my poor characters, who thought they were simply having no-strings sex. I knew better. I knew that every time they got naked they became more vulnerable, more connected and more entangled in every way possible. But the sex was so damn good they couldn't walk away. They might tell themselves it was just sex, but deep down they knew better. This was more, much more. The sex heightened their emotions, which heightened the sex, which heightened their emotions.... Well you get the picture.
And although my characters were previously experienced, once they met there was total monogamy between them whether they liked it or not. That was an important component for me to stay true to the heart of the romance.
My timing was excellent. Brava had just launched at Kensington to much success and other publishers were eager to cash in on the latest sub-genre in the romance field. My books helped launch Pocket Books' erotic romance, 'romantica' as my editor, Micki Nuding, liked to call it.
They have been translated, e-pubbed, and garnered rave reviews along the way. Those early erotic romances, which seemed ground-breaking at the time feel almost tame given where the market has gone with menage, BDSM, and same-sex couples. The bottom line is that a good romance will never go out of style. And some sex, no sex, or lots of sex, there is something out there for every reader's taste.
Final Heat is an erotic romance thriller where the characters try to pretend the sex means nothing. It's just how they pass the time while they compete in a high-stakes, lifestyles-of-the-rich and-famous race, and stay one step ahead of whoever is trying to kill them. Who are they trying to kid?