Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Sweet or Steamy?
Right from when I first started reading romance novels in state school (I was an early convert to the genre!), I've always liked a passionate read. As a teenager, books by Anne Mather or Kathleen Woodiwiss definitely got my adolescent heart pounding. All those wonderful sensual scenes and that sizzle of sexual tension.
But just lately I seem to have been on a reading jag for sweeter books so I thought I'd talk about a couple of sweeter reads that I've enjoyed over the years.
One of my all-time favorite books is A COUNTESS BELOW STAIRS (1983) by Eva Ibbotson. I dare you not to be charmed by this gorgeous story of a Russian countess trying to make her way in England after the revolution and the lovely, heartbreaking, triumphant romance she has with the owner of the house where she finds work as a maid. I must have read this twenty times and it never fails to make me smile. Kisses are about as hot as this book gets, and I didn't mind at all!
Liz Fielding. I'm pretty much a pushover for any of Liz's books. She writes so beautifully and with such deep emotion and her characters really take a hold on your heart.
This lovely romance is set on a game park in Africa, a place Liz knows well. Two damaged and outwardly incompatible people meet and find themselves falling hopelessly in love against the odds, but they both have to deal with the pain of the past before they can move on to the future they both deserve.
Like COUNTESS, this is another one I finished with a big happy sigh. A really good steamy romance doesn't stint on the emotion, but there's just something that catches at your heart about these particular books with their sweeter edge. And plenty of sensual tension if not actual love scenes.
Sophie Weston is an English writer who wrote some brilliant shorter romances, but my favorite book of hers by far is THE BEDROOM ASSIGNMENT (2002).
This one actually has a love scene but I find that with sweet and steamy, often the difference is one of tone rather than whether the relationship reaches physical consummation within the pages of the story. Mind you, you'd be forgiven for thinking this is a steamy read with that title which really doesn't express the pleasures of the story within!
The heroine of this one basically falls for the hero at first sight. He's the one who has to become self-aware enough to recognize that his new employee is the woman who will change his life forever and fulfill him in ways he's never imagined. This one will break your heart and then put it together again for a beautiful, sigh-worthy ending. Well worth going to the effort to track down.
So my question for you is, sweet or steamy or a mixture of both depending on your mood?