Well, that got your attention, didn’t it?
So, what do you think of it? Personally, I’m all for it, but there’s a time and a place for everything.
This post, however, is going to be entirely devoted to sex in novels.
You’ve probably figured out by now that fantasy is my favourite genre, particularly urban fantasy. I do like a good romance, too (and yes, I believe in love at first sight – well, first decent conversation anyway – and in the existence of Mr or Miss Right). However, one can get rather sick of sex being inserted into a book in the following way:
Plotplotplotplot – STOP!!! [Insert sex scene here] GO! Plotplotplotplot….
Why is it, too, that urban fantasy heroines seem to either have no self-respect, appalling taste in men, or an inability to do the decent thing and pick the one they like and let the other one down gently – or all of the above?
It would be a pleasant change to read an urban fantasy novel with a heroine who isn’t a complete idiot where the opposite sex are concerned. Or one where she’s able to get on with her life without angsting over the lack of a man.
However, I’m certainly not against a love interest. I’d just like it to be a bit more complicated. I mean, when it gets to the point where you can identify the man the heroine is going to end up in bed with before you start reading, and, indeed, two-thirds of the way through the book, yep, sure enough, there’s the creak of bedsprings…. well, it’s a bit predictable.
Where’s the development of an actual relationship (guys, a relationship is about more than sexual attraction)? Where’s the development of sexual tension? Where’s the anticipation? Where’s the will-they-won’t-they?
Examples of ‘good practice’, for me, are Kim Harrison’s Hollows series; although the heroine, Rachel, can be irritating at times, Harrison has actually managed to keep the sexual tension between Rachel and one of the male characters ratcheting up throughout the series – and so far, they haven’t even kissed (although I haven’t read the latest book, so I don’t know what happens in that). Surely they’re going to end up together? You can see the relationship between them changing – come to think of it, there’s something almost Pride and Prejudice about the way they each have to acknowledge their own prejudices and re-evaluate their impressions and opinions of the other. And we still don’t know whether they’re going to get together.
Another is K. E. Stewart’s Jesse Dawson series that starts with A Devil in the Details. Astonishingly, Stewart has done something almost unknown in urban fantasy novels – his hero (male!) is actually happily married with a daughter. This gives the books an interesting extra dimension, as Jesse has the additional worries of supporting his family – he’s not the usual single guy/girl with no dependants.
Oh, yeah, and I may have mentioned before – please don’t assume that all your readers have the same turn-ons as you, the author, do. Laurell Hamilton, for example, is obviously turned on by men with long hair and thigh-high boots. While these two attributes are OK (although I do not admire long hair on men in general) it is possible to get tired of them really quite quickly when every allegedly-sexy male character in the book displays them. Let’s have a bit of variety, please!
For me, the following points are important:
OK, rant over. Well, that’s my opinion as a reader. What do you think?