So what is Erotic Romance?

So what is erotic romance?

I have to write this post because more and more I am dismayed by readers, bloggers, and vendors confusing my  contemporary, erotic romance books with erotica, or (sighs) porn.
Romance critics, romance book blogs, readers, vendors, people I thought would know the difference...DON'T. It's very disheartening.

I have nothing against erotica, people can read and write what they want to, but I am tiring a little of having to defend my books, and their genre to people who say they don't like/review/blog about erotica. I have blog guests who write erotica, it's fine, it's just that I don't write erotica.
The confusion in large numbers of peoples' minds between Erotica and Erotic Romance is leading some publishers to add definitions to their submission pages. (Sadly there are still some publishers who don't know the difference). 
It seems even some large book sellers don't know the difference.

Erotic romance is even confused with Porn, by detractors of the genre.
Erotic romance isn't that new having emerged around 2005 and had a huge leap in popularity since then. So you might think 'people' would know what is is by now.
Readers who want to see 'behind the bedroom door' buy erotic romance.

So what is erotic romance?

It's a love story, a story where there MUST BE a happy ending, it has graphic sex in the love scenes because they are part of the relationship development. It's a story, plot heavy, but the sex scenes are so integral they need to be there. It can be any sub genre of romance as long as it follows those guidelines. The characters are going to fall in love, and stay in love. The HEA must be there.

It's a weird thing when you write contemporary, erotic romance and reviews pop up saying 'A sweet romance,...' Is that because my books are developed stories, with stand out characters and arcs in the plot? The sex is graphic but so well crafted into the love story they forget? 

Sweet romance is also a genre, it's romance with the bedroom door closed. 
My bedroom doors are open.
Erotica is about the sex, and emotions sometimes, not necessarily a relationship and it doesn't usually have a happy ending, ( or it needn't have one as opposed to erotic romance that must) sometimes it doesn't have much of a plot. 
Porn-according to Wiki is "Works of pornography consist of sexual acts without a plot line"
Defined and links to publishers
See a great post by Sylvia Day on the different genres,
Passionate Ink,

Other 'romance' information
Web definitions
  • Erotic romance novels, as defined by Romance Writers of America's (RWA) special interest chapter, , are stories written about the development of a romantic relationship through sexual interaction. ... 

  • A novel where the sexuality goes beyond that of a most romance novels and may use sexually explicit language, but the romance is still the core of the book. Can be either contemporary, historical or paranormal. 

  • Erotic romance blends traditional erotic fiction with a romantic backdrop. Erotic romances tend to be fairly graphic and explicit in describing scenes of intimacy between adults; they usually have strong sexual content and incorporate frank language into the storyline. ... 
  • Some Publishers of erotic romance:
  • Black Lace
  • Changeling Press
  • Ellora's Cave Publishing
  • Liquid Silver Books
  • Loose Id
  • Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
  • Siren Publishing, Inc
  • Whiskey Creek Press Torrid
  • Hot Ink Press  
  • Beachwalk Press
  • Breathless Press
  • Evernight
  • Eternal Press
  • Entangled
  • Total Ebound
  • So I offer you two of my erotic romance book descriptions to consider.
  • Let Oliver bring you flowers
  • 'The Flower Box' contemporary romance from Hot Ink Press
  • 'I fell in love with Alice and Oliver.  In just a few short pages, these two captured me and drew me in to their beautiful story.' 
  • Reviewed by Cocktails and Books for Manic Readers with 5 yummy cocktails (5*)
  • A story to fall in love with.

  • At night, Rosie watches horses dance beneath the moonlight, wishing to be as free as them. By day, she’s a lonely woman with no prospects at love. A sign in a store window advertising dance lessons changes everything.

    Pretty soon Rosie is making moves with the gorgeous instructor, and his equally delectable best friend. Jude and Justin fascinate Rosie and bring her body back to life, but they’re keeping secrets that just may shatter the fantasy Rosie hopes to make reality.

    4 and a half shining stars from Manic Readers for Evernight Publishing, #menage #shifter romance Night of the Horse
    "’s well done, and it’s different, because I’ve never read a shifter novel about horses...a cute little love story, well written with good characters that will warm you up......... Enjoy!
    Available Amazons, Evernight, All Romance, Book Strand, B&N


  1. I'm with you. So much misunderstanding! Like you, I write erotic romance. And the difference, as you point out, is fully developed characters and a strong plot. The sex is just another way to portray the relationship and the characters who are involved.

    Thanks for taking this on.

  2. Great post, and I totally agree.


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