When "Eden's Pleasure", my first Regency erotic romance was published, several of the reviewers were far more interested in discussing the hero's darker identical twin brother, Gideon than the hero, Gervase. (memo to self, never ever write a book again with 2 guys with the same initial especially if it contains a menage scene) Some of that was probably my fault because I dared to introduce the heroine to Gideon before she re-connected with Gervase, and that's apparently a no-no for some romance readers. Apparently it builds up the wrong expectations, so a couple of the reviews weren't happy about that and were routing for the wrong guy.
I really wanted to write a book about Gideon and so I did. It's called 'Antonia's Bargain' but it's equally about Gideon. But how do you write a book about a man who has bisexual tendencies and still make him a romantic hero? I decided not to think about it too much and just write the book, and yes, dear Gideon managed to remain incredibly complex, both sexually and emotionally and yet find the perfect woman for him.
I don't usually think about themes until I've finished the book and this one was no exception. When I read it through I realized it was about acceptance and finding someone to love you for yourself-and hey, that's really what we're all looking for isn't it? Even better, was that the people who read it, including almost all the reviews, got that too and even found themselves falling in love with an unusual Regency hero. As one reviewer put it, "It's not your grandmother's Georgette Heyer."
And this book felt so 'right to write' and has led to two bigger books with Kensington Aphrodisia which have equally interesting Regency rakes as heroes. Whether they will be considered romantic enough is another matter. I'm still not sure where the romance line is drawn these days.
Personally, I think that if characters are well-written, sympathetic and draw you in, you can write a love story about anyone and it should work. So, here's a question for you all- where are your romance limits? When does it stop being a romance and start being erotica? I'm beginning to wonder what I write again...