Dear Gentle Reader:
Today I went to the bookstore to see what new releases where out. I picked up Suzanne Forster’s Tease. I had intended to buy it. A friend informed me that this was part of Harlequin’s new Spice line. It was in the New Romance section of the bookstore. It has a nice pink cover. It is labeled
romance erotic fiction, but the blurb reads like a romance. But, dear reader, it is not. It is an erotica book and I truly mean an erotica book. It is about the sexual exploration by the main female protagonist and it does not have an HEA that I could see.
I read the last two chapters of this book to ascertain whether this was a story that I could buy despite the trade paperback price. In the last chapter, the female protoganist is letting her final inhibitions (control) go and allowing herself to be taken by a masked man. Now this masked man is probably the main male protagonist but it certainly allows the reader to make other assumptions. I don’t have a problem with this story in general. I have a problem that it is being marketed and sold as a romance.
I know that there are a whole slew of new erotica books being offered from Harlequin to Avon. I would caution the readers who like the spicier books that these new stories may not be romances no matter what the cover and the blurb may be selling. I tend to think that this is going to backfire. Will there be many returns? If I had bought Tease, unread, I would have returned it. EC’s, Samhain and other’s offerings are primarily the spicy within the romance confines, within the traditional HEA. What’s your thoughts, readers, on the practice of marketing erotica as romance if there is no HEA?