Let’s face it, there’s a wide range of Romance novels out there.  Some are sweet and tender, and pull at the heartstrings.  The hero and heroine might share a warm kiss and a warmer embrace, but that’s as far as it goes.  Some are so intense and steamy it seems as if there’s a love scene in every chapter and when you turn the pages, your fingers blister from the heat.  From one extreme to another, what’s too much?

I can tell you from experience, Romance writers struggle with this question.  It’s like the three bears of Goldilocks fame: one bowl of porridge is too hot, one too cold, and one just right.  But in this case, there’s no definitive “just right” because titillation, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.  And each reader who picks up a Romance novel has his or her own idea of how far things between the pages – and the sheets – should go.

My publisher, The Wild Rose Press, has a rating scale for the books they publish.  There’s Sweet, Sensual, Spicy, Hot and GLV (graphic language and violence).  The Wild Rose Press also has what they call their “Wilder Catalog” for erotica.  So a reader shopping on their site is forewarned.  The world of Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, and other online venders is not so cut and dried.  Ratings aren’t always displayed and sometimes when we download a book we’re not sure what we’re getting in the hot and steamy department. 

My first Historical Romance for The Wild Rose Press – Devil Black – was rated spicy, but since not everyone saw that rating some readers were shocked when they read it and some, quite amusingly, were disappointed.  And they were reading the same book!  What’s a writer to do?

I happen to think arousal begins in the mind.  So when I write my love scenes I try to make sure they evolve from a deeper and more meaningful attraction between my hero and heroine.  In Devil Black, my hero and heroine were absolutely perfect for each other – they just didn’t know it at the beginning of the story.  Or did they, subconsciously?  Was that the trigger for all that irresistible passion dripping from the pages?

In my latest book, Daughter of Sherwood, I’ve built a spiritual component into the attraction, which is further complicated by the fact that there’s a love triangle.  Daughter of the legendary Robin Hood and caught in a fight against the Normans, our heroine, Wren, knows she needs a warrior at her side.  Both men in the picture want her; both are willing to die for her.  But to preserve the magic of Sherwood, she must choose only one. 

Martin – son of Will Scarlet – with the dangerous blue eyes and mop of golden hair, is rough and always ready.  He has a wicked tongue and wicked hands as well, and he’ll put them anywhere Wren allows.  He’s neither a safe nor a tame choice, but he calls to something heedless and daring inside Wren. 

Sparrow – son of Robin’s right-hand man, Little John – gave his heart to Wren the moment he saw her.  Every time Wren looks into his wild, dark eyes she senses all the magic of Sherwood.  When she kisses him he calls to her soul; when they’re apart he whispers in her mind.  She could easily loose herself in Sparrow, but dares not.  For, not only her happiness but the fate of Sherwood rests on her decision.

When Wren gives her heart, she must make a pledge of magic as well.  What does that add to a love scene?  Well, I can’t give too much away here or reveal whom she chooses.  But the enchantment of Sherwood does tend to heighten a woman’s senses…

What do you think?  How many love scenes are too many?  I tend to let my characters follow their hearts, because when love’s involved, I think they always get it just right.

 Thank you, Laura, for spending time with us and our readers today. What an interesting thought,How much is too much???


DaughterOfSherwood_w7891_750Laura Strickland’s new historical romance book Daughter of Sherwood, published by The Wild Rose Press, will be released on November 1, 2013.

Raised as a scullery maid in Nottingham Castle, Wren has no idea she is the daughter of the legendary Robin Hood. When she is forced to defend herself against the unwanted advances of an influential man, she flees the castle and finds refuge in Sherwood Forest. It is then she learns a powerful secret: she has a destiny as a guardian of Sherwood, charged with the responsibility of defending its ancient magic.

Since Robin’s death many years before, his supporters have kept his legend alive.  Now one of the three guardians holding the spell has died. With two young men, Sparrow and Martin, Wren must form a new bond strong enough to protect Sherwood and continue her father’s fight.  Drawn equally to Martin’s warrior spirit and Sparrow’s gentle strength, she finds it nearly impossible to choose between duty and love.

Laura takes us on a journey into the world of Robin Hood’s daughter, where we experience her struggle to accept her identity and the demands of her father’s legacy.  Along with Wren, we learn that what is loved in life can never be lost, and that great love is worth the price paid.  For at last, when Martin is captured and held at Nottingham Castle, the path becomes clear for Wren and she finds the strength to become the woman she was born to be, the Daughter of Sherwood.

Daughter of Sherwood is book one of The Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy.



Laura StricklandAbout Laura:

Born and raised in Western New York, Laura Strickland has pursued lifelong interests in lore, legend, magic and music, all reflected in her writing. Though her imagination frequently takes her to far off places, she is usually happiest at home not far from Lake Ontario with her husband and her “fur” child, a rescue dog. Currently she is at work on the third book of the Guardians of Sherwood series.







(Sponsored by the publisher and/or publicist)

Thanks to, Kelsey, at Book Publicity Services, we are offering 1 lucky commenter a chance to win a Kindle digital copy of ” Daughter of Sherwood” by Laura Strictland. **YOU MUST answer the author’s question(What do you think?  How many love scenes are too many?)**

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Giveaway will run from November 14 until November 21, 2013.

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  1. I think you can only have too many if they get in the way of the story.


  2. I don't know that there is a number that is too many but there have been books where I think that the love scenes are getting in the way of the plot instead of adding to it.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

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