What does a book need to be labeled an erotic romance?
I think a few key elements. Most are those “duh! Yes It’s this one silly” moments. Others are a bit more in depth and harder to incorporate. I wrote my first one a few months ago and I loved the outcome! What I have found in my research and writing is that to call a book or story an erotic romance read, the following HAS to be in place:
1- You must have romance- this is a DUH moment
2- Character development- I think this is the best because readers want to feel your characters and understand them, relate to them on some level
3- A believable plot. Sure, you could writer about the hero saving the heroine and 30 other people from an oncoming train by lifting them up into the air (OK, so I had a Hancock moment- forgive me!) I prefer a simpler plot where I get to know the characters involved. Alphas and betas alike
4- Having an alpha male or female. But, you must remember to make them flawed in some way that the reader will be able to relate to them. Let’s face it, all of the men can’t be gorgeous hunks with huge penis’s all the time, right? (Although I do prefer those!) The heroine can’t be a Jennifer Lopez look-a-like, work as a CEO of a major company and never have any issues in life. Nope, this won’t work
5- Sex, sex and more sex- Oh yes, the hotter the better! When two people fall in love, or in strong lust/like, sex is the natural order of things. Sex in an erotic romance shouldn’t always take place in a bed. My characters have used alleys, stairwell, cars (in the back seat). In the shower, on a balcony, etc. Let the imagination run wild! And if you have a significant other, act out some those scenes in your head with your lover. Firsthand experience with a little creative oomph from your mind can do the trick!
6- A happily ever after. The one thing that I cannot stand is reading a book, loving the characters and then either one of them dies, goes to jail or they just break up. So much for the buildup in the story. Now I feel like I just wasted however much time I spent on reading! Even if you want to put a spin to it, give the illusion of a happily ever after, something that may foretell another book coming out to continue their journey together. I’m a sap for nice love stories ( mixing a bit of kink in there is awesome too!)
7- Research. Can’t stress this enough- research any everything you can about your story before you begin. That way when you put pen to paper ( or fingers to the keyboard) you will already be armed and ready!
It takes a ton of courage to write an erotic romance. ( Trust me, I KNOW!)
But I think with these tips, and researching, you will find what you are looking for!