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Graphic Sex Scenes in Romance Novels

25 Jun

Maybe I’m old-fashioned but I just don’t like gratuitous sex scenes in novels. I don’t see why they’re romantic or even sexy. If anything, they make me giggle. There’s something really over-the-top about these scenes. They just don’t seem realistic and especially in historical novels, feel really out-of-place.

Would a shy débutante really let a rake ravish her in the corner of a ball room? The thought makes me cringe. I remember skimming through my mum’s dirty novels as an adolescent. I’d enjoy the banter between the hero and the heroine but all the heaving bosoms? These scenes did nothing for me. I usually skipped them completely because romance can be expressed in other, more effective ways. I much prefer witty banter or a stolen kiss.

Historical novels are also filled with cliché characters, such as:

* The roguish, dashing Highlander
* The innocent, virginal English rose
* The witty, spunky heiress
* The conniving relative

I am sure there are many others. There are few original characters left anymore but unless written really well, these archetypes are tedious to read about. If you are going to flout historical accuracy by writing racy sex scenes, at least make the characters fun. What about a clergyman who falls for a courtesan? What about a woman accused of witchcraft finding love in her cell?

And then there’s the covers. What’s sexy about an unrealistic fellow rippling with Photoshop masculinity? And then they lean over the heroine, whose dress is half undone and spilling with cleavage. The word tacky comes to mind. I can’t help but think that this sort of soft-porn only appeals to middle-aged housewives with expanded waistlines. But looking at the steady sales of such novels, I must be mistaken. Give me the classy covers of Heyer any day. Modern authors like Amanda Grange or Abigail Reynolds, too, use historical covers. And I think they’re gorgeous.

The possibilities are endless. I always have a dozen potential stories in mind at any given time. Some are abandoned, others never reach the page. The point is: I write romance without sex scenes because I am more interested in the journey of falling in love. I grew up watching Jane Austen and being a re-enactor of the Regency period. Whether I like it or not, it has affected my writing.

So yes, I am old-fashioned. But is being a hopeless romantic really that bad? I would rather wait for the right one than end up with ten wrong ones.

>Highlander remake on its way

10 Feb


And if that fact alone doesn’t make you cringe, this will: the screenplay was written by Melissa Rosenburg, most famous for the classics that are the Twilight scripts. Talk about an interesting transition. How does one go from teenage angst to head-chopping action?

On the bright side, this is Hollywood’s chance to make some improvements on the original. Yes, it was a great, entertaining action flick and Lambert made for some yummy eye-candy. But maybe this time they can…

1) Cast a Scotsman to play MacLeod. Maybe James McAvoy.
2) Let Ramirez be played by a Spaniard. Antonio Banderas?
3) Find a more interesting heroine than what’s-her-face. Gemma Arterton? I like surprising casting choices.
4) Have a baddie more multi-layered and less of a freak.
5) More backstory. To be honest, that’s my favourite part. It’s all them kilts.

The only thing I’m certain that can’t be improved upon is the music. Who doesn’t remember the epic soundtrack Queen provided? -sigh- But maybe they can go the Daft Punk route and churn out a killer music score.

Producer Neal Moritz has promised that the new film will “stay true to the core of what we believe Highlander is.” But I’m still far from convinced. You just don’t mess with classics. Why do they even need to be remade? What’s the point?

Fast Five director Justin Lin will helm the remake. Who? I have no idea. It sure as hell doesn’t sound too promising so far.