Friday, January 13, 2012
It's a May/December Thing
The last book I wrote (Macy’s Awakening) and the one I’m currently writing (Delsy’s Chance) are interracial erotic romances. They are also May/December stories, meaning there is an age gap between the hero and heroine. In the case of both these books, it is the hero who is older.
There is a readership for both types of stories, but combining them sometimes backfires. Readers who like the IR romance niche don’t necessarily like it when the hero is so much older than his lady love. I’ve had several negative comments in reader reviews about this very issue. So in my current WIP, I’ve closed up the age gap quite a bit and I hopefully will not offend as many people. Being offensive is not good for book sales. (Though Macy’s Awakening was on the Amazon bestseller lists for over three weeks.)
Why is the May/December theme so appealing to me? It gives me a chance to explore the dynamic between a sexually experienced hero and a naïve heroine, a combination I personally find fascinating — and hot. Even more important, I love the idea of the heroine’s naiveté infusing the older, jaded hero with fresh joy for life. Each character has an important gift to bestow on the other.
You only have to look as far as Jane Eyre and Rebecca for my models. I grew up reading those classic Gothic romances and loving them. Always the waif of a governess is drawn into a situation where the brooding and broken master of the estate has just about given up on life. I adore telling his side of the story; I adore rescuing him from his grief and decline with the power of love. And I delight in telling the innocent heroine’s sexual deflowerment — her awakening — in all the lovely detail that I had to only imagine Jane and Rebecca going through. OMG. What could be hotter?
As long as my heroine is legal age, and the hero is sensitive (but so powerfully masculine!!) why would anyone object?
Readers: Please share your thoughts about this timeless theme. What bothers you and what turns you on about May/December stories?