Author Guest Post
A Love Letter to the Length and Breadth of Romance.
Okay, so, some of us were born to love reading, but few of us were born to love reading romance-- or publicly admit to it, anyways.
I remember my sister sneaking my mom's Harlequins, my mom catching her, and telling her if she followed those feelings she'd end up alone and pregnant. Our family was definitely not the most sex-positive place to grow up.
And especially if you run in a more traditionally masculine nerd crowd you take a steady stream of jibes about the romance genre's existence. That only intensifies if you write it.
I wasn't a romance fan before I started writing it. I was born and bred to the “serious stuff”-- Scifi, Fantasy, Horror, Speculative fiction. I loved a sensuously written fade-to-black, a well-woven love story in with the big boy plots, but it always felt like something was missing from those stories, some dimension of the characters that was intentionally subverted or hidden.
And then one day, the man-beast dared me to write what he couldn't (or wouldn't), and give it a try, drafting a romance series. I'm an obsessive workaholic, so I began examining the romance, new adult, erotica books that were getting great word of mouth, and trying to analyze them, pick apart why.
And the more I read the genre, the more I realized that those swoon-covered Harlequins I'd snickered at barely touched the tip of the iceberg.
There's so many debates now over the rigid HEA/HFN expectations that might render some classical romances..... not genre romances, but even leaving that to the aside, the romance genre was so broad, I found myself getting lost in it.
I didn't care for the bullying alpha males who practiced BDSM without understanding what they preached, but I loved the men who fell for women who were trying to kill them. I even learned to enjoy the sometimes problematic Beauty And The Beast captivity fantasy retellings. I learned to not beat myself up for the catharsis of a cowboy romance, or the wish-fulfillment of a billionaire one. How is it sillier than the paranoia of thrillers, or the need to recreate our world, and our tragedies, writ large in the cosmos, as though the mutant ape-babies hijacked this unfortunate planet are inherently destined for that kind of unilateral dominance?
And somewhere in there, I realized that that additional dimension wasn't just my own desire for more, or a vague dissatisfaction. Our sexualities aren't divorced from our person, and the fade-to-blacks and intentionally minimized romantic subplots were only serving to cut their characters off from vital pieces that could shape them. To shape a good erotic journey is far and away as sweeping of a challenge as topping Tad Williams or George R.R. Martin at complex epic fantasies.
From someone who found it impossible to read her first romances without putting on the mocking phone-sex voice, I've become someone who has written PTSD assault survivor romances, sex positive stripperotica, and explored a shitton of people's sexualities, some of whom are pretty far outside what I want in my day-to-day life. Even wrote a story with tentacles, though not the hentai ones. And it feels like I've found my niche, found my home. I'm with my people, people who can believe that sometimes finding love is just as important as defeating the dark god of evilness, reincarnated.
And you know what? It's a lot of fun. There's a time and a place to watch the Prophesied One bring about the downfall of the fourth Middle Earth. And when that world is rebuilding to be good as new for the author's next trilogy, set a hundred years later, I'll be right here with the Gypsy Brothers, whooping at the delicate contrast between the hate-sex and the lovemaking.
About The Author
Queen of Clubs: Cora by Katie de Long
Book 1: Queen of Clubs Series
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: October 10, 2014
Format: Paperback - 62 pages
Kindle - 1002 KB
Nook - 246 KB
Genre: Erotic Romance
Buy The Book: Queen of Clubs: Cora
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions.
The exotic dancers and employees of the Queen of Clubs walk a fine line, with only wits, beauty, and market savvy to keep them from toppling into the shark pit. Ride shotgun through lapdances, romance, and sexual awakenings. Don't worry, these girls won't ask what your hands are doing under the tip rail.
Cora, an adventurous student, finds herself auditioning for a stripping gig...and it comes with more than the asking price, including a very attractive DJ.
Queen of Clubs contains adult content, and is intended for mature readers. Each Queen of Clubs title is a standalone novella length work.
My Book Review:
Queen of Clubs: Cora is a fast paced and sensuous erotic romance story that is told in the first person narrative by Cora Meridano, a college student who auditions for a stripper's job at The Queen of Clubs strip club. Cora whets the reader's interest in describing her first day on the job as "Angel," learning the ropes as an exotic dancer: a two song set, pole dancing, lap dances, and a private room session. What she didn't expect was her attraction to Kirk, the club's daytime DJ, who is also attracted to her. Cora finds that the experience of dancing for men has opened a new world for her, she feels that she has made the right decision, feels alive, sheds her inhibitions, and is at peace with herself. On her first night shift, Kirk buys time with Cora in the champagne room, the club's private room, where their mutual attraction develops with flirtatious banter and sexual innuendos, eventually leading up to a sensuous night spent together at Kirk's apartment.
Author Katie de Long easily whets the reader's interest with this sassy little erotic romance novella. The author provides just enough of the behind the scenes intriguing practices of the strip club that briefly describes the exotic dancer's routine and the services provided at the strip club, but alas the reader is left wanting more. But not to worry, the author does provide a nifty glossary of strip club terms at the end of the book that will spark the reader's interest in reading the rest of the series.
The main focus of the story is the development of the mutual attraction and romantic / sexual relationship between Cora and Kirk. The development of their relationship flowed seamlessly from the initial attraction at the club to a steamy night of sex at Kirk's apartment. Cora is a sassy girl, who through deciding to dance at the strip club discovered herself. I loved Cora and Kirk's playful banter and mutual attraction, the sparks from their connection led to a very pleasurable night that left me smiling.
Queen of Clubs: Cora is an enjoyable and sexy erotic romance story that will leave you wanting more. It is the first book in the Queen of Clubs Series, but can be a stand alone read.
RATING: 4 STARS
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