by Michelle_Buonfiglio 11:11 AM
Love scenes or depictions of sensual encounters replete with the language of anatomy and physiology can seem base and uncomfortable for some lovers of romance fiction to absorb, and even for many authors to write. Which is probably why sometimes we end up with lines like this:
"The sweet sound of her voice caused his creamy tribute to burst forth."
If I've read a couple thousand romances, I've never stumbled across that particular euphemism for, well, you know. So I need to give the author, Bertrice Small, kudos.
Yet I'll give her bigger props because I like the new novel that line is taken from, "The Border Lord and the Lady," in which the Queen of Scotland's best gal pal's bridnapped by a lusty border lord felled by love at first sight. The novel's not filled with sexual euphemisms and, for gawrsh sakes, Small's an accomplished storyteller who even has the brass to come up with a total shawkah in this book, and the kind of move that could have folks grunting and groaning online about her "breaking the author/reader contract" like she severed some damn medieval guest/host obligation and led the barbarians into the bailey to rape the buxom wenches and pillage the stores of day-old trenchers -- instead of making a plot choice.
But readers'd have to care first and, they do, oh, they do care about Small. Her 1980s Skye O'Malley saga introduced women to a strong heroine who wins the day with her intelligence and strength of character - and explores the power of her sensuality. In the years since, Small continues to give her female characters as many choices as the periods within which they live allow.
Over the years, Small's created a kind of sensual romance that appeals to a reader with a desire for explicit sensuality with smoother edges to some of the language, hence the euphemisms that bother almost as many folks as they soothe.
Even though they don't make me like a book less, I actually feel a little embarrassed when I read euphemisms. But my discomfort doesn't issue from my thinking as some do that romance is made "cheesy" because someone writes in a style that some call kind of "purple," but rather because "beating ‘round the bush" phrases remind me of inadequate language of sexuality given to me as a kid by well-meaning adults.
But for other women, creamy- and bursting-forth tributes are just the stuff of which safe and sexy sensual reading experiences are made.
How do you feel about euphemism in romance novels? What's your comfort level with it? Do you have favorites?
Sandra Brown's at Center Stage this week: Check her out here!
Message Edited by Michelle_Buonfiglio on 08-17-2009 11:21 AM