It’s back-to-school time, girlfriends, which only can mean one thing: Submitting to dominant men is hot, and just about the sexiest lesson a girl can learn when she’s studiously exploring randy erom fantasy.


I'm not sure why it's suddenly cool to do things in and out of bed at the behest of guys we dig, after spending years being told by some chicks if we give quarter on any gender-war battlefield we'll end up at the mercy of the testosterone-fueled enemy.

Thankfully, we've gotten over ourselves and realized it's fun to serve up a little respect to a man we're into when we're pretty sure he returns it - and deserves it.  Which is why, I think, erotic romances featuring dominant heroes and submissive females are popular.

When we talk "Doms" (D) and "submissives" (s), we're not talking the old-school, "have dinner on the table at five, and be on your back and ready for me at my whim because you are my inferior" everyday attitude men lived and women accepted for centuries.  The D/s lifestyle depicted in erotic romance is about social contract and the exchange of power.  

Nobody'd want to swap control for subordination if they didn't get something in return. In the case of the erom, specifically Lauren Dane's emotionally compelling and sexually super-charged "Laid Bare," the pay-off's in the acceptance of pleasure -- and one's comfort with desire.

Yet what if a hero totally rocked the "Dom" thing, but couldn't accept he liked to get rough n' raw with a willing partner?  He'd have an interesting road to travel - and he'd be depicted with empathy and dayum fine skill in the fictional flesh of Todd Keenan.

Keenan's hot for rocker Erin Brown from the moment she moves her dreadlocked, sexy-as-sin-and-cool-in-her-own-skin self next door.  After a raunchy, insane-but-consensual fling, Keenan cuts/runs cause he can't stomach that he'd treat a woman in any way but gently and tenderly - regardless of whether that woman begs him to top her and feels nourished by her sexual choices.

Ten years later, Keenan's back in Erin's life, but she's been through a horrific experience that's changed her from a free spirit to a tortured soul.  She'll share with Keenan the explosive passion he's finally become comfortable with, and in doing so find some peace.  But how will she ever open herself to the pain of his walking away from her again - or of what it will cost her when she has to run away from him?

To be sure, the romance of "Laid Bare" is gripping, with Keenan and Erin as different as night and day, yet each as needy as the other is giving.  But the sensuality of the novel - the hook that draws us to the erotic romance, after all - is delicious and expansive, and "Laid Bare" has plenty of delightful scenes and sessions to rock your sexy world.

So pay close attention, students; class(y erom) is in session.

Which Dom/s eroms and romances are ‘tops' with you?  What do you love - or what makes you uncomfortable about - Dom/s eroms and romances?

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎08-26-2009 03:34 PM

I'm definitely calling you when I need a pun-gent headline!


I've met Lauren and read some of her other books. I'll have to check this one out! 

by Author PortiaDaCosta on ‎08-26-2009 04:17 PM

This sounds like an incredible book!


I love reading and writing about the sensual dance of power exchange.



by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎08-26-2009 06:38 PM
OOO, Portia, the sensual dance of power exchange. You sure write perty! In the case of erotic romance, when two folks base a relationship on a complex sexual interaction or series of such, it raises the stakes for the path and obstacles on the way to HEA.  As a reader, it's fun to see how an author convinces us that the 'love connection' and intimacy was at the heart of the attraction to begin with. we need to believe that, I think, or at least that at least one of the pair was looking for it up front.

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎08-26-2009 06:41 PM
I know you like it hot, becke, so you'd probably enjoy this one, too.  And I like 'pun-gent!'  It'd be a good one to use on, I don't know, a blog where you talk about herbs and stuff. :smileyhappy:
by lillie on ‎08-26-2009 06:44 PM
This has been my favorite read of the year. While the D/s parts of the story were insanely hot, it was the emotional connection of the characters that really made this story for me. Can't wait for the next book!
by authorlaurendane on ‎08-26-2009 06:45 PM

Thank you Michelle for talking about Laid Bare and for all the lovely things you've said about the book and thank you to Becke and Portia for the comments.


Everyone has their "buttons" with certain themes/tropes in a book - things that appeal or don't so I don't imagine my way is the "one true way" but more like the way things work for me, LOL.


For me, the core is always connection between the people involved. I want the sub to be a woman who is strong, confident in her desires and unashamed - to me, it means more when she chooses to submit to a person who will top her.  At the same time, I want a top who understands submission is *given* by the submissive, not taken or simply expected.  When I read and when I write BDSM, I want to see both people involved as whole people, as people who cherish their partner and who understand the power in giving up control to a person who is deserving of taking those reins.


I don't personally find much enjoyment if the top is irresponsible or abusive, if he seeks to harm or humiliate, or if he thinks D/s is a game to play to mess with someone. Topping another person takes skill and concentration, the top needs to be aware of where he or she is, where the sub is and to be sure when envelopes or boundaries are pushed, the sub is right there too.


Without that depth of connection and the exchange of power between the parties, it's to me, a bunch of words without a whole lot of depth. A spanking isn't sexy if it's just a hand meeting flesh, it's just words people put on a page without utilizing the true power of that experience. 


Because power exchange is far more than physical, it gets the reader into the heads and hearts of the characters from a totally unique perspective, which is why I love to write it (and read it too!).  The romance comes in with the connection, the trust, the knowledge that one party is safe with the other, even when the act might seem extreme.



by b42bella on ‎08-26-2009 07:17 PM

God Lauren, you are such an incredible writer!!!  I love all your books, but holy heck, I love this post just as much if not even more, for different reasons!  (If I were more articulate, I could expound on that, but I think I'll just accept that I am not and bow down to and enjoy your awesomeness ;-) ).


I cannot wait to read LAID BARE!  It looks totally awesome and if anyone here hasn't read Lauren Dane you are missing out and you must go to the BUY button right now!



by 1lovealways on ‎09-05-2009 02:20 AM

I read a preview of Laid Bare and liked it mostly.  Those very descriptive words turned me off.  I know what the author is referring to and I don't need it to be elaborated on with a more baser word.  When that's done it seems they are leaning more toward porn than romance.  I know there are other parts that make the story good and this is fine.  I'm not downing anyone who loves the eroms.  I think they're super hot.  Some of those words have invaded Historical Romance also with the new writers coming on the scene.  I realize these words are used in context with the time period sometime and that I can respect, but the modern eroms never stop.  These words pepper the story throughout.   In Historical Romance you're not going to see the word(s) as often.  Another thing I don't like is the threesome.  Nope!  Definitely not for me.  I'm the one man, one woman reader type.  There's no love and romance in a threesome.  Where is it?  Again, I'm not trying to step on any toes.  I read a blurb for a book recently and it sounded great until they got to the part about the threesome.  That did it! I couldn't buy the book.


I was actually mad because the plot sounded great.  Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I could get past my reading difficulties of the eroms or should I just give up all together where they're concerned?  I'm missing out on the good "hot" reads and I'm mad, but I can't change me.  Help!






by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎09-07-2009 07:29 PM

Hi, 1love always!  I'm not sure you're missing out on something if you simply don't dig the premise.  Everyone has her comfort zone, and you seem to know what turns you on/off.  It is tricky sometimes to figure out what's gonna be part of a novel -- before one's read it -- in terms of vocab, pairings, etc.  Sometimes folks can't stand any more than 1 couple going for HEA, even in erotic romance.  And some have the fantasies of multiple partners, etc. that they enjoy reading about.  And they're that: just fantasies. 


Popular studies on women and fantasy suggest that women have many, many fantasies that they'd absolutely never want to experience in 'real life.'  Erotic romances give us the opportunity to 'imagine' them, and simply in reading them, many women feel empowered -- they realize they're not the only person w/the fantasy, and they're not 'abnormal.' 

I don't think you have to get past anything; read what you like. But I do know there are some erotic romances out there that might not be so "out there" for you. :smileyhappy:  Sometimes it's hit/miss, and I'll bet that can get frustrating.  Language can be a toss-up, too, as readers are a little more comfortable now with earthier language and scenarios, as well as more "graphic" prose. 

A fun thing to do might be for you to open a thread at the Romantic Reads boards asking the crew and moderator Melanie for suggestions of erotic romances that only are about a monogamous couple, and which have mild language.  It probably will be hard to find ones w/out more graphic prose and descriptions of sex, anatomy, etc.


Perhaps you'd rather read really sensual romances that aren't "erotic romance?"  I've been reading Kresley Cole's para series lately and it's really hot, but not erotic romance. There is some strong language, like the F word, but nothing really stronger. But even that's a treasure/trash call, I guess. 

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎09-07-2009 07:36 PM

glad you stopped by, bella!  Let us know what you think after you're read Laid Bare!

Thanks for stopping by, Lauren, and for that insight into what inspires you to write relationships that include D/s.  It's interesting for readers to get a sense of where an author's coming from, and can help someone understand another way to look at unfamiliar sensual scenarios.  And your point  The romance comes in with the connection, the trust, the knowledge that one party is safe with the other, even when the act might seem extreme can be applied to the general romance scenario. If an author can prove to us the couple feels safe to become intimate on any level -- including the daring sexual ones, of course -- she wins us over.  the point whe trust is earned -- or earned back -- in a romance is when we realize the lovers have caught on to what we've known all along: they're perfect for each other. 


by 1lovealways on ‎09-08-2009 02:26 AM

Michelle, Thanks so much for your suggestions regarding the eroms.  I've read one Kresley Cole and absolutely loved it!  I've ordered another book by her, so I'm fine with the sensual romances.  Again, thanks!

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎09-08-2009 09:09 AM

You're very welcome, 1lovealways! I just ordered another of hers, myself. I'm looking forward to the new one for fall...


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