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Topic: Are Harlequin BLAZE novels erotica?

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Subject: Are Harlequin BLAZE novels erotica?
Date Posted: 3/17/2008 11:25 PM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2008
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I was wondering if these books are considered erotica. What is erotica by def.? I know what it is (sorta) from reading some short stories online, but thier not my fave type of stories. I saw that one of SIMPLY books by Carly Phillips is listed as a BLAZE title. Any explainations/opinions/thoughts/ideas are welcome.

=),

Kenjii

PS I read Mainly Superromance but have branched off into suspense and paranormal (shape shifters and vampires) romance lately.

Date Posted: 3/17/2008 11:44 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
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Well, I'm really not an expert in this area, but the Blazes I've read seemed a little milder than I would classify as erotica, somehow. Though they did involve using items other than body parts, which often seems to be some sort of defining line. ;-)  Still, they all seemed, despite the steaminess, still very much Harlequin Romances at heart. But I may be way off base. I have certainly read about some very extreme sounding Blazes.

Date Posted: 3/18/2008 9:28 AM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
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In my opinion, the definition of 'erotica' is a fairly subjective one.

Books published under the Harlequin Blaze label:

1) Heroes cuss. Yep, 4-letter words printed right thar on the page. No euphimisms. No "he spat out a string of unprintable words that made her blush."

2) Men are visual, women are verbal. You might get warm fuzzies reading G- or PG-rated romances (old school Macomber, Howard, Palmer) but Blaze books would make better bedtime stories read aloud to a lover (or have your lover read to you). The sex is described graphically, sometimes using common slang words for body parts.

3) Many Blaze plots revolve around couples who a) are not virgins and b) do not have any moral conflict with having sex with a stranger, although they invariably end up with an HEA ending.

4) You will often see narratives include references to condoms, bikini waxes, etc.

I'm more familiar with the Silhouette series books than the Harlequins (other than Blaze), but I'd say that the "Romance" label would be rated G; the "Special Edition" rated G- or PG-; "Desire" rates PG-13; Harlequin "Temptation" gets an R rating; and "Blaze" gets a soft X. True erotica would probably rate an XX or more IMO.

Apparently, Harlequin doesn't consider the Blaze series to be erotica because they've introduced the "Spice" label...

Among my favorite Blaze titles:

ACTING ON IMPULSE by Vicki Lewis Thompson (this is a very FUNNY book)
WHISPER by Nancy Warren
TAKE ME by Cherry Adair
DARING IN THE DARK by Jennifer LaBrecque
TRUTH OR DARE by Jo Leigh (very touching story)

Colleen



Last Edited on: 3/18/08 9:30 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/18/2008 9:32 AM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2005
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Blaze is NOT erotica, just steamier then usual romance.

Date Posted: 3/18/2008 10:06 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
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I was wondering about this the other day..to me some I'd consider erotic romance and others just spicier...I don't recall certain words used as much in the blazes though like the 'f' and 'c' words...

Date Posted: 3/18/2008 10:29 AM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
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The use of certain words will, of course, vary by author with some more conservative than others. But I do recall seeing such words in Blaze titles so apparently the editors don't prohibit them.

Erotica? Relatively mild, but explicitly descriptive. It's not the 'erotic romance' published by Samhain, Ellora's Cave, Aphrodisia and others.

Date Posted: 3/18/2008 12:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
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I've read some Blazes that have very little and pretty boring sex in them and some that were close to erotica.  I read a lot of actual erotica: Ellorascave and such and I don't think of Blazes as erotic.  I've read mainstream historicals that were much more graphic than most of the Blazes I've read.  They have some new Extreme Blaze books out.  I read one and the heroine has sex with 2 dif men in the book-she has feelings for both and can't decide who to be with.  They were 2 seperate scenes-not the 2 men together. In another Extreme one I read the heroine has a fantasy about having 2 men at once. Her boyfriend recruits a friend but she stops if before they get beyond foreplay.  She can't go through with it in the end.

Erotic tends to have some toys, maybe some bondage and/or multiple partners and such and not always a HEA. 

Date Posted: 3/18/2008 1:54 PM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2008
Posts: 147
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I like having a general  idea of something before researching it on my own. I mean it's just reading but I don't want to order a bunch of Blaze's and not like a single one. Which publisher, or author or type or erotica (since I know there are bound to be sub-genre's) woud be highly recommended? I've had such a bad idea about romance up until about 2 years ago, now I read them like crazy. But I have also seen there are all these genre's. I don't want to read about a bunch of sex  and if that's what erotica is I'll skip it, but if it's just a difference of desciption I want to check it out but also check out some of the best.

Date Posted: 3/18/2008 2:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2005
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Erotica is sex with a story...sure some are bad and seem like just sex, but that's not what the genre is. The best erotica publishers are Ellora's Cave and Samhain. Or at least, those are my favs. Loose Id is good as well.



Last Edited on: 3/18/08 2:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/18/2008 3:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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On the Newconceptspublishing.com and ellorascave.com websites you can read excerpts of books.  They don't usually use the racy stuff but that might give you an idea. 

I highly recommend Michelle Pillow.  Her books are great, have great sex scenes and a good story. 

Lora Leigh: her ebooks, I've found are pretty much just sex w/minimal plot in them.  Her print books have a really good plot and great sex scenes.  She can push the boundaries sometimes: BDSM, Toys,  Anal etc..., 

Date Posted: 3/19/2008 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2008
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I have visited ellorascave.com and also Michelle Pillow and Lora Leigh's websites and saved them all. I did enjoy the excerpt from Michelle Pillow's Red Light Specialists. I like how they have everything coded so u have an even better idea of what to expect not just by genre. Thanks!

=),

Kenjii

Date Posted: 3/19/2008 10:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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She can push the boundaries sometimes:

"Sometimes"?  IMO, it's more like a lot of the time!  I really like her stuff, but I can't read her back-to-back because I just feel beat down by her "anal = male dominance" approach.  It can be a bit too much occasionally.  JMO.

Date Posted: 3/20/2008 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
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Well her ebooks are really heavy on the BDSM-spanking, multiple partners and such.  Her print books are little more tame. At least the ones I've read have been.  They're still much more graphic than most others. 

I read a Blaze yesterday and they mostly just talked about sex. The h/h didn't get it on until near the end of the book and it wasn't much of a sex scene.  The hero's sister got more action.

Date Posted: 3/20/2008 8:01 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
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Blaze has a new "extreme blaze" line that to me, comes pretty darn close.

Sherri

Date Posted: 3/21/2008 8:53 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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Is Michelle Pillow with ellora's cave? I can't get on her site since I'm here at work and don't wanna end up on a 'questionable' website for all to monitor! :-)

Date Posted: 3/21/2008 5:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2008
Posts: 147
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Yes, Michelle Pillow has 3 print books at ellorascave.com. I guess if I have to decide between geting a new Playstation and an e-reader (the Kindle on amazon for instance 399.99) for alot of books thru ebook retailers only I'll get an e-reader. Hehe. I see I am missing out on alot of good reading bypassing e-books just b/c I don't have an e-reader. I could download them to Adobe I know but I don't like sitting here reading for hours. So anyhow...

Date Posted: 3/21/2008 5:39 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I hate missing out on the ebooks too but those ereaders are too expensive..I've downloaded a couple of the 'quickies' to my laptop but it's boring sitting there reading them from the computer...I like a paper book best but they wont' print all of them...

Subject: About eBooks
Date Posted: 3/21/2008 6:45 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 808
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Before you decide to "go green" with eBooks, check the 5th bullet point on this page:

www.ellorascave.com/newtoebooks.asp  (no worries. It will open in a new window)

Additionally, samhain spells it out on the page following the title of an eBook: YOU CANNOT TRANSFER, COPY, SHARE EBOOKS.

They are cheaper to buy up front, easier to take to a lot of them on vacay if you have a reader, but... I like to share.

Date Posted: 3/21/2008 7:07 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I'm not really wanting to 'go green' per se but a lot of stories aren't printed :-( they're only ebook format... but the fact that I can store a bunch of erotica and keep it 'hidden' is appealing!

Date Posted: 3/22/2008 2:27 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I think the Michelle Pillow books I downloaded were from Newconceptspublishing.com.  Most of hers are in print too, I think. 

I got most of my ebooks from ellorascave and newconcepts and saved them onto recordable music CDS.  So I can use them on a laptop if I want.  Assuming I ever get a laptop. Since I joined PBS, I haven't been reading any ebooks.  I only had about 20 books when I joined PBS and now I have around 400.  So I haven't needed to download any books although I do have a list of ones I might want to download someday.

Someone emailed me some and then I couldn't get mine to email-it kept telling me it wasn't allowed.  I felt bad. I don't know why she was able to and I wasn't. 

Date Posted: 3/22/2008 1:13 PM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2008
Posts: 147
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I was thinking about that. The fact that whatever I "ebook" I can't share. But then again the fact that erotica got me thinking I should buy ebooks, like Susanna, I can keep things private. I will still buy paperbacks for swapping and use the ereader for "right now and urgent" orders and anything I don't want just laying around for others to see.