Tag Archives: Isabel’s Awakening

Let’s Talk Erotic Romance Novels and Birth Control

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Erotic Romance, Sex, Condoms and Birth Control by T.D. Hassett

 

I was recently reading another bog (http://romancenovelsforfeminists.blogspot.com/2013/01/romancing-condom-contraception-use-in.html) about romance novels and contraception and did some reflecting on my own writing. I admit it, I have read many a romance novel and made note of the use of or even mention of birth control and can tell you that it is a contentious topic. Some of the issues involve a creepy double standard that few authors want to mess with. So I thought today I would write about this whole conundrum and let readers post their thoughts.

 

What about condoms?

As a romance novelist I want to write hot and exciting love scenes without having to feel like a public health lecturer. I don’t want to have to describe in a love scene how the condom was correctly put on or what lubricants could interfere with the efficacy of the condom. I might also want the freedom to have spontaneous encounters between the hero and heroine without making either of them appear to be planning for sex. I know, we should all celebrate people being safe and prepared but that’s when the double standard comes in. If I write about a condom carrying heroine then I am sending a message to readers that this is a woman who is on the prowl or worse, “loose”. Notice that in many novels if the heroine is on the pill it is usually explained that she was prescribed the pill to avoid some sort of menstrual issue rather than her need for effective birth control. I like the idea of sexually responsible and assertive women but that is not usually a winning formula for romance novels, even the really erotic ones. If you question this simply read the wildly popular “Fifty Shades of Grey” and its entire ilk and you will notice that the heroine generally has little or no sexual experience and condoms are ditched a.s.a.p.

 

I will also posit another reason for my own use of the “I’m clean conversation” or HIV test as a means of getting rid of the condom for most love scenes. Most romance readers are women between 30 and 60 years of age, grown women who have had actual sex. Most couples that worry only about pregnancy prefer almost any other form of birth control to the condom. In fact according to the Guttmacher Institute (http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html), only 16% of women who utilize contraception report using the male condom with the majority relying on hormonal birth control or sterilization. Probably not a big surprise since the condom has an actual use failure rate of 18%. I included both the “I’m clean” conversation and an HIV test in my recent novel “Isabel’s Awakening”. I wanted to be able to show the couple had moved to a new level of intimacy and I also wished to avoid rehashing the “putting the condom on step” for subsequent scenes. Finally, I believe that as authors we like to have lots of options for our plot twists and the surprise pregnancy is a classic in the romance genre.

Please share your thoughts. Do we need to be more explicit about condom usage? How do your favorite books handle the contentious issue of contraception?

 

Isabel’s Awakening Blurb

 

It’s been five busy years, and Newcastle-born singer/guitarist Thomas Morgan is still punishing himself for his younger brother’s death.

Thomas’s young, fashion-model wife once led her husband’s idolizing brother, Chris, into both drugs and an adulterous relationship. The loss of his brother and total destruction of his marriage destroyed Thomas. To avoid entanglements with others, even his young son, Thomas focused on promoting his music and the management of his now highly profitable record company. He thought he had everything at a safe distance, at least until Isabel literally slammed into his life.

High school teacher, Isabel Warren, finds herself falling head over heels in love with the sexy-as-sin guitarist for the rock band Becket. Soon Isabel’s orderly world of lesson plans, thesis writing, and student loan debt is competing against desire, passion, and her vulnerable heart.

Isabel struggles to navigate her newly stirred passions with her rising academic career and independent nature. As the sex sizzles, the two lovers will have to decide which parts of their dreams they will sacrifice for their fledgling relationship.

Can Thomas ever trust and love again, and will the young woman he meets ever have the confidence and strength to be with him?

 

Tag: Isabel’s Awakening; TD Hassett; Erotic Contemporary Romance; Rock Star Romance

Keywords: Isabel’s Awakening; TD Hassett; Erotic Contemporary Romance; Rock Star Romance

 

Excerpt:

 

It was well after midnight, and Isabel felt the buzz of concert beer and party wine. Thomas had been working the room steadily and checking back to ensure she was chatting happily with a group. She saw him cornered with a radio show producer he’d introduced her to earlier. Thomas had a tortured expression on his beautiful face. She finally understood why the whole band didn’t show up at these things.

The ladies she’d been chatting with were working up a sweat on the dance floor, and part of her longed to join them. The rational side won out. She really couldn’t dance and preferred others not to know how clumsy she could be, especially after a few drinks. Isabel parked herself by the bar and prepared to enjoy some people-watching. She couldn’t believe how packed the place was. She did meet some really nice people and only got snubbed by a few drunken idiots who must have been trawling for celebrities. Part of her was disappointed it was time to go when Thomas returned from his latest round of shop talk and asked if she was ready to head out.

Thomas escorted her to the elevator while tapping out a message on his iPhone. He was letting the hotel’s driver know they were ready to go and where to meet them. They stepped into the mirror-lined elevator and headed down to the lobby level. Suddenly, Isabel was nervous, and not in a front-door-kiss-or-no-kiss-end-of-the-date sort of way. She hadn’t had the talk with herself about this date because it just all sort of happened. She had really expected just to go to the show and then be home by ten thirty, reading thesis notes and petting her cat. Even at the backstage party, she’d still thought she’d get to chat with him for a few minutes and then be dismissed with the rest of the hordes. Why did he want to be with her when there were so many other girls? Insecurities washed over her.

Thomas overwhelmed her. He was so out of Isabel’s little world. On Monday, she would teach the Crusades to disinterested seventeen-year-olds, and he would be many miles away somewhere, crooning out megahits to a stadium filled with adoring fans. Oh my God. What was she even pretending to do?

Her disparaging thoughts suddenly flew totally out of her head. Thomas looked right into her eyes and stroked her lower lip.

“You did great tonight. I’m really glad you came,” he huskily whispered. Before she could ask for clarification, he continued. “I saw you talking and laughing with the staff from Marketing and Planning, and I liked that. In my line of work, you get a little sick of people always brown-nosing the celebrities and forgetting who’s responsible for the whole fuckin’ operation.”

It sounded as though he was about to say more, but the elevator jerked to a stop, and the lights went out, only to flicker back on seconds later. Must have been a power surge and the backup generators were kicking on.

Isabel stared back, wide-eyed and openmouthed. He leaned closer, and without any further hesitation, his lips met hers.

This was a kiss, a real, soul-sucking and tongue-sliding-over-her-lips kiss, the kiss of all kisses. Oh my.

One of his hands slid from her jawline to the back of her neck and pushed her lips into harder contact with his own. The other hand gently tugged her jaw down so her mouth opened slightly. His tongue slipped into her mouth and tickled her inner lip. He swirled his tongue around and caressed hers. She tasted the heady mix of wine and good stout on their mingling breaths. Before she could stop herself, she let a little moan escape. Their mouths became even hungrier for each other, and she pressed her breasts to his chest. He nibbled her lip a bit and then resumed the dueling of tongues deep in her mouth. The hand on her neck dropped down and gently squeezed her ass, pushing her harder into him. She felt his erection against her lower belly, and very wicked parts of her longed to pull his leather pants down and stroke him. Isabel rolled her hips against him and was rewarded with a wonderful growl.

He slid his hand up her clingy tank top and cupped her breast. She wanted more. Her breasts swelled, and her core became soaked with just the rhythm of his tongue in her mouth, sliding in and out and around. His slender fingers slid their way under her bra, and finally, he stroked one engorged nipple. The blood in her body flooded to two very special spots.

Isabel strained against his fingers, wanting him to pinch and stroke her nipple more. Hell, she wanted him to slide his other hand up and play with both breasts. He ground against her, and she responded with animal like mewling noises. This was not the teacher her students would even realize existed.

The elevator shook and resumed its downward journey, jolting both of them apart. Cool air flowed against her heated skin, and they each took a deep breath. Thomas stepped sideways a bit. He smiled like a male model and said simply, “Wow.”

She couldn’t help replying, “Wow to you too.”

 

Review:

Leslie Ferdinand rated it 5 of 5 stars

Shelves: arr, rock-star-hero

Isabel Warren and Thomas Morgan are worlds apart. She’s a high-school teacher at a school filled with at-risk teens. He’s the singer/guitarist fof the world famous rock group, Becket.

 

Isabel and Thomas meet by chance when Izzy stops in at the local bookstore and her inner klutz comes out. They meet when she falls into his arms. Sparks fly immediately and Thomas is impressed at how unimpressed Izzy is of him. But Izzy’s world consists of teaching her kids and completing her thesis, so she doesn’t know who Thomas is or the extent of his fame. Once she hears him singing, however, she realizes she’s familiar with his music, just unfamiliar with individual members of his group.

 

Izzy doesn’t know she’s in for the ride of her life, both on Thomas and with him. Though she’s afraid she’ll get hurt in the end, she refuses to eschew her opportunity to really live for once in her twenty-four years.

 

Isabel’s Awakening was romantic, wicked and fun. Izzy was a strong heroine with spirit and independence. The awkwardness and uncertainty most of us feel at the beginning of a new relationship was realistic, allowing me to connect even more with her. Hot British Guy, Sex God, Sci-fi Fan, and “Mere Mortal”, Thomas is a dream and he was more than happy to show Izzy all sides of himself.

 

http://www.lsbooks.com/isabels-awakening-p779.php

http://www.amazon.com/Isabels-Awakening-ebook/dp/B00CH675ZI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366903862&sr=8-1&keywords=isabels+awakening

 

 

Blog: https://naughtyandniceromance.wordpress.com

Facebook: tdhassett.facebook.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7063843.T_D_Hassett

Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/T.D.-Hassett/e/B00CJE2MPQ/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

 

 

Author Biography

T.D. Hassett grew up reading the romance greats, Jackie Collins, Julie Garwood and Judith McNaught. She was certain that life should be like a romance novel, lots of passion, some incredible adventures and a guaranteed happily ever after. She attended college in New England earning a B.A. in history and a M.S. degree in clinical psychology before changing her mind again and studying education. Currently Ms. Hassett lives in Connecticut with her very patient husband and two young children. Her rambunctious family shares their home with 3 crazy cats and a darling golden retriever named Delilah. Her eccentric relatives and their quest to make her feel like the only normal nut in the family tree inspire her writing.

 

Fall into Winter Blog Hop

I love the fall. All the beautiful colors and those precious last temperate days before winter sets in really moves me. Perhaps because I know the short, cold days of winter are coming soon. I simply appreciate autumn more fully than spring. In the evening I get a fire going in the wood stove and curl up with my siamese cat, Darling. I try and read as she purrs and head buts me for my attention. I can only hope that some readers will be cuddled up reading some of my work this season.

Drop your e-mail into the comment section and I will randomly choose a winner to send an e-copy of my first book in the Love and Music Series.(okay, my cat will poke her paw randomly on one of your names and I will send the book.)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/909e358/
http://www.inlinkz.com/wpview.php?id=329783
Enjoy the blurb below.
Isabels’ Awakening

It’s been five busy years, and Newcastle-born singer/guitarist Thomas Morgan is still punishing himself for his younger brother’s death.
Thomas’s young, fashion-model wife once led her husband’s idolizing brother, Chris, into both drugs and an adulterous relationship. The loss of his brother and total destruction of his marriage destroyed Thomas. To avoid entanglements with others, even his young son, Thomas focused on promoting his music and the management of his now highly profitable record company. He thought he had everything at a safe distance, at least until Isabel literally slammed into his life.
High school teacher, Isabel Warren, finds herself falling head over heels in love with the sexy-as-sin guitarist for the rock band Becket. Soon Isabel’s orderly world of lesson plans, thesis writing, and student loan debt is competing against desire, passion, and her vulnerable heart.
Isabel struggles to navigate her newly stirred passions with her rising academic career and independent nature. As the sex sizzles, the two lovers will have to decide which parts of their dreams they will sacrifice for their fledgling relationship.
Can Thomas ever trust and love again, and will the young woman he meets ever have the confidence and strength to be with him?

http://www.lsbooks.com/isabel-s-awakening-p779.php
http://www.amazon.com/Isabels-Awakening-ebook/dp/B00CH675ZI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382544662&sr=8-1&keywords=isabel%27s+awakening

6 Paragraph Sneak Peak!
“Come here,” Thomas said.
He reached for her and pulled her over his lap and then grabbed the guitar back from its case. He positioned the guitar in her arms and organized her fingers on the strings. He had amazing patience because each time he set her fingers into position she would move them just out of place. At long last Thomas was happy with her hand placement, and he held her fingers onto certain strings over the frets and guided her right hand across the bridge strings.
They strummed the strings a few times, and he whispered into her ear, “You just played a chord.”
His breath warmed her ear, and he kissed the lobe gently. Isabel shifted around in his lap a little bit, and she was rewarded for her squirming with a little nip to the neck.
“Hmm, quit rubbing around like that or your music lesson will be over,” Thomas threatened.
Isabel was done with music lessons and wanted a biology lesson at that point. Please, please let the teacher say it’s time to change classes! Her inner girl predicted success.

Fall Into Romance Blog Hop: And let’s talk kinky f**kery with food!

Okay, my debut novel, Isabel’s Awakening, had several erotic scenes– but hey, it was a novel about a naive virgin’s awakening to passion and physical pleasure so what did you expect?  A couple of the love scenes involved food and those that know me personally have already been peaking in my refrigerator with a little gleam of wonder in their eyes.  I won’t say if I have ever tried out what happens in my books — you know that old saying, “what happens in an authors’ bedroom stays in that bedroom” — so quit wondering.  Instead I thought you might want to read an excerpt of one of those yummy yet naughty scenes and perhaps comment on any of your favorite bed time foods.  Please leave me a comment that includes your e-mail as one lucky visitor will receive a free e-book at the end of the hop.  You are also welcome to follow me on Facebook (TD Hassett).  The follow up novel to Isabel’s Awakening will be Loving Link to be released 10/28/13.  Thanks for hopping and please follow the blog button to your next stop (after leaving me a comment).

 

A hot Isabel’s Awakening Excerpt:

 

 

Making love with Thomas was never quite the same twice. She was sticky with sweat and out of breath, but he wasn’t done with her yet. It had been so late by the time the concert let out and then they’d had to attend a party for one of the local promoters after. It must have been two a.m. by the time they got back to the hotel. She had wanted to just collapse in bed, but Thomas could be very inspirational sometimes.

Thomas grabbed the strawberries and champagne that they received at check-in and escorted her to the bedroom. Once there, he unbuttoned her blouse and followed his progress with kisses and nips down her chest. He shushed her little squeals with a finger to her lips before tugging her jeans off her hips and sliding them down to the floor. Her panties and bra soon followed.

She knew he was up to something naughty just by the gleam in his eye, but when he asked her if she trusted him, she knew it would be the type of naughty she’d secretly love but deny to her dying day. He commandeered the ties from their hotel robes and started making quick slipknots with them over the bedposts. Thomas was in his Marquis de Sade mode tonight. He lowered her to the bed with a bruising kiss and guided her wrists into the loops of the bathrobe ties. Once he had her secured to his liking, he placed an airline-style sleep mask over her eyes. Just the thoughts going through her mind left her soaked and panting.

She imagined what she must look like, tied up, naked, blindfolded, and splayed across a hotel bed with her streaky-haired lover crouched above. The thoughts made her womb clench. He fed her a succulent strawberry, and then she heard the champagne cork fly, and a sip of the dry brut was fed to her from his cool lips. She tried to keep his mouth near hers by reaching her tongue out, but de Sade apparently had other plans and pulled away too soon. She felt him pour a bit of the champagne into her belly button, and she kept still, waiting and wondering where he’d touch next. She tried to comply with his order not to wiggle, but the warmth of his lips on her navel proved too distracting, and she shivered.

She felt something cool and wet with little seeds being rubbed against her swollen nipples, and she knew it was a bitten strawberry caressing her. Her insides tightened up, waiting for attention, and de Sade soon delivered. He slid pieces of strawberries up and down her labia, sliding some in between her slickening folds, and then a large uncut strawberry was held against her lips for her to try and taste. She stuck her tongue out, wanting to grab at the fruit, but after a few shallow licks, the berry was taken away and then slowly inserted into her slit. She was shaking at the thought of Thomas taking it out of her, but she squeezed her inner muscles and felt its juices slipping out and down between her thighs. Sade growled his appreciation for his creation and rewarded her with a deep kiss, rubbing his tongue against hers and nipping at her bottom lip when he’d had enough. She cried out in frustration that she could no longer taste him. The sound of another bottle, lotion perhaps, and liquid being expelled distracted her.

“Thomas, what are you up to?” she asked breathlessly.

“I’m going to fill you all up, luv,” he responded.

She felt his fingers pushing that strawberry deeper into her, pressing on another sliced piece that rested over her clitoris, and then he slipped a moistened finger into her …..

http://www.lsbooks.com/isabels-awakening-p779.php

 

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