18++ Being surrounded by her perfect brothers is a painful reminder of her failure to launch. The last bonfire of the summer is an ideal way to let off steam, especially when she runs into Dean Trescott, the playboy friend she had one hot-as-hell night with back in high school.
Published: July 7th, 2015
Jamie Matthews is stuck in a rut. After hitting a wall with her dream career, she’s back in her hometown, living a life as monotonous as swimming laps in the neighborhood pool.
Being surrounded by her perfect brothers is a painful reminder of her failure to launch. The last bonfire of the summer is an ideal way to let off steam, especially when she runs into Dean Trescott, the playboy friend she had one hot-as-hell night with back in high school.
Since the day Dean met Jamie, he’s loved her beauty, talent, and smile that lit up the whole damn block. But dating isn’t an option. She has a bright future ahead of her, and he refuses to chain her to his—helping run the family business that’s barely staying afloat.
A “what-happens-in-Vegas” weekend was supposed to get their craving for each other out of their systems. But neither counted on the past repeating itself, drawing them together in even hotter and dirtier ways and dangling the possibility they might both be able to get exactly what they need…
Warning: A friends-to-lovers twice over story that contains some hot ’n’ heavy kissing in the waves, hair pulling, and a man who knows how to use his hands. It may also feature a few practical jokes—only the fun kind, of course.
Rules of erotica
It’s hard to pinpoint rules when it comes to something creative. One of the things I’ve always loved about writing is that there are no regulations, no way to be right or wrong. That being said, the subgenres of romance do have certain rules to them, especially the ones that delineate between erotica and erotic romance. For that, I’ll have to paraphrase Sylvia Day, who described the differences aptly in her post:
“Erotica are stories written about the sexual journey of the characters. It is not designed to show the development of a romantic relationship. Happily Ever Afters are NOT an essential part of erotica, and if they are included, they aren’t the focus. The focus is on the individual characters’ journeys, not the progression of the romance.
Erotic Romance are stories written about the development of a romantic relationship through sexual interaction. The sex is an inherent part of the story, character growth, and relationship development, and couldn’t be removed without damaging the storyline. Happily Ever After is a REQUIREMENT to be an erotic romance.”
I do not write erotica. There is absolutely a place for it in romance, and the authors who write it are extremely talented, but it’s not where my muse likes to hang out so I can’t speak much to the rules of the subgenre outside of Sylvia’s description. I write erotic romance because I prefer to write stories where the characters’ sexual journeys and emotional journeys are intrinsically linked. Together, they create the romance. Without one, the other collapses, like a house of cards.
In The Hierarchy of Needs, Jamie and Dean’s sexual interactions helps their romance bloom, and also helps them develop as people. A huge part of intimacy is acceptance, and that’s one of the key themes in the book. Jamie has grown up feeling less than worthy in a family of overachievers. Dean has lived his life on the other side of the tracks, and sees a future for himself that is nothing more than a dead end. Their romantic and sexual interactions guide them along the path to finding acceptance—both from the other person and within themselves. It’s also what leads them to their Happily Ever After.
I suppose that’s the one rule that keeps me reading and writing erotic romance. The Happily Ever After is something I can’t live without. I have to walk away from a story feeling that the characters are going to be okay. It doesn’t mean perfection and bliss. Life’s ups and downs are going to come at them. They’re going to have their troubles, but as long as they have each other, they’ll be able to handle anything.
About the author:
Rebecca Grace holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a double concentration in Creative Writing and Literary Comparison, which seemed like a good idea at the time.
After stumbling through careers in entertainment, publishing, law and teaching, she’s returned to her first love: writing. A self-admitted caffeine addict and gym rat, she currently lives in upstate New York with her husband, two parakeets, and a cat with a very unusual foot fetish.