Okay, I never would
have believed it, but romance novels make for pretty damn good reading. I
wouldn’t want to read them all the time, but still, all those smoking-hot
virgins liquefying in the arms of their swarthy, unyielding seducers — that’s
excellent! I just can’t believe these things are for women, at least as much as I
understand sexual relations. I had always thought the idea of coercing women
into abandonment stemmed more from the male than the female side of the
world of fantasy; now it seems that I might have been wrong (although
gentlemen, need I but mention the cop/lady criminal, producer/aspiring actress or
professor/student scenario to set your hearts a-pounding? Aren’t these the
sugarplums of our waking and sleeping dreams? Is it only me?) A friend of
mine once dreamt that he was a pagan god to whom a tribal culture would
ritually sacrifice nubile virgins — and at the time, silly me, I thought that was
an archetypal male fantasy! Not unlike the great high school
realization that women like sex too, the very thought that my
fantasies might be shared by the fairer sex implied that I wasn’t quite the
monster I thought I was. Who’d have thought?
Though perhaps it’s a cultural thing, for certainly had I been seen with
copies of Complete Surrender and One Strong Man under my
arm during graduate school, I don’t think I would have made many friends
among the women in my department. But those days are gone, so now
you’re likely to catch me furtively flipping pages in the aisles of Wal-Marts
everywhere. And, members of the jury, I won’t be reading Field and
The excerpt below is from one the “classics” of the contemporary romance
genre, Rosemary Rogers’ Sweet Savage Love. It takes place in the
Wild West amidst a constant threat of Indian attack, but I bet you never saw
this on Gunsmoke!
* * *
From Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers
Without knowing why, or what she was doing, her arms lifted, went around his neck and
clung. She felt his hand move slowly and caressingly up her back, then tug impatiently at
her hair, loosening it from its tidy, coiled braids. She felt her hair tumble down her
shoulders, and his mouth made a burning trail from her parted lips to her earlobe.
“Ginny — Ginny — ” the words sounded like a groan, and a shiver of apprehension
went through her as she felt his fingers start to unbutton the thin silk shirt she had worn
with her riding skirt.
He mustn’t — she mustn’t let him — but his mouth found the hollow at the base of
her throat and she made a little, helpless sound; feeling the shirt open under his hands, his
fingers burn against her breast.
He held her close against him, one arm supporting her weak, trembling body, and
when she would have protested against the liberties he was taking, his lips covered her
open mouth, taking possession of it, stifling the words she tried to utter . . .
Suddenly, he had bent his head, he was kissing her breasts, his tongue tracing light,
teasing patterns over their sensitive peaks.
She struggled then, but only half-heartedly; both his arms imprisoned her again,
she closed her eyes and let him have his way, feeling the desire to struggle or even to
protest slipping away from her to be replaced by something else — something that grew like
a tight, hard knot inside her belly, spreading a burning flush over her whole body.
He must have sensed her sudden, abject surrender. From somewhere far away she
heard him laugh softly, and then, catching her roughly against him, he was kissing her
again, his hands slipped under her shirt to caress the bare skin of her back.
This time Ginny arched up against him, half-sobbing, not yet understanding the
strange new emotions that he had awakened in her body. She was all too conscious of the
pressure of his long, hard-muscled legs against hers, of the feel of his shirt against her
bare, tingling breasts, the crisp feel of his hair under her clutching fingers.
Somewhere in the recesses of her mind was the thought: So this is how it feels —
like a fever, like a coiled snake in the belly, growing, spreading heat like honey in her
loins, rendering her incapable of everything but feeling . . .
© Rosemary Rogers