If you are a reader of my books, you know I have a WIDE range of stories. Some are sweet, some are steamy, and some are spicy. But what the heck does that even mean? The definition isn’t super clear and seems to vary by author/reader, but this is how I classify these categories.
Sweet books (for me) are books where the romance is limited to a kiss or two. There are no overt sexual situations, and the romance is about the character’s connection vs an eventual makeout/hookup. With that definition, I have only one title that falls in that category. My Young Adult novel What Moons Do. The only book my children will ever be allowed to read of mine. Ever.
Now this type of story is going to have some more intense kissing and sexual situations but for the most part, you don’t see much of the ‘action.’ Some people call this a fade to black scenes. I have several romance titles I’d put in this category.
This type of book is one that leaves the lights on when you hit the bedroom. *wink, wink, nudge, nudge. You see all of the action and all of the bits and bobs. These are the books you don’t want your family to read (especially if you’re the author.) I have a few in this area as well.
Now, I have a few titles that don’t really fall into these categories neatly. Like, my fantasy trilogy. Yes, there is some romance in it, but it’s more heavily fantasy so…
And what do I call my dark romantic suspense Girl on Fire? There is an element of sweetness there, but there is also some horrific description. I wouldn’t call that spicy, but you definitely see things…
My paranormal book has one spicy scene, but that’s about it. It’s less about romance and more about the ghosts she encounters. So, I don’t really call it a romance.
And then there is my collection of short stories, which really doesn’t fit in any of the categories. Kind of like me. Ha.
So, there you have it. Sweet, steamy, and spicy as defined by me. In hindsight, I called The First 100 Kisses and The Second 100 Kisses steamy when I was advertising them. To be fair, I hadn’t learned the term spicy yet. Now that I understand its meaning, they are absolutely spicy. You live and you learn, right?
Curious, are your definitions different than mine? Let me know!