But there are degrees of escapism, even here. And as with much of my approach to life (diet, exercise, child-rearing), I prefer moderation. Call me vanilla or mainstream or even “tame”—especially as I stand like a solid stone in a rushing river of changing societal mores and tastes (viz. how digital publishing is shifting the boundaries from what was in the past “soft porn” to “erotica” to what is now almost “mainstream”).
Don’t get me wrong, I like reading (and writing) hot sex scenes as much as the next person. I even like ménage stories, and a little light BDSM (if it’s well written).
I also enjoy paranormal romance. Vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters, immortals, faeries: bring them on! Though even here I like more conventional development of the relationship, where there is a slow falling in love process and growth of the bond between H/h, rather than the hero just “knowing” or “recognizing” his mate from the start, as if this were some biologic imperative against which free will is helpless.
And I love all those alpha heroes who populate both the contemporary and historical romance worlds: the billionaires and CEO’s, the filled-with-ennui dukes and earls.
But at the end of the day, I’d rather curl up with something that is more like real life—just a little bit better. Give me the imperfect heroine, who’s perpetually struggling with those last ten stubborn pounds, and who has bills to pay and a job where she can’t just take off in the middle of the day to join the hero on some grand adventure. Give me the hero who’s a little seasoned but not a man slut, a little arrogant but not a total jerk, successful but not so mind-bogglingly wealthy that he has a helicopter on standby and drops a fortune on diamonds as “parting gifts” for his paramours. Give me a story rooted in the here and now, with some drama but minimal angst, and characters you wouldn’t mind having as friends and neighbors.
Oh, and don’t forget the happy ending.