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LVH Guide - A to Z of Adult Romance books

In a literary field literally packed with contending genres, what is it that makes adult romance books so particularly enthralling to its growing number of fans? The following guide takes an in-depth look at the adult romance genre to divulge an entire alphabet of reasons why you should add these novels to your must-read list.

Anastasia Steele

If you haven’t heard of Anastasia Steele then clearly you haven’t dipped your toe in the stimulating waters of adult romance. And also, where exactly have you been for the last decade? Steele is the female protagonist of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. She’s a lady who becomes the sexual and then love interest of the book’s main male character, Christian Grey. The book series and following film adaptations are probably the most well-known works of adult romance in the world as they reached a wide audience previously unfamiliar with the genre.

BDSM

BDSM sex features a great deal within adult romance novels. Not always simply in whip and rope form, you should understand. The full repertoire of BDSM sexual activities features bondage, discipline, domination, submission, sadism and masochism. The characters within adult romance will often experiment with BDSM as they explore new facets of their sexuality and take risks within new relationships.

Characters

The important thing about good adult romance is that it should be well written, have an interesting plot line and include well-rounded characters. This is not pornography people! We’re not just looking at nameless characters having sex. We want to know who they are, what they are thinking, what their lives are like, where they are going, who they admire and love, and why. There's so much more to adult romance than meets the eye.

Dangerous Liaisons

Based on a stage play that was based on an 18th century book, Dangerous Liaisons is the 1980s film that tells the tale of a malevolent widow and a ruthless male accomplice who set out to corrupt an innocent young woman. The hit movie featured a stellar cast including Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer, and a host of romantic and sexual encounters. The original novel must surely be one of the earliest pieces of literary adult romance and the inspiration for many books about love, romance and intrigue. The very essence of the adult romance digital book series LVH is also centred around dangerous liaisons, both in real time and when the main character meets intriguing people when travelling through time.

Erotica +

Erotic literature normally features wanton sex in almost every paragraph of its storyline, and sex is often the main and dominant component of the writing. With adult romance you will be pleasantly surprised that you are reading erotica plus a great deal of other important content. Adult romance is so much more than just immediate and carnal sex with complete strangers. These books feature nuanced characters and storylines that often cover detailed aspects of history, science fiction and fantasy, and heartfelt romance. Adult romance is erotic, but it’s erotic plus creditable writing and storylines.

Fantasy

Adult romance is positively rife with fantasy. There’s the acting out of your wildest fantasies in the bedroom, there’s the sci-fi & fantasy settings, there are fantastical adventures, and also the fantastic heroes and heroines. Basically when you pick up an adult romance novel you can be sure that your fantasies will be encouraged and left to run riot.

Game of Thrones

There has been much debate around the Game of Thrones books by George R.R. Martin and whether his truly brilliant fantasy series ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ falls into the genres of erotic fiction or adult romance. Our thinking is that GOT definitely ticks all the boxes to be considered as adult romance. There are many graphic sex scenes included throughout the different plotlines, and sex is often used to show power and domination. It’s also portrayed as essential learning for youngsters heading out into the world, and also used within acts of revenge. It’s really not too surprising that in an epic tale of the battle for thrones and lands, that a bit of BDSM and sexual enticement was going to appear!

Historical settings

Many adult romance stories are set in past periods of history and although this might seem strange at first thought, it actually makes a lot of sense. Think about it a little more …. dark long stone corridors lit dimly by torch light? Heaving bosoms, clinched waistlines and corsets? A scandalous affair between the Lord of the house and a beautiful scullery maid? Grapes, togas and reclining seductively on a Roman couch? The possible enticing environments, costumes and relationships are endless and can add more colour and intrigue than a modern day setting.

Intrigue

Every reader that picks up a book wants to feel curiosity about what is within the pages ahead; how else do you feel impelled to keep reading? A good adult romance novel will, by its very nature, pique your interest and curiosity. These stories will supply intrigue about characters and the relationships between them: who is this mysterious woman? Why is this man behaving this way? Will they or won't they have sex? Will they find love and romance? Clever and creative plot lines and background settings will further arouse a reader's interest and keep them reading until the dramatic or satisfying end.

Journey

When you read an adult romance story you will engage with interesting characters who will metaphorically embark on several life journeys. These adventures and character developments can include a sexual awakening, the blossoming of romantic relationships, or more mundane and perhaps even less sexy achievements like career success.

Kaye

The surname of the New York Times best selling author: Laura Kaye. Kaye is a writer known for ‘hot romance and edgy suspense’ and is an exciting contributor to the field of adult romance literature. Having grown up amongst a family who loves angels, ghosts and curses, her books are interwoven with her fascination for the supernatural. A good place to start with Laura’s exciting body of work is the award winning ‘Hard As You Can’.

LVH

Well come on, you wouldn’t expect us to write this guide without the inclusion of yours truly and the story of Lady Victoria Howard, would you? Our digital series is at the forefront of modern adult romance and covers the spellbinding adventures of a young woman who inherits a remarkable gift and finds herself on a journey of personal and sexual awakening.

Mary Gaitskill

Another award-winning American author that has set a high standard in the arena of adult romance is Mary Gaitskill, who is probably most famous for her debut novel ‘Bad Behavior’. The book is a collection of fiercely sexual short stories and is literally a chronicle of bad behaviour. The tales are thought-provoking anecdotes of the dark side of sexual relationships and drug addiction that deal with raw love, sex and obsessions. Gaitskill’s brilliant writing ensures that ‘Bad Behavior’ is often delivered with great humour and a touching naivete.

New Adult (NA)

New adult romance is the younger sister book genre to adult romance. The readership of these novels falls roughly between 18 to 30 years old and often the readers have left school recently or at some time in the previous 10 years. They’re all grown up, but probably haven’t yet experienced the wonders of sex as an independent adult; they’re a little naive in a way. New adult romance has several strong themes and storylines that define the category. There are a lot of firsts: first real love, first unexpected sexual encounter, first loss, first important job, and they don’t shy away from difficult subjects. Read more about new adult romance here.

O from The Story of O

‘The Story of O’ is an absolute classic piece of adult romance that has inspired readers and writers for many decades. The book, featuring sub-dom interplay and the character O’s desire to prove her love for a man, raises a variety of questions about sexuality for women in the modern day. The real life story of its author is as compelling as ‘The Story of O’ itself, and is well worth investigating. Writing under the pseudonym of Pauline Réage, there is no doubt that Dominique Aury created an immense piece of erotic fiction, either for or inspired by her dominant and often distracted lover Jean Pauhan.

Pornography

We are stating this loud and clear: adult romance is not pornography! These books do not skip straight to the sex scene and linger there without context and substance. As already underscored in this article, the genre of adult romance lies heavily on strong character development, intriguing plotlines and atmospheric settings. There are currently reports in the general press from sexperts on why women prefer erotic novels to mainstream porn, another confirmation as to why these novels are so popular.

Quest

Many of the synonyms for the word quest could be collated to sum up the content and premise of an adult romance novel: exploration, journey, search, pursuit... When written well these books take their readers on an adventure where minds, bodies and lands are explored in the pursuit of happiness, love and sexual discovery, the book characters experience an inspiring and rewarding journey.

There are also historical quests, which are a lot of fun!

Romance

Within the pages of an adult romance, love will often reign supreme and these books are likely to contain several different kinds of romantic relationships: short lived but thrilling, between childhood sweethearts, falling in love for the first time. Of course there is also sex, and plenty of it, but at its core adult romance is emphatically about grown-up relationships and real normal human emotions and feelings.

Sex

Adult romance is not just sex, sex and more sex for the sake of it. It’s so much more than just wild, furious abandoned sex with strangers - although it certainly does involve a great deal of that, too! But the sexual encounters in these novels shouldn’t detract from a great story, intricate plotlines and engaging characters, as they are also important components that make a book so enjoyable.

The Twilight Saga

Here is another global cultural phenomenon that has sparked debate in some circles as to whether it belongs in the realms of adult romance. The romance fantasy novels written by Stephenie Meyer transported people of all ages into a beguiling heart fluttering world of teenage angst and desperately attractive vampires. To be sensible and correct the books should fall into the category of Young Adult as the text was not sexually explicit. However there was no end to where imaginations were led to by people of any age who got lost in the story of Bella and the 104-year-old vampire Edward Cullen.

Unicorn

Yes, the horse-like unicorn is the four legged mythical creature that you would think would be associated with a fantasy adult romance novel. However the type of unicorn that mostly appears in this type of erotic literature is the mystery third person who joins in with a couple for sex. As they are considered by many to also be rarely seen, they are often compared to the elusive unicorn. You can find out more about these magical beings here at the LVH Magazine.

Victoria Howard

It would be very remiss of us if we didn’t talk about our favourite protagonist at this point in our guide to adult romance. After all, our stories would be nothing without Lady Victoria Howard. Victoria is the intriguing and likeable character at the very heart of this compelling digital book series. What sets Victoria apart from the rest of us is the extraordinary gift she inherits that takes her on a series of riveting adventures and a journey of sexual exploration.

Writing

Not wishing to labour the point but adult romance is not a set of pornographic images that elicit an immediate rush to the loins. A good adult romance novel has to be written well or the explicit paragraphs are likely to amuse or turn a reader off rather than be seriously enjoyed. It can not be overstated that the writing is key and the most important aspect of these books.

X-rated

So this is the question that the more frisky researchers amongst us want confirming. Do adult romance stories fall into the X-rated sector of the library? The answer is yes. Some chapters are very saucy. That’s the long and the short of it.

Young Adult (YA)

This is the much younger book genre sister of adult romance and a category that is aimed at the 12 to 18 year old demographic. Although often steeped in meaningful romance and burning youthful loins, young adult books rarely inlcude detailed sex, and sexual encounters are normally implied and left to the reader’s imagination.

Zenith

There is some speculation that the book genre of adult romance has reached its zenith with the arrival of LVH: Lady Victoria Howard. What are your thoughts? If you’ve not enjoyed these compelling adventures yet, you can sign up easily via this link today.

LVH is the steamy adult romance subscription service popular with readers looking for a scintillating storyline alongside some extremely passionate sex. Sign up today to receive the story of Lady Victoria Howard delivered direct to your mobile.

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About LVH

Welcome to LVH Magazine, the grown-up publication that covers fun conversations about erotica, sex and romance, and the occasional serious discussion on issues surrounding female empowerment. Our articles are contributed by a feisty vibrant team of writers from various walks of life, all hailing from different countries and cultures, and offering differing perspectives on life.

From their musings on ‘what women really want’ to some fierce opinions on female sexuality in film, the LVH writing collective are here to hopefully amuse and inspire readers of all ages, genders and sexual appetites.

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