I've always been a little naive. Although I write sensual romance, I'm embarrassed to admit I'm one of the last people in the room to get a dirty joke or catch sexual innuendo. Here's a recent example. My husband had an appendectomy and was having some pain in his side a few days later. He used a bag of frozen peas as a cold compress, which I offered to put back in the freezer after a while. Here's how the convo went down:
Me: Do you want me to freeze them before they lose their pea-ness?
Him: I don't think they have one.
Yep. I'm the slow one. This explains a lot about why I enjoy romances with innocent heroines. Don't get me wrong. I also like experienced ladies ( i.e. Beth Ackerley from The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie) who cut right to the chase, but in historicals, I can sympathize more with virginal heroines. Everything is new for exploration and the hero is more worldly with lots to share with his lovely new partner. It makes for great tension, as long as the writer treats the situation in a way that hasn't been done ten thousand times.
I think writers can make an inexperienced heroine still sizzle for today's readers as long as she's smart, independent, and a balanced match for the hero. I love to watch the character make the complete arc from innocent to vixen.
Inexperienced or experienced? Do you have a preference?
I'm hosting my first Goodreads giveaway for a signed copy of MOONLIGHT MADNESS my Renaissance time travel romance. And yes, the heroine is innocent.
While visiting Wales, Rance Kingsley, Viscount Waldenham, receives a warning that his daughter will soon be kidnapped by Spanish enemies. Before he can aid her, Rance tumbles into a mysterious portal to the future. His only hope is to find his soulmate, the key to returning. However his curse continues when all signs point to Tess Hartman, a straight-laced teacher, as his match.
After a cheating boyfriend, the only male Tess wants in her life is Dante, a troubled teen she would like to adopt. To bond with the boy, Tess brings him on a class field trip to Britain. But the Shakespeare experience becomes too real when sexy, eccentric Rance seduces her. When Tess falls for Rance's kisses and travels with him across four centuries, she's convinced he's made a mistake. How could she love a man who deceived her, separating her from everything she cares about, a man with MOONLIGHT MADNESS?