One of the more fascinating things about publishing my stories over the past year has been readers’ reactions to, and comments about, the sex in them. Too much, too little, too graphic, too tame, maybe too many people invited to the party? I’ve heard it all. One reader complained that you could read Lake Fearless 3 to your grandmother, while another, after reading the same book, reached out to let me know that any sex involving more than two people is too much. I get it. We all have different experiences and come to books with different expectations. I’m just happy that people are reading what I write, and some are really liking it.
In the Lake Fearless series, I opted to fade to black and not get too graphic with the sex. Cherry Wine Kisses is perhaps only a notch or two above that on the heat scale. These stories weren’t meant to be erotica. Nor was I interested in exploring sex as the main event for destined lovers.
Instead, the part of sex that interested me when I was writing these books was the unpredictable way it can make us go a little crazy, change us, comfort us, or even inspire us to act in ways we never could have imagined. What might short circuit one partner might bring calm and confidence to another (see Jasper and Cody in Lake Fearless 2). In Lake Fearless 3, when Pete was craving touch and Chad and Evan offered it, the same event affected the three men differently.
In Cherry Wine Kisses, sex with others outside the main relationship was an important part of the characters' growth. One needed to get out of his head, ground himself, and learn that sex was more than the porny fantasies he had always imagined and the other needed to experience a dose of that forbidden fantasy in real life. It helped bring them together in the end. They even talked about those experiences with each other.
While my books don’t focus on sex, I include it, and not just for the erotic charge, although hopefully that’s there as well. The types of experiences depicted do happen, and I’m glad I can explore them, even just a little, when it makes sense for a story.