In the innocence of my youth (note: aka up until a couple of months ago), I naïvely thought that a fantasy in which a supernatural being fell in love was called a “paranormal romance.”  When I started blogging, I proudly proclaimed myself a fan of urban fantasy and paranormal romance and invited people to send me reading materials. Yeah.

I soon got wise to the difference between fantasy and romantic fantasy and things settled down. But then a few weeks ago I received in the mail a hot-off-the-press paperback with a naked man on the cover that I’m 99.8% sure I never asked for. The unsolicited sex object was turned demurely so that his washboard abs rippled but his private bits were unseen, but he was very clearly starkers. I instantly imagined the following conversations:

Pre-teen Pubescent Daughter: (in a tone of prurient curiosity) Daddy – why are you reading a book with a naked man on the cover?

Teenage Pubescent Son: (in a tone of abject mortification) Dad – why are you reading a book with a naked man on the cover?

Wife: (in a tone I refuse to even speculate upon) Hon, can I, um, borrow that book when you’re finished reading it? Or, you know, just the cover?

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsSo, blame my personal sexual insecurities, but the book hit the trash unopened. I consulted with literary beefcake expert Mandi of Smexybooks who had this to say of the incident: “You tossed it? Poor naked-man cover!”

Yeah. Anyway, it seems clear that we all draw lines in different places.  So for today’s discussion, I thought I’d solicit you all on the topic of fantastic sex and whether (um, in literature only please) you can ever get too much.  Where do you personally draw the line?

One commenter will win a copy of Nancy Holzner’s forthcoming Deadtown, which I have reviewed in advance and am happy to say is an excellent novel that I have no beef with.


  • Stephen B. Frank

    STEPHEN (S.B.) FRANK, one of our guest contributors, earned a Ph.D. at Duke University and works in the field of education reform. When he needs a break from real life, he likes to indulge in urban fantasy. He has a particular love for humor, so some of his favorite authors are Dakota Cassidy, Mary Janice Davidson, Mark Henry, Julie Kenner, Katie MacAlister, Richelle Mead and Christopher Moore.