Sunday, October 7, 2007

Romance in the 1970’s

I love reading romances. I’ve been doing it since I was about 12 years old when I started on the inspirationals and regency stories Grandma had sitting out on the book shelf in her living room.

Not to say that Grandma didn’t read steamier stuff. I just took me four more years to find it. Up in her attic, I did find her boxes of True Confession magazines and lots of juicy Harlequins where the hero was absolutely dominant and the heroine had some nice little temporary job that she was happy to give up at the end. The last scene was almost always the hero declaring his undying love and right out the window went the waitress/secretary/governess job. Now she could give up that daily drudge to become his WIFE and the MOTHER of his future babies!!

Yippee Skippy! That was romance in the 1970’s!

Totally Neanderthal of course. In real life, we gals like to have careers and all that but…there’s just something delicious about that dominant male.

There was not a lot of sex in these stories. Just the promise of it. Smoldering looks. Possessive behaviors. “You are mine, Querida,” would say the former bull fighter turned successful Brazilian businessman. The young twenty something English flower (who had entered his realm though inheriting a diner next to his office) would swoon in his arms. The hero’s mouth would swoop down taking possession of hers. First brutally, because she had made him jealous, but then it would become softer, more demanding. And that was about as far as the sex would go.

I just knew that this guy was going to screw her socks off. I’d finish the book and sigh, wishing I could know more of what happened when they finally hit the sheets.

I’d love to find some books that are basically this kind of story but take the sex up to the next level. Post your comments and let me know what books you’ve found like this or others in the 70’s and 80’s that you absolutely enjoyed!



The first romance book I ever read was Rosemary Rogers' Sweet, Savage Love and I was hooked. I loved the hero in that book. Much has been written by women who take exception to him and his forced some it was nothing more than brutal rape...but to me it was what I'd been looking for and didn't know.

That said, I have to tell you I am personally acquainted with real rape. It is an ugly, hurtful, painful thing and it can destroy a person if she or he allows it to. It can also make them stronger. What happened to me all those years ago had no romance in it at all. It was a crime.

THAT said, I know the difference between real life and a book. I can read about forced seduction from the 70s and not get bent out of shape over it. Yes, I liked it then and I liked it after the ordeal I went through.

Maybe that's why my books are written in the style of the 70s. I don't write rape but I have been known to venture close to forced seduction. My heroes are not sensitive, meterosexual males. They are strong Alpha dogs with more bite than bark but when they bite you, girl you know you've been bitten!

Lynn LaFleur said...

The first real romance I read was The Flame and the Flower, back in high school. I immediately fell in love with the romance genre and read every chance I had. Luckily, I had a good friend who loaned me her books cause I certainly couldn't buy them at 16!

One of the books I wrote (one that will never be published cause it's so badly written) dealt with a woman who was raped. I've never experienced that in real life, thank God. Charlotte, hugs to you for going through such a horrible thing and becoming a stronger person.


Tielle St. Clare said...

Well, if we're talking the first romance...the first one I remember with real sex (I'd read Victoria Holt but no sex) is Cassandra (can't remember the author). I remember it was hot, I re-read the love scenes over and over.

My memory of 1970's romance is Barbara Cartland and the breathless heroine. " you, too." Lots of "..." in those stories. Always out of breath, always 20 years younger than the hero.

Cynthia, one of the reasons I started writing erotica was because I wanted those romances but wanted to see what happened after the kiss.

Great memories!

Titania Ladley said...

I started at the age of 12 or 13 with Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, rest her soul. I devoured her books, then went on to read Johanna Lindsey, Laurie McBain, and a whole long list of others, as well as stories out of Forum and other sex-fantasy mags I swiped from my older sisters. *eg*

Sending big hugs, Charlotte! So glad you've come out a stronger woman. And you're right, real life and books are very different. Thanks for stopping by!

Cyn, great topic!