Clean or Steam? Why I absolutely adore writing sweet, slow-burn romance that Jane Austen would love!

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In case you didn’t know, there are various heat levels when it comes to romance. There’s sweet, clean romance that doesn’t have sex or swearing (mine has a bit of swearing but that’s a blog post for another day!) and the heat levels increase all the way up to very naughty, erotic romance.

Each level is brilliant in its own way and every authors has reasons for choosing to write they level they do. I really admire writers who can write the naughty bits (I can’t! I blush at the idea!). It’s a real skill to write it well and not one I have! But I thought I’d tell you a little bit about why I choose to write sweet, slow-burn romance.

What happens in a slow-burn romance?

Jane Austen is my favourite example of slow-burn romance. She’s an absolute legend for a reason. Think about Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility for a second. The declaration of love and perhaps a chaste kiss always happens right at the end. Now I know Jane Austen wrote in the early 1800s when you weren’t likely to get much more action, but for me there’s something really magical about that pure romance. The build-up is everything!

That doesn’t mean I don’t throw in an early kiss or too before the very end. It really depends on the story I’m writing. But the big declaration of love tends to happen near the end because it’s all about the…

Will they, won’t they?

The other reason I love slow-burn romance is because you get all the sexual tension and explosive chemistry, just without the sex. I am absolutely rubbish at writing anything naughty and get embarrassed even thinking about writing stuff that would make my mum blush! Sorry, I just can’t do it! If you love more heat in your romance, I know so many writers who would suit you better! Rachel Stewart who writes for Mills and Boon is one of them!

But I do sometimes hint at a bit of between-the-sheets action. It just tends to happen off page. Luckily, by now, my readers know what to expect. They’ll get a fabulous will they, won’t they with the perfect happy ending!

For me the journey is what makes the romance exciting and Jane Austen isn’t exactly terrible inspiration, is she?

What are you favourite heat levels and why? Keep it clean in the comments, though folks!

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Katie Ginger

The first thing you need to know about me is, I like gin. Lots and lots of gin.
I live in the South East of England in a lovely little town by the sea and spend my time working, running around after my kids, walking our King Charles Spaniel, Wotsit, and writing!

I love history and have a Master’s degree, but have also been lucky enough to work in various castles and museums over the years. I’ve yet to get one of them into a story though – I really must try harder!

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