For as long as AAR’s been reviewing, we’ve rated romances for how spicy/sexy/hot or not a love story is. (Our current sensuality ratings may be found here.) Currently, our standards are:
Kisses: Kisses only. Many of these books are quite simply “sweet.
Subtle: No explicit sensuality. Kissing and touching, but physical romance is described in general terms or implied. The emphasis is on how lovemaking made the characters feel emotionally, and not on graphic description.
Warm: Moderately explicit sensuality. Physical details are described, but are not graphically depicted. Much is left to the reader’s imagination.
Hot: More explicit sensuality. Sex is described in more graphic terms. Hot books typically have more sex scenes and are more likely to depict acts beyond intercourse.
Burning: Extremely explicit sensuality – these books are often erotic romances or flatout erotica.
It’s time to update them. Interactions that used to be rarer in books–anal sex, threesomes, and alien encounters–are more common and romances have more explicit sex scenes than they did in the past.
We will not be abandoning these five descriptors. They are part of our Power Search database and changing that is currently out of our possibilities.
So, give us your definitions for these descriptors. Feel free to be graphic. And, if possible, give us examples of books that meet your definitions. We’ll collate your responses and present new definitions later this summer.