The other day while working at B&N, I hand-sold the entire House of Rohan print trilogy to a customer, and noticed that when I was telling her about its heroes, all of whom go over the "heroes on the edge" boundaries, mentioned that had I read the books ten years ago, I would not have liked/loved them as I do now. The customer was intrigued enough by that to buy the series.
Just now, while putting making sure all my AAR reviews were entered onto my Goodreads page, my review for Jayne Castle's Zinnia caught my attention because I remembered this snippet from 1997 (I may not remember having met you last week, but I remember just about all the books I've read, and most of my reviews): "I didn't care for the author's reference to proud nipples or to the use of such clinical terms as the c-word that rhymes with Lavoris or "vagina" when describing a love scene." That may have been true thirteen years ago, and while "clitoris" still doesn't do much for me, "clit" does. Sex at its best is a raunchy proposition, and while "clit" isn't romantic, it's definitely raunchy.
So it seems my tastes have gotten darker over the years. Is it my age, the number of romances I've read, or something else? My two favorite romances for the year - A Secret Affair and Breathless - are light years away from each other in terms of sexuality (Balogh's Regency in Disguise is mild in comparison to Stuart's book, which is based in large part on sex, though it dials back the love-making in comparison to the earlier books in the series). As far as tone, Balogh's book isn't light, and it's not as dark as some of her others, while Stuart's is on a par with my beloved Ice series...or perhaps a tinge darker. As for my third DIK of the year - which was published in 2007 - Jonathan Tropper's How to Talk to a Widower is both dark and a comedy.
Very few of you respond to the questions I pose on this blog, but I'll try again: Have your tastes changed over the last decade or so, and if so, how?