Popularity of Multiple Partners in Erotic Romance
First vampires and shapeshifters exploded onto the romance scene, and every book seemed to have a pasty-faced hero with a drool of blood or a man with a fantastic chest and a wolf morphing out of him. In the past year or so, we’ve witnessed a new type of passion from romance writers and readers—the ménage a trois.
Almost every e-publisher’s website is speckled liberally with covers sporting three, four, and more characters. This led me to question how far back in literature ménage a trois dates. Here’s what I found:
*Marion Zimmer Bradley relates the relationship of King Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot as a ménage a trois in The Mists of Avalon (1982)
*In Guy Gavriel Kay’s The Fionavar Tapestry, the Arthurian characters overcome their jealousies of their previous lives and Guinevere is found with her arms around each man, the three of them bound to live happily ever after.
*A Home at the End of the World (1990) author Michael Cunningham centers most of the story on a ménage a trois.
While ten years ago, almost no one wrote such a scandalous thing as three lovers bound in a relationship, writers now can hardly write a story without adding a third. However, writing a ménage is a delicate balance. Just throwing in a third for the sake of a third doesn’t sit well with readers. The savvy reader knows when it works and when you’ve forced it for the sake of hot sex and a more popular story. A true threesome relationship is based on mutual trust, understanding, love, and respect.
As an erotic romance author, I am known for my very HOT and STEAMY ménage a trois stories. Of my twenty releases, eleven have three or more partners. Each story comes to me in a new way, and each set of characters struggles with different problems in their lives. No two are the same. My characters always dictate who they love and in these cases, they’ve spoken loudly and told me they need more in their lives.
In my latest ménage a trois, Outlaws of Love, just released from Loose Id, my M/M/F grouping presented a new set of problems—how to deal with a marriage between two when there are three participants, and also how a very large family would deal with the revelation that one of its members was in a committed ménage relationship in post-Civil War Texas. I loved helping these characters find themselves and grow while battling their personal demons and running from the law. Following you will find an excerpt and blurb.
What do you think of ménage a trois reads? Do you read them? Enjoy them? Does the pairing matter (MMF, MFM, MMM, MFF, FMF)? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Upon traveling west to marry, Annabelle Stephens longed to leave her nickname of Sweetheart Annie and the strict rules of Boston society behind, but the taboo freedom she faces wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. When a sexy outlaw storms into her rented room and kidnaps her, she’s embroiled in a dangerous game with not one man, but two.
Until now Xander Hollis wanted one thing—or maybe two—to stop the Southern Gorge Railroad from stealing the homesteaders’ land, and to act on his desires with his partner in crime James. Like Robin Hoods of the old west, he and James embark on a mission to rob from the rich and give to the poor. When he refuses to let go of the woman who could identify him, he finds he’s in true danger. Danger of losing his heart to the heiress of the very railroad corporation he struggles to bring down.
EXCERPT of OUTLAWS OF LOVE- RATED ADULT
James leaned in and drew a deep breath, his nose inches from her hair. She tensed in response, but her body throbbed. Her nipples tightened almost painfully. Xander gripped her waist and plucked her off her feet, settling her astride in the saddle. She tried not to wiggle to ease the ache between her thighs even as she avoided James’s steady gaze.
“What is your mother like?” She hoped to distract him from her need, though the spark was quickly growing to an inferno.
“You’re going to love everything about my ma,” Xander said, vaulting up behind her. He tucked her tight against his chest with his familiar arm locked around her waist. James crossed to his horse and loosened the rope keeping it from running away.
“His mother’s the best cook in the world.”
“Better than yours, James.”
“No lie.” The man hitched his foot into the stirrup with the barest of winces and seated himself atop Switchback.
Xander probed her ear with his tongue, and his cock jammed harder against her buttocks. “James’s mother burns everything.”
“I used to pretend to eat my meal and then ran like hell across the fields to get to the Hollis Ranch in time for supper.” He set his heels into his horse, and they took off.
Xander didn’t immediately follow but nuzzled her throat. “You’re so goddamned alluring, Annabelle. I need you.”
She twisted, threw her arms around his neck and drew him down for a kiss. The instant their lips brushed, a series of explosions detonated in her core. Her nerve endings pinged. Her breasts grew heavy with need. And her pussy pulsated, begging to be stroked. Stretched. Filled.
“Please, Xander. Touch me.”
“Mmm.” His chest rumbled against her side. Gliding a hand over her knee and up her inner thigh, he located the V of her legs. Through the fabric of her dress, he rubbed her heated folds.
Grasping her skirt, she hitched it up to expose her pussy to his fingers. She stole a glance at James’s back. He was still riding, either giving them a moment of privacy or oblivious to the fact they weren’t following.
Xander’s hard lips commanded hers. At the first touch, she opened her mouth to him, and his tongue swept inside. He tasted the walls of her mouth, his tongue working deeper against hers. When he strummed the bundle of nerves between her thighs, she gasped.
Quivering with need, she writhed against him, seeking more of his maddening touch. The blaze of desire in her belly was uncontrollable. If she didn’t get release soon, she’d go insane.
She’d tossed out her inhibitions and admitted that she craved his touch. When he stroked her, she lost all sense of time and place, which couldn’t be a good thing. She was about to arrive at the Hollis family ranch, where people would surround them day and night. And James couldn’t be far away, could he?
Xander tore his mouth away. “How long will it take, baby doll?” How many times do I have to do this” — he circled her clit once, twice — “to make you come on my fingers?”
“Oooh.” Flashes of delight sparked behind her eyes, and her world narrowed to include only Xander’s leather-and-musk scent and the pressure of his callused fingers against her sensitive tissues.
Even when the hoofbeats of James’s horse sounded nearby, she couldn’t open her eyes and make Xander stop. He parted her thighs with one hand, exposing her completely to the air and surely to James’s gaze.
Xander’s words drowned out all cares. “That’s it, baby. Come for me. Feels good, doesn’t it? Your pussy is so pretty, all tight and wet. Your clit so swollen. You want to come for me, don’t you?”
In a blinding burst, she splintered. Wave after wave of blissful sensation washed over her. She clung to Xander, her gasps suddenly swallowed by his kiss. He ground her nubbin into her body, extending her release. Cream soaked his fingers.
James gave a soft moan.
And Annabelle’s eyes shot open. The man was mounted not five feet from them, his horse dancing slightly. James’s gaze was riveted between her thighs.
Xander lifted his head, looked right at James, and thrust his finger deep into her body.
A haze of rapture settled over her as another orgasm broke over her. The waves pounded her, the pinnacle sharper and more fulfilling than the last. Sensation ripped through her, and she stopped breathing for a minute. When she cried out, James’s gaze flashed to hers, caught and held. As her release pounded through her muscles, she couldn’t look away if she wanted. She was trapped again — between Xander’s adept fingers and James’s stimulating stare.
~where words mean so much more~
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Em Petrova Biography
Em Petrova lives in backwoods Pennsylvania, where she raises four kids and two feral kittens and pays too damn much for utilities. But seeing her sexy husband tromp out back with a chainsaw in hand is well worth the frustration of living miles from a mall. She adores writing sex scenes and anything paranormal. When she has the opportunity to mix the two, she’s in her element.
You can learn more about her smutty reads at www.empetrova.com.