Yay for finding new gems in the blogging world! Thanks to signing up for new mailing lists I found out about the Top Ten Tuesday blog posts. They looked like so much fun, I couldn’t resist. A place to let my inner booknerd shine? A way to geek out over obscure bookish things? AND an excuse to make listicles about books? Yes, please.

If you’re interested in joining in, the link and explanation of how it works is here on That Artsy Reader

On to the listicle! The most frequently used words in Romance. For this list I’m focusing more on spicy kinds of romance books because a) sex is just fun and b) the choice of frequently used words was much more interesting. I’m also explaining/defending some of these overused words, as a romance author.


If I’m going to pick one, I go with using damp over moist. A lot of people have an issue with the way moist sounds. I’m one of them. It’s just such a silly word. And please, other romance authors, never use it in tandem with something else like “passion-moistened”. Please?

eeew gif


I use both of these with a clear conscience and no regrets. Slick, wet sex is always better than dry rubbing. I’m just saying.


Look, it’s hard to figure out a more interesting way to say “he put his penis in her happy warm vagina” okay? Sheath at least has a more poetic ring to it.


The TV show Shameless (US) says it all when one of the characters asks, “ever tried to play pool with a rope?” Sorry, overused-word-list-makers, but that’s accurate.


As in “plunged into the kiss” or “plunged into her wet center”. It’s a good word with nice overtones to make readers think of reckless jumping and falling off the cliff and into love. I agree not to overuse it though. I’ll limit myself to one plunging metaphor per book.



Our main characters spend A LOT of time looking at each other. Because narrative tension. We’re trying to make it clear that they’re attracted, and that means nonverbal cues. Which happens to include a lot of locked eyes or longing gazes.


Although I’ve seen plenty of other metaphorical descriptions for arousal, like lightening, electricity, sizzles, and flashes. I can promise to try and vary it up, and find some other metaphors than fire.


*Raises hand* Guilty. Breathless, took her breath away, sucked in a breath, breathing hard, gasping. Romance spends a lot of time describing the things love can do to your lungs. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯