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Sawyer North | Does “Sweet” Romance Still Matter?
Author Guest / August 19, 2020

I write historical romance classified as “sweet” but not religious. I don’t particularly care for the term “sweet” because of the baggage that’s been assigned to it. The term has been used simultaneously to put down “sweet” romance as yawn-inducing and to lay church lady judgment on sensual romances. That said, it is a better term than “clean” – don’t get me started there. So, for the purposes of this article, let’s stick with “sweet.” As a man writing in a space dominated by women readers and writers, I made a conscious decision to avoid writing explicit sex scenes. Don’t misunderstand me – I read plenty of spicy romance; Tessa Dare is one of my favorites. It is just my opinion, though, that for a man writing sex scenes primarily for women readers there are a thousand ways to die. I took the cowards way out. I’m not proud of it. That brings me to my question, though: does sweet romance still matter? In the beginning of the genre (or at least during the early 19th century), most romance fell into the sweet category. Spicy works were forbidden pleasures read mostly in secret, a behavior-driven largely by the prevalent religious…