No I don't consider Erotica a guilty pleasure. Hey, I read and have kept all the Anita Blake series except for Affliction which hasn't come out in mass paperback yet. I think Laurell K. Hamilton's bed scenes are more exhausting than titillating.
For me guilty pleasures involve Romantica of the Happily-Ever-Afters because I don't think any human should be so stupid as to bank all his/her happiness on one individual. In other words I have a short tolerance level for Idiotica.
Having said that, I admit that I read romances. Hey I've even read a few Barbara Cartland Regencies in my life... until I ignored them because they lacked the detail of Georgette Heyer's settings and her intelligent heroines. [Yeah, I still have all of Heyer's Regencies on my bookshelves and even re-read them.]
What kind of romances to I succumb to? Ones with a good mystery, and better yet, an interesting supernatural/real world connection tied to a mystery.
So what did I read while my brain was on meltdown from
There Be Demons edits?
Mary Balough: The Proposal -- Lord Trentham, a commoner [rich], gained his title for battlefield bravery but now reluctantly looks for a wife since he promised his father on his deathbed that his sons would carry on the family business. Hero chances upon Lady Muir, a widow and part of the intricate family networks of the Bedwyn world. The premise: the struggle to reconcile two conflicting worlds. Yeah this is a b/g meets g/b - b/g loses g/b - b/g wins g/b book. Balough makes the book a winner with her command of the Regency era .and the complexities of her characters. -- Five Stars and a Keeper.
Stephanie Laurens: The Taming of Ryder Cavanaugh -- At first, the book looks a simple romance where Mary Cynster, the last unmarried Cynster female of her generation, finds her true love with the help of a mystical necklace connected with the Lady, a mystical Scottish entity connected to her family. The story soon complicates into a decent who-done-it as Ryder and Mary try to figure out who is trying to kill them. -- Four Stars since too many of the Cynster heroes blend into an repetitive pattern. Still the series has been enjoyable, if unchallenging, reads.
Last but not least, Heather Graham's Heart of Evil -- Graham's supernatural villains are the topping that makes her supernatural mysteries so enjoyable. In this story, former lovers must reconcile against the background of the "Krewe of Hunters" -- an FBI group of paranormal mystery solvers -- tackling the murder of a Civil War enactor who is found swinging from an angel in a plantation cemetery. -- Five Stars for inventiveness here.
So now you know what I've been reading during the three weeks I've been doing edits of There Be Demons for the Grumpy Dragon Press editors. Yeah it's escapist "literature". But they are all good, relaxing reads. May I be so successful.