I admit it! The women in my books discover themselves as sexual beings and what they discover is often outside of the acceptable norms. There's a reason for that. Throughout most of Western culture (and many other cultures), women's sexuality as been regulated, their bodies violated and their desires denigrated. This is problematic for a number of reasons- but mostly because it takes away a vital element of who she is as a human being- the only mammal that was designed/or evolved with sexual pleasure. It is an extraordinary gift. Denying a woman's sexuality creates a being with arrested development, which can manifest in unhealthy behavior or insecurities.
My latest work, Seven Whole Nights, takes that concept to the next level. Claire is smart, sexually aggressive and kinky as hell... and she's unattached. When she encounters a man who celebrates and fully embraces her desire to express her sexual alter ego- sparks really fly! But she struggles with intimacy. She pushes back against his interests in being emotionally intimate with her.
In The Lover's Trilogy (Her Love and Regrets, His Pleasures and Pain and Their Now and Forever), Janine Powell found love and intimacy that led to sexual expression that unnerved her. She has difficulty reconciling the sexual being she became with her impressions of appropriateness. So she repeatedly flees from the man who helped her find wholeness. When she's finally able to break through conventions and accept her truth, she is freed to love with no barriers and finds a level of intimacy unmatched and lifelong.
Nikita Jones (Darling Nikita) seems to be the woman who lives her sexuality with abandon and freedom. She doesn't hide who she is or what she likes. But Nikita is deeply flawed. Having been labeled as promiscuous as a younger woman, she lashes out at those who love her most. But she does love... deeply and soon learns that her rage is misplaced and eventually finds love and happiness.
Unlike the other books, ASIRA AWAKENS is a paranormal romance with important sexual elements as well. Deborah Brooks finds herself attracted to and sexually compatible with Ben Stewart as they unravel the secrets of a Belgian priests diaries. The bond Deborah and Ben form is one for the gods... and their intimacy unleashes it all. But even Deborah shares feelings of guilt about losing her virginity outside of the bonds of matrimony.
I think showcasing women outside of the damsel in distress or the nubile ingenue tropes is extremely healthy. I think writing women who are flawed but searching is liberating. I think writing women as free sexual beings is an example of life being lived to the fullest. I think writing women this way is long overdue!