Pleasure Me With Vanessa Kelly

>I first met Vanessa Kelly at the 2009 RWA Conference in Washington, DC. It was friendship at first sight! I think you’ll enjoy spending some time with her here today on the blog. I also have to admit that we both love younger heroes. Her latest work is a novella in the anthology An Invitation to Sin along with authors Jo Beverley, Sally MacKenzie, and Kaitlin O’Riley.  Please welcome Vanessa for today’s Pleasure Me With Romance guest post.

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I’m totally honored and totally terrified to be the first author to kick off Monica’s spectacular blog event.  I don’t think Monica actually told me I’d be the first blogger in such a stellar line-up.  If she did, I must have blocked it out in the sheer horror of the moment.  I mean, really!  Who wants to be followed by the likes of Jayne Anne Krentz, Madeline Hunter, and Sabrina Jeffries?  I feel like a fifth-grader reading her own poem at the school assembly, and Kenneth Branagh is coming on after me to do a soliloquy from Hamlet!

But in looking at the impressive list of guest bloggers, I realized there was something we all had in common—the fervent desire to impart the pleasure, the beauty, and the sheer fun of romance novels to their collective readerships.  And, boy howdy (as JAK would say), do they deliver in spades!  Readers obviously agree, since the number of folks who read the novels produced by these talented and prolific writers must number in the bazillions.  Okay, maybe not that many, but we all know that romance writers and their readers are keeping the publishing industry afloat.

The Pleasure Of
A Younger Lover

Clarissa Middleton cannot resist the ardent kisses of Captain Christian Archer, though they must meet in secret or risk the censure of London society. In each other’s arms, desire and love melt two hearts into one…

These writers do it not only by imparting pleasure to their readers, but by crafting fantastic, heartfelt books that are full of another P word—passion.  Romance authors know the ways of the body and soul better than anyone, charting the vagaries of the passionate heart with wit, drama, sensitivity, and (another P word) panache.  Want to plumb the tortured but ultimately redemptive journeys of the human soul?  Read any book by Anna Campbell.  Looking for the laughter and exuberant joy of a soul-mate relationship?  How about one of JAK’s Amanda Quick historicals?  Her Regency romances fill my keeper shelf (along with her newer books, of course), and they never fail to make me laugh and feel damn good about the state of relations between men and women.

And then there’s Monica, whose books deliver a huge dollop of both pleasure and passion, along with adventure, drama, and a whole lot of emotion.

From light to gritty, from historical to paranormal, from the joys of laughter to the darkest depths of emotion, romance writers deliver all of this in a variety of packages.  But they’re all designed to do the same thing—give us a great read so that when we reach that happy ending at the conclusion of the book, we have no choice but to sigh with pleasure.

What is it that makes you sigh with pleasure in a romance novel?  Is it the emotion, the wit, the drama, or maybe even the sexy bits?

DRAWING — One copy (1) of An Invitation to Sin
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Contest open until Tuesday 01/18/11 07:00am EST

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About the Author

Vanessa Kelly writes sexy, Regency-set historical romance for Kensington Zebra.  She also writes contemporary romance with her husband for Carina Press, under the pen name of V.K. Sykes.

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About Monica Burns

A bestselling author of erotic romance, Monica Burns penned her first short romance story at the age of nine when she selected the pseudonym she uses today. From the days when she hid her stories from her sisters to her first completed full-length manuscript, she always believed in her dream despite rejections and setbacks. A workaholic wife and mother, Monica believes it’s possible for the good guy to win if they work hard enough.

75 thoughts on “Pleasure Me With Vanessa Kelly

  1. >Hey. I am so glad that you are participating in this blog event. It must be such a great experience!
    We all know romance ends happy, but the happiest endings in a romance-no matter which genre-occur when the heroine's dialogue is suggestive an witty. There is nothing so satisfying than hearing the character you've related to through out the book say the final word.
    South Carolina

  2. >Hello, Monica! You are starting off your grand blog event in great style with Vanessa Kelly as your first guest! I am now in my early fifties, and I am just as enthralled with romance reads now as I was almost 40 years ago when I started reading Georgette Heyer, Barbara Cartland and Jane Aiken Hodge. A little over thirty years ago, I read "Ashes in the Wind" by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, and to this day, it remains my favorite book. I did not have my own HEA, but I still believe in true love and second chances. I pray that I never lose my youthful spirit and hopeful heart–two things that make me a devoted romantic fiction reader. If an author lost their "joie de vivre"–"joy of life/living"–then their work would suffer. Thankfully, my favorite authors (both old and new) have not lost their enthusiasm for life and love. Neither have I : )

    Romance novels offer the hope that true love is attainable, and "Happily Ever After" can be ours. They also provide an escape from everyday life. Whether it's "heart with heat" or "heat with heart", we can view the romantic entanglements and sensual experiences of the characters and imagine ourselves in their place. Some "romance stories" go much further. They present a more realistic look at characters with physical and emotional problems, financial difficulties, abuse situations, unplanned pregnancies and so much more. Sometimes, I want to read about life scenarios which are similar to my own. Other times, I want to be completely involved by characters and life stories far outside my everyday world. No matter what I'm reading, I look for well-developed, involving characters and a detailed, interesting story line. You can find all of these things by reading romance novels. Whether you search for the familiar or the exotic, chaste love or deep sensuality, you will find it all in "romance novels".

    US Resident, GFC Follower, Subscriber

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  3. >Love the banter and the interplay between the hero and heroine.

    linze_e at hotmail dot com

  4. >Monica,
    Thank you for offering readers this Blog Event . . . an event in which we can express our appreciation and thanks to so many authors, whose books take us to worlds far away.

    The first time I saw your book "Sex And The Single Earl" at the bookstore, I picked it up and put it in my TBR pile. The pile is large so I haven't gotten to your book yet, but I'm looking forward to the read, fully expecting to find a new favorite.

    "What is it that makes you sigh with pleasure in a romance novel?" The answer is "all of the above": {1} the emotional connection to the characters: love a book that makes me laugh and cry; {2} the wit: have always loved it when authors create snappy, smart-ass comebacks between the hero and heroine (and it is particularly entertaining when they retain the syntax of the regency era); {3} the drama: what good is a book if there is not some tension and difficulty that must be overcome to reach a happily-ever-after; and {4} the sexy bits: a book without sexual tension and then spicy, heated love scenes between the protagonists are just plain disappointing.

    2much2reid {at} comcast {dot} net / Texas

  5. >Popping in on my way to bed to say hello. What a terrific start to Monica's blog event! Since I'm only half-awake, Vanessa, I'm going to say "ditto" to all the wonderful responses above. 😉

    Looking forward to your next book!

  6. >Thanks Vanessa! So glad to be here! Your blog post was wonderful, BTW.
    (But I am not here to enter into a contest. I am one of the contributing authors for Monica's Pleasure Me Event…just had to drop by and say hello.)

  7. >*waves to Monica* Hello darlin! Great party!

    Cindy L. said… Vanessa,

    The book that made me sigh out loud is Mac Liam by Renee Vincent. It's book 2 in the Emerald Isle Trilogy. I fell in love with the heroes of both books.

    Thank you Cindy L. for making such a statement about my books. You are such a doll! I am honored you would hold my books in such high regard, especially when there are so many other sigh-worthy books out there. I am so grateful for your compliment!

  8. >Eileen and Louisa, what beautiful descriptions from both of you! Thank you so much!

    Yes, Artemis, I agree. It's that deep exploration of emotion that makes romance novels so special.

  9. >It's always the emotion that makes me sigh (tense, weep) with pleasure in a romance novel. But it's always the emotion, no matter what that emotion may be, that really hits home in a romance novel. Those emotions can run the gamut from extreme passion (the sexy bits) to gritty suspense (high drama). I want them all!

    cindersmaria @ yahoo DOT com
    South Carolina

  10. >What makes me sigh when I read a romance novel ?

    The moment the hero and/or heroine realize that they simply cannot exist without the other person. The moment they realize the person who seems completely and utterly wrong for them in every way is actually the missing piece of their soul. SIGH !!

    Monica and Vanessa, I can't WAIT to read your latest books!! Both of you are ALWAYS good for a great read!

  11. >What makes me sigh when I read a romance novel? That moment when a man or a woman changes internally…expands their world because of the presence of another human being. It's beautiful…and I love it!

  12. >BLHMistress, it's fun to watch the hero and heroine fight their attraction to each other, isn't it?

    Hi Bev! As soon as I get my author copies I'm sending you one!

    Estella, thanks for stopping by!

  13. >Vanessa,

    The book that made me sigh out loud is Mac Liam by Renee Vincent. It's book 2 in the Emerald Isle Trilogy. I fell in love with the heroes of both books.



  14. >Hi everyone! So glad you're enjoying the first day of the Pleasure Me With Romance Blog event! There's more to come.

    Just a REMINDER


    For your comment to count toward the Grand Prize/Second Grand Prizes (US Only) YOU MUST LEAVE AN EMAIL AND INDICATE YOU'RE a US resident. Multiple comments per day are welcome, but only ONE comment per day will count as an entry.

  15. >Thank you Vanessa for your part in the blog you did great.
    I love the wit and the drama if they are both there it is the bestest.
    Love & Hugs,

  16. >Hi Vanessa! I'm looking forward to reading your novella. Kensy didn't send a copy to review (darn them). I know it's going to be good. 😀


  17. >Hi Vanessa!

    What makes me 'sigh' well I love when the characters at first just don't get along at all and you can feel the attraction but both refuse to believe its there then when it does its steamy.

  18. >HI vanessa! I am sooo excited this is the first day of monica's event! 🙂 I am hoping to make it every day! and since I love new to me authors I am putting you on my list! sounds like you know what women want in their romance!
    what makes me sigh? I good man who can do everything the girl wants and still make her happy even if she doesnt know it! 🙂
    I am going to link to your site and check out your other books! 🙂 and yes Jak is defintly keeper material! I cant wait for everyone yayyy! excited!

    Kris b

    krysti33 @ frontier dot com

  19. >This is so much fun! I love reading what everyone thinks and hearing from the authors! So many fellow romance addicts. 🙂

    julieboo817, already posted once. 🙂

  20. >Stephanie, I'm glad you brought that up. A good, really challenging conflict can bring out the best in our characters.

    cheryl c, it's all about the emotion, isn't it?

  21. >Danielle, that feeling of falling in love is so wonderful, isn't it?

    Rebecca, thanks for stopping by!

  22. >Wow, what a great event with a line-up of wonderful authors. Vanessa, it is definitely the emotion in a story that makes me sigh and swoon and tear up. If it touches my heart in some way, the story and the characters become unforgettable.

    castings at mindspring dot com
    Georgia, USA

  23. >For me a good romance has to have a conflict that the characters have to get past before they can truly admit their love for each other. There needs to be a way for the characters to help each other get past something before they can move on to their future.

    smccar1 at hotmail dot com

    FL, USA

  24. >Hi ladies. Congrats on your releases. I can't wait to read both of them.
    For me I like the romance between the characters. I love when I get a true feeling of how the characters feel towards eachother. I also love the witty banter that can happen between them. But really I just love the feeling of them falling in love.
    Florida, USA

  25. >Hi limecello! It really is magic when everything comes together.

    LOL! Sheree, I love you!

  26. >Can I say all the above? The characters are what makes the story (or break it, but never in your books). I need more than just understanding a character's motivation; I need to care about him/her. Then when the HEA finally occurs, aw…


  27. >Hi Vanessa and Monica,
    What a fabulous blog event! As for what makes me sigh with pleasure in romances… the perfect line, the perfect scene… when everything comes together *just right.* The books that have that are definitely keepers for me.

  28. >Valerie, thank you so much – I'm thrilled!

    Barbara, you've come up with the perfect equation for a sighing with pleasure book!

  29. >What makes me sigh with pleasure in a romance novel — definitely takes wit plus emotions plus strong characters who become like old friends, ones you WANT to have a happy ending. The sexy bits help too as long as they actually contribute to the story and aren't thrown in simply to add some spice.


  30. >Vanessa, you did such a great blog! I'm going to have to purchase one of your books today, I'm intrigued. As for your question, I'd have to say – like many of the others – that ALL OF THE ABOVE is what makes me sigh. I love a book with humor, adventure, intrigue and a bit of a twist.

  31. >Good Morning Ladies! What a great post! Vannessa I loved Sex and the Single Earl. It was sexy and fun! One of the best books I read last year! It had both things I have to have in a book! Lots of sexual tension and witt! I love to laugh and if it makes me sigh at the end, it was perfect! Thanks for sharing with us today!



  32. >Cindy L, would you mind sharing which book made you sigh out loud? It sounds great!

    LSUReader, thanks for stopping by! I agree that we really need to care about the characters to love the book.

  33. >Hi Karen! I think you'll love An Invitation To Sin – really a great mix of stories.

    Becke! Welcome to the party!

    Thanks for your kind words, Elisha! I really felt the pressure to do a good job, but it's a lot of fun being here, too.

  34. >I love the characters. Reading takes me away to someplace new and when authors introduce me to people I really care about…that's perfect. Thanks for a fun post. (Email in profile.)

  35. >Hmmm…I would have to say the hero professing his love to the heroine is what makes me sigh! I actually just finished a story where I did sigh out loud…it was perfectly written.


    New York

  36. >Hi Vanessa & Monica!

    First off, let me say to Monica, what a fabulous idea this is to host a blog with all of these wonderful authors. Thank you for doing this for us and for them. You rock!

    Second, I love historical romance! It is my favorite genre – followed closely by paranormal.

    Third, Vanessa you did a fabulous job being the first! I particulary liked your comparrison of a 5th grader reading her poem in front of the class followed by Kenneth Branagh and his soliloquy. Brillant!

    As for an answer to the question, for me, it's the emotion. If an author can make me feel what a character is feeling – the more intense the better – she will get my vote every time. Those characters tend to stay with me forever.

    I am looking forward to many more days of blogging. 🙂

    ~Elisha M.
    FL, USA

  37. >Hi Vanessa and Monica!

    First off, to Monica…thanks for offering up such a great contest with an outstanding list of guest authors coming in to play each day! Going to be fun.

    And Vanessa, thanks for an interesting post and I can't wait for 'An Invitation to Sin' to hit the shelves. It's on my BTB list.

    I'm drawn to all kinds of author styles…from Anna Campbell's Regency Noir to Julia Quinn's wit and humor to everything in between…I love it all.

    kkhaas at bellsouth dot net
    NC, USA

  38. >Julie, I love the strong, silent alpha male! He always falls sooo hard.

    Linda, thanks for stopping by – it is a great event!

  39. >Hi Alice! The hero and heroine of my second book, Sex And The Single Earl, butted heads quite a lot! It was so much fun to write those scenes.

    Dina, I love the way wit can spice up the sexual tension between the h/h.

    Ah, Julie, the Moment! Makes me sigh, too.

  40. >I also agree with everything that has already been said. Congrats to both Vanessa & Monica on your new releases. They both sound fabulous. This Pleasure Me event is fantastic. Thank you for hosting it, Monica, and thank you for appearing, Vanessa. I love being able to escape to the fantasy worlds ya'll create for us. I love just about any good story. It can be a paranormal, an historical romance, have a quirky twist…
    Linda T.

  41. >Nothing gets me more than the strong, silent type who has a hard time expressing his feelings and then finally does. 🙂 I absolutely LOVE it when the hero finally admits to himself and the heroine how much he loves and needs her, out loud. 🙂

    julieboo817 @ gmail dot com

  42. >Good morning!

    Thanks for the interview, it had a list of great authors whom I've enjoyed over the years. What I love about reading romance is experiencing The Moment–when one or both of the characters realize that they're deeply, irrevocably in love. It definitely makes me sigh every time!

    julieguan AT gmail DOT com
    Enjoying the warm weather in California!

  43. >Hooray for the Pleasure Me Event!

    What I *really* love in romance novels is the drama and emotion. OMG — I can't even begin to tell you how much I love two characters that butt heads and disagree over everything and anything…and then giggly/bubbly/FINALLY feeling when they kiss for the first time…

    Yea, it's the best.

  44. >Maureen, I love the sense of optimism, too.

    April, thanks for stopping by! It's been pretty cold here in Northern Florida, too!

  45. >Cid, yes. Romance is all about the emotion.

    Lustee, a well-written sex scene is very enjoyable, indeed!

    Nancy E, you perfectly describe emotional turning points in a romance novel! Lovely!

  46. >Margay, witty dialogue is great – that's one of the things I love about Regency romances!

    Marilyn, thank God for happy endings!

    gamistress, one of the wonderful things about romance novels is the variety. As is apparent in Monica's terrific line-up!

  47. >Hi Buffie! Hi Andrea! Thanks for stopping by. You gals at The Dish are the best – thanks so much for all your support of romance and romance authors!

  48. >Carol L., thank you so much for stopping by, and I'm thrilled that you enjoyed SATSE and MTM so much!

    Marlene, aren't the Amanda Quick books great? I also love her Jayne Castle books. They were the first futuristic romances I ever read.

    Hi Mary! Yes, characters that we can relate to are key.

  49. >Good morning Monica and Vanessa.Vanessa great interview.Good luck to each of you on your new releases.Monica thank you for allowing us to tag along on this great event.What makes me sigh in a good romance is the banter between hero and heroine,true emotion,the romance,passion and yes the not so gordy sex scenes.Honestly,I just love a good romance.Good luck on your releases and have a wonderful day and week.I live in Eastern North Carolina,where we are having a bit of cold weather,which we do not usually have at this time of year.

  50. >Hi Vanessa and Monica,
    It was a great way to start your fantastic blog party. There are many reasons I enjoy reading romances but I think the emotion and optimistic feel of the stories are my favorites.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  51. >Look at all these early birds! I admit it. I'm the one who staggers out of bed at 9am and can't do a thing until I have breakfast and that first cup of coffee. But this is great! Monica, thank you so much for having me on the blog.

    I'm loving reading through these answers. There are so many things to adore about romance novels, and I'm finding myself agreeing with everything y'all are saying! Of course, it's all grounded in the characters and how they express their feelings for each other. You have to believe in the hero and heroine and their emotional journeys.

  52. >Good morning Vanessa and Monica!

    Vanessa, your question, "What is it that makes you sigh with pleasure in a romance novel?" is perfect for kicking off this celebration with Monica. Your question leads right to the heart of why I read romance; for those moments when I sigh with pleasure.

    For me it's those moments when my heart catches a little bit. When the hero does something for the heroine, or vice versa, that expresses true emotion, through some action or words that you wouldn't normally expect from the person. For instance, a hero making a candlelight dinner for the heroine, when he would absolutely never cook for anyone, simply because he believes that she would love that and he wants to do something that would please both of them.

    It's those moments in the books when my heart clenches a little bit and I think "Oh, I could love him!"

    Nancy E
    everitnm at hotmail dot com
    WI, USA

  53. >Hello Monica,

    Congrats on your upcoming release! I've also never read a Vanessa Kelly novel before and would love to.

    To answer the question, what makes me sigh with pleasure in a romance book is the emotion between the characters and the naugty scenes!

    lusteewench at gmail dot com and I reside in VA.

  54. >Yea for Monica's blogging event!!

    Okay, what I love about the romances I try to select is powerful character journeys. Angry, sad, happy – I like them all as long as they feel!

  55. >Good morning, Monica and Vanessa!

    Congrats on the launch of your blog event, Monica! And congrats on your newest release, Vanessa! Lots of congrats to go around. 🙂

    While all of those can make me sigh with pleasure, the thing that makes me sigh the most is SEXUAL TENSION. I love sexual tension. Many times it is sexier than the actual act. Oh, yeah.


  56. >Can I say all of the above 🙂 It would be true but I guess it boils down to the story and how it's told. I know, sounds like a copout but it is the love & romance with in the book that makes enjoy the book. But I do enjoy the variety in which writers find to cook up and serve that dish — sometimes with humor, sometimes action or lots of angst, sometimes hot hot hot and other times sensually sweet. When put together right it is all quite yummy. 🙂

    gamistress66 (at)
    aol ( dot) com

  57. >I think for me, it's a combination of things, most important of which is the repartee between the hero and heroine. I love when they exchange witticisms and meaningful glances!

    Margay from Massachusetts


  58. >Good Morning Vanessa and Monica!

    Monica, this Pleasure Me blog party looks fabulous! I'm really, look at all those wonderful authors. I have to make a note to stop in every single day.

    Vanessa, you know how much I adore your writing. I am really looking forward to reading this latest piece of work. And I think you do a fabulous job starting Monica's blog party.

    With regards to your question, I would have to sall ALL OF THE ABOVE. A good romance novel needs all of those elements. But the one thing that always squeezes my heart just a little more is when the hero, who usually doesn't think he is worthy of the heroine, realizes just how lost he would be without his lady and then VOICES it to her. *sigh*

    ~ Buffie

  59. >Good Morning Vanessa and Monica,

    I see we are all up early this morning, lol

    What a great blog post to get things going! I think I would rather be first, than last and have to wait all that time, I ahve no

    I love everything that has already been stated but what really gets me is when the characters realize that they love each other, especially if that conclusion comes after one or the other gets hurt or they think they are hurt, kidnapped ect…They freak out and when they find the other person or they wake up in the hospital they can't help but tell them how much they love them and how afraid they were for their safety. That's the part that always gets me.

    Characters that I can relate to on some level, even if they are shifters, vampires or some other other-wordly type of creature, as long as they have some aspect of their personalities that I can relate to, I love that.
    Nevada, USA

  60. >Everyone!! DO NOT FORGET TO LEAVE YOUR EMAIL in your post

    For your comment to count toward the Grand Prize/Second Grand Prizes (US Only) YOU MUST LEAVE AN EMAIL AND INDICATE YOU'RE a US resident. Multiple comments per day are welcome, but only ONE comment per day will count as an entry.

  61. >Being first isn't always bad. Get in. Get out. It's the person who comes last who sits and stews and worry how can they be better than those who have come before. I must admit Amanda Quick is my favorite read, but I enjoy many other writers on the blog list and look forward to reading those I am not familiar with. Thanks so much.

  62. >Hi everyone!! Welcome to the event. I'm so delighted to have Vanessa here as my first guest. She's an awesome lady. I'm gonna hang in the background because today is Vanessa's day to shine!!! Thank you so much for being here today, Vanessa. Mwah! oohh and how appropriate that my first verification word of the event is ARREADE A read! A Good Omen I think! LOL

  63. >Hi Vanessa and Monica,
    This is such a great blog event. I have to say Vanessa that your MASTERING THE MARQUESS and SEX AND THE SINGLE EARL are two of my favorite reads.
    I sigh with pleasure over a book that includes what you said. I also love the back and forth between the Hero and Heroine as they try to deny their feelings for each other when it's so obvious they care. Then when they finally realize that they can't run anymore from it. I love the passion as long as their is an emotional attachment between the two. Witty dialogue, secondary characters who don't fade into the background.And I love a good story besides the romantic involvement.It sounds like a lot lol but the truth is as long as I feel a connection and I'm pulled in to the characters I'm there.
    Carol L