SEARCHING FOR ALWAYS by Jennifer Probst
The Elements of Sexual Tension
I adore a romance novel with tons of sexual tension.
In fact, I admit it’s my favorite part. That delicious push/pull between the hero and the heroine. The flutter in my tummy at their verbal and physical foreplay. There is nothing as much fun as a great relationship between the hero and heroine before the sex even starts.
In Searching for Always, my heroine Arilyn and my hero Officer Stone Petty, are enemies. They’ve met before, exchanged heated words, and silently recognize they may be sexually attracted to one another, but they DISLIKE each other.
Oh, yeah. As a writer, this was my greatest challenge. How to get them to fall in love? How to get them to stay in the same room together!
When Officer Petty is mandated to take anger management classes and finds Arilyn is his teacher for six weeks, everything falls together. All I needed to do is step back and watch the fireworks explode.
Many readers and aspiring writers have asked how to notch up the sexual tension in a romance. Here are some main elements I always try to interweave in my stories to keep them off kilter!
1. Banter – it’s all about the dialogue. Banter is sexy. It’s foreplay using the brain, and everyone knows, women are majorally turned on by brain power. Make sure you create a witty, strong heroine and match her up. Their volleys are legendary in Searching for Always and readers will be counting each scene with who won. Fortunately, they both end up winning in the end!
2. Differences – opposites attract is a blast to play with. Think about everything that is important to the heroine, and then match her up with the opposite type hero. Arilyn is a vegetarian, passionate about animals, charity, helping people, and taking care of her body since she is a yoga teacher. Stone Petty loves meat, hates dogs, trashes his body with smoking and junk food, and is a workaholic cynic.
Yeah. That’s good tension right there and they haven’t even said a word to each other yet!
3. Sex – Great sexual tension works best when the hero and heroine are attracted to each other but don’t want to be. Think the forbidden fruit trope. Make it clear to the reader by using all five senses clearly to ramp up the physical connection, then bring the mind into play when rationality snaps back. Do that again and again and watch how frustrated the reader becomes. In a good way.
4. Payoff. If the payoff isn’t spectacular, a reader is going to get pissed. If you rev me up, you better make it worth my while. When they finally kiss, it should reach out of the page and make a reader feel swoony.
I truly hope you enjoy the sexual tension between Arilyn and Stone Petty in Searching for Always!
Do you love sexual tension in your books? What’s one of your faves that demonstrates great tension?
Searching For Always by Jennifer Probst
Searching For, #4
(June 30, 2015, Gallery Books)
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jennifer Probst sparks a blissful mind-body connection as her “sexy, satisfying” (Kirkus Reviews) new series continues!
She’s an expert in helping others de-stress, but Arilyn Meadows is running on fumes. Along with her job counseling singles seeking soul mates at the Kinnections agency in Verily, New York, she’s a yoga teacher, animal shelter volunteer, anger management therapist, and helping hand to her beloved grandfather. No time to find Mr. Right—but after discovering her yogi boyfriend in a compromising asana, Arilyn would rather dog-sit for her honeymooning friend Kate than risk her heart on another downward dog. And when police officer Stone Petty—radiating masculinity and bad-boy attitude—is sent to her for mandatory lessons in cooling off when the job gets too hot, Arilyn vows to ignore his seductive glances and sexy grin. But there’s no halting their sizzling flirtation—a red-hot, high-speed chase that’s breaking all the limits.
Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.
She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.
She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon's Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at.
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