My Never Say Never Romance Books – Throbbing Members And All

Offended Cat

I’ve read romance on and off for years. I read my first romance novel when I was a teenager, probably about 14 years old. I’m pretty sure I tossed the paperback in the grocery cart just to see if I’d get a reaction out of my mother. I didn’t. It was a historical romance and for the life of me I can’t remember the title or author. But I do remember being slightly traumatized by the use of the words, “throbbing member”. Back then, I might have paused for a second and taken a quick glance around the room to see if anyone could tell that I’d just said the words, “throbbing member” in my head. Now I’m a jaded romance reader and I freely type the words “throbbing member” on my very own blog. Go me.

Never in a million years would I have thought 14-year-old me would be reading books featuring “throbbing members”.  I should have learned back then, never say never when it comes to romance. There have been many themes and tropes I’ve said never to. I’ll freely admit, I am not the most adventurous reader. While I like books that evoke a strong emotional reaction, I am not an extreme reader and don’t need to push my boundaries often.

So, after reminiscing about the good ol’ days, I started to think about what I’ve read and what books proved I should never say never. Three examples came to mind immediately:

Broken by Megan Hart – Marital Infidelity

Martial infidelity is an instant red flag for me. Admittedly, there are times when this does not make me want to rage, usually in historical romance where one or both of the protagonists are involved in a marriage of convenience and have relations outside of their marriage. I may grumble, but I don’t always see red. If you told me about a great contemporary romance where the heroine is married and engages in an emotional affair I’d say no thanks. But Broken by Megan Hart is a never say never book for me. It’s probably one of the most emotionally draining books I’ve read and remains one of my all time favorite books. I still don’t like marital infidelity in romance novels, but this book showed me other side of the fence so-to-speak and it was an amazing story. I’m so glad I read it.

The Downside Series by Stacia Kane – Drug Addicted Heroine

This series features a drug addicted heroine who shows no signs of wanting to get clean. Her life revolves around getting high. Nothing appealing about that, yet somehow I find myself pulling for this heroine and liking her more and more. I detest her addiction and I often feel uneasy about how much I like her. I feel like I shouldn’t like her, but I do. Perhaps it’s because Chess (the protagonist) owns her addiction, never calls it a disease and never blames others for it. Or maybe not, I’m not sure. But again, this is a never say never book for me.

Willing Victim Cara McKenna – Rape fantasy

I know a lot of readers enjoy this theme. It has never appealed to me at all and I never would not have read this book if not for the review I read at Dear Author. Even after having read the review, which convinced me that consent was very clear, I hesitated for a bit. But curiosity got the best of me and I read it. No one is more surprised than me at how much I liked this book. There is no insight into the psychology of rape fantasy, and I didn’t come away enlightened on the topic. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the author’s intent anyway. What I got was two really appealing, decent characters; one who enjoys rape fantasy and sets solid boundaries, and the other who is defining new boundaries for herself within a new relationship. There’s more of course. This was actually the first book that came to mind when I thought about my never say never books.

I asked Samantha what her never say never book is:

Never in a million years did I think I would enjoy reading M/M fiction as much as I do. I didn’t even know it existed! But when reading Black Dagger Brotherhood and the Butch and Vishous relationship developed over time, I found myself fascinated. Then in Lover Unbound when Vishous admitted he wanted to have sex with Butch, my head nearly exploded. It was all I could think about. Here I am years later and I have devoured hundreds of M/M books like they were candy. Now, my absolute favorite book series after BDB is the M/M Cut and Run series, and I fantasize about Jane the ghost floating away into oblivion and Vishous meeting Ty Grady. 😉

What are your “Never Say Never” books? (AKA “throbbing member” books, which will be known from here on out as TM books) What books did you enjoy that you never thought you would?

It took every bit of self-control I had not to post a “throbbing member” graphic with this post. I refrained. You’re welcome.


  1. Mandi says

    I totally agree with all three of those. LOVE them, yet they stretched my boundaries.

    I’m trying to think of others – I think I must include The Siren by Tiffany Reisz…amazing yet stretched me more than anything I’ve read.

    • says

      Yes, from what I’ve heard, The Siren might be a challenging read for me. But people are loving this book. I may come around eventually. :)

  2. says

    I never thought I would be into MFM. Two men sharing a woman together? It made me squirm, but then I read some MFM and I became hooked. Heroine has two for the price of one. Lucky woman.

    Will never ever ever accept plant sex as in sex with a tree. Read that years ago and I’m still scarred by it.

  3. says

    Another rape fantasy like book is Beg Me by Shiloh Walker. That was the first book I read with that theme and it pushed my boundaries. I ended up liking it, but it is a touchy subject to read about in books.

  4. says

    So its 2008 and I felt myself so brave for picking up Shayla Black’s Wicked Ties, my first foray in to erotic romance. I remember discussing anal smexing and thought “iiieeeuuuuuwwww” Never!! Yeah, until 2009 and I discovered m/m. Read Chris Owen’s Bareback and was corrupted ever since 😉

  5. says

    Before I started reading romance, I never thought I would read Historical Romance, in my mind I had stereotyped it so that only grannies read it…now, I can’t get enough of it! I love HR and can’t understand what I was thinking before!


    • says

      I’ve heard other people who said they’d never read historical romance. It’s actually one of my fav sub-genres. But I guess since my first rom was historical it never occurred to me not to read them.

  6. says

    I own the first 3 Downside books and besides not having the time, I think the drug use in it has kept me from not picking this series up yet. All the reviews make it sound great and I’ll definintely read them but I’ve been waiting to be in the right kind of mood to take on that subject matter.

    • says

      It’s such a gritty series. I know the word gritty gets used a lot in describing UF but this one really is. It’s a good read.

    • says

      Yes, this one really pushed my boundaries. I had a hard time getting through some of the pain scenes. Definitely not the type of book I’d seek out again but I do thing Kele Moon did a good job on these books.

  7. jaymzangel says

    Broken is one of the most incredible, emotionally draining books I’ve ever read. It stayed in my mind for quite a long time. I also love the Downside Ghost series, yay Chess & Terrible!
    I am with Samantha in that JR Ward & the BDB brought me to the M/M dark side. I never had an interest before Butch & V but now I can hardly contain my excitement & anticipation for Qhuay!
    Another book that was an emotional roller coaster for me was Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas. While I had read other books that were supposedly BDSM before, I was not at all prepared for the things that happened in that story. It got inside my head & made me love it.

    • says

      Every time someone reads Broken for the first time and wants to talk about it I get all tense and emotional. I felt wrecked for days.

      I haven’t read Comfort Food yet. I saw mixed reviews and wasn’t sure it would be for me.

  8. says

    I would say that instant love is just something I don’t enjoy anymore in books due to how overused it has become in YA literature.

    I don’t think I have ever come across something in adult romance that bothered me. I love M/M come on Blay and Qhuinn are awesome! I enjoy BDSM scenes, threesomes and all other wicked things. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where a person cheated on their spouse/partner so that might be a line for me if I were to ever come across that.

    I also love Chess from Downside, her drug addiction doesn’t really bother me, it is part of who she is.

    Thanks for the great post!

  9. Diane says

    My never is anything involving violence against children; I can’t stomach it.

  10. cindyg says

    I also discovered M/M and would like to know who the Cut and Run series is by. I don’t believe I’ve heard of it before.

  11. Selena Mc says

    I agree with the marital infidelity subject. Its always been a problem for me. I don’t like reading about it. But, I have read many great reviews on Broken by Megan Hart. I have it on my TBR list & decided to check it out.

    I wish you had of added a “TM” graphic =D

    • says

      I’m really glad I didn’t let my aversion to this theme get in the way of me reading Broken. It was an amazing book. I hope you’ll give it a try.

  12. June says

    I never thought I would read and enjoy erotic romances. I only started reading romances again about 3 or so years back. I started with mainstream PNR and historicals (average hotness, nothing too spicy). Then I picked up a Monica McCarty historical that was hotter and then a little more than a year ago, I won a book that ended up being m/m/f….my first menage story, first m/m, and first real erotic story….I WAS HOOKED! I now read a lot of different books, containing menages, m/m, BDSM, and so much more.

  13. says

    Great post Sophia. And I think your nevers are still nevers for me. I really don’t like emotional draining books all that much, I have tried some light erotica and again, I don’t like it. And the Stacia Kane series, I still don’t want to read about a drug addict.
    I love the BDB series, but I do skip the M/M scenes till they are over, just like I do with the F/F scenes in Yasmine Galenorn’s Sisters of the Moon/Otherworld series. It does not make the series or the characters any less great in my eyes, only those scenes are not to my liking.

    I don’t know if my tastes will change again, after all, I also love Bertrice Small who was writing erotica in her historicals before the genre existed.

  14. Tabs says

    I never thought I could read a romance where the hero rapes the heroine but Patricia Gaffney’s “To Have And To Hold” is an amazing book.

    • says

      I agree, it’s an amazing book. It didn’t work at all for me as a romance, but I found it a fascinating character study nonetheless. The writing and the emotion were excellent.

  15. ClaudiaGC says

    When I started reading romance novels I mostly read historicals and from time to time contemporaries. So there was only “medium” smexing and nothing too graphic. Then maybe three years ago I constantly saw raving reviews about the Rough Rider series by Lorelei James. I hesitated a looooong time because I was thinking cowboys weren’t for me. I finally caved (Thank God!) and, boy, was I wrong! Bring the cowboys on, I say! :) These days I love to read erotic romances (preferably with cowboys *g*) and I still try to push my boundaries fom time to time.

  16. says

    Great idea for a post subject! Willing Victim was one of those for me too (and your review is actually what propelled me to read it anyway, so thanks!)