I’ve been searching for a way to define the heat levels in my paranormal romance books. On one side of the romance world you have some people using the term SWEET for no touching, some for light kissing, and some for sex behind closed doors. On the other side you have the fifth flame on the heat scale meaning anything from uses graphic language to watch out for whips and chains!
Since I’m writing somewhere in the middle, I end up usually scoring closer to the three to four flame level on most romance heat scales, but I’ve even been rated a five on another. This isn’t a problem when a reviewer reads my book and adds their own scale for their readers, but it becomes an issue when someone asks me how hot my books are, or when marketing them to readers. One person says my books are super-hot and rates it a five, another says the sex is comfortable (yes, that really happened).
Where am I on a scale that shifts with each person’s perspective?
I’m working on getting the Tales of the Black Court series up on All Romance Ebooks and I stumbled across their scale. My Twisted Tales: Come Into the Woods books are on there and score a four on their flame scale. For some reason Snow and the Seventh Wolf is rated a three, but I think that is because it has a bit more action and the opening sex scene isn’t consummated. The individual scenes are just as racy as the other two books, so I would rate it a four.
I like this scale quite a bit. It enables me to split my books into what I feel are appropriate heat ratings. My new adult novellas are definitely spicier than my longer books, so they should be rated accordingly. Here is the scale: