Romance Remedy chili pepper heat rating scale
Full disclosure, we get really irritated when authors misclassify their books. Suffice to say that one of the biggest problems is the disparity between the level of sexual heat most readers would expect to find—based on how the book is classified, the blurb and the cover—and what the book actually contains. To help our readers know what to expect, we've developed our own rating system:
5 chili peppers: All erotica would include a 5 chili pepper rating. This is going to include all menage reads, books with heavy bondage scenes (I’m talking about more than just handcuffs here, folks), reverse harem stuff, and all the books that don’t have a real plot (according to the guidelines above). But to make the whole “plot” issue clear to authors: if sex scenes make up more than 75% of your story, your book is getting a 5 chili pepper rating.
4 chili peppers: Romance with 3 or more explicit sex scenes that use all the naughty words for body parts that would get your mouth washed out with soap if you said them in front of your parents as a kid. (Cunt, pussy, and cock being the prime examples, of course). Reads from Tia Louise, Sawyer Bennett, Penelope Ward, Vi Keeland, LJ Shen, and Melanie Harlow, would probably fall into 4 chili pepper territory.
3 chili peppers: Romance with 2 or more explicit sex scenes, but generally milder language. Reads from Jill Shalvis, Isabel Jordan and Jennifer Crusie would fall into 3 chili pepper territory.
2 chili peppers: Romance with plenty of sexual tension and foreplay, but closed-door sex. I’m thinking Kristan Higgins reads are in the 2 chili pepper territory.
1 chili pepper: Romance with some sexual tension, maybe some kissing and hand holding, but no sex. I’m at a loss for examples. I don’t read much clean romance. Like Jane Austen novel movie adaptations, maybe?
0 chili peppers: Amish romance. Nothing but longing glances. Not even any dirty thoughts, though. All the Christian romance would belong here (i.e.: romance were spiritual enlightenment and being “godly” is more important to the characters than anything else)
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