Spring Cleaning Reading

Today in our continuation of the clean reading series, I want to welcome Jasmine Aherne to talk about sweet reads. Jasmine can give us a unique perspective because she writes both sweet and not as sweet romances.

Sweet Stuff & Bygone Eras

Hi there! Thank you to Katherine for hosting today, so that I can talk (or type) your ears off!

My name is Jasmine and I write sweet romance. I write a bit of the steamier stuff, too, but I’m here to talk about sweet today, because I love it. I don’t mean closed doors, climatic music and steam trains through tunnels (nudge nudge wink wink) but I mean sweet. Non erotic. Lightly sensual.

While I do love a good erotic read – and my God don’t we all – I don’t always reach for the erotic. Why, you ask? Why indeed.

Have you ever seen the film Brief Encounter? If you haven’t, I urge you to talk, no, run! – to your nearest DVD store and rent or buy a copy. It is a beautiful film, and the love story within is told without almost any contact or nudity of any kind. It’s all emotional, cleverly told, beautifully acted, with the leads so expressionate in voice and face that it makes me cry. I won’t spoil it for you, but check it out. You won’t be sorry.

Another reason I like, and write, sweet, is that I’m part of an amateur dramatic society here in Wales, where I live. We have, on occasional, told love stories, and because we’re on stage, of course no kissing and very little touching is allowed. It must all be done through slight touches. Brushes of hands. Long, lingering looks so hot it would steam up the theatre windows. I love that. I love that chivalrous, bygone romantic era where love was a disallowed thing, a thing to be secretly hoarded.

What I guess I’m saying is that I like not knowing what goes on after the curtain falls sometimes. As a little girl I loved happy ever after with the white horse and the prince and princess. Of course, I was too young for sex scenes then, but I still hang on to the nostalgia of that fairy-tale like time. It explains why I love to read Claire Delacroix and her “Bride Quest” series, full of charming heroes and breathless heroines, and long, horseback rides through the sunset.

I would also like to direct you to the film The Young Victoria. This is a wonderful film about Queen Victoria’s romance with Prince Albert. They were young, and their every move was scrutinized until they married. Kisses had to be stolen. They had to make do with not making love. And that – the waiting, the wanting, somehow made it more exciting to watch. Sweeter, because their courtship was gentle, like the slow lap of the tide on the sand.

Of course, this all being said, every so often – and quite often I might add! – I reach for an erotic read rather than a sweet, and boy do I enjoy it! I love a bodice ripper, and reading erotic helps me to improve my own sex scenes no end. But I can see why there’s still a market for sweet. Some readers like the mystery after the curtain falls. Others just like to pen their own sex scenes in their head! And maybe some are just dreaming of the perfect happy ever after, ending with no more than a kiss in the sunset and a horseback ride off the screen…

If you enjoyed reading my blog today, you may want to take a look at my website www.jasmineaherne.com. You can find all my releases there, both sweet and light erotic! My first novel, arguably the sweetest, is titled Stranded, and is released by Pink Petal Books – even the name is sweet!

You can read more about Stranded at www.pinkpetalbooks.com, but below is an excerpt to whet your appetite…



When Rachel Coles flew to New York to surprise the man she thought was her fiancé, coming face to face with his wife broke her heart. She needed a shoulder. So, she turned to a man she met by chance–handsome carpenter Will Norton. Together they turn her disaster into a short but magical holiday.

Will was attracted to the pretty brunette he met on the plane, and the fun sightseeing day they share only deepens his feelings for her. He’s just starting to regret never seeing her again when he learns Rachel’s had all her suitcases and purse stolen.

Now, as he offers her his guest room while she waits for a new passport, Will and Rachel find themselves struggling against a deep-rooted attraction that shows every sign of making itself permanent. The only trouble is, Rachel’s stay in New York will be anything but…


Rachel slid her card from her jeans pocket and followed his example. They started towards the escalator that would take them to the underground train. “I’ve travelled a little.”

Even through the throng of passengers, he smelled her perfume. It curled around him, as sweet and tempting as candy. “Really? Whereabouts?”

“Not far,” she replied as they found a space to stand on the crowded platform. “Certainly nowhere as far as this. Ireland, Scotland, France,Germany…. Coming all this way is a little scary for me, but the excitement outweighed that.”

The subway car pulled up. People spilled out and others pushed on. Will and Rachel stepped on two seconds before the huge automatic doors beeped and slid together, and then they started on their way. Inside the car, stale air hung from ceiling to floor. The press of bodies made it uncomfortably warm. Will found himself pressed up against Rachel. Her breasts brushed his chest, and he felt the heat of her body even through their clothes.

“If we lose each other,” he said as a precautionary measure, “You want to go to 81st Street or Central Park.”

She nodded.

Someone moved behind them, abruptly forcing them to move up close to each other. If I just move another inch, maybe even less, we’d be kissing.

Rachel lifted her chin and their gazes collided. From the expression on her face, part confusion, part denial, part desire, he knew without asking that she felt exactly the same.

The subway car jarred to a stop. People piled in and out in mere seconds. He heard a muffled announcement in a strong Bronx accent, and then the car creaked, moving to life again. Someone swigged from a bottle in a brown-bagged bottle. Another man ate a Danish wrapped in a napkin. Even though it was still early, the smell made Will hungry. They’d make a stop for lunch later.

Two stops later, he gently nudged Rachel. “We’re next.”


Even in the throng of everyday smells, he ferreted out the delicate scent of her perfume. It wafted to him all on a current of its own and his body reacted accordingly.

Don’t get attached. She is a fleeting visitor in New York and a fleeting visitor in your life.

They arrived at the next stop. Will looked behind him to make sure Rachel was still there. He spotted her, stuck behind a slow moving couple, and, on impulse, held back a moment and grabbed her hand. A bolt of awareness shot through him as she curled her fingers around his. It’s been so long since I held a woman’s hand.


6 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning Reading

  1. Sheila says:

    Nice post. I like a good story so I don’t care if there’s sex or not. If the story grabs me then I’m into it. Stranded sounds like a good read.

  2. the1940mysterywriter says:

    You know, Jasmine, my husband was discussing this just the other day. He’d watched the BBC remake of the old Hitchcock classic, “The 39 Steps,” and kept going on about how beautiful the love story was, and how modern-day Hollywood would ruin such a subtle attraction by dragging out every sigh and moan. Kudos, lady!
    J. Gunnar Grey

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