Thursday, February 28, 2013

Nickel Nasties Series #20: Romance Revisited by Misty Rayburn

Welcome to the Nickel Nasties series! In celebration of my first scathing Amazon review for A Ranger's Tale (1 in 58 ain't bad), I've decided to devote February to the stories that garner so much stereotype and ridicule, but still comprise one of the world's best-selling genres: ROMANCE! I hope you'll enjoy this series. Please leave comments for the wonderful contributors. And...don't forget to check out their books!

Romance Revisited 

Misty Rayburn

I wasn’t always a romance fan.  Growing up, I LIVED in the library.  I think I read every book in that small trailer like building before they tore it down to make the bigger library, that doesn’t really seem that much bigger considering they took half the books out for a computer lab and there’s only books on that one floor.

I’m getting away from my point here though.  That’s a rant that I’ve already posted on their Facebook wall.

I was mostly an Adventure and Fantasy sort but I did try Romance and I hated it.  Now I have to explain that when I had “The talk” with my mom about the birds and the bees, she botched it horribly.  Sex was explained to me as two people hugging when they are in love.  Wow.. way to go there mom but now I get that talk is super awkward for any parent.  In my case thank goodness for sex ed class being in elementary school or else I probably would have never hugged anyone ever again.

However, my young self ( around 10 ) who was probably way too young to read Romance when I tried to ( even through I read Grisham’s The Client in third grade ) felt that sex had no place in books.  Why?  Blame my parents again.  OMG you should see her if she ever wakes up and dad leaves the TV on Cinemax after 11.  You’d be laughing hysterically. 

So yeah.. Sex had no place in books.  Then I grew up and realized that sex is a part of life so why not be in books?  What makes it so different that it’s okay about reading about a murder in a BDSM joint or a murder as a sexual act but reading about someone enjoying themselves in a BDSM joint or in a sexual act is wrong?

Comfort zones in my opinion equal to closed mindedness.  This is something I knew I had to get rid of as a reviewer.  I didn’t feel the same way anymore but I still didn’t read Romance. 

Then I met Valerie Maarten and her book The Gift of Joy started me down the road that led to the romance-a-thon I have every February.   I also met Ashlynn Monroe and her novella Slave to His Desires was the first ever piece of Erotica I had read.  I’ve also read Mysti’s book A Ranger’s Tale and I loved it.  Had I not stepped out of my comfort zone, I would have missed out on some great books and some great friends.

Robert Frost was right.  Taking the road less traveled makes all the difference.

With all my romance author friends on Facebook, I get man candy on Mondays! WOOO! 


Misty Rayburn is a graduate from Capital University with a BA in English Literature. She was a live event photographer, covering a lot of Columbus’ local scene but a back injury kept her out of the scene for two years. While recovering, she created The Top Shelf. Misty doesn’t have a TBR list, she has a mountain! Come visit us! Website: Twitter: @topshelfebooksFacebook:


  1. Hi Misty! I LOVE what you said about comfort zones being akin to close mindedness. I never thought of it like that before. And the fact that sexual violence is everywhere in bestselling books yet they aren't labeled as porn or "nickel nasties" is also an incredible point. Thanks for those insights.

    My parents NEVER had "the talk" with me. Everything I knew about sex going into adulthood I pretty much learned from romance books which, in hindsight, wasn't really such a bad thing. Sex equaled romance for me and that made me set the bar pretty darn high for my future husband. LOL!

  2. **hugs** Misty I'm incrediably honored that my book was your first introduction into erotica! Your blog was very enjoyable (I blame my parents all the time lol).

  3. **hugs** Misty I'm incrediably honored that my book was your first introduction into erotica! Your blog was very enjoyable (I blame my parents all the time lol).

  4. Hi Misty, glad you finally got around to enjoying romance novels. Like Von, I learned from romance books, but still went into marriage at nineteen a very naive bride. Books nowadays have much more explicit details.

    I agree it's best not to limit yourself to any genre. I have also made many friends through their wonderful books. Mysti has been a great help to me as well as a good friend.

    I enjoyed your post.

  5. Hi Misty, Sex is a part of life and in my "Immortal Relations" its even more a part of the "afterlife." "Explicit Togetherness" (as I call sex because it seems a more loving way to say it) is in my series because it was important to show that my "guardian vampires" didn't have human hang-ups, even though they protect humans from evil vampires, criminals, and the greatest threat of all, power-mad governments. Romance books, of all types, allow us to explore different "takes" on love, and that is why I read as well as write them.


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