Guide to Heat Ratings

    The romance world uses a variety of words to describe the sexual content of stories. Unfortunately, there is no standardized system, and readers will see different sources using the same terms with disparate meanings.

    To minimize confusion on my site, and more generally with my stories, below is a description of heat ratings as I use them.

Heat level: 0

Chaste stories involve nothing overtly sexual. Characters may hug, hold hands, or kiss briefly, but physical intimacy beyond that does not take place on or off the page.

Example: The Whedonite

Heat level: 1

Sweet stories include physical intimacy between the main characters, such as cuddling or prolonged, passionate kissing, but that does not progress to the point of sex, even off the page.

Example: Taking Chances

Heat level: 2

Sensual stories include physical intimacy, but any sex happens behind a closed door (off the page) or in scenes that fade to black before that point.

Example: Mending Heartstrings

Heat level: 3

Steamy stories do include sex on the page, but such scenes tend to focus on the emotional impact and prioritize euphemistic language.

Example: Mortal Musings

Heat level: 4

Sizzling stories have detailed sexual scenes, with language that is more graphic than in Steamy stories.

Example: Summer Seduction

Red Hot
Heat level: 5

Red Hot stories include multiple explicit sexual scenes, with no limits between (or among) consenting adults. Language may but does not have to be quite graphic.

Please note: I do not currently write Red Hot books.