Look. Over there. The hot dude on the bench. The one we saw last week, who asked if you were looking for a good time. And of course you said yes, because aren’t we all looking for a good time?

Your good time cost you the $100 you lost betting on him at the underground fight.

My good time was a story.

Dark hair just brushing the collar of his worn leather jacket. Low-slung jeans faded and frayed. He always dreamed of being a professional fighter, but he had to give it up to look after his family when his father died. Guilt consumes him. If he hadn’t called for a ride home that night, his father wouldn’t have encountered that drunk driver on the road. Now he only fights underground, where he can be punished again and again. He yearns for forgiveness, redemption, but it’s not a journey he can take alone.

I see stories everywhere.

There. By the fountain. The young woman with the blonde hair streaked pink, black leather biker boots with four-inch heels, and piercings in her nose and cheeks. She’s waiting for the goth walking toward her. She wants to leave him, but life on the street is hard without a protector, even if he is prone to violence. See her tremble when he stops in front of her and raises his hand. Her gaze flicks to the fighter. And in that moment everything changes.

Two paths cross. Two souls meet. Two hearts awaken.

This is why I write erotic romance.

I write to explore the human journey, from the moment lightning strikes to the happily ever after. In erotic romance, that journey is related through intimacy because often it is only in the moments when we are the most vulnerable that we can truly open our hearts. When I write, I can share burdens I might never bear, live lives I might never live, feel emotions I might never feel. But mostly I write for the happily ever afters, because the world doesn’t have enough of those.

One punch and the goth is down. The fighter leads the woman away, his arm around her shoulder, suddenly realizing that his fighting skills have value beyond their role in exorcizing the demons of his past. And now our young woman has someone to lean on, someone to give her hope that there is a way out of the abyss. Of course, this is only the start of their journey toward a happily ever after. The road ahead is fraught with peril. But they no longer travel alone. And that’s what makes a good story—a romantic story.

And what of our goth? Doesn’t he deserve a happy ending too? Maybe one day when he’s learned a few lessons and I’m in a good mood. There’s a woman I know, a police officer with a bit of a wild side...