I rewrote the first chapter of Heat at Smashwords. It concerned me that readers might think it was aimed at a lesbian market. However, I don't think that should be a big problem. At any rate, I made the relationship between Val and Brice more evident. There's more internal dialogue from Brice in the beginning. One of the veins of thought regarding romantic literature is that it's not legitimate literature. I taught literature from the "canons" for years. Critics seldom consider the formulaic writing of the ancient Greeks. I think what makes some academics and critics think that romantic literature is not valid is that when it involves sex, it gets to the notion of women's sexual identity. I often introduced literature by asking students what fairy tales they remember from childhood. They'd mention stories like Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel and Goldilocks and the Three Bears. These are stories that generally frighten children. But psychologists say they are necessary in order to help children work through their fears in a healthy manner.
Romance does the same thing for women or for anyone trying to work through certain fears. Whether it is a woman, who is even subconsciously working through anxieties about a male dominated environment, or a man trying to work through issues related to identity, life roles or belonging, romance can provide the hopeful note of resolution. It's not always possible in life, but it certainly helps us to disengage with the frustrations of our actual environment when we're suspended in time with an author's thoughts. More on this late.