Author Override is the place where authors take the reins and take you on a journey into their world. Some may allow you into their private writing dens. Others may take you along with them on research trips or interviews. Whatever the case may be, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride because here you’ll get an in-depth look into an author’s musings.

Cari Quinn

How far is too far?

Thanks so much for having me at Under The Covers today! One random commenter (open internationally) will win their choice of ebooks from my backlist (found on

As a writer, I guess you could say I like pushing the envelope. I usually don’t set out to do so and in fact, sometimes I’m surprised that something I’ve written has done it. For example, my recent Ellora’s Cave release, Hot Text, features a heroine who is still married and sleeps with a man who is most definitely not her husband. I didn’t really expect that to be much of an issue because Karyn is married in name only at that point – her husband no longer lives with her and is actively engaged in a relationship with the hero’s sister – but I didn’t think about the people who would see the word “married” and perhaps extrapolate what exactly that meant in the context of the story. Karyn has even received her divorce papers from her husband, so clearly the relationship is no longer viable when she sleeps with Jeff. But it’s not easy to convey all that in a short blurb so it’s natural many readers may think the book is not for them. And it may still not be not for them, even with the explanation. What I find acceptable as a reader and writer is very different from what others may. That’s not only okay, it’s a great thing because diversity in readers can only be positive.

Another recent release of mine, Unwrapped, pushes boundaries in a different way, and this way I expected. (Well, it also pushed some I didn’t expect, but that’s another blog post.) The heroine holds personal views that could – and did, with some readers – make her unlikeable. She changes and grows throughout the story but I knew I was taking a risk by presenting her the way I did. Afterward I second-guessed myself a bit, wondering if I should have chosen a different way of introducing her, but ultimately the book stands as it is. Every book is different and I think the writer changes a little with each story. Books I wrote a couple years ago reflected my state of mind then and while I still love them, they may not be where I’m at mentally at the moment. Writing is definitely a way through which an author continues to learn and grow!

Which brings me to my questions today. As a reader – or writer – how far is too far for you in a story? Do you have a hard limit as far as a situation or setup you’re not interested in reading about? Have your limits changed over time?

A random commenter (open internationally) will win their choice of ebooks from my backlist!

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  1. I have certain things I prefer not to read; especially in a book that involves sex. Somethings I’m just not into, for example, I’m personally not into M/M scenes, but reading about them doesn’t make me uncomfortable. However, what does make me uncomfortable would be an author going into graphic detail of a rape or other traumatic sexual event. Great interview! Going to have to check out your books!!! 🙂

  2. When I started to read more frequently, I noticed that harsh subject or difficult sexual content weren’t as difficult to read as before. I don’t like rape scene but I never thought I would like to read about threesome or BDSM. Thanks for this giveaway!


  3. My tastes have changed over time. I think that has alot to do with reading Laurell K Hamilton’s books. Not much bothers me anymore except rape scenes. Those type of scenes tend to make me a little angry, and I prefer books that don’t make me angry.

  4. If the blurb and excerpt are good, I’m open to trying any book. I do find that I’m less likely to continue if there’s violence that makes me feel bad. Sometimes I can read stuff that’s really graphic and it doesn’t affect me and other times not so graphic stuff turns me off. I think it shows how well the author has gotten me to identify with the character or the author’s ability to show the character’s suffering.

    I didn’t finish a BDSM book where the woman was a nameless slave. OMG, I couldn’t take the degredation the woman went through or think of what possible benefit she got from the relationship.

  5. Being a reader and a writer, I think I would probably be a lot more able to read certain things than write them…

    But there are certain subjects that are kind of taboo for me. I don’t like sexual content regarding rape or forced violence, I’m not into anything remotely close to scat or breath play, don’t write it, don’t want to read it… There are other subjects of that nature, but I think you get the idea.

    I’m open to stuff like m/m relationships and sex, menage or moresomes, consensual BDSM, voyeurism and exhibitionism etc etc. It’s just the nastier more dangerous stuff that gets me.

    Thanks for the chance to win…

    [email protected]

  6. The book has to have a great cover and excerpt in order for me to even think about reading it. I don’t like to read about rape of any sort. Other than that, I will pretty much read anything and everything.


  7. I think that the only time I am really offended by something in a book, it is due more to the way it is written. If an author has just sort of dropped in something shocking for the sake of it, and not to further a story…I am not so interested. As long as the writing is solid, makes sense and is shown to be important to the story in some way, i am usually okay with it.Within Reason.

    nayjf at yahoo dot com

  8. I’ll read almost anything…except the step-daddy/step-daughter books.I’ve seen them quite a bit lately.Not for me.

    Thanks for the giveaway

  9. Thank you so much for having me here today and to everyone who stopped by to comment!

    I have a lot of the same boundaries as many of you. Rape is such a sensitive subject, as are several others such as abuse. And of course, there are things like incest and certain kinds of fetish play that definitely don’t work for me.

    I appreciate hearing everyone’s thoughts! 🙂

  10. I’ve got a fairly open mind so not much really bothers me in turns of books and situations anymore.

    By the way, just finished reading Unwrapped and LOVED it! I will def be reading more book by Cari!!!

  11. Hey Cari, just wanted to throw in my two cents for limits: breath play, bloodletting (when it doesn’t involve vampires or shifters), rape in certain situations (it can be done correctly), incest, involving kids, and f/f/m.


  12. I know my limits have changed over the years. I know 10 years ago I would have never thought I’d enjoy m/m as much as I do, or menage for that matter.

    Right now my hard lines are extreme bdsm, especially where the master really wants to inflict pain or humiliate the sub. Other than that I can’t think of anything else.

    I’d love to check out your books.


  13. I’m open to reading most everything. I don’t care for rape or extreme violence against women. I do read the blurbs and any excerpts before trying s new author.

  14. Thanks for an awesome post and giveaway!

    I’d have to say that I’m pretty open minded and I have grown to really enjoy most milder forms of erotica. The only thing(s) that get me truly uncomfortable and I deliberately won’t read now is hard core BDSM and rape. They kinda go together in most of these stories and I just wont read them. I read a hard core BDSM where the dom seriously beat the woman and it was part of their relationship. He also had his “friend” rape her and she apologized to the Dom for not doing whatever it was he wanted. That book woulda hit the wall but it was on my Kindle. So… I’m done with that. I don’t mind m/f/m or m/f/f as long as the scenes are natural and not forced. I’m also not into the barely legal, incesteous stuff going around now…

  15. It use to be any kind of a**play but have gotten use to it and enjoy reading a few. The one’s hard to read for me are scenes with rape or stae of helplessness.

  16. Thanks for the post about your books. I know that over the years I have expanded the type of books I read. If you would have asked me 5 years ago if I would read a BDSM book, I would have said no, but now I really enjoy a well written love story with those elements. As I have found “new to me” authors through social networks I have pushed my own limits in reading. There are still things I will not read but my list is getting shorter.

    Love your books and keep reaching for those limits.

    [email protected]

  17. My limits have changed immensely in the past two years. I never even knew erotic romances existed. Found them by accident, then was icked by menage and BDSM. I kept an open mind and now I enjoy both, but they have to be well done. I don’t like BDSM heavy on the S&M or degradation. Absolute never reads or have me throwing the book down – Infidelity, I still have issues in books where the H/h have had their HEA and continue to play it’s just not my cuppa. I am ok when there is a separation and both parties have moved on and are waiting for the divorce to be final.

    Being a reviewer, I’ve had to learn to step out of my comfort zone, be objective and read things I normally wouldn’t. I refuse to rate a book low just because it’s not my taste. I have pleasantly surprised by some of the books I would not have normally read, because they were so well written.

  18. My limits have changed over the years. The more I read the easier some things are to read about. Most of the time it’s about how the author writes it. I’m not really into the harder BDSM or rape scenes. Otherwise it depends on the ability of the author to work a situation into the story. I read just about anything and have no problems not finishing a book if it’s not working for me.

  19. Good for you for standing by your stories as written. Not everyone is going to like every book, whether they push boundaries or are sugar coated beginning to end. I’ve read “cheating” stories that I liked but most make me cringe, so it depends on the whole plotline, not just that one factor. Good post. Thank you for bringing it up.

  20. For me my limit is 3 in a more. No family members in a menage either. Ick, just ick. Also, don’t sugarcoat a BDSM sharing scene and say that its conseual. Example: D/s and the Dom shares his sub with another Dom and the second Dom is cruel and the first Dom lets him get away with it. That’s violence to me. I’ve been reading more and more BDSM books where the Dom shares with other Doms and it leads to cruelty, gang rape and to me there is nothing romantic about that.

    Also, I’ve been reading more books that have sex in them just for sex sake. Authors feel like they have to have more graphic, hardcore sex scenes to make a book sell. Not for me…

    Peeps, Cari’s books are awesome. Just saying…

    [email protected]

  21. My taste has changed over the years!!! I find that I’m more open minded now as a reader!!! Rough sex scenes, bondage, etc!!! 😉 Bring it on!!!


  22. Wow, you guys are great! What doesn’t work for you as readers is definitely making me think about my boundaries as both an author and a reader. I appreciate all your thoughtful replies!

    WakeAngel, thank you! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed Unwrapped! You made my day. 🙂

    Pamerd, thank you for your nice comment about my books. Isn’t it interesting how topics that didn’t work for us at one time do at another? It shows how much we all keep growing as people.

    Becky C, thank you. Your comment really hit home for me. You’re absolutely correct. There is no way to please everyone but if you please yourself, I guess you haven’t done too badly.

    Harlie, thanks again! You’re the best and you always make me smile. Love to see comments from you!

    This has been a wonderful discussion so far. Please keep the comments coming!

  23. Paedophilia and Child abuse are big turn off’s for me – I can accept rape in a book as long as it’s shown to be something a from the past and not detailed in the story.

    The way a strong female character deals with the aftermath of rape can make for a well written story if done correctly.

    felinewyvern at googlemail dot com

    I have even read a few books were the hero has been the victim of rape and the author has written a wonderful story around that theme (Laurence of Arabia being one that springs to mind).

  24. Well as far as I’m concerned books are fantasy so no limits. I personally do not like torture or gory books so don’t read those. At first I was turned off by MM books but guess what some of the short stories I read is pretty hot… now if I was watching that lol.. maybe not so much. christina_92 at

  25. I haven’t read any M/M but some are on my Kindle to read. I’ve read some extreme BDSM stories (non-consenual, slave)and did not like them. Your books look like what I would read.


  26. Interestingly, I realized I most definitely *did* have limits upon reading the other comments! I don’t think I would spontaneously pick a book that involved BDSM or more than two partners; except if somebody truly recommended it to me, I might try out of curiosity (and maybe be surprised?). I’m also not a fan of rape scenes or unfaithfulness, though not in the way described by Cari Quinn in her book: I mean if the character sleeps with someone while actively pursuing another person. On the whole, though, experience has found me pretty tolerant as long as the book was otherwise compelling, well-plotted and well-written.

    Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

  27. Turn offs for me are being to harsh/violent with a partner, pain…physical, emotional, spiritual…whatever, if it’s overdone, I don’t like it. Caning and whipping where it leaves marks and makes someone bleed…naw, not into it. Some m/m is ok…but, have to be in the right frame of mind to read it. Prefer m/m/f…if we’re going there. That’s m 2 cents…

    [email protected]

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