The romance industry (major publishers) has rules about romances. They have to go like this: Boy meets girl. (Right away, you see the limitations of the form.) They fall in love, with lots of explicit sex. More than lots. A terrible barrier arises that separates them: She discovers he’s married & has 6 kids. He discovers she’s got hoof & mouth disease. They part, but struggle to overcome the Awful Barrier. (No sex here.) Then an elephant falls out of the sky.
Many romance writers are REALLY CLEVER about getting their hero and heroine out of the pickle they’re in. There’s more explicit sex. (The romance genre does offer some really entertaining reading––hot, too––as well ask skilled writing. I’ve checked it out.) The industry has other rules. No one under 18 has sex, explicit or not. And the book has to end happily. That’s traditional, major publisher romance.
Which is why we have independent presses. My romance isn’t like that.