I did read The Lord Next Door* in one sitting, just for the the exercise. Also sampled one of the Spur paperbacks. It strikes me that the wide stance of these two specific works puts a tentative finger on the perhaps impenetrable distance (think about it) between ladies and gentlemen's response to this sort of printed simulation of life. "Lord" was the opulent house and trimmings, the clothes, the title, the social climb, and a whole lot of mannerly slooowww but progressive (skilled) (and strangely irresistible) teasing of an innocent heroine followed by true love and marriage. On the other hand (irresistible sequitur here), "Spur" was actually porn. Bought it at a library sale, where there was a whole series of it. The librarians had no idea it was porn; they thought it was like Zane Grey, something for grandpa who kept his mouth shut about such discrepancy. The Spur plot comes on as simple repetition /formula: hero (Tom Buchanan physique) larks about in cowboy outfits shooting and pummeling bad guys, returning hungry to the saloon/hotel where he finds a most comely lady who insists that he take her then and there, i.e., no foreplay, no bother, just some happy / inconsequential fast food.
So -- all I can conclude is that as long as no one gets hurt you just need a sense of humor about these things.
Or you can get religious like Pat Robertson and make up laws to support the no-fault inevitability of the eternal drama.
Or maybe, like me, simply see the gods rising up in us as we go along -- gods being, after all, the personifications of the energies of the organs and what-not.
Still, it's all quite confounding, and maybe that's also why it's fascinating when fascination is found. The simple but essential business of energy gradients, the force that steers the sun and all the stars.
* The Lord Next Door: To rescue her family from financial ruin, lovely Victoria Shelby has no choice but to marry. Her options for a bridegroom are limited . . . until she remembers the shy servant boy next door. Then she discovers that her childhood friend is actually Viscount Thurlow -- ruthless businessman, future earl, and a man whose family is shrouded in scandal! ~Amazon
Best review ever: The Playboy Sheikh's Virgin Stable-Girl:
http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/blog/the-playbot-sheikhs-virgin-stable-girl-by-sharon-kendrick And the cover. (No fluttering robes?)
book at amazon:
"From the second he rides into the story until the last page, he says and does nothing redeeming."