Yes, a major taboo subject for romance writers! But I wanted to be bold and bring it out in the open for a minute, and ask some questions about how you view the concept of incest.
I always found it fascinating that in many ancient societies–the Egyptians, Incans,
Hawaiians and others–royal families practiced incest as a matter of course. Even the British royal family has intermarried with cousins for generations.
So how close does the connection have to be for it to be considered incest?
Certainly parental and sibling couplings are incestuous. But what about step-parents or step-children? I teach drama and in both Phaedre and Desire Under the Elms a step-parent (mother) falls in love with her step-son.
And what of the marriage of Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn, his girlfriend’s adopted daughter? Incestuous or not?
Is it an incestuous relationship if there is no blood bond? This question has generated lots of wonderful discussions in class because there are so many opinions on it.
So would such a plot device be considered taboo in romance writing? Are there in fact romance novels with this type of plot?
What do you think?