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A bodice ripper is a genre of romantic fiction, often historical fiction. In the 1970s and 1980s, the heroine of such a novel often lost her virginity by force. While the genre has turned away from the trope of forced seduction, contemporary bodice rippers still feature unrestrained romantic passion, and a heroine who initially dislikes and actively resists the hero's seduction, only ultimately to be overcome by desire.
The term bodice ripper derives from the covers of the books, which generally depict a female whose bodice is being ripped by a muscular, often shirtless man. The story often times features a dominant alpha male. Sometimes there will be violence, i.e. rape or physical abuse toward the heroine of the story. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodice_ripper [Aug 2006]
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