Play Twenty Questions: Question 3

anniversary header 2013 copy

 Enjoy these answers from a host of erotic romance authors — then enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a $100 Amazon or BN GC and more!

2013 Anniversary WC Question 3
Desiree Holt  No. Absolutely not. Cheating means you can’t be trusted and it affects every other area of your life. I assume this means in a relationship and if you are committed to one person then you respect that relationship. If you want to cheat, break up instead.

Melissa Schroeder  Nope, never. That does not include the open marriage aspect of things. If you agree to that kind of marriage or relationship, then that is different. But if you are in a committed relationship, then I think it’s wrong. As a military wife, I don’t think I could stay married if I didn’t trust my husband completely.

Heidi Lynn Anderson No!!!!!!! The person your with and the person you want to be with deserve better than that. If you are in a relationshipand  it can’t be fixed get out and then move on. For me it’s a respect thing.

Brenna Lyons I would say no, if we’re talking about contemporary humans (at least in countries like the US, where we don’t have laws against divorce). It’s always better to leave person A first before starting something with person B. If you want to be in an open relationship, it’s best to be sure that is acceptable on all sides and no one feels pressured to take part/approve…at which time, it’s not really cheating. Relationships are largely based on trust and communication (as well as love), and cheating breaches two of those three terms.

At the same time, if you’re dealing with a science fiction/fantasy or historical situation, it may be a very different animal. In one of my upcoming books, a prince is forced by his father to marry a woman he doesn’t love, a woman who refuses to even share his bed. But, taking mistresses or concubines is acceptable on his world, and he finds a woman he desperately loves and makes her his live-in mistress. It’s something of a tragic love story that they are together until her death, but he can never make her his queen. He will forever be tied to a loveless woman in marriage. But, it’s not only acceptable but also expected for a prince to have mistresses in their society, so I’m not sure it would really be cheating.

Marie Tuhart  No. It is never good to cheat on your partner, because it shows you can’t be trusted. Trust is a fragile thing in any relationship.

Erin M. Leaf  No, it’s not. Cheating implies that you’re breaking your promise. If you are desperate for outside fun, it’s always better to talk it over with your partner. You never know what might happen! He or she may be open to more than you expect. Or you may discover you’re not really right for each other and go your separate ways. Regardless, honesty is always the best policy.

Wendi Zwaduk  No. If you’re not in love with your partner, then cut your losses and let them go. If you don’t want to be hurt, then don’t hurt them, too.

Sandra Bunino  No. It’s not ever okay. If a relationship is not working you end it and move on. Nothing good can come from cheating.

Megan Slayer  Um…no. Be kind to the one you’re letting go in favor of their feelings. It’s not worth dragging them through the mud when they find out.

Renea Mason  It’s never okay to cheat. Cheating hurts your partner. I’ve read many books where there is more than one partner but all are consensual and no one is victimized. That’s the way I prefer it.

Jessica Jayne  It’s okay to have an open relationship if both parties agree, but to sneak behind your significant other’s back is not really okay. Someone always ends up hurt in that situation. No one is saying that the temptation isn’t there. It is for all of us! But I think it has more to do with respect than anything.

Jessica E. Subject  No. It’s never okay. If a person is unsatisfied in their relationship, they need to talk to their partner about it. If nothing is resolved, then get out of the relationship. But, cheating goes against your commitment to that person.

Adriana Kraft  No. It’s never okay to break whatever the agreement is in a committed relationship. That doesn’t mean it’s fatal to the relationship – if both partners use the experience to pour energy back into the relationship and deepen it, they can heal and even heat it up.

Since we write a lot of menage and poly relationships, I have to add that “cheating” takes on a very different meaning in that context. Having sex with someone other than your spouse or primary relationship when both parties agree isn’t cheating, but they’re bound to have other agreements about what is or isn’t permissible, and breaking those would be cheating, wrong, and hurtful.

Avril Ashton  It is never okay. It’s a selfish act, and one that hurts more than one individual

Maxine Mansfield  No! Well that is, unless it is a planned play cheat with your own partner… those can be fun. Other than that, have the decency to end one relationship before starting another.

Julia Talbot  Nope. That never leads to a happy ending.

BA Tortuga  Nope.

Kayelle Allen  No. It’s never okay. Cheaters violate not only their own honor, but the honor of the one on whom they cheated. There are consequences for unfaithfulness, and they are not pretty. The underlying theme in all my books is that romance lives forever. Part of romance is the security of knowing a lover will be there, through good and bad times, sickness, health, and all those other points claimed in our wedding vows.

Denyse Bridger  I don’t think there is a situation where cheating can be acceptable. It undermines trust, even when people think they’re okay with it. It would take an extreme set of circumstances that rarely happen, and even then – can you ever forget if the person you love most has cheated, even if your head accepts the reasons why it happened???

Anya Richards  This is one of those questions with no good answer. Personally, I believe it’s best to get out of a relationship that isn’t working before getting involved in something new. If you’re in a relationship you don’t want to lose, then don’t cheat. Yet… humans are what they are. We’re made up of so many components…physical, emotional, spiritual…and sometimes we get tangled up in situations that, in a perfect world, wouldn’t arise. Everyone has to deal with their own conscience and take responsibility for what they do. I don’t think it’s right, but I recognize stuff happens and, occasionally, can be sympathetic toward someone who cheats.

Dee Brice  I think cheating is a way of fooling ourselves that our current relationship(s) are working. If we’re tempted to cheat, I think we should reassess the situation. So, short answer, no–because the only person we’re really cheating is ourselves.

Diana Hunter This is a really good question and depends on the definition of the word “cheat”. Same with your definition of “adultery.”

If your definition of both is to go behind the back of your significant other and have a physical relationship with someone else? Then no, absolutely not. It’s NEVER okay to cheat. That’s dishonest and just plain wrong.

If, however, your definition includes BOTH of you having a relationship with other people and BOTH of you know about it, then it’s not behind anyone’s back. It’s open and honest and, in that case I say, yes. It’s okay because it isn’t really cheating. It’s an open relationship and I know several people who have that kind of arrangement.

Shorter answer: If one-half of the couple isn’t being honest with the other, it’s not okay. Period.

Lynne Connolly  Yes, to spare someone unnecessary pain.

Charlotte Boyett-Compo  That depends. If you are in a loveless relationship from which you aren’t allowed to extricate yourself, cheating might well save your sanity. If he’s cheating on you to begin with, you have my permission to return the favor. Of course if there are children involved, that makes the situation more involved. I would never advise a woman to cheat on her significant other if there are children in the equation. They are the ones who will get hurt the worst.

Cameron D. James  Never. It’s okay to play the field IF your partner is in fully agreement. But the sneaking around behind your partner’s back? Never.

Christie Butler Several of my books to the contrary, I don’t believe it’s ever okay to cheat. Even if your partner knows about it or is actually there while it’s happening. From that point on, I would never be able to put it out of my mind. It would be hard to re-establish trust, I would always wonder. Having said that, It’s clearly okay to fantasize about it!

Sabrina York  My personal opinion is that if you are going to be in a relationship, be in it. If you want to be with someone other than your partner, maybe it’s time to rethink things. However, everyone must make decisions that are right for their circumstances. For example, if your partner makes you bacon, you should probably be faithful. Because really. Bacon.

Lucy Felthouse  No, because it hurts people, which is never cool. Having said that, I don’t mind cheating in fiction, because it’s just fiction, but I know lots of people don’t like that.

Eden Bradley  It’s never okay to cheat. If things are that bad-the relationship has left you so empty you’re compelled to cheat-then you should talk it out or leave the relationship. And if you meet someone who tempts you that much, you need to ask yourself why.

Cassandra Carr  This is a difficult question to answer because circumstances can be so different depending on the situation. I should probably go with the answer all the romance readers want to hear- that it’s never okay to cheat, but life for me is not black and white.

Amanda Young  In my opinion it’s never okay to go behind your partner’s back and sleep with someone else. Cheating with consent is another story.

R.G. Alexander  While I can easily imagine a scenario where the conditions were so horrible with a mate or spouse that it was okay…and I even have characters that are a bit mixed up about who they actually love, sometimes even under a spell…for me personally outside of fiction? I’d have to say no. Words are important to me. Honesty and keeping promises are also important. In my opinion, I would rather tell the person I’m with that I feel like cheating, and either work on the reason why together, add some spice to the romance together, or leave.

Lainey Reese  That’s a tough one. I think in real life. NO. No matter how bad the other person is, once you’ve cheated…you are now the bad guy. You’ve lost the high ground and regardless of their wrongs you now have a big black mark on your side.

On the other hand…In books when there is a big bad abusive husband or boyfriend and our hero swoops in to rescue her and it’s a mad crazy race for survival and true love…that I embrace wholeheartedly.

Donna Gallagher  Never! There is always someone that ends up hurting from the act of betrayal. If you feel the need to stray then something is wrong with your relationship, either fix it or leave.

MK Schiller  This is tricky. My immediate response is ‘hell no’ but when I really think about it there are movies/books where I could empathize with the characters like Sophie’s Choice for one.

Leah Braemel  Nope. Not ever. There’s a trust between you and your partner, cheating irrevocably breaks that trust. Once trust is gone, so is the relationship. And even if you do get back together that shadow of doubt will always exist.

Victoria Blisse  Hm, this is a difficult one to answer. Cheating is never good for your heart, it always comes with a hint of guilt. I’m not sure it’s ever a good thing, but sometimes it is understandable.

Jennifer Leeland  No. I knew my first marriage was over when I was contemplating a physical relationship with someone else. To me, that includes sexual interaction online. I try not to judge other people but I don’t say it’s okay either. All that aside, human beings are just that-human. It’s pointless to judge others based on my own personal code.

Kate Deveaux  I don’t think it is okay but I know it happens.

Just like food poisoning :). Seriously though, very damaging to any relationship and almost impossible to get over, unlike food poisoning!

Ayla Ruse  No. I’m loyal to the core and I think heroes and heroines in romance should be, too. If a relationship is going bad, move on first. I cannot think of any reason where cheating would be okay.

Fiona McGier  On your man? Never. On your woman? Never. On your income tax…well, my late FIL was an IRS agent, so probably not. At cards? If you can get away with it!

Why not? Because a good relationship requires honesty and acceptance. If you cheat, you’re not getting what you want at home, nor are you giving what the other person needs. If you feel a need to cheat, dissolve your relationship first. Once you’re a free agent, by all means, find out for yourself that he’s not as good a lover as he led you to believe! Trust me, most of them aren’t! Grin!

Sarah Castille  “I used to believe in forever, but forever’s too good to be true”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Anna Alexander  No. If the temptation to cheat becomes so strong that you are ready to take that first step, then something is wrong with the relationship you’re in. Do yourself and everyone else a favor and either fix what’s wrong or walk away. A little bit of heartache now is better than the hurricane of sh*t that will hit you later when the truth comes out, because it always comes out.

Cathryn Cade To save the life of someone I love, or to save an innocent, yes. Especially if the one being cheated is evil. That’s cheating the devil. Of course this is why writing romance is so satisfying–we can know beyond a shadow of a doubt who the villain is, and who is the innocent. Life … is not so simple.

But wait–if you’re speaking of romantic cheating, then no. Never. You fess up that you’ve found someone new, and then move on. Or if there are children involved, put them first. Keep the family together to protect the innocents.

Luna Zega I’d like to say “no.” It is never okay to cheat, but reality seeps in. I know lots of people who have had affairs. I can’t judge them. I understand their reasons behind it. One friend’s wife threatened to take his children away and never let him see them again if they got divorced. She wasn’t about to have sex with him ever again, but she was forcing him to stay in the marriage. I know another couple where one of the spouses is physically incapable of having sex due to an injury.

I think there is a difference between cheating and having an affair. Cheating is casual, no-strings-attached sex. An affair involves emotions and usually love of some sort. I wish I lived in a world where people vow to forsake all others and actually do so, but I don’t. I’m not condoning cheating, but I’m not condemning it either.

Lila Shaw  I think there are a few loopholes I’d allow. I’d say if you happen to be with someone on paper only, neither you nor your partner are currently emotionally half of the same couple. Usually you’re separated, you’re getting divorced, your partner has abandoned you, you’ve married for convenience only and both parties agree to an open marriage… Another situation might be if your partner is permanently incapacitated–in a vegetative state, severely brain damaged, mentally insane, etc.–such that he’s gone in spirit.

Kate Hill  For me, no. I wouldn’t want to be cheated on, so therefore I wouldn’t cheat on someone. If someone cheated on me, I would feel disrespected and wouldn’t trust them again, so the relationship would be over anyway. Better to be honest and move on without the disrespect and drama.

Heather Long  No. Cheating is dishonest to everyone involved. You want to be with someone else, woman up or man up with your partner and let them know.

Jean Hart Stewart  No, not really. Sometimes it’s ok to fudge the truth to avoid hurting another person, but not to cheat. Lying and cheating are absolutely out.

Desirée Lee  I abhor cheating. I don’t think it’s right at all. In the past, if I wasn’t happy in a relationship, I’d end it. I don’t think it’s fair to the other person to be cheated on. I remember how much it hurt and angered me when a (now ex, obviously) boyfriend gave me a card and inside had written “I love you Tina.” My name is not Tina. I would never do that to a person, and I don’t like to write characters who are cheaters either.

Nina Pierce  I knew a man whose wife was very sick for many many years. I know he loved her with all his heart, but he got very lonely and found another woman and they had a relationship. They married after his wife died. I know it was cheating, but I always felt that what he did wasn’t wrong.

Bobbi Brattz I’m not one who cheats, whether it’s on a test or in a relationship. I’m a one man woman who wants all or nothing.

Even in my imagination, my characters don’t cheat on their lovers. An ex wife/husband do on occasion but that’s usually the reason the hero/heroine have such a hard time allowing themselves to let loose in bed. Not to worry though, they always get over it with the best of the best sex with their new loves.

Tonya Renee Callihan Personally, no it’s never ok to cheat. If you want someone else, get out of the relationship you are in.

Gale Stanley Tough question. Monogamy is a tricky subject. Cheating is never a good thing. People get hurt, but that being said…

Humans are biological creatures. Sometimes stuff happens. Chemistry kicks in and it isn’t the person you’re with. We’re only human after all.

Naomi Bellina  My feeling is, if you cheat mentally with fictional characters, it’s okay. Fantasizing is a great way to spice up your existing love life. I like to mix guys from television, movies and books to form my perfect lover. Of course, there is no such thing as a perfect man and he would probably be dull as hell anyway!

Kemberlee Shortland  I think honesty is a building block of trust. Cheating is dishonest, and who can trust a dishonest person?

Hurri Cosmo  No. It tells the character of the person. It not only shows disrespect to the other partner but to yourself as well. There are most likely other very deep problems within the main relationship as well and they need to be dealt with rather than ignored and glossed over. Entering into another relationship when you are involved with someone already is incredibly destructive to everyone involved.

Lyncee Shillard  Nope – never unless of course it was with Matthew McConaughey. I know people who have ‘open’ marriages but that’s not cheating because their partners are aware of the ‘other’ person. Whenever you lie or withhold important information from the person you ‘love’ you need to ask yourself why? If you feel you just ‘have’ to have sex with someone else again you need to ask yourself why. I’m not saying you can’t ‘visually’ appreciate another person but if it’s more than a fleeting moment… well, I’m not sure you’re in love.

Sherrie Henry  Humans weren’t exactly made to be monogamous; when the love is no longer there, the couple needs to make a valid and mutual decision to go their separate ways. Cheating isn’t the answer, honesty is.

Angelina Rain  Absolutely not! Cheating breaks the trust between two people and destroys relationships.

Trina Lane  I have to say no. I understand that relationships are never perfect, and quite frankly sometimes really bad. But I can’t stand cheating. If you’re with someone and the relationship has hit a rough patch, you may find yourself thinking that the grass is greener somewhere else. However, in my opinion it’s better to either put in the work to either fix the relationship or dissolve it. Going behind your lover, partner, spouse’s back is never the answer.

If you’re in a relationship and your lover, partner, spouse is cheating on you then have enough respect for yourself and your family to say “That’s not okay.” If the other person persists or informs you that they don’t care, and will do what they want, then leave. It may be the hardest, most painful thing you do but staying in an unhealthy relationship will be detrimental to your mental and possibly physical health.

Elyzabeth M. VaLey  No, never okay. If you don’t want to be with someone then just break it up- don’t waste your time and their time. Furthermore, if there are children involved things could get ugly because the cheater is not only breaking his SO’s trust, but the kids’ too.



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  1. All very good responses, but Trina Lane’s response would be my pick.

  2. jennifer mathis says:


  3. Quilt Lady says:

    I like all of them but Desiree Holt to me was the main one that stood out to me. It was simple and to the point.

  4. Karen H in NC says:

    Like the others, I agree with all but Desiree Holt says it best.

  5. All say great stuff but I like Tonya Renee’s answer…I agree…NO WAY! Get out of the relationship before you start a new one!

  6. It’s such a broad question and the answer’s not as simple as it appears. I think Lila Shaw was closest to seeing both sides of the coin. If it’s just to get your rocks off, cheating is abominable, but life can be far more complex than titillation.

    Now if you’re talking fictional characters…

  7. I like Elyzabeth M VaLey’s answer, since it seems the most compassionate…


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