This is a controversial topic in any setting, but in a story that is supposed to be about love and happy endings, it seems to have no place there.
But, does it?
I think a writer should have the freedom to tell the story they want to without having to be censored. That being said, I don’t think rape should be glorified and used in a way that makes it okay or romantic. Because rape is not about love. It’s an act of violence. Sometimes rough sex can be misinterpreted as rape, and that can be a gray area if the lines are unclear. But most probably agree if a woman feels violated, there is no doubt that it is rape.
If a story calls for a rape scene and it is important to the plot, a writer should be able to do what is needed for that story. I can think of at least one example where rape could work in a romance—a woman recovers from a rape and has to learn to trust men again so she can find love.
It is a subject that should not be taken lightly, but it shouldn’t be taboo for a writer if it is a key part of the story they want to tell.
Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
My author page at amazon.com with all my books listed