Tea and Biscuits Book Discussion: Christian Romance Yay or Nay?

firestormNow I know that they aren’t as popular as they used to be but there is something to be said for these type of romances. They are put in the category as “clean romance” now to be honest I do not like that phrase much. because it infers that regular romance is bad or evil or dirty!!! In my mind sex is not bad or evil or dirty. I grew up in a very strong “mormon” community, as the way they treat sex or intimacy is pretty horrible. I guess you could say that reading romance novels was my sex education hehe because there was none in my family or community at all—its pretty much ignored until you get married and they wish you good luck on figuring it all out!! But there is something quite wonderful about christian themed romances or those light sexual reads. I read quite a few of these in my teenage years before I discovered the adult romance novels. Jeanette Oak was one of my first and many of those WWI and WWII themed series were very light in the sex department. You really don’t see much more than kissing and cuddling which is alright. I normally have to be in the mood for those type of books though. But they offer some real deep insights in the emotional side of a romantic relationship. And boy can they just be phenomenal in moments. But there are some regular romance authors out there that don’t get too detailed when it comes to the bedroom scenes. One of my favorite authors writes her book like this…Lynn Kurland. Now I discovered her pretty early, right around the time I fell in love with romance actually. And I haven’t read her lately so I don’t know how her books are now. But many of her backlisted books have no much detail other than kissing and things. But that doesn’t mean you don’t feel heat or sensuality in her books. Quite the opposite actually, but it’s the type of books you can feel like at home with. And boy they can be so hilarious, and yet deeply emotional and definite tear jerkers!! Now if you are religious, than these christian themed romances can be quite fun to read. I always liked reading LDS fiction, because the characters felt so real…average day human beings just trying to live a good simple life, facing struggled and overcoming them and improving themselves and falling in love along the way. I have always been intrigued by those Amish love stories that have become quite popular lately. And I do like those fun anthologies that used to be so popular but books you can feel comfortable reading to your kids if you’ve a mind to. These type of books are more lighthearted and sweet toned books, and can easily bring a smile to your face even if you aren’t religious at all. I have always become intrigued by these books and even though I read them so rarely now—they can create a unique experience of reading. So my question for you all: is what do you think of these type of books? Are Christian romances for you ? If not, I want to know why you don’t like them either. Or are you like me, where you have to be in the right mood to pick them up?

24 thoughts on “Tea and Biscuits Book Discussion: Christian Romance Yay or Nay?

  1. I had read a couple of Christian Romances previously and didn’t care at all for two of them, for similar reasons. One was a YA Paranormal, and the plot was obviously “Science is bad, God is good” and I hate that. The second was NA and used the literal voice of God to communicate with the characters; I find that annoying and distracting. I’m not Christian (although I was raised in a Christian school), so maybe those just weren’t the right ones for me. Since then I read another NA, which I did enjoy. It was lighter on the “Christian elements.” Then this year I’ve read two adult ones. One I liked quite a bit, and one I almost loved! Seriously, I was shocked! But that final one wasn’t like the other four I read at all. It was dark and disturbing, and I was blown away. What kept me from loving it was…..the literal voice of God! I guess I just don’t believe that God speaks directly to people like that.

    But I guess my point is, I like Christian Romance when it isn’t too obviously religious. More like the characters just happen to be religious (or finding their way to religion) and then fall in love.

    PS. I also don’t like the term “clean romance.” Romance is romance!

    1. Oh I agree!!!! The Christian romance I like the most is when it’s not too preachy and I like seeing a good romance that focus on the love story and not the religion. And you are right : romance is Romance!!!!

  2. I’m not a fan of Christian Romance, but only because I’m not religious and I struggle with that theme in my books. But I certainly don’t think there is anything wrong with them. They just aren’t my cup of tea. I also don’t like the “clean romance” phrase for exactly that reason. It’s so frustrating.

  3. Glad to hear I am not the only one who doesn’t like the term clean romances, i always disliked the implications other romances are somehow dirty. Although I can understand why they sue the phrase, it still doesn’t sound right to me. I do enjoy clean romances though, it just depends what i am in the mood for and I like both the romances that have sex and the ones without it. I am not sure if I read any books that specifically were marketed as christian romances, i do remember a series of YA contemporary romances I once read which featured religion and the girl was a Mormon. The religion aspect was very well handled, not preachy or anything and it was interesting learning more about the religion. And I do agree that you don’t need sex to be able to feel the love or the heat between a couple. I mostly think it depends on what I am in the mood for what I pick up, both clean romances and the not so clean ones I enjoy.

    1. Oh I agree!!!! You don’t need sex in a story to enjoy a solid romance but it really depends on my mood too!! I have read some pretty good Mormon fictions that isn’t preachy especially the historical ones!!

  4. I’m probably going to be struck by lightning for saying this, but I tend to find Christian fiction (especially romance) a bit dry. I like passion too much. And a romance without passion is just cold for my taste.

    1. Oh I agree a lot of times it can be very dry!!! I love seeing good chemistry but there are some authors that can write a good romance without a lot of ‘smexy bits’ you just have to really look for them hehe they can be hard to find

  5. It all depends on the author for me but isn’t that the case with most books? One of my favorites is Deanna Gist. She writes amazing historical fiction and is considered Christian fiction with romance. So so good.

    (I definitely learned some things from my “naughty” reads, too. lol)

      1. She’s really interesting. The ones I read from her were based around the Chicago World’s Fair and all the characters were different exhibitors or staff at the Fair (a teacher for the deaf, a man selling fire equipment, a ranger, a female doctor). The last one I read Tiffany Girl was of the women who built the Tiffany stained glass chapel that was there after the men went on strike. Very interesting reads.

  6. I do like Christian or Amish romances every now and then for something different. I’ve always been interested in the Amish culture–not so much the religious aspect, but how they have such strong communities and live off the land. So I enjoy Wanda Brunstetter, Linda Byler, and Marta Perry. And my coworker’s cousin, Angie Brashear, released a Christian Fiction/Fantasy series Legends of the Woodlands that is really cool. I still have book three to go but it hasn’t been heavy on the religious part….more like good vs. evil.

  7. I didn’t know that you’re LDS. I am, too. What LDS fiction books would you recommend? I haven’t read very many Christian romances because like Joyousreads, the ones I have read were dry and kind of boring to me. I like passion too.

    1. Yep I am…. Glad to know a fellow Mormon!!! Some of my favorite are from Anita Stansfield especially her historical duo series Gable Faces East and Gables Against The Sky. But her Return To Love Novel is wonderful– if you can believe it my dad introduced that one to me which got me hooked on romance 🙂 I also liked Dean Hughes WWII series ‘Children Of THe Promise’– the narrator for the audios on those are fantastic. Some other favorites are Rachel Ann Nunes and Michelle Ashman Bell are wonderful authors. And Lynn Gardner has a romantic suspense series that Is fantastic. What have you read?

  8. I don’t know that I’ve read any romances labeled specifically as Christian or Amish, etc., but I wouldn’t have an issue reading them. I have read plenty of books where the romance is “less detailed” 😀 and that doesn’t bother me. I am more interested in a good story. The steamy scenes are just a bonus. *ha* Like you, I don’t like the label “clean romance” because there’s absolutely nothing “unclean” about sex. Great post!

  9. I enjoy Christian Fiction once in a while and I’ve actually read one LDS Historical Romance series by Carla Kelly because I’ve enjoyed all her books over the years. Janette Oke was an early favorite for me, too. I’ve read several others over the years. Lately Marta Perry, Julie Klassen, and Deanne Gist have been my favorites.

    I’ve never thought about the term ‘Clean’ romance like that, but do prefer ‘sweet’ when I reference a romance with no sex or closed doors sex.

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