Tea and Biscuits Discussions: Religion and Romance Novels

Lately, I have been thinking about this and so I decided to address this issue on why there is a lack of religion or spiritual aspects in romances. Now I grew up in a religious home and I consider myself to be a spiritual person. I also respect that there are many that don’t and that is cool. 🙂 But being spiritual gives me a certain purpose in life and I know many romance readers and bloggers and reviewers that feel that way as well. I guess I was also a bit spoiled when I was growing up. I am LDS, so our church has a huge literature database and bookstores (which is pretty neat) and they do quite a bit of romance fiction as well. I think what I loved about those books is that the characters were so real I felt like they could be my next door neighbors. Now some of these authors write great books and some even write just historical romance fiction that I know many fellow romance readers would really enjoy (so let me know if you are interested).

However, I do feel like seeing any spiritual or religion aspects of a regular romance novel is very rare. I don’t know about any of you, but it lacks some depth for me to read that all of the time. Especially since living in Texas, everyone goes to church, everyone has some religious background of some sort (at least everyone I talked to) and I would love to see this a bit more in romance novels. I mean occasionally we see it, but it’s very generalized, we don’t see how its a part of their every day lives like it religion can be for many people. But on the other side of the spectrum, I also understand why we don’t see it hardly. Most romance novels are neutral when it comes to any religious or spiritual aspects and so it can lack a certain realism for me when reading them. Since in real life I feel like many people are driven or motivated by religion and it does play a strong part in most people lives today and in the history of our world as well. I will say I saw more religious themes in romances in more older style romances such as Mary Reed McCall (of a sort). She wrote medieval style era books, and she has a whole series based on the Templar Knights and there is a strong belief system that she introduces with the characters lives and their motivations. So I was really impressed with how she handled those.  But even those “faith” is pretty strong for many cultures and belief systems, you wonder why you don’t see it in more romance fiction books? Especially when many of them are realistic and we can relate to them so easily. I do believe its all about marketing and that they downplay it in books because of interest purposes. It does make sense, but I also wouldn’t mind seeing more realistic lifestyles of faith and religion in romances. Now I am talking about something different from inspirational romance. Most inspirational romances or Christian romances I don’t always enjoy because I feel like the romance or the love story tends to take a back seat. I do think adding some faith like aspects to characters adds more depth and dimension that our romances sometimes tend to lack. But I also understand why it is the way it is….but I would like to see more of it. For example, Sarah at Smart Bitches Trashy Books, wrote a romance novel that features a Jewish theme and how COOL is that?!! Just something to think about and would love to know your thoughts!!!



What books have you enjoyed that implemented any faith or religious aspects of the characters in their every day lives?

Do you wish to see this more in romance novels?