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What is the Christian Romance Genre?
This genre is called the “Christian romance genre” for obvious reasons: it involves a commitment to faith and the miracle of love. It is often the heroine who is the devout one and needs to bring the hero to see the world for all that it can be. However, sometimes the hero knows the right path, and needs to lead the heroine to find her way.
Christian romance has its foundation in a deep understanding and love of God. Characters need to do more than just attend church…they also need to reflect God’s will in their hearts, their actions, their conversations with other characters, etc.
What to Expect in the Christian Romance Genre
- the stories are sweet
- there are few “sex” scenes, but many love scenes
- there is always a relationship with the community
- heroines are usually “strong” and “righteous,” but need the love of a “good man”
- conservative and traditional values
- most of the characters have biblical names like Faith, Hope, Mary Catherine, Jacob, Luke, etc.
Christian Romance Characteristics
- Level of Angst
On a scale of 1-10, the level of angst in this genre is usually a 1. There is an underlying confidence which characters in these novels have that no matter how difficult things get, God will guide them through to a better place.
- Character Development
This genre’s character development is often quite good since there is an underlying message to which the writer is deeply committed. The characters’ goal is not fulfilling sex, but actual love, so the time is taken to develop the characters and the situations to fulfill that expectation. The characters are portrayed as sincere and pure, and they are devoted to their relationships with others. They are written as characters who have problems just like the reader, but their faith in God is able to make the difference in their lives.
- Plot Strength
To fall into this genre, there are definitely expectations, and “hot” is not one of them. There does need to be a commitment to the idea of commitment…and these stories spend a lot of time developing and exploring the various characters and the situations in which they find themselves.
- Romantic Tension
There is little romantic tension in this genre. The goal is to find a life partner and explore a commitment to God.
- Level of Eros
None. Zip. Nada. Nope.
- Prose Quality
The prose quality in these novels is “solid.” Sometimes the authors undermine the story to make a bigger point, which can be somewhat awkward for the reader…but the commitment to telling stories which focus on the goals of purity, hope and the healing power of love is an authentic one.
Related Romance Subgenres
- There are not many subgenres for this genre, although occasionally the “escort” genre relates since a female escort/prostitute needs to be “saved.” These novels are also often set in the Old West, so Western romance is another potential sub-genre, as is “historical romance.”
Christian Romance isn't for you if
You like “hot” and graphic sex scenes, mysteries, and you are not especially religious/don’t believe in a higher spiritual power.
Christian Romance is totally for you if
You like “sweet stories with a heart, sweet stories with a heart, and you enjoy traditional relationships.
- 1 A Treasure Concealed (2016)
By Tracie Peterson. Is set in 1890’s Montana and tells the story of a woman who wants to set down roots and finds just the man to help her.
- 2 Rugged and Relentless (2011)
By Kelly Hake. Is the first of a series of three novels about three sisters in the West seeking men to help them start a sawmill. This first novel features a man seeking his brother’s killer who uses a romance with one of the sisters as a cover for his search. However, God intervenes, and they find themselves discovering one another and true love.
- 3 Land of Promise (series of 3) (2015)
By Jerry Eicher. Is a classic Christian romance trilogy – you really cannot read just one of the books since all three tell the story of an Amish woman and her search for happiness and love.
- 4 Angels Walking (2014)
By Karen Kingsbury. Focuses on a retired baseball player and the woman he left behind to pursue his career. Both of them find that a series of small miracles help them to rediscover themselves, and each other.
- 5 Chasing Sunsets (2015)
By Karen Kingsbury. Focuses on a heroine who eschews her parents’ wealthy lifestyle for charity work. Faced with a devastating medical diagnosis, she turns to her faith and the new man she discovers through her work for the fight of her life.
- 6 A Bride in Store (2014)
By Melissa Jagears. Tells the story of a mail-order bride who, through a series of misadventures, ends up falling in love with the business partner of the man she is supposed to marry.
- 7 A Broken Kind of Beautiful (2014)
By Katie Ganshert. Tells the story of a model who thinks she has no worth except as a pretty face until she encounters a photographer who shows her that what matters is inside.
- 8 A Cousin’s Challenge (2010)
By Wanda Brunstetter. Focuses on two Amish couples who appear as star-crossed lovers – missing the signals until God helps them find their way to one another.
- 9 Waiting for Rachel (2013)
By Kimberly Rae Jordan. Is described as an “inspirational story of truth and love” as a woman seeks to overcome heartbreak and betrayal in her past in order to accept the promise of love in the present and future.
- 10 To Protect and Serve (2014)
By Staci Stallings. Tells the story of a fireman and an advertising executive who slowly fall for each other, learning to accept and deal with one another’s strengths and weaknesses on the path to discovering faith and love.
Publicly Ranked Version of the List21 items >>
- Persuasion (Jane Austen)
- Emma (Jane Austen)
- Katherine (Anya Seton)
- Ravished (Amanda Quick)
- Saving Grace (Julie Garwood)