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Inspirational Romance Genre
What is the Inspirational Romance Genre?
While relationships and religion have been around for decades, the “Inspirational romance genre” has only been around for a little over a decade. Closely related to “faith-based fiction” and “religious fiction,” and obviously directly connected to the Christian romance genre, these novels show the development of a romantic relationship between the hero and heroine, but also focus on their spiritual growth, both as individuals and as a couple.
Usually at the outset of the novel one of the characters is a “believer” and the other is not, but as the story develops both ultimately find faith to be a cornerstone of the relationship.
What to Expect in the Inspirational Romance Genre
- the stories are sweet
- there are few (if any) “sex” scenes, but many scenes in which the relationship is developed
- the heroes and heroines are both written as strong characters, although one of them is usually “lost” emotionally and/or spiritually
- emphasizes traditional values
Inspirational Romance Characteristics
- Level of Angst
On a scale of 1-10, the level of angst in this genre is a 1. The emphasis here is on developing one’s personal faith, and on creating and maintaining relationships that God would approve of and encourage.
- Character Development
As with the Christian romance genre, this genre’s character development is often quite good since there is an underlying message to which the writer is deeply committed. The time is taken to develop the characters and the situations to fulfill the expectation of an everlasting love. The characters are portrayed as sincere and good, and they are devoted to their relationships with others and God.
- Plot Strength
Again, as with the Christian genre, there are definitely expectations, and the romance, while present, is often secondary to trying to discover/support the discovery of what “true faith” really means.
- Romantic Tension
There is some romantic tension in this genre, but not much. The characters need to overcome some obstacle – either physical or emotional in the real world, or the fact that one of them has left the church – in order to get together. Sometimes the novels go in directions we are not expecting, although there is always a heavenly guiding hand in the relationship which plays an active role.
- Level of Eros
Definitely “N/A” for this category. Although, every once in a while there is a young woman who is a prostitute/lady of the evening who needs saving, so there might be some early, unfulfilling sex scenes in some of these novels.
- Prose Quality
The prose quality in these novels is usually good, and the authors often create a spiritually fulfilling story that is appropriate for a wide variety of audiences.
Related Romance Subgenres
The few subgenres for this genre include Christian romance, Western romance, and Historical romance.
Inspirational Romance isn't for you if
You like “hot” and graphic sex scenes, mysteries, and you don’t enjoy a lot of soul-searching dialogue
Inspirational Romance is totally for you if
You like sweet stories with a heart, you enjoy traditional relationships, and you enjoy characters who triumph over adversity to find happiness.
- 1 Christy (1967)
By Catherine Marshall. Is set in the Smokey Mountains in the early 1900s. Christy is called to teach in the mountains where she meets two young men, and her faith is tested as she tries to decide between following her
- 2 Protecting Holly (2004)
By Lynn Bulock. Is the story of a young woman who ends up stuck in a cabin with her FBI-agent boss (whom she secretly loves) on Christmas Eve as they are threatened by a stalker. Will the miracle of the season help her connect with her workaholic boss?
- 3 Redeeming Love (2005) t
By Francine Rivers. Tells the story of a young girl sold into prostitution at a young age who learns to hate everything about men, and about herself. Then she meets the man who is determined to get through to her heart, but anxiety and distrust cause her to run away to find “the One” who can truly heal her, she finds that she doesn’t have to give up one for the other, but that she can have both.
- 4 The Master’s Plan (2014)
By LaVerne St. George. Focuses on two characters who have given up hope and faith after experiencing different tragedies. The universe, however, has other plans for them.
- 5 To Win Her Heart (2011)
By Karen Witemeye. is set in Texas in the 1880s and tells the story of a pacifist librarian and a blacksmith with an outlaw past who is looking for redemption.
- 6 Save the Date (2011)
By Jenny Jones. Tells the story of a woman whose non-profit is sinking quickly, and the man (running for Congress) who can save it…if she agrees to pose as his fiancée for the duration of the campaign.
- 7 A Season of Angels (2011)
By Debbie Macomber. Is a non-preachy example of this genre. It is a humorous novel about three angels who return to Earth at Christmas to rescue three lost souls, teaching them lessons about life, love and laughter along the way.
- 8 The Negotiator (2005)
By Dee Henderson. Focuses on a hostage negotiator working to talk down a bank robber and the FBI agent assigned to work the case. Impressed by her skills, he is attracted to her, but when he finds out she is not a Christian that might be his end game.
- 9 A Passion Denied (2009)
By Julie Lessman . Is the story of a young woman who falls in love with her spiritual mentor. He tried to deny his feelings for her, until he takes his own advice and lets God look out for them both. But once his secret is out, will faith be enough to sustain them?
- 10 Healing Her Heart (2013)
By Laura Scott. Tells the story of a doctor who has a rule about dating his coworkers, until he meets the new ER nurse. Intrigued, he lets her faith lead him back to church, but he soon discovers that she needs some lessons in forgiveness, too.
Publicly Ranked Version of the List21 items >>
- Persuasion (Jane Austen)
- Emma (Jane Austen)
- Katherine (Anya Seton)
- Ravished (Amanda Quick)
- Saving Grace (Julie Garwood)