So that’s the topic for today: why do you love romances? Better yet, what books contain your favorite romances?
I’m sure you’re aware that reading a romance is often looked down upon. You might have had someone roll their eyes, do a nice little sneer, something unromantic like that. Too often, those people are misinformed as to what a romance — a Christian romance — really is.
But we know! It can be an amazing example of what a good, God-honoring relationship should be. It can remind us of how important our own relationship is and make us value our spouse when the day-to-day sameness has taken over.
And let’s admit that it’s just plain fun. Just like watching the newly engaged couple at church. Or the two singles who’ve started dating. We smile conspiratorially at our friends, a little twinkle in our own eyes. We remember our dating days, don’t we? When we fell in love with that special someone. A good, clean, fun romance can bring that all back.
I’ve got a few of my favorites, and I thought it’d be fun to share them with you.
My oldest favorite is the one in the center, Vienna Prelude. Ah, John Murphy and Elisa Lindheim! They’re a hard couple to beat, and with their story (all six books) set in pre-WWII Europe, there’s plenty of trouble and danger fighting against them. I think what I loved about them was how much Murphy clearly loved Elisa. He was a goner. It was so fun hearing his point of view and seeing how completely head over heels he was for her. Who doesn’t want to be loved like that?
Then there’s Chateau of Echoes. I adore this book. Freddie and Cranwell — huh, another hero who goes by his last name in the book — are pretty real. Freddie’s a widow with huge regrets, and Cranwell is a new Christian with regrets of his own. The book is a leisurely vacation to France with characters who struggle with real-life things. Did I say I liked this book? I do.
Then there’s Karen Ball’s The Breaking Point. This is a married romance, a different kind of romance novel. It isn’t a light read, but I think it’s an important read. It’s the first time I ever had someone say to me that marriage wasn’t my right to happily ever after. We’d like to think so, wouldn’t we? Disney’s trained us well on that one. But marriage is all about God making us more and more Christlike, and this book was fabulous at encouraging those who might be really struggling in their marriage. Loved this book.
There has to be a Francine Rivers’ book in here! While I love A Voice in the Wind, this one is my favorite Rivers romance. Again, it’s a married romance, and it’s about a relationship that falls apart, hits bottom, and what happens after that. Few Christian writers delve into reality like Francine does. I actually read the manuscript (I worked for Tyndale at the time) as a newlywed, and this book had a huge impact on me. I’ve read it a few times. Like Chateau of Echoes, it has a historical storyline in it too. So you could kinda say these two book were a buy one, get two deal.
Lastly, there’s Courting Morrow LIttle. Morrow and Red Shirt are such a fun read! Better yet, the book doesn’t end with an engagement or wedding. We get to go with the couple into their marriage. I love it when fiction acknowledges that there’s more to life than dating! The relationship after “I do” is so important. And this book shows that.
So those are some of my favorites. What are your favorite romances? Favorite couples? And why? Can’t wait to hear!