We’ve been talking about kissing.
I know, I know. It’s a scandalous topic.
But it’s something most of us do, and as romance readers it’s something that crosses our page at least occasionally.
Now it’s time to talk about book three in the Informal Romance series.
The thing about Christian romance is that we want it to be both romantic…and Christian. We don’t want torrid bodice-ripping kisses. We want emotionally powerful kisses that move us, but we don’t generally want our characters to behave in a way that makes us want to avert our eyes. At least, not without consequences or some sort of repentance to follow.
In modern relationships, though, that line between romance and faith is a tricky one. People struggle with physical attraction all the time, but it’s not something that people often talk about or admit to. And let’s face it. Once you’re married, temptation isn’t a discussion that takes up a lot of time at your dinner table. Until you have teenagers. Although, in all fairness, those conversations probably don’t take place at the dinner table. :)
It’s no wonder that in centuries past single men and women weren’t allowed to be together without a chaperone. Because people knew that men and women left on their own would face temptation…and that not all of them would be strong enough to resist it.
Because I think temptation is a real issue faced in today’s world, I try to incorporate it into my books in a way that is real and authentic. Here’s a peek at Caleb and Lily and one of their struggles with temptation. I’m cutting into the middle of a scene, so just for clarification – Lily is the one talking, and they’re having a discussion about Bernice and Gertrude, two of Caleb’s mom’s friends.
“According to Gertrude, you’re perfect marriage material. She thinks you’re loyal and hardworking. Oh, and she finds men in uniform sexy. You might want to watch out for her. I think she has designs on you.”
“They’re my mom’s friends.” He winced. “They mean well, but…”
Lily waved his explanation away. “Don’t worry about it. I have family, too. But I’m telling you, be on guard where Gertrude’s concerned. I’m pretty sure she’s waiting for an opportunity to lock lips with you.”
As soon as the words came out, she regretted them. Her mind was once again filled with thoughts of the kiss they’d shared not too long ago. The way Caleb stared at her mouth, it was a pretty good bet his mind had gone to the exact same place.
“I, uh…” She should go back outside. She should escape before it was too late, not throw herself into his arms and show him how much she’d enjoyed their earlier kiss. Lightning continued to sizzle its way through all her nerve endings.
Caleb took two strides and stood right in front of her. “I’m not sure I can wait for you to decide.” His mouth descended on hers.
A torrent of flame roared through her veins. She should step away. They were alone, and alone was proving a dangerous place for them to be. Lily didn’t pull back, though. Instead, she leaned into him and reached up with her hands. His corded muscles bunched as she laid her fingers against his chest then slid them up to circle his neck.
A guttural sound from deep in his throat filled her senses seconds before the squeaky swish of the back patio door penetrated the fog. “Caleb? Lily? Are you in here? You should grab your plates. Otherwise, the ribs…” Mrs. Graham walked into the room and found the two with at least five paces separating them.
If Mrs. Graham’s face was any indication, she wasn’t fooled by the distance or the way Lily and Caleb avoided looking at each other.
“…Uh, sorry to interrupt. You, uh… You ought to get your ribs before they turn cold. Take your time, though!” She backed out of the living room, waving her hands in front of her. “No hurry. Ribs can always reheat!”
The patio door opened and closed again.
“We need to stop doing that.” Lily didn’t recognize her own voice. Stop? That was the last thing she wanted, which was exactly why they needed to.
Caleb bowed his head, swallowed, and stared at his cowboy boots. “That might be easier said than done.”
She couldn’t agree more. “Let’s go grab our plates.”
He swallowed again. His lips parted as though he intended to speak, but then he closed his mouth. It was too late, though. Her eyes had found their focus.
She blamed him. Those tempting lips of his were far too appealing.
Lily glanced from Caleb to the arch leading out of the living room. Every cell in her body screamed for her to step closer to him and touch him again, but the voice that whispered from deep in her soul would not be drowned out.
She didn’t want to leave him, but knowing it was the wiser choice, she stepped toward the arch. “I’ll see you outside?”
If you want to take a peek at Caleb and Lily’s first kiss…or their second kiss…you can buy the book here or enter the giveaway below to win a free e-book copy.
GIVEAWAY: Enter to win a complimentary e-book copy of An Informal Introduction. To enter, comment below with an answer to one or both of the following questions.
- Do you think Christian romance novels accurately portray the struggle of temptation that men and women face in today’s world?
- In your opinion, is temptation stronger today than in generations past?
Comments are always welcome, but the giveaway will close at midnight on the night of August 1st. The winner will be announced in the August 7th Sunday Edition right here on the blog.