A couple of months ago, I finally got a contemporary Christian romance new(ish) release that was much heralded by friends, acquaintances, and random people I see in various Facebook groups.
I was excited. It was (according to all comers) one of the best books they’d ever read, etc. etc. Let me start by saying right off the bat, it was beautifully written with a tight story that was captivating and kept the pages turning. So I get all the raving. It was rave-worthy.
Except. (You knew that was coming, right?)
One of the characters makes a comment that, to me at least, comes across as slamming the entire genre of Christian romance. The main beef? That there was no Christian romance out there that had toe-curling-and-yet-God-honoring kisses in them.
I read that. Then I read it again. Then I grumbled and turned off my Kindle for a few days and read some other books. Then I came back and tried again, but it just nagged at me.
See, I read a lot of contemporary Christian romance. It’s my go-to. (It’s kind of like comfort food — you know sometimes you just want a big bowl of mac and cheese? That’s CCR for me.) In all that reading, I’ve come across quite a few books that have some steamy-yet-God-honoring scenes in them. So rather than simply listing things off the top of my head, I also went ahead and polled the other InspyRomance authors. And, as I suspected, many of them have written books that have those honest struggles with passion that are steamy enough to satisfy a reader looking for a slight increase in their heart rate, without crossing lines of taste and chastity.
And so, since I know we have all kinds of readers here at InspyRomance, I thought I’d list some of the reads that are absolutely CCR but that also leave you realizing that Christian romance isn’t just the secret little thrill when you hold hands with someone for the first time.
Thus, in no particular order, a list of books for when you want that little something extra:
Lee Tobin McClain is one who I feel captures this in just about EVERY book of hers. Maybe a little less in her Love Inspireds (but still there). Her Sacred Bond books though? Yup. But if I was choosing just one, it would be Joy of My Heart. I adore that book and all the yummy tension.
If Finding Mr. Write, by Carol Moncado doesn’t leave you in need of a quick sip of water at a couple of points, I’m not sure you’re reading it right.
In Better than a Crown, Valerie’s characters get awfully close to some shaky lines — but more than that, Valerie’s another one who can create that expectant, toe-curling tension between her characters even if they’re not kissing.
And I know that’s not a comprehensive list. Several of my own books (particularly in my Taste of Romance series) have that chemistry and a little bit of steaminess in them.
So, if you’re a fan of that extra little oomph, what books did I miss? Let me know in the comments! I’ll choose one commenter on Saturday morning (8/25) to receive their choice of my paperbacks (if you’re international, it’ll need to be one I can get from the Book Depository.)
Our 2018 Back-to-School Giveaway is now open! If you live outside the USA, you know how rare international paperback giveaways are. Well, here at Inspy Romance, we want to honor ALL our readers, no matter where you live. But, if we don’t know who you are, we can’t enter you in the international giveaway. Please take two seconds to fill in this form (even if you think we already recognize your name) if your mailing address is outside the USA. Click here.