The Sweetest Spark, book 3 in my Spark Bothers series just published earlier this month. As with any book release, I was both excited and anxious on release day, especially when the reviews started coming in. In my four plus years of being an author, I’ve come to learn that not everyone will like your story—and that’s totally okay!—but some definitely will. And among those who do, they may not love every single thing about it, which is okay, too. So, I approach reviews with one eye closed (sometimes literally, haha) and an open mind. I appreciate each and every person who takes the time to leave a review and take what they say to heart. Therefore, if there’s an element of the story that several reviewers all mention, I’ll take a closer look at it.
For this particular book, a couple of reviews said the Christian message felt a little forced and strong. I’ll admit I was surprised to see this because I didn’t intend or try to be preachy. After some thought, however, I realized that I had included a few more Scriptural references in this book than in books 1 and 2 of the series.
Below is an example of such an occurrence. The main character, Candy, is talking to her mom about how torn she feels over her childhood friend, Colin:
“Can’t love be easier than this? Why is it so hard and confusing?”
Mrs. Connelly chuckled. “Honey, love is not supposed to be easy. Do you not remember the passage in First Corinthians 13? Love requires you to be patient, kind, not proud, nor self-seeking. Love protects and perseveres. That’s what makes love the most precious gift you can give someone and the most precious one you can receive. If you think about it that way, it makes all the sense in the world why it’s not easy. It means so much more to love someone when it’s hard to love them.”
“Thanks, Mom,” Candy answered drolly. “I was asking a rhetorical question.”
Her mom laughed. “Oops, and there I went giving you half a sermon.”
Hmm, I suppose I did preach a mini sermon in this story! Lol. But I really do love that passage and thought it fit well in their conversation. I also understand though that there are different ways to write Biblical messages into a Christian romance.
So this begs the question: When does a Christian Contemporary Romance become too preachy? How many Scripture references is too much? When does the Christian message start feeling forced? I would truly appreciate hearing your answers because I’d love to understand CCR readers better. Please comment below and let me know!
*Please note, today is the last day The Sweetest Spark is on sale for 99¢. Get your Kindle copy HERE. Also available in Kindle Unlimited.
He’s a fun-loving ice cream shop owner looking for more than a fling. She’s a straight-laced food critic too scared for love. Little did they know how much a foolish kiss would trigger an avalanche of emotions too great to contain.
Colin Spark may not have the best track record when it comes to his career choices, but he’s loved the same woman since he was thirteen. His only obstacle to winning her heart is proving he’s ready to settle down—an impossible task now that his store is going out of business.
Since her sister’s passing, Candy Connelly has survived by being in control and protecting her heart. There’s only one man she’s let her guard down with, but his unreliable past shakes her confidence in his future.
Colin won’t give up pursuing his passion; Candy won’t give in to her attraction. That is until an accident brings all their unspoken issues to the surface and forces them to listen to their hearts. Will this incident be the spark that drives them apart for good or gives them their sweetest taste of romance yet?