Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Inspirational romance?

I come across “wonderful sets of inspirational romance novels” on eBay all the time. I thought it was stupid sellers telling buyers that romance books are truly inspirational novels. Apparently, the only stupid one there was me LOL. I’ve just found out that this is actually a very popular sub-genre of the romance industry and a, er, uhhh... you know, very interesting(?) one indeed.

What is an inspirational romance?


An inspirational romance has the characteristics of all true romances. The meeting of the hero and heroine is as close to page one as possible, and the characters are never separated for long. The emotional conflict is the focus of the story, as opposed to the plot. And of course, there is the requisite happy ending.


Up to this point we’re okay. That is mostly what you expect from any “straight” romance book. So what’s different?


The addition of a spiritual dimension. Instead of two people, there are two people and God. Sometimes faith is the conflict. At other times it serves as the resolution. As the couple grows closer to God, they grow closer to each other. Faith is a natural part of character in the inspirational romance.


Okay, I’m sorry, that just freaks the hell out of me! Two people and God? What exactly does that mean? You see, I’m not very religious, but I respect and fear God as much as the next Catholic. Yet, somehow, I don’t think praying while getting it on would be very productive—though I already have the God calling down pat LOL. I wonder if I’d have to bring my rosary beads to bed...


Sex before marriage is a no-no in the inspirational...


Say what? That just draws the line right there for me. So you have to be a church-going virgin (and the guy too?—’cause that’s just weird!) who must not have sex before marriage, but has to be willing to participate in “threesomes” with other-worldly beings? Er, yeah, not for me!

So, which of you reads/enjoys inspirational romances, and what’s their appeal for you?

**Not linking where I got these quotes as I don’t want the author tracking me down and, er, sort of telling me off or something LOL. Yes, I’m a wimp!

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39 comment(s):

Blogger Harlot said...

I need lovin' in my romance, so not reading those. If i want to read about God, i'd read other books, like, the Bible? Anyway, the romance novels i read are inspirational enough for me. I mean, doesn't GREAT sex inspire you? :P

9/19/2006 09:26:00 AM  

Blogger Isabella said...

Have nothing against being religious but I don't think I would like to read about faith and all that preaching while I'm reading romance. So, not for me either. LOL

9/19/2006 09:55:00 AM  

Blogger Mailyn said...

I do believe that "inspirational romance" is just another [cover up?] name for Christian or Religious Romance meaning it's high on spirituality/morality and targeted to nice church-going people.

I tend to stay far away. I figure the holiness of the book will probably burn me soon as it comes into contact with my skin. LOL.

Oh yeah, there's no sex and no explicit love, sensual scenes either. Hmm. LMAO.

9/19/2006 09:55:00 AM  

Blogger Mailyn said...

P.S. It's apparently a pretty popular sub genre of Christian Fiction and there are tons of websites, authors, and publishing houses dedicated to this.

9/19/2006 10:00:00 AM  

Blogger Isabella said...

Mailyn, there's another genre named Christian or Religious Romance? I swear I'm buying my books in respectable places but I've never heard of those either. Yikes LOL

9/19/2006 10:02:00 AM  

Blogger Shoshana said...

The appeal? The no sex before marriage.

Gawd...I have my mother totally to blame for this and all here neverending supply of duenas.

OMG! Let me go and duke it out with her right now!

9/19/2006 10:21:00 AM  

Anonymous 2nd Amdt said...

I must admit, I have read a few inspirationals, some by accident, some knowing it was an inspirational.

A recent one I read was True Devotion by Dee Henderson. I'm thinking where was sex in that one, but I could be wrong because I was skimming by the end (really bad "bad guy" plot made it way too predictable as well as unbelievable). The hero was a Navy SEAL, and he went to church with other SEALs and their wives. I don't know, that just didn't ring believable to me. Heroine was religious too.

I read another religious book that I have remembered forever - Tempted by Robyn Carr. It was about an associate pastor and a widow, and what surprised me was they actually had sex before they got married. And not just a once-by-accident-got-carried-away, but repeatedly. What a surprise.

But I've also read non-inspirational books that had no sex for whatever reason. If the romance was good enough, it was still a good read. I think those were mostly categories, not single title book.

They're not my first choice, but can be a good read.

9/19/2006 10:53:00 AM  

Blogger Vixen said...

I understand why this version of romance is popular for the more 'spiritual' individuals but it's just not my kind of book.

I read romance because I enjoy everything that goes into them, including (and most importantly in some cases) the sex. I don't want to wait until the couple marries for them to be having sex. You'll have a whole book without sex and honestly, that's no fun. Although, in Bet Me Cal and Min didn't have sex till the end but it was totally worth the wait.:P I highly doubt these spiritual books get you all hot and bothered by a little foreplay. But I could be wrong.

9/19/2006 11:03:00 AM  

Blogger Petra said...

This is not my type of books, therefore not reading it. Though, if you think about it, most of my favorite romance books don't exactly have hot sex scenes. McNaught's Almost Heaven, with all of its, what, 800+ pages, the sex scenes were very tame. I love Match Me If You Can by SEP and the sex scenes there were completely flat (actually, that's my major complain about the book).

9/19/2006 11:49:00 AM  

Blogger Petra said...

2nd Amdt, what inspirational romance books would you recommend then? :P

9/19/2006 11:51:00 AM  

Blogger Dakota Cassidy said...

I used to read them all the time as a kid. They've changed for sure nowadays, though.

I really believe you have to read what you live to a certain degree and if you've had sex before marriage (raising hand. LOL), you're less likely to identify with folks who don't for religious reasons. I have to admire it though. As a parent, I will always wish my sons to wait until they're married.

Like that'll happen, eh? LOL

I will say that most of them these days don't make you feel like you've commited a cardinal sin if you've had sex before marriage. They're not really as preachy as you'd think and I kind of like the idea that the comittment to God is so inspiring.

However, I dig paranormals and I haven't found a paranormal Inspirtational yet. LOL

DC :)

9/19/2006 11:53:00 AM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Have a question. It says in IR, there's no sex before marriage. Fine. But what if the story involves a marriage couple? Could we expect some sex scenes then? Or IR means no sex scenes at any cost?

9/19/2006 12:01:00 PM  

Blogger Vixen said...

Dakota, I haven't read one of the inspiration/spirtual books but had an acquantance who read them and was always very 'preachy' to me and others regarding her faith so I think I got turned off from those romances, thinking they'd be 'preachy'. I do appreciate the committment to God. I have strong beliefs of my own, I just don't like how this woman treated people so didn't take well to her book recs. Now, if you had some rec's I may try them out. :)

Oh, and I'm with you on hoping (probably uselessly) that my boys wait till marrige to have sex. DH just roles his eyes when I say stuff like that then says "How can you expect them to wait when we didn't" LOL. I'm all about the double standard.

Petra, what about the balcony scene in Match Me? That was a good one :P. I Love that book, it's one of my favorites!

9/19/2006 12:03:00 PM  

Blogger Petra said...

As a parent, I would have prefered my daugther to "wait" as well, LOL. However, as long as she's practice safe sex and taking care of herself, that's fine with me.

Harlot, I have the same question! LOL I have no clue as to what's going on in those IR books.

Dakota, what do you mean paranormal inspirational? Is there such a thing? LOL

9/19/2006 12:15:00 PM  

Blogger Gun_Wielding_Bitch said...

I'm a proud Catholic and sometimes I want a the "aww" and big sigh. When I do I watch Disney's Cinderella or Beauty And The Beast.

When I read romance novels, I want hot bodies with hotter sex and lots of it. I just make sure I go to confession LOL ;)

9/19/2006 12:33:00 PM  

Anonymous 2nd Amdt said...

Petra - I honestly can't think of any other inspirationals that I've read that I thought were good; some were okay, but only the two I mentioned above are on my keeper shelf. For the most part, I find them shorter, without the depth of single titles and certain category romance lines. Sorry I'm not more help.

9/19/2006 02:45:00 PM  

Blogger Mailyn said...

Isabella, according to Wiki and a few online places yeps, this is the same as "Christian Romance" which is a genre of "Christian Fiction" but MY guess is that they call it Inspirational so it doesn't sound so religious. LOL.

OK, don't mean to offend religious people but WTF!? I don't think I could read these. I think it would be THE most boring books ever. I do believe they have no sex at all. Or, IF they do, it has to be something tame. I think they are supposed to be more about the relationship and trust and getting to know each other than the, er, banging. LOL.

9/19/2006 05:39:00 PM  

Blogger Gun_Wielding_Bitch said...

Do people read romance for anything other than the hot guys who are banging chicks that we picture are ourselves?

I mean other than Harlot who reads them to get ideas on what to call her va-jay-jay and men's junk during the throws of passion ;)

9/19/2006 06:24:00 PM  

Blogger Isabella said...

Mailyn, LOL, I don't think those are my type of books either. I mean, it's good that some people are getting inspiration from romance books that talk about God, but really, no sex? Not for me, LOL.

So anyone reads them? I'm curious too and want to know the answer to Harlot's question. :P

9/19/2006 08:23:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

GWB, you should try it sometime. :P I mean you'll be surprised how effective it is when you tell your lover, "Oh gawd, your molten member is so biiiig! Yeah baby--scorch me, scorch me, scorch me!!!!"

9/19/2006 08:41:00 PM  

Blogger Jordis said...

I've yet to read inspirational romances. When I read romance, I want more of the "intense" side of the love story (and yes that includes the sex) rather than the family values I'm supposed to be picking up while reading. Now if IR gives inspiration to others or make them closer to God, good for them. Produce more IR then. LOL

Harlot, scorch me? LOL

9/19/2006 08:54:00 PM  

Blogger Tisty said...

You mean you've tried this harlot, and he didn't run away?! You must have one sexy voice becuase I find in the heat of the moment, If I say anything much, the guy tends to laugh and lose -er - impetious. And that is without mentioning his molten member! No one takes me seriously, gawd knows why.

So babe, you have just earnt my respect BIG time

9/19/2006 08:58:00 PM  

Blogger Tisty said...

oh and I don't read inspirationals. i think aspiring to gorgeuos men and outrageously good sex is enough of An insperation for!

9/19/2006 08:59:00 PM  

Blogger Tisty said...

...me (shit hit publish to soon. i hate the letter id think and tend to do it first. Sorry!!!!!!

9/19/2006 09:00:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Oh Tisty, you have no idea what my voice can do. Eheh. :P

9/19/2006 09:08:00 PM  

Blogger Ladybug said...

It says that inspirational romances are "wholesome entertainment". Well I don't want wholesome! I have a lot of books without sex in them but those are not in the romance genre.

I used to read a lot of Young Adult books, there are no sex there as well, but those books are for teenagers. As a mature woman who enjoys sex, LOL, I want sex scenes in my books. :P

9/19/2006 09:13:00 PM  

Blogger Lollie Rose said...

I think religious people find inspirational romances appealing because they promote strong christian values. I'm not sure how exactly that would work for me, but if it's a well written book, sure I'd try it.

Harlot, is that a recommendation then? :P

9/19/2006 09:22:00 PM  

Blogger Lollie Rose said...

Petra, I agree with you. I would really prefer my daughters to wait before they're married. But like you said, as long as they would practise safe sex and be responsible about it, as long as they're happy, I'd be happy for them.

9/19/2006 09:26:00 PM  

Blogger Jolie said...

I was looking for these inspirational romances and found this:

Here, you will find stories and articles filled with:
-encouragement
-uplifting messages
-heartwarming characters
-refreshing insights
-inspirational new ways to look at life
-all the love & romance God meant us to have without all the trash

Trash? It's one thing to promote your "inspirational" romance books but to call the other sub-genres trash just because it has sex in it, i'm sorry - WTF?

9/19/2006 10:51:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

Jolie,

Re: Trash? It's one thing to promote your "inspirational" romance books but to call the other sub-genres trash just because it has sex in it, i'm sorry - WTF?

WTF is right!!!!!! I hate freaking "preachy" people. Most don't understand that there's more than one way to look at life. I respect you but please fucking respect me! *grr*

And that doesn't go only for religious people and close minded individuals. It goes for open minded people as well. Some people try to defend their VIEWS as if it was God's words written in gold.

There's this site I used to visit before and now I just simply hate it. Everytime I go there they are telling people what to do and how to do it, and if you don't think like them then you're wrong, a bigot and a judgemental racist! Think what you will, but don't you dare tell me I'm wrong b/c I don't share your beliefs. And that's a romance book site guys, it's not like I'm visiting a rabid 7th day adventist blog or anything LOL

Re: Virgin till you're married for kids.

I think the most I can hope for in this day and age is for my (future) children to wait until college or something. NO SEX IN HIGHSCHOOL. That will be my rule LOL Also, tons of communications, making sure they trust you enough to tell you if they are planning to/are having sex. And then of course preach a lot about SAFE SEX!

9/19/2006 11:08:00 PM  

Blogger Lola Lovegood said...

I don't read inspirationals. Not because of the "no sex" thing but because I fear they might be too much like a double dose of "mum talk" or a tripple serving of the village prayer group. =P

Jolie,

Where did you get that quote? I can't believe a romance a reader/writer would refer to Rbooks as trash.

Trollop,

I think I know what site you are talking about, and I agree. If something makes me feel uncomfortable I shouldn't be called names for it.

I will try to get my 16 yr old daughter to wait until she's in a serious commited relationship until she has sex. I don't think that will happen until after college. Still its her choice, I can only advice her and tell her what I think is right. The rest is up to her.

9/19/2006 11:59:00 PM  

Blogger Aggie said...

Hi all,
Each to their own. As a mature woman I like realistic sex between consenting adults and would not read the Inspirationals for that reason. However, if there are people who strongly believe in morals and they want a bit of "fine romance" then I'm glad they are catered for out there in bookland.

9/20/2006 01:34:00 AM  

Blogger Gun_Wielding_Bitch said...

Harlot,

You has inspired me. Right before I leave work I'm going to tell my man I was thinking of him and that I'm slippery as waterweed. I just know that he'll be waiting at the front door in anticipation.

9/20/2006 08:16:00 AM  

Blogger C Bradshaw said...

Very well said, Trollop. I agree about the preachy people too.

To each their own. I like sex in my books but if some readers enjoy those so called inspirational romances, then more power to them.

What's up with this "trash" calling? Who said that?

9/20/2006 10:13:00 AM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Well said, Birdie.


GWB,
Don't forget to whisper in his ear that you can't wait for him to spear your lily. Verra effective, i tell ya.

9/20/2006 11:16:00 AM  

Blogger Danielle De Barbarac said...

Trying to instill christian values to romance readers is fine, but inspirational romances are not my cuppa tea. Thank God romance has a lot of sub-genres that can cater to different types of people.

Trollop, I agree with you. Some people think they and what they believe in are the only thing right. If you have a different view, you're wrong. Ugh. Harlot, LOL!

9/20/2006 11:30:00 AM  

Blogger Lily Moon said...

I don't like preachy books, especially not in romance. I'm curious though with how these books work, like, is groping allowed? :P

9/20/2006 09:14:00 PM  

Blogger Mira Manisha said...

I think it's great that people have a variety of choices if they want to read romance novels. I don't think the IR's would be too 'preachy' because the reader's picking them up would know what they were getting themselves into and it would be expected.

I wouldn't mind reading an IR, I think it would be a refreshing change and I'll take away what I want from it and ignore things I don't agree with.

9/20/2006 11:45:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No groping! CBA guidelines rule the content of Christian fiction.

9/26/2006 03:58:00 AM