I've been reading romance ever since I became a teenager. I think the first love story I ever read was Green Mansions
when I was about 13.
I still remember crying as Rima fell to her death from the tree. Now we go for happy endings in romance, thank goodness! I hate sad endings.
But a friend is writing an article about how romance is growing in the Christian market and how it is different from what's available in the general market. These two pictures are a prime example of the differences, I think. In a Christian romance, it's not the physical that is emphasized. Of course it's an element, but there is no graphic sex and character is more important. The hero's physical appearance is mentioned, but the heroine grows to love the man because he possesses attractive internal attributes.
I remember reading my first Christian romance. It was Francine Rivers' Mark of the Lion series. Then I read Redeeming Love. All of those books let me see God and His love in the shadows of those stories. And that's one big difference for me between Christian romance and general market novels. I see Christian romance as a great way to reveal how love is a choice. When we're upset about towels left on the floor, we might be snappish, but the books can be a reminder that love overlooks the unimportant. We need the reminder when we're tired and the honeymoon was over ten years ago. :)
Christian romance is booming. I think even non Christians appreciate a great story that doesn't have graphic sex and bad language. But are there other elements? I think there are. I mentioned the difference for me but what about you?
If you read romance, WHY do you read it? Has it given you unrealistic expectations of a relationship or has it helped you be more patient, loving and kind? What is the draw for you? Escapism only? Inquiring minds want to know!
Labels: Christian romance, Mark of the Lion, Redeeming Love