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Inspirational Romance Books Explained

Updated on March 9, 2020
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Natasha is an avid bookworm and a Christian indie author. She has written "The Ellises Series" and many other works.

What Makes Fiction, Christian?

Christian Fiction is a genre in which the characters are Christians. Therefore, the plots all center around the way they live - from how they handle careers, faith, and relationships. And while they can be part of any Christian fiction novel in of themselves, there are also sub-genres, including:

  • African American
  • Classics & Allegories
  • Collections & Anthologies
  • Contemporary
  • Fantasy
  • Futuristic
  • Historical
  • Mystery & Suspense
  • Poetry
  • Romance
  • Westerns

Within these sub-genres are endless combinations of crossovers, where their elements are combined to form even more specialized themes, particularly in the realm of romance:

  • Amish
  • Contemporary
  • Historical
  • Mystery & Suspense
  • Western & Frontier

As a life-long advocate of books, I have always read whatever I can get my hands on, from fiction and non-fiction alike, until I learned that Christian-based plots even existed. I started with Janette Oke, and then Hannah Alexander and worked my way from there. Slowly, the authors I was reading and others recommended by their publishers became available at libraries and bookstores, where they quickly gained in popularity. Today, they span so many more authors and are enjoyed by millions of fan worldwide.

Amish Romance

If you want to learn more about Amish living, just ask master story-teller Beverly Lewis. From her successful Heritage of Lancaster County series - The Shunning, The Confession, and The Reckoning (which went on to become Hallmark movies of the same name) to The Courtship of Nellie Fisher series, as well as the Annie's People series, the author has a lot to share about the struggles, faith, and traditions of the Amish.

Similar authors to try:

Wanda Brunstetter, J.E.B. Spredemann, and Suzanne Woods Fisher.

Contemporary Romance

When it comes to Contemporary Romances with Christian themes, you can't go wrong with Irene Hannon's world of Hope Harbor. Engaging and light-hearted, each character's personal growth throughout the series is endearing and Christian readers will appreciate the faith-filled journey and lessons to be learned along the way.

Similar authors to try:

Melody Carlson, Becky Wade, Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter, Tracy Bateman, and Julie Carobini.

Historical Inspirational Romance

Compelling with the ability to whisk you away to the appropriate historical setting is the best way to describe a Tracie Peterson novel. Her likable characters make you want to check in with them, such as with her series Yukon Quest, then in Alaskan Quest, and finally Song of Alaska. While each of these series can effectively stand alone, they are also a continuation from one to the other in a blending of characters' legacies to paint a fuller picture of the Alaskan pioneers who inhabited the area during the gold rush era of the late 1800's.

Similar authors to try:

Lynn Austen, Colleen Coble, Melody Carlson, and Kristen Heitzmann.

Are There "Dangers" of Reading Christian Romances?

As with everything, there remains some controversy that reading Christian romance is just as damaging as if you were reading steamy romance novels - and it's for the very reason that the books are too chaste and/or too wholesome. The claims are that as a result, many a woman gains an unrealistic expectation of how to behave and/or expect in a dating and married relationship. It's important to point out here that the genre has evolved with the times, and while you won't find any bodice-ripping or gratuitous sex scenes, the plots and the authors who write them are not all of one mind or voice. There are plenty of plots where intimate moments are implied, or there are marital conflicts between characters. The key difference with Christian-based themes, though, is that the characters grow in the Lord, so that readers' own faith is confirmed or strengthened by the end of the book, even if it means reading about the characters' bad choices along the way (such as teen pregnancy or having an affair).

THE FINAL WORD: In all fairness, it helps to get a better understanding of what the genre is all about by simply reading to decide for yourself. As you do, you will get a feel for whose style you prefer or can relate to the best, and if it's a good fit for you.

Reader's Poll

Do You Enjoy Reading Inspirational Romances?

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