Predicting which romances will be explicit can be difficult, so at the library I stick to Harlequin Heartwarmers or Love Inspired. The former are usually pretty good (again, keeping in mind the genre), but the latter often lack... plot. I think what sells many of the Love Inspired titles is simply that they are Christian. There are some gems out there, but many of the books leave me, well, uninspired.
|What do you think? Could I be on the cover of an Inspirational Romance? :-)|
Photo credit: Eric Brophy, photobloke.smugmug.com
The other problem I have with many titles in the Love Inspired series (and much of Christian fiction in general) is that the Christian content seems contrived. It's as if the author wrote a decent short story, then went back and filled it in with prayers for guidance and true love, the obligatory church picnic, and a couple sermons. The narrative is stilted and the Christian references are sometimes jarring.
I have discovered a few Christian novels I truly enjoy. First, any book by Kristen Heitzmann, who writes suspense/romance novels with Christian messages are woven into an actual story. I have read five or six of her novels and enjoyed every one. I like The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen, which I picked up as a free ebook from Barnes&Noble during a sale. I haven't read any of her other novels yet, but I plan on it! I recently read Fallen Angels by Patricia Hickman. This is historical fiction (set in the Great Depression), so a departure from romance, but it was so well-written that I intend to seek out more of her work as well. Finally, a few weeks ago I reread Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, a novel I enjoyed as a child and hadn't read since. I was pleasantly surprised to find strong Christian messages in this novel, too.
What Christian novels can you recommend? I would love to expand my library!