It was all a little too tailor-fit for me. The hero and heroine's compatible flaws and strengths, the somewhat sterile doubts about God, the cliche resistance to the romance.
But what really bothered me was the over-the-top description of the sparks flying between them.
I know alpha males sell well.
I know women like to imagine themselves as the heroine.
I know we like to feel a spark, and that readers want an escape from their lives.
But don't we also have a responsibility to the integrity of storytelling? Don't we as Christians, who hope to show the nonfictional, redemptive story behind the fictional one, have an important task of keeping that larger purpose in mind? Have we in CBA strayed too far in the pursuit of writing a spicy but clean romance?
What happens when women begin to grow discontent in their own relationships because of these stories? What happens if our books give unmarried readers unrealistic expectations of their future spouse? What happens if we dilute the greatest kind of love--the commitment kind--into something so one-dimensional as physical sparks?
I don't have the answer to this question. I genuinely want to hear what you all think. What are your thoughts on the role of Christian romance? Are romances becoming a stumbling block to readers, or do they open up the possibility of a different kind of love for people who are used to grittier fiction? How do we walk this line as authors?
*Photo from http://villagegardensblog.com/summer-2/spice-up-a-summer-romance/