Guest Blogger: Jennifer Kitchens, reviewer.
This week, I am starting a discussion about clean romance reading and writing. I believe sweet romance and also romance that may be edgy in content but is without graphic language or explicit sexual scenes is getting a bad rap. Some people have told me they feel such romances are not marketable, or maybe are not as overall good as romances that show more steam. So I’ve gone on a quest to interview authors, readers, reviewers, and maybe even an editor or two, in order to get their take on clean romance books in general.
For my first guest, I approached Jennifer Kitchens, a reviewer of clean romance and this is what she has to say:
Clean romance…..what’s that? When most people think of clean romance they think of romance without all the fun parts. But that isn’t true. Many times I have found that it is the steamier the book, often the plot and writing suffers. I have found more quality books in the clean section than not. Not to say there aren’t well written books that are steamy nor that all clean books are well written.
Many times people are looking for more of the tension building that comes with romance before the sex. That tension can deflate quickly if the couple in the story do sleep together and leave the plot floundering from that point on. Again, this is not always, but can be true. People also often want to see a plot that involves more complex events or characters, which often happens when you’re not focused on describing bedroom scenes. Though of course, there is also the group that simply doesn’t want to blush while reading or be hesitant about lending a book out to another.
Another argument against clean romances is that there aren’t many out there, so why bother trying to find them. They seem to think of Pride and Prejudice and Twilight and think…well, that’s about all there is, right? Of course not.
I do a lot of reviews of books in all kinds of genres. Some examples of books I have reviewed are When I Fall in Love, a time-travel book set in Medieval England (part of a many part series involving time travel in various settings). Or The Unexpected Husband, a Regency romance involving soldiers, spying and subterfuge. Enchantment is a great story involving magic, time travel and fairy tales. Or check out Call Me Mrs Miracle, a cheesy contemporary Christmas novel that was recently made into a Hallmark movie. And of course, there is Katherine’s book, Heartsight, a contemporary romance set with a woman with a child with downs syndrome and a man who was blinded as a soldier in the Middle East. Feel free to visit me at Clean Romance Reviews for more books, or if you are an author and would like me to do a review.
There is a definite place in the market for this kind of “sweet” or “clean” romance and it has produced many wonderful novels about love, marriage, relationships and simply the wonder, fun and trials of finding your soulmate.