I did a binge of Christian romances. I discovered they generally have three things in common.
First, there’s a conflict between the main characters, who should be falling in love or already in love but complications prevent that. Second, there’s a faith element, with either the main characters or another significant character searching for faith. And third, there’s the threat of crime or physical violence threatening one or both of the main characters.
Snowed Inn is a novella by Kate Palmer, part of Palmer’s Western Hearts series. Jayne is a rather tall (six-feet) beauty living on her family’s ranch. She’s completely focused on helping the community’s teens raise money for a swimming pool, but she’s just learned that instead of the $1,200 they have to raise, the amount is more like $12,000. So now they’re looking at adding additional ride on the ranch’s annual sleigh rides. But who can drive the additional team?
In walks Forrest, the new farrier (person who shoes horses) in town. Forrest turns out to be the guy Jayne thinks walked out on her years before, to take a job with the Peace Corps. Forrest thinks Jayne is the one who gave him the boot. Conflict ensues, complicated by vandalism at the ranch that seems aimed stopping the sleigh rides and then a robbery.
Palmer is the author of several Christian romances and non-fiction writing for children.
Love’s Return by T.K. Chapin is the story of Jessica and Kirk. They knew each other in high school, and they traveled together across the country to Washington to take jobs in Spokane. Jessica ends up as a magazine writer and loses touch with Kirk. Years pass, and she meets him in a coffee shop. Kirk looks like a man aged beyond his years. He now works for a security service. He lost his baby to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and his marriage crumbled.
Jessica is being seriously stalked, and it’s Kirk’s security firm providing protection. The stalking suspects include any number of people. Jessica begins to find Kirk, Kirk begins to find Jessica and faith, and the stalker is targeting them both. The story is action-packed.
Chapin is the author of some 25 Christian romances. He lives in Idaho.
In Winter’s Secret by Lyn Cote, Wendy Carey is a visiting nurse and Rodd Durand is the new sheriff in a mostly rural county in Wisconsin. Someone is breaking into the homes of elderly residents while they’re away. Durand recognizes a pattern – the burglaries are happening when elderly people are taken to the hospital, usually authorized by Wendy.
Durand lays traps but the culprit is wily and evasive. Murmurings begin against the new sheriff, everyone from the local newspaper editor (drawn nicely as a real jerk) and the town busybody, a woman so filled with venom that she sprays everyone in sight. Wendy and Rodd begin to fall for each other, but will the inability to capture the burglar undo Rodd’s career and force him to leave?
Cote has written some 45 books, including 35 Christian romance novels. She lives in Wisconsin.
These romances are not written to be great literature lasting for centuries. They’re simply stories, designed to entertain and inform, and most of all to inspire. It’s light reading, but you’ll find yourself getting wrapped up in the lives and trials of these fictional characters.
Top photograph by Kristina Litvjak via Unsplash. Used with permission.
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