What is Truly Passionate? A Defense of Inspirational Romance (a guest blog)
When a man kisses a woman—and the two care about each other in an amorous way—well, we’re most likely guaranteed some sweet magic. Maybe even some bolts of lightning. And we women never tire of experiencing or watching or reading about those dreamy moments when a man and woman feel those first stirrings of attraction, affection, and then love. However, in many of today’s modern novels, the romantic scenes go far behind an ardent kiss.
So, what sets the inspirational romance apart from the others when it comes to those scenes of passion? First of all, writers and readers of inspirational romances are not saying that these fiery feelings aren’t being played out in their own marital beds. However, they are saying they don’t want to be peeping toms in someone else’s boudoir. They have discernment for what is meant to be enjoyed and a healthy respect for what is meant to be private.
These same readers know their minds and hearts—they are more satisfied when the hero and heroine struggle toward real love, rather than merely give in to temporary passion. Charlotte Bronte’s masterpiece, Jane Eyre, is one of the most wildly passionate love stories ever written, and yet we never read about anything more intimate than a kiss.
Also, like in the novel, Jane Eyre, the story encourages readers to consider the whole of a person—which includes the soul rather than just mere flesh. This novel reminds us that we are not only in great need of human affection and love, but that we also desire to be connected to something greater than ourselves—the One true source of all of that love.
On the other hand, if a story revolves around a hero and heroine who are consumed by nothing more than lust and erotic behaviors, well, let’s just say, these kinds of mental images aren’t going raise the reader to any lofty ideals. Truly, lovers of inspirational fiction want to go beyond the mere desires of the body. They want to know there is purpose to their existence and meaning to life. They want to be roused to the passions of goodness and decency and honor. And if a hero and heroine experience temptations and transgressions—and humans are riddled with it—then they also want light and hope and redemption.
Those same readers know that the most romantic hero—one who is truly swoon-worthy—is the one who can set his own desires aside and think of the good of his beloved. That is the measure of a real man. Those are the qualities of a truly attractive and desirable hero.
As an inspirational romance author, you might wonder how I write those romantic scenes so they will be passionate without being salacious. When do I stop the kiss before it gets too hot for the page? Well, I’ve had a general rule that has always worked for me. If I can give my novel to my daughter or offer it as suggested reading to a friend’s grandmother to read without worry that I will offend, and if I feel I have truly entertained as well as inspired the reader, then I have succeeded in finding the right balance. Then I have searched for and found what is admirable—what is good and lovely and beautiful. And yes, what is truly passionate.
Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has forty books published. She’s been a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston and has a BA in the combined fields of speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.
Please check out Anita’s latest novel on Amazon, A Question of Destiny. And drop by her website at www.anitahigman.com.