The primary definition of Clean Romance books is that these stories don’t contain sex. Other terms that have been used to describe this romance category are “Closed Door” and “Fade to Black.” Amazon added the Clean & Wholesome book category to distinguish clean romance books from the “Christian” and/or “Inspirational” categories. Like most romance readers, I would automatically assume that any Christian Romance book is clean. But not all Clean romance books are religious. A reviewer of my book, The Return of Devin Wakefield, said this (which made me laugh, but it’s a genuine insight): “It’s refreshing to read a clean romance that isn’t about the Amish or something similar. As much as I enjoy those stories occasionally, I do like to read a clean romance that isn’t pushing religion on me.”
Every reader will have a different view of what other content defines a romance book as “clean” for them personally.
Side note: My Book Cave / My Book Ratings is a useful website for readers looking for more details on book content ratings. Based on that site’s criteria, my books have been given ratings from Mild+ to Moderate which is equivalent to a PG rating. Check it out here.
However, since there isn’t an absolutely perfect rating system in place yet for the various sub-categories of Clean Romance books, I’ll simply give you more insight on the content of my stories to help you decide if they fall into your criteria:
- No sex
- My books do contain sweet and/or sensual tension
- My H & h do kiss and touch but nothing blatant, gratuitous, overly descriptive or below the belt
- My characters may swear on occasion, but nothing more “offensive” than d**n, dammit, or h*** [Updated: I forgot one of the character’s said “jacka**” in Ethan’s Bride. And “a**” is said once in Annie and Jake, as in “I can’t believe she’s going to marry that a**.” Oops! Also, there may be lines such as “What in God’s name were you thinking?” if any reader is bothered by God’s name being applied outside of religious reference.]
- My characters may drink alcohol, anywhere from light, social to moderate
- My H & h don’t smoke or do drugs
- Although some of my characters may go to church, my books do not fall into the “Christian” or “Inspirational” book categories. Although, after reading one of my books, I hope you’ll be inspired to read another and another and another!
My books are character and romantic tension-driven, not sex-driven. My books are a cup of tea on a rainy spring morning, lying in a hammock on warm summer afternoon, strolling through the crackling leaves in the autumn, cuddling beneath a thick blanket on a cold winter’s night.