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I’m Reading… Redeeming Love

As a non-romance reader, I’ve pledged to read one CBA romance novel. Counting private emails, my last post garnered 20+ suggestions. I narrowed them down to three authors: Deanne Gist, Francine Rivers, and Siri Mitchell. I downloaded a sample chapter from each on my Kindle and read them.

Although I probably liked Siri Mitchell’s craft the best, I’ve decided to read Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love. Why? Two main reasons:

It is commonly viewed as THE standard for Christian romance. Joy said this in her comments on that post, “There’s a reason Francine River’s name has come up on this thread over and over again. She is a juggernaut in inspirational romance and Redeeming Love is the gold standard.” I have heard that from more than one person over the last half decade, so I figured if I’m going to read one Christian romance, I might as well read the book most often referenced.

Secondly, Christian writers and readers often use Redeeming Love as an example that Christian fiction can be edgy (and I am very invested in that subject). Perhaps this is not the best motivation to approach a romance novel, but I can’t deny that this is in the equation.

Anyway, I’ll let you know if I survive my bout with Christian romance. (If I just stop blogging, assume that I croaked.) Seriously, I plan on writing a review and discussing things. Once again, thanks for all your suggestions and have a great weekend!

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{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Deborah April 1, 2011, 5:26 AM

    Good choice though I will admit that my favorite series of FR is Mark of the Lion. Redeeming Love is alright…

    Not that I’m a Siri Mitchell pusher but one of her books SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY is free on Kindle. 🙂

    • Mike Duran April 1, 2011, 6:23 AM

      Deborah, there were several mentions of the Mark of the Lion series, but I just can’t commit to a series at the moment. And thanks for the heads up on the free Kindle download.

  • Jill April 1, 2011, 7:27 AM

    I guess I’ll have to read Rivers too, so I can join in the discussion. It’s so hard for me to get past the language used in romance–all of the eye probings, shivering at touches, etc.

    • Nicole April 2, 2011, 11:08 AM

      Jill, you won’t find in RL. Not at all. This is an amazing novel, and quite frankly I wouldn’t classify it as a romance. It’s a love story, and there’s a difference.

      • Nicole April 2, 2011, 11:10 AM

        (Jill, sorry: you won’t find all that stuff in RL.)

  • Melissa Marsh April 1, 2011, 8:26 AM

    I loved this book. I truly did. The message in it was wonderful.

    Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

  • Ame April 1, 2011, 8:33 AM

    i really do like francine rivers, and i really liked this book.

    there are some women who had a difficult time understanding the ending, but it made perfect sense to me. perhaps my background of a survivor of sexual abuse reflects into that. but i have had to explain the ending to some who have not gone thru difficult times in life and just didn’t get it.

  • Katherine Coble April 1, 2011, 9:55 AM

    I come off online as much more curmudgeonly than I am in real life, so I’ve got to be careful.

    I had to admit to myself when reading all the comments on the other post that RL was probably the best choice for anyone looking to get a solid introduction to the genre. It’s definitely the most popular and the most referenced of the lot.

    I didn’t like it, and gave one of the myriad reasons for my dislike in the other thread. Not wish g to colour your opinion further, though, I will just wait patiently to see what you think of it. Granted, the odds are heavily in favor of you liking it* because almost everyone seems to. My mother still swears I only dislike it to be reactionary, although nothing could be further from the truth.

    *it’s probably decidedly unculturally Christian to speak in gambling terms.

    • Katherine Coble April 1, 2011, 10:04 AM

      Oops…forgot to add….

      One thing to keep in mind is that this was originally published as a general market title, without some of the more overtly Christian scenes. Rivers added those additional scenes once the rights from the ABA publisher reverted back to her and then reissued the book in it’s current form from Multnomah.

  • Katie Ganshert April 1, 2011, 10:40 AM

    Great choice! When you do have the time (ha, ha…funny, right?) you should consider Mark of the Lion. It’s all kinds of good.

  • E.J. Apostrophe April 1, 2011, 5:51 PM


    Is this an April Fool’s Joke?

    I hope that you will not forfeit your Man Card by getting swept into the romance genre and you will start to imagine bonnet fiction dancing in your head.

  • Marion April 2, 2011, 6:27 PM


    I have to commend you for stepping out of your comfort zone and taking a chance on reading a Christian Romance Novel.

    Unlike E.J., I don’t think you are losing your man-card! LOL!

    I worked at Borders for three years back in the late 1990s and I must admit I did a unscientific poll of what men and women bought in fiction.

    Obviously, the women bought romance novels and the men bought either Tom Clancy or John Grisham or David Baldacci or whoever was the hot thriller writer at that time.

    But what amazed me is that the women would buy the Danielle Steel or Nora Roberts or LaVyrle Spencer and get several copies for their friends.

    Some customers would encourage me to try one of their novels….but I couldn’t do it. I was in my mid-t0-late 20’s and I definitely would have lost my man card at that time.

    But now years later (and a Christian)…I might even take the plunge myself and write a review on my blog on reading a Christian Romance. kammbia1.wordpress.com.

    I’m looking forward to your review, Mike.

    God Bless,

  • Kaci April 5, 2011, 6:51 AM

    I personally liked the Reluctant Burglar books by Jill Elizabeth Nelson. They’re funny, and they include a lot of heist and cloak & dagger. 0=) I didn’t figure out they were technically “romantic” till after I read the series. They’re fun, have lots of non-romantic scenes, and are really more mystery/adventure than anything else.

    • Kaci April 5, 2011, 6:52 AM

      Edit: Actually, I don’t think they’re categorized as romance. Anyway.

  • Rachel April 5, 2011, 10:05 AM

    Good choice, Mike. 😀 That’s the one I would have suggested for you. Even my dad liked it…lol…so your male card, or whatever, is safe. And Mark of the Lion is wonderful, btw, but I personally liked the third book in that series best.

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