Romance and Me: Discovering Amish Romances

Filed in featured , Romance and Me , The Latin Lover Posted on March 20, 2013 @ 12:00 pm 14 comments

Hi Everyone!

I wanted to let you in on what has been going in my life reading-wise in the past two weeks. I read Temptation by Kathryn Barrett, one of Entangled Publishing’s new releases, which is a contemporary romance featuring a modern heroine discovering life and finding love in an Amish setting*. I have to say that prior to this novel my knowledge of the Amish was very limited (my excuse is that living in Europe we don’t hear/learn about them much), I saw For Richer or Poorer with Kirstie Alley and Tim Allen when I was a teen, but that was about it.

So yes, Temptation opened a whole new world to me. (But before I get to that let me tell you what a wonderful, well-written, heart-warming yet sexy story it was, so make sure to pick up a copy!) I became curious and wanted to know more about the Amish, who they were, how they lived, what were their customs. After some *cough* a bit more than that *cough* hours spent on Wikipedia and researching articles online I wanted even more. So I tried to get my hands on a couple more Amish stories, Amish romances to immerse myself in their world and see life through their every days. Those of you who read and love Amish romances don’t need me to explain their appeal, but to those who haven’t tried them yet here is my take. I’m not particularly religious. I believe in God, but don’t attend mass every Sunday. When I heard of Christian romances before I feared they were preachy, boring stories (I know, I know, such prejudice, sorry!). Yes, maybe there are some which are like that, but the ones I’ve come across so far were wonderful.

Why you wonder? Because the characters and settings felt real and not prim or affected. The stories had so much heart, kindness, consideration and love for one another that it warmed my heart, and they radiated such peace. I seriously recommend you go out of your comfort zone and try something very different, who knows maybe you’ll discover a new favourite sub-genre or authors, like I did. 😀 (And another surprising and really ironic thing is that I love my romances steamy. I just hate when the author closes the bedroom door or lets the scene fade to black, I want to see and read about the physical aspect of the couple’s love, and yet, in these tame and tender romances I didn’t miss the graphic descriptions of kisses and sex, truth be told, I didn’t even notice much it was missing. Trust me, noone is more surprised by that than me…)

ps. If you need recommendations after Temptation, I would suggest you try out Vannetta Chapman’s stories, I loved her novel,  A Wedding for Julia.

So tell me,

Have you ever wandered out of your reading comfort zone? And how did that turn out?

Have you tried or do you read Christian/Amish romances?

Any favourite authors/novels/series you would recommend to me?

Thanks! 😀

* Just to make it clear and not to mislead anyone: Temptation is a contemporary romance featuring sensual scenes and actual lovemaking, it is not an inspirational or Christian romance itself, but a contemporary romance featuring a modern gadget-using heroine who falls in love with an Amish man, with all the delicious scenes describing their yearning, temptation and falling in love 😉

About Stella

Stella is a proud bookaholic and a self-taught multilinguist in training. Besides reading, her other great passions are travelling and baking. When she is not globetrotting she lives in sunny Budapest, where she loves to spend her free time preparing (and feasting on) delicious cookies or devouring equally yummy books. Her favourite genres are urban fantasy and romance and she couldn't live without her daily dose of sunshine. Besides being the Latin Lover on BLI Stella also blogs about books and a bookish life on Ex Libris.

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  • aurian March 20, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    I did see that movie! If you want more Amish stories, Annette Blair has written some (still have to read them, but I love her mysteries). And I have a fun cozy mystery series by Tamar Myers, see review posted today. And I just know I have read some others, let me think about it a while and I will email you the results.

    • Stella March 20, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      Thanks Aurian, sure, take your time and let me know, I’ll take a look at these, thank you! 😀

  • draconismoi March 20, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    I admit I don’t get the point of the G rated romances. Isn’t the whole point of a romance book the sex/steaminess/eroticism?

    I also don’t understand why a Christian romance would need to be non-explicit. People of all faiths do, in fact, have sex. They have to. If you have a faith that bans all sex, your followers will die out. So though I get how a person’s faith could play a huge role in the progression of a romance and their choice in a partner – I find it ridiculous to think that the story has no sex in it. It defies belief. And I say this as a person who just read a book in which a Victorian lady goes on a Dragon Safari.

    • Stella March 20, 2013 at 3:46 pm

      I would have thought the same (=that romance NEEDED steaminess), but in these stories romance and love are much more about understanding one another, giving support, understanding, affection and unconditional love.

      Interesting point you raise about why Christian romances need to be non-explicit… hm.. I think maybe it’s due to the approach that “sex is something that people are not to talk about and something that needs to stay behind closed doors between a married couple and only for the purpose of procreation”. Maybe it is feared that if it was described as something enjoyed it would lose its “purpose”.

  • Marika Weber March 20, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Great post Stella. I love Christain/Amish stories. I like steamy but there is something about reading a non-sexy story that let’s me, the reader, write the scene instead in my head.

    One of the best books that I have read in the past couple of years is actually a Mennonite story. Mennonites are a less strict branch of the Amish.

    In fact, here’s the link to my review from last year and I still highly recommend it. It was funny, enduring and ultimately about accepting yourself and others.


    • Stella March 20, 2013 at 6:15 pm

      Thank you for the recommendation Marika, I will definitely check out the book and your review, thanks! 😀

  • Kathryn Barrett March 21, 2013 at 2:04 am

    I should say, for the sake of clarity, that there IS sex in Temptation…while it’s certainly not erotic, it’s there, which would never happen in an inspirational romance. Just don’t want to give anyone not expecting it a shock, nor discourage anyone who does expect it…and there’s also not much “inspiration” either. Traditionally, in an inspirational a character’s faith is restored at the end of the book. I sometimes think of Temptation as an “anti-inspirational”. It’s basically a “genre buster”, which is what I’m getting ready to write about, so thanks for letting me sort out my thoughts here! And thanks, Stella, for the very nice review!

    • Stella March 21, 2013 at 4:44 am

      Oh yes, sorry for the probable confusion, Temptation definitely has sensual scenes and details about kisses and love making and yearning, so I rather think it is a contemporary romance with a modern gadget-using heroine in an Amish setting, but not an Amish romance or inspirational romance per se. When I talked about lack of sensual scenes I was talking about the books categorized as Christian/Inspirational/Amish romances that I have read after Temptation introduced me to the Amish people and community. Sorry if my comments were misleading, will clarify that.

      • Kathryn Barrett March 21, 2013 at 8:31 am

        Hey, I like the word “sensual”! I loved your review, just didn’t want anyone to come away thinking there was no, ahem, sensuality in Temptation…my editor actually asked for a little more, and she got it! 🙂

  • LSUReader March 21, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    I haven’t read Amish romances; I have read and enjoyed a couple of Christian ones. It’s not a big part of my reading. But I can understand how some folks might be drawn to less-explicit books. A week ago, I was reading a very popular romance published several years back, and I found myself skipping sex scenes. I don’t object to these scenes. But in this case, I think they were overused and took something away from the story progression.

    • Kathryn Barrett March 21, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      Hi, LSUReader (I’m from Louisiana, but I went up north to LaTech)
      I admit I’ve skipped sex scenes too! I find that they usually are a sign the tension is decreasing, not increasing. Once the main characters jump in the sack there’s no longer a “will they or won’t they?” question, and the author needs to quickly pick up the pace of conflict or I lose interest. So yeah, I think they’re often overused (possibly because authors or editors think the public demands them).
      Great photo! Is that Mike the Tiger? Or have they found another mascot?

      • LSUReader March 21, 2013 at 5:34 pm

        Hi Kathryn,
        You are right about the decrease in tension and pacing.

        Re the tiger–Yep, that’s LSU’s Mike VI, playing in the Baton Rouge snow a few years back. Good eye, gal!

  • Kathryn Barrett March 21, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Sorry for the double post! I was trying to reply directly to LSUReader, so I tried again. Uh oh! Moderator, you can feel free to delete!

    • Stella March 21, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      Took care of it Kathryn 🙂

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