Clean Romances discussion

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message 1: by Jean (new)

Jean | 1 comments Hey there! I’m looking forward to this group and see what recommendations y’all have. I just read a really good clean romance called Different Blue by Amy Harmon. It was fantastic and I really loved the characters and the maturity of the male lead!


message 2: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 146 comments Thanks for the recco and welcome, Jean!


message 3: by Remi (new)

Remi Carrington | 9 comments Howdy & Welcome!


message 4: by Laura (last edited Jan 29, 2021 10:22AM) (new)

Laura | 3 comments Hi! I've just joined this group hoping you all will be able to help me improve my reader's advisory skills. I am a library associate in public library. I have a customer who frequently requests "clean, light romance, no smut". I do not read a lot of romance, and figuring out which ones are "clean" is hard to do. Hoping to discover some "go-to" authors for her. This customer enjoys reading Nora Roberts, but I think some of her books are rather "steamy", so defining "clean" is subjective.


message 5: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 146 comments Welcome, Laura!

You’ve put your finger an a bit of an issue. There are definitely degrees of “clean” and partisans who vociferously assert that their degree is the degree. Many in this group won’t allow any bedding at all. Personally, I don’t mind it so long as the narrative stops at the bedroom door. I simply prefer the emphasis in a story to be on compatibility and shared purpose more than physical attraction. It seems a bit artificial in the modern day to have people fall in love in a meaningful way without questions of sex arising at all. I would put the novels of Abbi Waxman in the category I describe. They are light and witty and her characters care about more than just getting laid.

A laborious way of approaching your search is to go the the bookshelf pages in this group (look for the link at upper right) and scroll through looking for highly rated books with lots of ratings. If something seems promising, click on the book and look over a couple of reviews—many reviewers note the level of clean, trigger warnings, etc.

Good luck with your search!


message 6: by Jayne (new)

Jayne Townsley (jtauthor2020) | 3 comments The blog Clean Wholesome Romance has an extensive list.of authors in her sidebar.


message 7: by Alfie (new)

Alfie Thompson | 4 comments Laura wrote: "Hi! I've just joined this group hoping you all will be able to help me improve my reader's advisory skills. I am a library associate in public library. I have a customer who frequently requests "cl..."

Laura, I'll tell you an easy and visual way you *used to* be able to tell. Not sure with self-publishing whether it is as true currently, but "clean/traditional" romance you could almost always tell by the main colors on the covers. Light colors and pastels said "this book doesn't have a lot of sex" in it--at least it isn't the main focus. Bright colors, especially lots of red, screamed "this one is HOT." The cover models were also fairly helpful. Barely touching or not touching at all and having all their clothes on, were good indications the story wasn't going to be steamy. Locked in a heated embrace with an open shirt or blouse hanging off the heroine's shoulder and body parts showing usually indicated sex was going to be a fairly prominent part of the story line.


message 8: by Jillian (new)

Jillian Walsh | 6 comments I must say I am encouraged to hear that library patrons are requesting our genre! Basically, it's expected that these books are like a PG movie, with all the love and drama, ups and down, without much more than kissing, although there are about 3 levels of 'clean steam' from G to a slight PG+ (with a 'fade to black' on bedroom scenes, for the most part).

I purposely put in my Amazon blurb that my books are clean so that no one is disappointed if they expected otherwise, and I appreciate when other authors do the same, and also so C&W readers know right off the bat they've come to the right place.

There are a large number of books in the Clean and Wholesome Romance category on Amazon (if you do a simple search there to get an idea of whose books are written this way; steamy authors are NOT going to allow their books to be listed in this specific subgenre bc many do not like the label 'clean' bc it somehow implies their books are 'dirty', giving them a negative connotation, and since that term can be subjective, I do not disagree with their protest of the term. However, it is what it is, and clean readers, in my experience, don't have negative connotations with steamy romance; we just need a way to differentiate between the two, and the only difference, really, is the treatment of sex and desire in the books. Like someone else said, more emotional reaction, less physical reaction.

'Sweet' is another term used by some to mean 'clean' but many steamy romances are considered 'sweet' by another definition, (usually relating to young love/youth/first love) so searching for sweet romance is not a 'safe' way to find 'clean' romance. Regardless, it's safe to say pretty much all authors under the C&W category on Amazon will be 'clean' the way your patron describes. Thanks for your interest! It's a fast-growing and exciting segment of Romance novels!


message 9: by Jillian (last edited Jan 31, 2021 11:14AM) (new)

Jillian Walsh | 6 comments Alfie wrote: "Laura wrote: "Hi! I've just joined this group hoping you all will be able to help me improve my reader's advisory skills. I am a library associate in public library. I have a customer who frequentl..."

This is in response to Alfie's reply regarding visual cues:

Right, but nowadays, both clean and steamy books use fully clothed people and/or just scenery on the covers, and all range of colors, so there's no longer an easy visual distinction to make.

There are also many steamy authors publishing their books under Clean under a pen name (some not) and removing all sex scenes. I believe they usually put new covers on them or indicate the books were previously published with typical steamy levels of romance, adding another layer of confusion to the mix.


message 10: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (kathy975) | 3 comments Overhearing this conversation . . .


message 11: by Laura (new)

Laura | 3 comments Thanks for all the replies to my post about clean, light romance authors/books. Your responses are helpful to me.


message 12: by Captain Dem (new)

Captain Dem the second (captaindemthesecond) | 5 comments Jean wrote: "Hey there! I’m looking forward to this group and see what recommendations y’all have. I just read a really good clean romance called Different Blue by Amy Harmon. It was fantastic and I really love..."

This is one of my favorite books, actually anything from Amy Harmon is amazing. You should read 'Slow Dance in the Purgatory' and my favorite one, 'Making Faces'. She takes clean romance to another level. Welcome to the group!


message 13: by D (new)

D | 11 comments Laura wrote: "Hi! I've just joined this group hoping you all will be able to help me improve my reader's advisory skills. I am a library associate in public library. I have a customer who frequently requests "cl..."

Hello, Laura. A resource that I've found very helpful is cleanwholesomeromance.com. There's a long list of clean romance authors as well as explanations of the various "heat levels." I write no-blush romance under the pen name C.D. Mack and have kindle and large print paperbacks available on Amazon. I think it's wonderful you're going the extra mile to help your folks find the kind of books they want to read!


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