What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

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Suggest books for me > Clean - Slowly Growing Love and Marriage

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message 1: by Lyn (last edited Jul 16, 2020 11:15PM) (new)

Lyn | 37 comments I like CLEAN well-written plots that involved being forced to marry, date, or spend time with others who you initially hate, dislike, ignore, or fail to notice. Arranged marriages, marriages between strangers, unlikely friendships, etc. However, I don't like vulgar language, explicit sex scenes, magic, or violence. Can you suggest something? It DOES NOT have to be a romance, any fiction is fine... Nothing too well-known... I've probably read it already!

Also, please only suggest things that were really well-written. Even if it has this plot, I don't want to read it if it's cheesy!

NO SEX, MAGICAL ELEMENTS, EXPLICIT VIOLENCE OR LANGUAGE PLEASE : )


message 2: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)


message 3: by Lyn (new)

Lyn | 37 comments Lobstergirl wrote: "Pride and Prejudice" Yes, that's a good one. I think I've probably read everything by Jane Austen!


message 4: by Bridget (new)

Bridget (oobridgetoo) | 172 comments Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers


message 5: by Lyn (new)

Lyn | 37 comments I just read the blurb and it looks interesting. I am a Bible reader so I am familiar (and awed) by God's mercy to the unfaithful nation and how he illustrated it through the actions of obedient and humble Hosea. Can't wait to read it!


message 6: by Jenna (new)

Jenna | 596 comments A Civil Contract is probably the best I can think of with this plot - clean, forced to marry for money


message 7: by Anya (new)

Anya | 85 comments can it be contemporary? Kiss an angel by susan Elizabeth Philips is a cute read and has this theme, but there may be a sex scene in it thou , but nothing explicit or violent.


message 8: by Lyn (new)

Lyn | 37 comments Thanks, Jenny. I will check it out.


message 9: by Lyn (new)

Lyn | 37 comments @Anya Sure, contemporary books are fine, but I'd rather not have sex scenes... Thanks for your recommendation!


message 10: by Jenna (new)

Jenna | 596 comments His Bluestocking Bride is a clean Regency - marriage of convenience. In a series but reads as a stand alone.


message 11: by Lyn (new)

Lyn | 37 comments @Jenna

Just finished A Civil Contract! I loved it, thanks for the recommendation. The characters were especially well-written and it wasn't overly sentimental. Thanks again!


message 12: by Cycad (new)

Cycad | 109 comments Betty Neels. Wrote clean Harlequins, some of which did have marriages of convenience. Caroline's Waterloo, for example.


message 13: by Mrsbooks (new)

Mrsbooks | 256 comments I really can’t recall if there was any language in this. I do know there is one sex scene at the very end and I don’t remember it being graphic but it’s easy to skip if you were comfortable with that since it’s only one at the end. It’s set in modern times. The Wall of Winnipeg and Me


message 15: by Jenna (new)

Jenna | 596 comments Lyn wrote: "@Jenna

Just finished A Civil Contract! I loved it, thanks for the recommendation. The characters were especially well-written and it wasn't overly sentimental. Thanks again!"


Lyn - delighted you enjoyed it! (And of course, I agree.)


message 16: by Pink Angel (last edited Aug 31, 2019 11:37AM) (new)


message 17: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Silva | 3 comments You can't lose reading anything by Georgette Heyer if you like romance without smuttiness, and she was nice enough to write so many books that you can spend a while reading through all of them. I haven't read them in years, but I also remember liking romances by Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart.


message 18: by Lyn (new)

Lyn | 37 comments Bridget wrote: "Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers"

Just finished it! I got the audiobook. Normally, I take months to listen to long audiobooks (16 hours this one!) because I only listen to them when I am at home, usually 20 minutes while I wash the dishes. This one I listened to every spare moment until I finished it!

I thought the story was very good.. the characters interesting... lots of twists and turns. It's motivated me to go back and read the story of the prophet and his wife in the Bible. I have a better appreciation of God's mercy (I always thought it was principled like agape love, but this story help me to see his true compassion and understanding.) Thanks for the recommendation!


message 19: by Lyn (new)

Lyn | 37 comments SPOILER ALERT _BLUESTOCKING BRIDE

Unfortunately, I didn't like Bluestocking Bride.

I didn't really think the plot fit the definition of a marriage of convenience. They were in love before marriage.

The love story seemed rather improbable. They went back and forth, hot and cold, never resolved anything, but kept inexplicably dealing with each other anyway.

And I also didn't think it was clean. It had at least one sex scene (not sure how deep it went because I skipped it) but that's exactly what I don't want to have to do.


message 20: by Lyn (new)

Lyn | 37 comments Perhaps I misled by mentioning romance...
I really just want good stories... Real literature


message 21: by Lyn (new)

Lyn | 37 comments @c.

I just read the reviews for Roomies by Christina Lauren. A one-star review said, "Too much language. Too much foul sexual talk. Only 118 pages in and there's an explicitly described sex scene. I'd had enough after that."

Yikes! Glad I didn't start reading it... Looking for clean stories....


message 22: by Meme (new)

Meme | 7 comments Not sure if anyone recommended this but I loved Morning Glory by Lavyrle Spencer. The characters got married because it was practical from what I remember. It's a very clean book which is why I love it.

I think the sex scenes are implicit (from what I remember) so we know they did 'it' but pages aren't dedicated to it. T
I love this because it always puts me off when things start getting graphic.


message 23: by Lyn (new)

Lyn | 37 comments Hi Meme, I will check it out next! Thanks.


message 24: by Lyn (new)

Lyn | 37 comments @Meme

Morning Glory wasn't clean. About 40 pages in there was an explicit sex scene between a waitress and a townsperson... : (


message 25: by Mikaela (last edited Jun 13, 2020 09:56PM) (new)

Mikaela | 69 comments The Weaver Takes a Wife by Sheri Cobb South is a marriage of convenience (for money) and the heroine hates the hero at first, but he is actually a wonderful man. Clean.

A bit left of field, but Tsumiko and the Enslaved Fox by Forthright . is clean and is a fantasy about a young girl who is 'tethered' to a fox shifter because he needs the radiance of her soul to survive, even through it enslaves him (so he hates her). If you like Redeeming Love, this has some low-key Christian vibes, but is mostly fantasy. The relationship becomes romantic-ish about 50% through. I should note that while this is clean it is 'intimate'. The hero is a animal shifter and has a different sense of space and need for physical affection so there is a lot of snuggling, holding hands, kissing etc but no on-page sex. The sex is implied after marriage.


message 26: by Lyn (last edited Jun 14, 2020 05:25PM) (new)

Lyn | 37 comments Mikaela wrote: "The Weaver Takes a Wife by Sheri Cobb South is a marriage of convenience (for money) and the heroine hates the hero at first, but he is actually a wonderful man. Clean..."

Thanks for the new recommendations. I actually don't prefer Christian themes, but I am not opposed if they aren't too preachy... (the only appeal usually is that they are clean!) I haven't read a lot of fantasy, but I may like it as long as there's no witchcraft or stuff like that... I will check them out


message 27: by Lyn (new)

Lyn | 37 comments Mikaela wrote: "The Weaver Takes a Wife by Sheri Cobb South is a marriage of convenience (for money) and the heroine hates the hero at first, but he is actually a wonderful man. Clean..."
@Mikaela
The Weaver takes a wife was cute ! Read it in 2 days. Decided to take a pass on the Fox book. The whole animal / human coupling didn't appeal. Thanks for the recommendations!


message 28: by Mikaela (new)

Mikaela | 69 comments @Lyn

I'm glad you liked it! Some other books that might fit are A Good Wife by Betty Neels which is highly chaste. It's pretty dated in the 'casually sexist mid-20th century' way, but if you can get over that it's a sweet read.

The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery is one of my favourite books and the marriage is 'arranged' in the sense that the heroine asks the hero to marry her as a favour. They both know he doesn't love her but they get on well. Slow romance.

Also Fierce Heart by Tara Grayce is a strangers arranged marriage for political reasons. It's a fantasy. The heroine is human and the hero is an elf. I've only read the first book but it was clean. I found it a bit saccharine but it was cute.

Another 10/10 read is Cotillion by Georgette Heyer. It's a 'fake relationship/fake engagement' theme and, yes, they do fall in love slowly. Actual arranged marriage books by Heyer (which are not as fabulous as Cotillion but still good) are April Lady which is a regency romance and The Convenient Marriage which is almost exactly the same as April Lady plot-wise, but set in Georgian England with a more plucky heroine. In all three books, the hero falls in love first.


message 29: by Lyn (new)

Lyn | 37 comments Mikaela wrote: "@Lyn

I'm glad you liked it! Some other books that might fit are A Good Wife by Betty Neels which is highly chaste. It's pretty dated in the 'casually sexist mid-20th c..."


@ Mikaela I liked The Blue Castle. When I first started it, I felt like the main character wasn't likable... Her misery really came through... but I am glad I stuck with in (1/2 your recommendation and 1/2 because I know L.M. Montgomery is an excellent author). Later, when things changed, my mood lifted with the main character... very cool sensation.

I already read The Convenient Marriage, but I'll try to find on of the others by Georgette Heyer next.

Thanks!


message 30: by Mikaela (new)

Mikaela | 69 comments @Lyn

I agree the first half of the Blue Castle is sad and hard to handle. I think that's why I love the transformation of Valancy so much. She truly shines!

Cotillion is my favourite Georgette Heyer but April Lady was the first I ever read. I hope you enjoy them!


message 31: by Crystal (new)

Crystal | 327 comments Absolutely recommend Radiance!!!! This is one of my all time favourite books and starts with the arranged marriage from the get go.


message 32: by Lyn (new)

Lyn | 37 comments Crystal wrote: "Absolutely recommend Radiance!!!! This is one of my all time favourite books and starts with the arranged marriage from the get go."

@Crystal Thanks for the recommendation. Quick Question: Are there any magical elements in this book?


message 33: by Mikaela (new)

Mikaela | 69 comments Just to note that I loved Radiance also but I'm pretty sure it's not clean...? It's a fantasy and I'd liken the magic to elven magic rather than witchy hocus pocus. But yeah, remembering now that there are definitely a few steamy moments.


message 34: by Crystal (last edited Jul 02, 2020 05:30AM) (new)

Crystal | 327 comments Mikaela wrote: "Just to note that I loved Radiance also but I'm pretty sure it's not clean...? It's a fantasy and I'd liken the magic to elven magic rather than witchy hocus pocus. But yeah, rememb..."

Ahh for some reason the intimate moments didn't feel steamy to me xD there was something quite innocent/wholesome about it. But you're right for pointing out that there are some intimate moments in the book. (oof it's actually a good thing you spotted it)

Also yes it has fantasy elements with "elven-like" magic in the book. It's more like an innate magic of the elves and only the hero and his people have it. The main character and her people are human. But the story focuses mostly on the romance and relationship between the two main characters though!


message 35: by Mikaela (new)

Mikaela | 69 comments @Crystal I agree re the romance in Radiance - it was so natural and right! I loved that they were both incredibly decent people willing to give each other the benefit of the doubt every time. And - call me old fashioned - but I like that they start out married because it meant that there was already commitment, so I felt emotionally safe to root for the couple. Maybe it’s time for a reread...


message 36: by Lyn (new)

Lyn | 37 comments Mikaela wrote: "Just to note that I loved Radiance also but I'm pretty sure it's not clean...? It's a fantasy and I'd liken the magic to elven magic rather than witchy hocus pocus. But yeah, rememb..."

@Mikaela Thanks for letting me know. I'm trying to shelter my mind a bit so I'll take a pass on this one. I didn't think of it when I made the original posting but I'm not into magic, wizards, elves, or those types of things. I like arranged marriages/slow romances because of their realism... otherwise it's like here's a guy so of course the heroine will fall in love with him just cuz'... the author has to work a little bit harder to make the marriages of convenience turn into romance. : )

@Crystal That's exactly why I like them too. I like to root for them!


message 37: by Bridget (new)

Bridget (oobridgetoo) | 172 comments Glad you liked Redeeming Love! Would also recommend Land of Silence and Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar. She writes amazing Biblical fiction. Within These Lines by Stephanie Morrill would be a good read too, though it’s WW2 historical fiction.


message 38: by Lyn (last edited Jul 03, 2020 10:46AM) (new)

Lyn | 37 comments Bridget wrote: "Glad you liked Redeeming Love! Would also recommend Land of Silence and Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar. She writes amazing Biblical fiction. Within These Lines by Stephanie Morrill would be a good..."


@Bridget

Hi! Thanks for your recommendations.... Do these novels have plots about people needing to marry, date, or spend time with someone they initially hate, dislike, ignore, or fail to notice ? (Arranged marriages, marriages of convenience, different races, etc?) I like that Biblical fiction is clean, but it isn't my preferred genre unless it has one of these types of "slowly developing" plots like Redeeming Love. I love historical fiction so I'll probably check out Within These Lines regardless of the plot, but if you could verify that there's no explicit violence (war gore) that would be great!


message 39: by Bridget (new)

Bridget (oobridgetoo) | 172 comments Land of Silence does have an arranged marriage subplot, though a few things go awry. Don't want to give spoilers, but the romance is really well done and the ending is perfection. The book does have sweet themes of self-discovery and faith as well.

Bread of Angels is more Biblically focused, so I'd just recommend it if you're craving something clean and inspirational. ;)

Within These Lines is Young Adult and follows a young interracial (Italian American and Japanese) couple during WW2. It does deal with themes of war and internment camps. Morrill isn't overly graphic though and never uses violence as a plot device. Hope this helps. Happy reading!


message 40: by Lyn (new)

Lyn | 37 comments Lyn wrote: "Mikaela wrote: "The Weaver Takes a Wife by Sheri Cobb South is a marriage of convenience (for money) and the heroine hates the hero at first, but he is actually a wond..."

Just read A Good Wife... it was cute, quick read. I don't think I'll read any more of Betty Neels' though because I felt like the other one suggested in these feed sounded very similar in plot (older doctor hero) and she didn't develop the male lead enough for me to be in love with the story (he was loved right away, but why? good-looking but so grumpy LOL). I did enjoy it though... Kinda like a made-for-TV romance to pass the time but forgetable.

And I also read and loved Cotillion for the exact reasons I said Betty Neels' story was forgettable (great characters!) funny, REALLY slow-growing romance... Not super obvious signs of growth.. just working as a team made it happen.


message 41: by Lyn (new)

Lyn | 37 comments Bridget wrote: "Land of Silence does have an arranged marriage subplot, though a few things go awry. Don't want to give spoilers, but the romance is really well done and the ending is perfection. T..."

Thanks for your reply! The recommendations sound promising! I'll let you know here when I finish them.


message 42: by Lyn (last edited Jul 04, 2020 11:22PM) (new)

Lyn | 37 comments Cycad wrote: "Betty Neels. Wrote clean Harlequins, some of which did have marriages of convenience. Caroline's Waterloo, for example."
(REPEAT)
@ Cycad Someone else recommended this author too, so I already posted this message to them but I wanted to reply to you personally.

Just read A Good Wife by Betty Neels'... it was cute, quick read. I don't think I'll read any more of her though because I felt like the other one suggested in these feed sounded very similar in plot (older doctor hero) and she didn't develop the male lead enough for me to be in love with the story (he was loved right away, but why? good-looking but so grumpy LOL). (I often find that with Harlequin or any mass-production romance line.) I did enjoy it though... Kinda like a made-for-TV romance to pass the time but forgettable.

Thanks again for your suggestions. I couldn't find a copy of Caroline's Waterloo yet, but I'll keep it on my list.


message 43: by Lyn (new)

Lyn | 37 comments When I was looking for A Good Wife, I stumbled across "The Innkeeper's Wife." I just finished it and it was pretty good. Clean marriage of convenience plot. Thought I'd GIVE a recommendation for a change ! It has a Christian thread, but basically they just pray together or say blessings. I didn't find it annoying and it wasn't preachy.


message 44: by Kristy (new)

Kristy Moore (llamalluv) | 97 comments Karen Witemeyer writes very sweet, closed door romances. There may be mention of sex, but it's not descriptive, blow-by-blow. More like literally they close the door then the next chapter opens the next morning and they both are in a good mood. Strongly Christian themes of forgiveness and repentance run through her novels. Some violence (at least two of her books mention a suicide because of gambling losses.)


message 45: by Lyn (new)

Lyn | 37 comments Kristy wrote: "Karen Witemeyer writes very sweet, closed door romances. There may be mention of sex, but it's not descriptive, blow-by-blow. More like literally they close the door then the next ..."

Thank you so much for taking the time to make a recommendation for me! Would you say that any of Karen Witemeyer's books has an arranged marriage or marriage of convenience? Or an unexpected friendship?


message 46: by Kristy (new)

Kristy Moore (llamalluv) | 97 comments yes! Short Straw Bride has a shotgun wedding (extreme arranged, lol!) and More Than Words Can Say has a MoC so the h can continue to operate her bakery despite a sexist law against women business owners. More Than Words Can Say is a sequel to More Than Meets The Eye.

I really like all kinds of romance, from Bonnet Rippers to Bodice Rippers, but Whitmeyers are nice to listen to on Audible (many available on the Escape program) and since there's no overt sex or swearing, I can play it around my kids while I do chores.


message 47: by Kristy (new)

Kristy Moore (llamalluv) | 97 comments I meant to say More Than Meets the Eye has the H coming for revenge against the h's brother, but the h befriends him, and they fall in love. She's absolute sunshine in a pail and he and her brother are both buckets of grump.


message 48: by Lyn (new)

Lyn | 37 comments Pink Angel wrote: "Dark Hills Rising by Anne Hampson
Nanny by Chance by Betty Neels
Friday's Child by Georgette Heyer
The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
Frederica by Georgette Heyer
The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
Frederica by Georgette Heyer
[bookcover:Off With Th..."


@ Pink Angel
I was very disappointed to find In a Stranger's Arms by Deborah Hale on this list. I checked it out but it was not clean. : (

This thread is for clean, well-written books only please.


message 49: by Lyn (new)

Lyn | 37 comments When I wrote about this book earlier I had the titles confused... So my comments were about Caroline's Waterloo by Betty Neals. I just read a Good Wife and it was okay, the ending seemed a little rushed but it was a pleasant enough piece of fluff I guess!


message 50: by Mikaela (new)

Mikaela | 69 comments The Matrimonial Advertisement by Mimi Matthews, while not my favourite book, fits your description. Heroine answers a marriage advertisement to escape her home and the hero is fairly beastly in his treatment of her at the start. Pretty run-of-the-mill clean regency, but it doesn't have the same cringe factor that many do.


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