How to Write Clean yet Scintillating Romance (Book Review)

Do I write romance? Kinda. There’s romance in almost every great book.

Do I read romance? Yes—a little here and there, and only when it’s in a genre I love.

Do I enjoy romance? As a girl, what can I say?  🙂

But there are times when good things are twisted into not-so-good things.

Such is the case with romances. There are two basic kinds—clean romances and dirty romances. There are romance novels that keep you locked into the story, crying over each heart-ache and “awwwing” over each handsome hero. Those authors keep out the love-making scenes and instead focus on the character’s character traits, how and why these people are attracted to each other besides physical drives, all the while presenting a clean, thoroughly enjoyable read. On the flip-side are the sex sagas—I’m not even sure if they should be categorized as Romance. People looking for a clean, wholesome guy-and-gal lovey-dovey novel would cringe at steamy bed scenes.

There are pages in the book of Love that does not have to be described and sprawled all over the bed—page, sorry–stuff that’s best kept close and private.

What is the meaning of Intimacy if we have to open every bedroom door?

The world has enough of sexy, dirty, naughty books.

And for us Christian writers and authors, it’s time to step to the plate and claim this segment of the novel-world for Christ.

The world is hungry for books that have value, that dig deeper than the imaginations, the fantasies, or the thrills. It takes courage to stand against the trend of things and say, “No, this is not right. This has to end. We are going to change this—by presenting something better, more glorious.”

That is why I felt my prayers were answered when I received word of an amazing author, Mary Gray, who had written a booklet on this very subject. I have found this book to be vastly helpful, extremely encouraging, and absolutely wonderful. It took me less than ten minutes to read through it, but I had learned so much from that little pamphlet that I’ll be sure to study it again and again.

Here is the book, a brief description, and links to the book at various book outlets.


Bodice rippers are some of the most lucrative books in the industry. So what if you write romance that isn’t as steamy? I don’t know about you, but I love reading and writing kissing scenes. And I don’t write explicit scenes with sex.

If you’re the same way, then you’ve happened upon the right book. In this brief nonfiction work, I’ll cover how to write clean yet scintillating romance–primarily, kissing scenes–in ways you may not have considered. I’ll share:

•    The best piece of editorial advice I ever received (when my first publisher bought my first book from my first agent)

•    A method I like to call action versus reaction

•    How to escalate a kissing scene

•    How to use rhetorical devices and setting to heighten heat

The author’s website:

(I have not read Mary’s fictional works yet, but the non-fiction library she offers to authors out there struggling to be a light for God, with words,  in this dark world is well-worth reading.)

Below are the links to popular eBook stores online:

Amazon                     Kobo                 Goodreads


My Review: How to Write Clean yet Scintillating Romance taught me how to twist romantic subplots into my novels without dwelling on the gory details.  Mary Gray tells us how to make the most out of a simple kissing scene—nothing out of the ordinary in the romance genre—without making it X-rated. She includes examples to help authors apply her ideas in their own writing. She says what she wants to say in a clear, open way that is refreshing—no condemnation, no negativity—nothing but a frank, sincere voice that teaches us How to Write Clean yet Scintillating Romance.


I’m ready for some clean books, aren’t you?