I have a BIG question for you all…
What is the definition of a “CLEAN” romance?
Over the last year, I’ve been asked many times to do book lists that include “clean reads” and especially “clean romances.” I’ve received a few backlash comments on my clean lists from readers who disagree with my book choices, saying they don’t feel a certain book is clean. In most cases, these books in question contained some kind of sex scene.
Many would say a clean romance does not include any sex – none at all – but I’m not sure I agree with that. Personally, I think it’s not about none at all, but more how the subject is handled. I definitely agree that a clean read should have NO descriptive, graphic sex scenes, no dirty details into the physical act itself, but I see nothing wrong with characters having sex as long as it is written cleanly and has a significant role in the story.
I think the writing should focus more on the emotions, meanings, reasons for the act other than the act itself. But sex should not always be excluded from love – that doesn’t make sense – especially in a mainstream novel (I’m not talking about LDS or Christian novels). I think frequency is also important to note – one or two tasteful sex scenes is appropriate for a clean read.
For example, in the book The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, the two main characters, two teenagers both with fatal cancer, fall in love and eventually have sex. It’s an important scene and very well handled by the author – no descriptions, the reader just knows that it happens and how it affects the characters emotionally. This is the only scene in the book involving sex.
I list this book as a clean romance. Would you?
Please tell me what you think. Let’s see if we can come to a consensus.
None at all or some, if written cleanly?
What is YOUR definition of a clean romance?
And what are your favorite clean romantic reads?