Friday, April 5, 2013


Image courtesy of [supakitmod] /

I joined this wonderful group on Goodreads called Clean Romance. I was thrilled that there is a group of people on Goodreads that love Clean Romance!

However, I was a little taken aback at one of their discussions. They were discussing whether or not 'Breaking Dawn' should be labeled as Clean Romance.

I have to say, this shocked me.

My opinion is that 'Breaking Dawn' is very clean. I also feel that it sets a very good example to teens. Bella and Edward wait till marriage for intimacy. Yes, there is a honeymoon night scene, but there are no explicit details.

This discussion was eye-opening to me! Call me naive, but I thought I was writing Clean (Adult) Romance! Come to find out, there are many who would not consider my Romance novels to be clean!

It made me think. Clearly, everyone will have a different opinion on this matter. What is acceptable to some, is not acceptable to another. 

I accept that. I respect that. 

I believe it's time to define Clean Romance. 
I've come up with a rating scale:
(Five Shades of Clean)

1. A light-hearted, fluffy read about a couple falling in love. Slightly comedic. They hold hands and experience 1-2 chaste kisses. That's it.

2. A story about a couple who are falling in love, but they deal with some serious issues. Light kissing scenes occur a few times within the book.

3. A couple falls in love and the story deals with their sometimes tumultuous path to love.  They find themselves extremely attracted to one another. Circumstances cause their love to feel strong and powerful. They kiss deeply and often, their passion is readily evident. BUT, they wait for intimacy till marriage. 

A deep read wherein the couple fall in love amidst extreme angst. The love story is intense and passionate. They save intimacy till marriage. After marriage, they make love in ‘fade-to-black-close-the-bedroom-door-scenes.’ There are NO explicit details. 

5. A love story about a couple. They make love before marriage, but there are no explicit details.

So, here's what you'll get in my books: #4!!!

Some people don't want to read about intimacy AT ALL, and that's their personal decision.

But if you feel this way, then maybe Romance novels are not for you!

Clean Romance to me does not mean no intimacy. Clean Romance to me is intimacy within the bounds of marriage, with no explicit details.

In the end, all I know is that I don’t write smut. Maybe that’s what I should label my books as: NOT SMUT. How’s that for a description?

I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts on this. How do you define Clean Romance?


  1. I agree with you--#4 is good! And I thought "Breaking Dawn" was clean, too. I like to read about the buildup to the close-the-bedroom-door scenes but don't want explicit details. I consider your books to be clean and have no problem recommending them to others.

    1. Another thought, though. Sometimes I will alert others to the content and they can decide if it would bother them or not. I appreciate when people do that because sometimes it makes me want to read a book or pass it by (like when they complain that it's too clean or too dirty--those are very helpful).

    2. Thanks for your thoughts, Melanie. It's so nice to hear when someone agrees with me! When I read the Breaking Dawn discussion, I wondered if I was wrong about my opinion on Clean Romance!!! It kinda threw me for a loop! But after thinking things through, I just don't agree with them.

      I also like when 'content alerts' are passed on to readers, that way they can make an educated decision on whether or not they want to read the book.

      I appreciate your comments! Thanks!

  2. I like the content alerts. I think people all have different opinions, so we have to decide for ourselves. Don't we want that option anyway? I consider your books clean and don't see anything that would make that be any different, no matter what the rating system. Not smut would be a great rating. ^_^

    1. Very well said, Sherry! I think we all want the option to decide for ourselves. Love hearing that you feel my books are clean! After the Breaking Dawn discussion, I guess I needed to hear it! Thanks! Always love your comments!

  3. I think 1-4 are all clean reads. It's not like I wouldn't read a 5, but it's not exactly clean if it's before marriage sex. I like your definitions :)

    1. I would have to agree that the number 5 is NOT clean in my opinion. However, I added it because I found that some people feel it is clean--and I didn't want to exclude them from the mix. I'm glad you like the definitions! It's taken me far too long to realize the difference between sweet romance and clean romance! Guess that's why I'm surprised when someone doesn't think my books are clean! I'm still learning! I greatly appreciate your thoughts! Thanks, Christy!

  4. 1 and 2 are clean romance...anything extreme for me is not that clean :)

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your opinion! I appreciate you joining in on the discussion! Thanks for stopping by!