I have a confession: my favorite type of fiction is contemporary romance. Yes, that was hard to admit. For romance novels can get a bad rap – people may see them as a form of vacant escapism, with stories that are light and fluffy (or worse). But I enjoy cozying up with novels in this genre written for the Christian market. For although the ending may be assured, the journey of the heroine and hero coming together is often thought provoking and heart warming. And Christian romance by definition will be clean in the content, and hopefully edifying in matters of faith.
An author writing in this genre is Becky Wade; I meant to feature her debut novel, My Stubborn Heart, when it came out in 2012 in the Woman Alive Book Club, for I found it delightful. But the adage “so many books, so little time” rang true, so here’s another of hers, Meant to Be Mine. It’s the second in a trilogy, but can be read as a standalone novel, as I encountered it.
A granola-eating hippy-ish single mother from the Pacific Northwest in the States meeting a meat-eating rodeo-bull-riding cowboy from Texas produces a few sparks. Celia had her heart set on Ty when in high school, but it was only when they met later in Las Vegas that they got together – and then fell apart. The long arc of their relationship, with the questions of will they/won’t they, forms this novel. The characters come alive and feel like real people. Celia struggles to know who she really is, and how to give and receive love. Whereas Ty is fully content in who he is – a star in the rodeo circuit with a strong family and community in his small town of Texas to support him.
But it’s the deeper themes that the novel dips into that interest me in particular. Such as what do we put in the place of God? Careers and making it big, or the love a child to fill the empty spaces in our hearts? What do we turn to when we’re hurt? Alcohol, comfort baking and eating, pain pills to numb the ache? How can we learn to forgive, even if we have to forgive one close to us again and again? How can we shed false images of the God who made us and formed us and loves us without strings?
See – a contemporary romance can delve into tough issues, while still giving us a satisfying ending. Check out her books; I think you’ll enjoy them.
Meant to be Mine, Becky Wade (Bethany, ISBN 978-0764211089)