I have never read an Inspirational Romance. It is just NOT the sub-genre I normally gravitate towards.
So way back when I first won a bunch of Inspirationals (by Harlequin Life Inspired) from Wendy the Super Librarian, I was expecting this:
Only there's NO making out in the Inspys. Maybe a warm embrace or a chaste kiss. Maybe hand-holding, but definitely no licking-of-lips before leaning into a kiss.
My Cali-romance-reading-BFF, Sherise (a staunch atheist), test-drove a free Inspy in pdf from Harlequin, and she g-chatted me the next day like, "Nope, can't do it. Hero is talking about how the heroine isn't a good enough Christian for him or some shit - so this is no bueno!" Hmmmm... ok, now I gotta see what this is all about...
...and as a Catholic, I'm nervously expecting a bunch of key terms to pop up in the plot and dialogue -- like: virgin, Virgin, virginity, sin, cardinal sin, confession, sinner, sacrament, holy, divine, matrimony, sanctity, blessed, Jesus, savior, damnation, hell-fire, purgatory, redemption, etc...
And I was actually... *pleasantly surprised*... in a sweet, sugar-coated, wholesome, Hallmark-y kind of way... and I wanted to write a Heroes & Heartbreakers post about it, but I'm admitting that I felt a bit chicken, and it feels good to acknowledge that - almost like I really didn't expect that I would enjoy these - but for some reason I did - but I was also afraid that my post would offend someone (Christian, spiritual, atheist, agnostic, or otherwise...) but over all, I'm glad I sent it.
And like Wendy the Super Librarian said - "sometimes you just want sweet - no serial killers, no suspended-from-the-ceiling-sex, etc."
Heroes & Heartbreakers, yo! - check it out!