Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love is a novel that has found its way into the bookshelves of religious and irreligious folks. The reason isn’t far-fetched.
Redeeming Love is an excellent story about love, forgiveness, and redemption. Set in the 1850s, the books chronicle the life of Angel, a gorgeous yet broken prostitute who was abused and abandoned since childhood.
Despite her troubled pasts, she finds a sense of love and hope in the arms of Michael Hosea, a Christian who God called to marry her and make her experience what true love is. And as they navigate the hurdles of their unique relationship, Angel begins to peel off the thick exterior and deep-seated hatred of men, her fear of intimacy, and her life-long trauma.
And while Michael’s faith in God and genuine love for her has made her warm up to him, the past comes running back in the form of Angel’s former lover, who seeks to reclaim her. Ultimately love wins in the end when – no spoilers, if you haven’t read it.
Religious romance is a fascinating subgenre of romance novels that depict religious themes and characters (fiction or nonfiction). These books explore themes ranging from love, faith, forgiveness, and redemption – something Redeeming Love explores in detail.
If you’re a sucker for Religious Romance and need more novels to add to your reading list, you’re in luck. We present 20 book religious romance recommendations for your reading pleasure. This selection will contain books from famous and not-so-familiar authors of this genre.
Let’s jump right into it:
The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen
The Silent Governess is a historical novel set in 19th Century England and follows the extraordinary life of Olivia Keene. After fleeing from her family’s home due to a misunderstanding that threatens her survival, she becomes a governess.
Settling for her new role while working for the wealthy family of the Earl of Bradley, Oliver uncovers a secret that directly places her life in danger. Even as she becomes enchanted by the Earl, she must strike a balance between falling for him and unpacking the secret.
The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen is a powerful story of forgiveness, faith, love, and mystery wrapped together.
Bring on the Blessings by Beverly Jenkins
Another selection that should be on your reading list is this banger from Beverly Jenkins. This contemporary religious romance follows the life of Bernadine Brown, who caught her husband cheating and walked away with millions of dollars in divorce settlements.
Bernadine feels it’s her moral duty to use the money to give back to the struggling town that raised her. So, she buys the town’s old church and turns it into a community center. Not everyone is pleased with this decision. However, with the help of the charming pastor, they get to work.
Bring on the Blessing is a tale of second chances, love, faith, and a sense of community.
The Preacher’s Promise by Piper Huguley
The Preacher’s Promise by Piper Huguley is the unique introduction to the Home to Milford College trilogy.
This historical book is set in the early 1900s after the Civil War in old Georgia and follows the story of Amanda Stewart, a young teacher who dreams about opening a school for freed black children.
She encounters Virgil Smithson, the town’s mayor, preacher, and blacksmith, who securely guards secrets against his troubled past. Only by working together can they bring education to the black community while navigating their attraction for each other – against their families’ disapproval.
The Preacher’s Promise is a thrilling tale of perseverance, love, faith, and social justice.
A Girl’s Guide to the Outback by Jessica Kate
Jessica Kate raises the roof with A Girl’s Guide to the Outback. It tells the story of Samuel Payton and Kimberly Foster. While Samuel is a devoted Virginia youth pastor who struggles from the blow of a failed business, Kimberly is a defensive woman stemming from years of rejection.
Samuel quits the ministry and journeys to Australia to help his sister Jules on her farm, leaving Kimberly to realize that no one can genuinely replace Samuel. Both of them strike a deal: if Kimberly comes to work on Jule’s farm, Samuel will reconsider going back to Virginia and return to church.
How did that turn out? You’d only find out when you read A Girl’s Guide to the Outback.
Isle of Hope: Unfailing Love by Julie Lessman
Julie Lessman’s Isle of Hope: Unfailing Love is the first book of the trilogy of the same name. It tells the fascinating tale of Lacey, who runs away from the Isle of Hope in search of wildlife, defiling her father and leaving behind Jack, a pastor’s son she was betrothed to.
Eight years later, she’s a changed person and is back for a wedding. She’s looking to amend the broken relationships she left behind. Will it all pan out for her good?
Isle of Hope: Unfailing Love is one for the ages. After reading the installment, you can search for Love Everlasting and His Steadfast Love – the other books in the trilogy.
The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers
Francine Rivers makes another appearance in our selection with The Masterpiece. It tells the incredible story of Roman – a successful artist troubled by his past, and Grace – a single mother overcoming a traumatic divorce.
As they cross paths, they begin to see the light and beauty in each other and recognize their faith in God can heal them completely.
The Masterpiece is a beautiful novel about forgiveness, love, and redemption.
Shadow Among Sheaves by Naomi Stephens
Shadow Among Sheaves draws inspiration from Ruth in the Bible. Set in the 19th Century, the novel follows the journey of Gwyn, a young woman taken from her home and forced to work as a servant in a manor.
She meets the handsome Lord Anthony, who suffers from his past and tries to make sense of his actions. As they navigate through their complicated feelings for each other, Gwyn uncovers a secret that could change their lives.
Shadow Among Sheaves explores the power of love, redemption, and forgiveness.
The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck
Rachel Hauck stuns the genre with Love’s Enduring Promise. This book tells the story of Chloe and Jesse, two women linked with a mysterious love letter from the past.
Chloe, a businesswoman, inherits an estate and discovers a love letter hidden inside a portrait. In a flashback, Jesse – a Civil War widow – writes a love letter to her husband. The flashback shows how the story of her life and love unwinds.
As Chloe reads more from Jesse’s letter, she asks for help from the local historian, and they work to unearth the secrets of the past and love for the present.
The Love Letter is a classic tale of sacrifice, love, and salvation.
A Sweetness to the Soul by Jane Kirkpatrick
A Sweetness to the Soul is a standalone religious romance book that tells the story of Jane, a young woman who migrates with her husband to the Oregon frontier. The book follows Jane as she tries to adapt to new life on the frontier, including the sad loss of her children, financial instability, and the challenges with her husband.
How does Jane navigate this and still come out on top? Find out when you read A Sweetness to the Soul, a book of love, faith, perseverance, and strength of community.
The Bridegrooms by Allison Pittman
The Bridegrooms by Allison Pittman is another selection to add to your reading list. The book follows the lives of three brothers: Collin, preparing to go to war; Pete, who had just returned from the war; and Warren, who is serving at the battle.
The book dives into the brothers’ struggles as they try to make sense of the war while maintaining their faith, finding love, and coming to terms with the loss.
The Bridegrooms showcase the power of faith, loss, and determination.
The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof
The Lady and the Lionheart is a novel set in 1890 in Virginia. It follows the story of Charlie Lionheart, a circus performer who becomes a guardian to Holland, an infant girl. When Ella – Holland’s nurse – seeks an escape at Charlie’s circus, they develop a surprising bond.
Despite the disapproval of others and their different backgrounds, they fall in love. However, secrets from Charlie’s past will test the very foundation of their relationship.
The Lady and the Lionheart explore love, redemption, forgiveness, and faith.
The Chance by Karen Kingsbury
The Chance by Karen Kingsbury is a fascinating story of Ellie and Nolan, who reunites after spending 11 years apart. While Ellie struggles with a broken marriage and the fear of losing custody of her kids, Nolan offers her a new chance.
As they take a new shot at love, they must wade through the challenges of their pasts.
The Chance discusses themes ranging from forgiveness, faith, love, and second chances.
The Inn at Ocean’s Edge by Colleen Coble
The Inn at Ocean’s Edge by Colleen Coble follows the unique story of Claire, who returns to her family’s hotel on the coast after a 20-year hiatus. Returning home, she experiences strange events that question her past and identity.
She reconnects with Luke, the hotel manager and a childhood friend. Together, they discover the truth of Claire’s past and secrets that might threaten their survival.
The Inn at Ocean’s Edge is a story of love, redemption, forgiveness, and faith.
The Carpenter’s Daughter by Jennifer Rodewald
Jennifer Rodewald’s The Carpenter’s Daughter is the story of Lenore – a woman who has always felt like an outsider in her small community because of her father’s antecedents as a drunkard.
She begins to reconsider her self-worth when she runs into the new pastor, Daniel. As they work together in the community, they develop a love for each other. But the past keeps coming back to threaten their very union.
The Carpenter’s Daughter tells a story of love, faith, redemption, and forgiveness.
The Mountain Midwife by Laurie Alice Eakes
The Mountain Midwife is set in mountain scenery and follows the story of midwife Ashley Tolliver struggling to balance her practice and mountain farm after her mother’s death.
She sees an opportunity to expand her practice when handsome doctor Hunter McDermott strolls into town to set up a clinic. A secret and feud between both families threaten their romance to the core.
The Mountain Midwife delves into themes of faith and love to overcome uncertainties.
The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn by Lori Benton
The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn by Lori Benton is set in the 19th Century and follows the life of Tamsen Littlejohn. She escapes from her abusive stepfather and journeys through the Appalachian Mountains with enslaved people seeking freedom.
She falls for Jesse Bird – a man helping the enslaved people escape. Their love is constantly threatened by their different background, race, and the pursuit of their stepfather.
Themes ranging from love, forgiveness, and faith are depicted in The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn.
The Memoir of Johnny Devine by Camille Eide
The Memoir of Johnny Devine by Camille Eide is set in Hollywood in the 1950s. We dive into Johnny Devine, a successful actor with a dark past. When he stumbles on Stella, a journalist sent to interview him, he sees an opportunity to use his influence to help war orphans.
As they work together, they soon develop feelings for each other, but secrets from their pasts threaten the foundation of their relationship.
The Memoir of Johnny Devine centers on love, reconciliation, and redemption.
The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin
The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin follows the story of two strangers, Ben Payne, and Ashley Knox, stuck in the wilderness after their plane crashes. They must count on each other to survive the extreme weather, hunger, and sustained injuries.
They develop an unlikely bond, but their lives threaten their union before the crash, building a mountain between them.
The Mountain Between Us explores hope, faith, and love to conquer fear.
Wings of Glass by Gina Holmes
Wings of Glass by Gina Holmes centers on Penny, a young woman with a life punctuated by abuse and financial instability. As she tries to maintain her sanity, she meets Trent, the heir to an influential family.
They fall in love and marry against Trent’s family’s utter disapproval. Wings of Glass focuses on love, forgiveness, and redemption, and Penny tries to find hope for a new family.
A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano
Lastly, A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano is another book you must add to your reading list. This book is set in the late 1800s and follows the life of Tressa Harlowe, a young woman who inherits a massive fortune from her father.
However, the will explicitly states that she must live in his castle for one year before claiming her inheritance. She struggles with her new reality and falls for Donegan Vance, the handsome gamekeeper.
This novel centers on trust, love, forgiveness, and reconciliation.
Religious Romance makes you feel a wide range of emotions as you flip through pages as the stories unwind. These 20 books will keep you glued to your reading spot until you finish reading.
Q. What is the difference between romance and religious romance books?
A. The major difference between romance and religious romance books is that the former does not feature characters whose faith is a central plot to the story.
Q. Are religious romance books slow-paced?
A. Most religious romance books are slow-paced, as the author wants to take you on a journey allowing you to take your time to get invested in the characters.
A. Determining which writer is the best author for this subgenre is difficult. However, several authors are on some of the best writers’ lists. They include Francine Rivers, Janette Oke, Becky Wade, Colleen Cable, Piper Huguley, Karen Kingsbury, and many more.
Q. Are religious romance books rated R?
A. Explicit sexual content is not found in religious romance books, as that is not the focus. However, the romance between characters can be hinted at in the books.
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