The literary world has a new kind of a hunky hero, and he’s not a fan of electricity.
He does, however, make for good company in a courting buggy.
Refer to Amish romances, a genre that recently got widespread attention with a Wall Street Journal article highlighting the books’ growing mainstream popularity.
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The piece’s headline: “They’re no bodice rippers, but Amish romances are hot.”
I understood the appeal.
Maybe the romance genre’s overall popularity is increasing.
But you have to admit the traditional cast of lead characters is getting a little too predictable. I’m talking to you, dark misunderstood-but-sensitive guy.
Not to mention the steamy scenes you’ll find in a traditional romance novel.
Cluttered with flowery adjectives, the passages make you feel like a clumsy love novice if you still can’t say “caress” with a straight face.
It’s no wonder people are opting for the heartfelt Amish stories, where “seduction” is defined by a peck on the cheek.
So imagine my excitement when I found an Amish romance prominently displayed on a shelf at my local library.
It was “The Longing,” the third book in Beverly Lewis’ “Courtship of Nellie Fisher” series.
Lewis secured a fan following with “The Shunning” in 1997.
In the book I selected, Nellie Fisher has recently broken off her relationship with Caleb Yoder because of religious differences.
The pair’s feelings for each other linger — especially after Caleb’s father suffers an accident.
That’s the main story, but there are sub-plots. Like Rhoda — Nellie’s rebellious sister who resists the Amish lifestyle and gets a driver’s license.
True to form, “The Longing” is light in its descriptions of physical romance.
Check out this description of how Caleb reminisces about a particularly steamy evening with Nellie:
“Though that night was long gone, he clearly recalled their sweet affection. He hadn’t heeded his own inner warning, nor dear Nellie’s, to wait for lip-kissing till their wedding day,” Lewis writes.
Are books like “The Longing” better than traditional romances? Who knows.
However, the genre offers a glimpse into a world that to most of us seems foreign.
And at the very least, Amish romances remind readers that a lack of electricity doesn’t dim life’s brightest emotions.