Rules, Schmules

The last few days I have been devouring an absolutely fabulous book. A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman is one of the best inspirational romances I've read in years. I say this because not only did her characters (especially her very sexy heroes) hook me, but she wasn't afraid to show that passion is indeed a pure gift from God!

If you didn't know it, CBA has been very strict in the past about a hero and heroine's physical interactions. So strict that it often felt unreal to me. As though these people who should be completely enrapture by each other are nothing more than friends.

Kudos to Julie and to many other authors who are able to portray passion in a God-honoring way.

But to the point of this post . . .

Her book just came out a few months ago. And la-dee-da, guess what I found!

Broken rules.

Now, she has a highly respected agent and is published by a Revell, a major CBA publishing house. Tons of people, professionals, read her book.

No one cared when a rule was broken. Probably because she did it well. She has her own, distinct voice that calls for her own, distinct style.

Who wants an example of a broken rule? LOL, sorry Julie.

PG 473 Heroine's POV "Turning, she stared up at him, her eyes glowing." Let's play a game. :-) Who can tell me what "rule" was broken, and how.

Not that it matters. I flew through this tome and I think you will too. If you love romance with strong emphasis on God, this is a book you'll adore. I did. And I'm gearing up to get the next one, which just came out!!!


Julie Lessman said…
Ouch ... you caught me, Jessica!! You are obviously a POV purist (as am I usually ... uh, except on page 473, I guess!). I cringe to think how many more POV infractions you may have found -- if so, please dont tell me! Once a book is in print, I prefer blissful ignorance.:)

But I am thrilled that you liked A Passion Most Pure. And frankly, you can pretty much say ANYTHNG you want to about my POV infractions after rendering a glowing review like the one above.

I read your Sunday blog entitled "Who's the Boss?" and was tickled to see you mention Tina Russo's website. Tina and I were finalists together in the 2005 Inspy category of RWA's Golden Heart and are now good friends and fellow "Seekers" (
Small world, eh?

Also, I really know what you mean when you say some authors can break the rules. I read a romance by a top male romance writer (initials N.S.) in which I found 3 incidents of head-hopping in ONE paragraph -- no joke!! You can do that, I guess, when you are a NY Times, million-dollar author and write great books.

Are you goint to ACFW in Minneapolis this week by chance?

Anonymous said…
With posts following one another about 'rules', I'm beginning to think you're considering breaking them. LOL

You know, since I started writing, seriously that is, I - as I'm sure you were as well - was inundated with the rules of writing romance.

While I think they are a good basis to start and learn from, I can't say I've ever read a book that didn't break a few. Like you said, an author has an individual voice - a time to stick to and break out of the rules.

How and when you do it are completely dependant on your own voice and what you wish to have your readers experience.

My thought - stick to the rules that make your writing strong. If you have to break some of them to make it work, do so. Creative bending is what makes each story different.

Can you imagine every book on the shelf without a single broken rule? Ugh, can you say yawn?

BTW - with a great review like that, I'll have to snatch this one up myself. Of course I'll never understand how you have time to read...
Julie, I'm sending you an e-mail very soon. :-)
Candi!! I always love to hear from you. Actually, yes I am a rule-breaker. LOL When I first learned them I thought I had to stick to every single one. But now I realize they're just guidelines. So I love your comment. It's right on.
And yes, I think you should snatch it up! Seriously, I couldn't put it down. It's a bit more than straight romance though, more of a family saga with lots of juicy romantic dramas :-)
Bethanne said…
Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm going to have to pick this book up... your complaints were the very reasons I got out of the genre for reading...and the very reasons I didn't target it for my writing. An interesting industry tidbit... good to keep up. :) And yikes! you got an author visit. Yay you.
Sarah said…

Another great post! I've learned so much just from hearing about all these rules. Hope you're having a great day!

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