No Blush Novels

The definition of “clean” in romance is constantly under debate, including the use of the word itself. We’re not here to define or debate, merely to specify its meaning for this particular site to help readers manage their expectations as they choose books to read. In making this distinction we’ve focused on three
areas: profanity, violence, and romance. So here goes…


This has been a tough one because so many well written books include profanity. We wondered which words to allow? Four letter words? Five letter words? How many could be in a book before it was too many? Ten? Twenty?

Rather than get indigestion over it, we decided that—for now—”NBN clean” means “no profanity”. This includes Biblical terms, unless hell really does designate a place. We’re not saying a word or two hasn’t slipped past us, but there shouldn’t be more than a couple at most, and you’re welcome to flag that for us.

There goes Harry Potter. Sigh. But then, that’s not really a romance anyway.

If you’re a parent using this site for pre-teens, be aware that NBN doesn’t restrict derogatory terms like idiot, stupid, sucks, etc.


On NBN “clean” means violence will be non-descriptive and brief. If rape or abuse is critical to the story it must be handled without description, and preferably only as a reference to memory. Such topics should be cited with a trigger warning in the description. 

picnic, canva version


This was the really tricky part, and the genesis for this site. How much romance is too much romance? NBN attempts to navigate this quagmire using various shades of blush.

There will be a “glowing” blush compact next to each book to indicate what level of romance you can expect to experience in that story. The levels are divided into blush shades as described below.

Pale Porcelain
  • A heroine wearing this shade of blush will have an innocent romance of sweet kisses and tender moments, with minimal focus on physical attraction. She’ll enjoy a kiss or two, but leave out the details. In terms of a wedding photo, this black and white portrait would appear a bit blurry. Were they really kissing or just bumping noses? Okay, not that blurry, but you get the point.
Perfectly Peachy
  • A young woman modeling this color doesn’t mind a long embrace or a passionate kiss, but she’ll keep the lengthy descriptions to herself. Though her toes curl and her breath comes faster, the scene will soon move on. Their wedding photographer opted not to zoom in, capturing their full-color kisses from a distance.
Precociously Pink
  • This woman may find herself in a blushworthy predicament or two, but she and her man are always going to take the high road. While they might have a lot to say about the physical attraction between them, they won’t take it to the bedroom unless they’re married, and even then, the scene will fade before anything happens on the page. This couple would have a whole wedding album in hi-def and vivid color, thanks to their up-close and personal photographer.

There are an abundance of romance novels available, and we want to help you find your next great read. Our site gives you the ability to pick which shade of blush you want to read, based on your comfort level.

Authors are given more descriptive guidelines to determine their book’s blush color. We take this designation seriously and want each book classified correctly. If you feel a book has been inappropriately listed on NBN, please flag the book or email us at [email protected]. We will review that book’s blush placement and/or inclusion on our site.

Enjoy your visit to No Blush Novels, and happy browsing!