An inspy romance uses Scriptural truths to teach a powerful life lesson. It’s kind of like a sermon in that way. The early chapters set up a problem, then the writer uses truths from the Bible to solve the problem, making a point to the characters and the reader at the same time. As well, the characters tend to lean on Scripture for daily guidance and affirm that influence in their lives. Those are the traits of an inspirational, Christian romance.
No matter how clean it is, Scandal doesn’t quite fit that mold. There’s one scene with a reference to an historical Biblical person and event. There’s another with a character sitting in church before the service begins. And that’s it. While the Scriptural reference does contain a life lesson — the strength and overwhelming supremacy of love — that lesson isn’t unique to the Bible, and the characters aren’t shown as leaning on the Bible for guidance.
Besides, the sequel, Mischief on Albemarle, doesn’t even include that much of the genre, and it didn’t seem right to begin the series with an inspy Regency then switch to non-inspy with the second book. The third title, Shenanigans in Berkeley Square (available this summer from Astraea Press!), returns to Scripture once or twice, and the final one, Whispers on the Hampstead Road, will likely do so as well.
So that’s why, despite the Scriptural reference, we chose not to categorize Scandal as inspy. In case you were wondering, too.