It’s not really a secret that the romance genre, is overwhelmingly white. This Guardian article is worth the read if you are unfamiliar with that claim. The Ripped Bodice, an independent LA based bookstore, publishes an annual diversity report which shows this as well. I highly recommend you check it out and see which publishers don’t even respond & which have more books written by people of color.
So, as avid romance readers, we try to read, support, and promote romance authors of color to show publishing that we love seeing diverse stories.
Since it is Black History Month, we decided to put together a list of our favorite romances by Black authors. If you’re reading romance this month, try to read at least one book by a Black romance novelist. But, as a reminder, you should be reading books by Black authors all year, not just in February.
Many of these authors have extensive backlists, so you definitely should check out all their works.
If you are looking for an account that shares a TON of romance recommendations of books written by women of color, check out @wocinromance on Instagram or their website which is searchable! They share a mix of YA and adult romances that all feature women of color. Also, check out this post by the Love Africa Book Club that lists THIRTY African romance novels that you should check out.
Everyone talks about Alyssa Cole’s royal romances, which are also good, but this series is my favorite by her and book one is my favorite of the three. This book takes place during the US Civil War and follows Elle, a free Black woman ,who is a spy for the Union. Malcolm, a white man, is also a spy and when his mission leads him to cross paths with Elle, they decide to join forces.
I’ve read quite a few Talia Hibbert books, but this one remains my favorite. That being said, read all of her books because she has quite an extensive backlist and she is amazing. Some of her books are self published while some, like the Brown Sister Series, are traditionally published. This book follows Dani and Zaf who are friends and after a photo of to Zaf carrying Dani out of a building like a bride goes viral, the two of them plan to fake date to help Zaf’s nonprofit. It’s a wonderful time.
Kennedy Ryan is a force!! Her books tend to be more serious/darker than I tend to like and if you plan on reading any of them, please read trigger warnings for them. This is my favorite by her. It follows Maxim and Lennix as they meet when she is leading a protest again his father’s company and then when they meet again years later and start a relationship. This does end on a cliffhanger and I didn’t like book two as much, but this one was WHOA.
I wasn’t really planning on reading this one, but during an author panel the authors were hyping this up so I gave it a shot and I’m so glad I did. I flew through this one so lowkey I don’t remember a ton, but I adored Naya and Jake and their dynamic so much. There is a lot of focus on Naya’s career and the tension between her and Jake is related to their work. The main thing that stood out to me with this one is how Williams is able to keep the characters dynamic as soft and cute, even after they sleep together. Typically there are fewer cute moments after that, but Williams doesn’t fall into that trap. Also, the cover for her second book just released and I’m so excited, but it’s a late 2021 release.
Do I remember anything about this one except that I enjoyed it? No. But, this one is an enjoyable and quick romance! We have fake dating at a wedding (a fave) between two best friends. I’m typically not the biggest fan of friends to lovers, but I enjoyed it here and was rooting for them. I’ve heard good things about Adams other books and have heard they are super steamy too.
I Think I Might Love You by Christina C. Jones (Love Sisters #1)
This is a novella (only 150 ish pages) and it started a bit rocky for me, but it was a hilarious one. Jaclyn is having a very rough day when we meet her, she has just found out she is the second family and is now drunk, she plans to crash at her sister’s place only to find a naked man in the apartment. Things do not go well, but after she calls her sister realizes Kaden is subletting. Oops. Anyways, they keep running into each other and their banter is amazing. Overall, this is a fun, quick, and steamy read. I ended up having such a fun time with this one. Also, it’s short so help bump those Goodreads numbers up!!
Also, here are some on my TBR because it is never ending and I’m hyped for these.
Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers – I think this is more of a self discovery book than romance, but still v excited and also the cover is amazing.
How to Find a Princess by Alyssa Cole (Runaway Royals #2) – Book one in this series, was good and I’m eager to see how the series continues. Plus this is a female/female romance and has another stunning cover.
If the Boot Fits by Rebekah Weatherspoon (Cowboys of California #2) – This series has fairy tales vibes (I don’t remember if they are actual retellings) and it is western!! I haven’t read a cowboy romance and actually enjoyed it, but I want to get into the subgenre.
Along for the Ride by Mimi Grace – All I know about this one is that it has a cute cover and is a ROAD TRIP book. Anything with a road trip is right up my alley.
Wild Rain by Beverly Jenkins (Women Who Dare #2) – I am reading this with my book club this month and can’t wait to see what happens next in this series. I’m determined to find one of Beverly Jenkins books that I adore since she is a romance legend.
Do you have any other books you would add to this post? Share them in the comments so I can add them to my TBR!!
Thanks for reading!