Swoon-Worthy Romances by Some Awesome Black Authors
Black History Month may be drawing to a close, but awareness, appreciation, and support for the Black community needs to continue all year. There are so many amazing authors making Black history in the romance genre today. In this post, I’m sharing a few of the titles from Black authors I’ve loved and recommend to anyone looking for their next swoom-worthy romance read.
By Leah Johnson
This YA romance hits all the right notes. I especially enjoyed seeing the beautiful queer love story play out and had butterflies right alongside the characters. Liz’s voice and humour as the narrator really shines, and I literally laughed out loud all through reading. Of course, it packs an emotional punch too! I recommend this to anyone looking for a fun story that will hit you in the feels and leave you smiling.
By Tracey Livesay
Along Came Love restored my faith in billionaire romances! I loved India and thought she was a hilarious, strong, and heartwarming heroine to follow along with. No matter what situation she found herself in, she stayed true to herself, stood up for herself, and never lost sight of her own worth. She and Michael both proved that sometimes loving somebody means you need to call them out when they’re wrong, and I loved the way they both taught each other important lessons on the way to their happy ending.
By Junauda Petrus
This book is first and foremost an absolute work of art. It’s a breathtaking, poetic journey through a story that will make your heart sing. It expertly blends so many vivid voices, places, and feelings together into a rich tapestry it’s impossible to look away from. There are very few books that truly feel as crafted as this one does. Junauda Petrus has a gift, to say the least. When I picked up this book, I thought I was in for a queer YA romance. It’s that, but it’s also so much more.
By Kennedy Ryan
The romance genre delivers so much more than love stories; it challenges us to expand our perception and understand that there are limitless ways to feel and experience love. It invites us to walk in someone else's shoes and realize that the way we see the world and the way we find love within it may look different from the path of another, but ultimately we're headed for the same destination. For many readers, Grip presents truths that can be uncomfortable. It shines a light on issues at work in our world which often feel easier to ignore, but this story is a testimony to how real and pressing those issues are. Grip is a challenge to wake up and realize that racism and oppression aren't going anywhere soon unless we decide to acknowledge and face them with the bravery and honesty that these characters do.
By Anna Stone
Second chance is my favourite romance trope of all time, and I LOVE books about dancers, so that combined with some very steamy forbidden student/teacher vibes made this book a no-brainer need to read for me. I loved following Natasha and Zoe on their journey to reconnect and find their much-deserved happy ending. The world of dance was so beautifully portrayed here, and those scenes in the studio were SPICY!
By Claire Kann
This was such a fun read! I loved Alice's sense of humor and personality. She was entertaining from start to finish and had me laughing out loud so many times. The biromantic ace representation was wonderful to see as well. I also loved that the author wasn't afraid to shy away from flawed characters, imperfect relationships/friendships, and people's capacity to make mistakes and grow from them. So much of that felt true to the era of being nineteen and figuring adult life out for yourself for the first time. I loved getting to know Alice, her world, and the people in it.
By Rebekah Weatherspoon
This book convinced me I don't read nearly enough of the marriage of (in)convenience trope! loved following along with Xeni and Mason as they navigated a major life curveball and fell for each other along the way. The small town setting was incredibly charming, and both protagonists were a joy to read about. The story also does an amazing job at representing bisexual characters in M/F relationships, as well as paying special attention to the importance of consent and asking for what you want both in and out of the bedroom.
By Alyssa Cole
This was the first historical F/F book I ever read, and what a great introduction to the genre it was! I loved seeing Mercy and Andromeda’s relationship develop and grow into a bond that withstood every test thrown at it. Despite it being a historical read, this story didn’t hold back on the heat either. This is ‘opposites attract’ at its finest! The setting was also completely captivating and pulled me into all its rich detail. I highly recommend it to both historical romance fans and those new to the genre like me.
By Brittainy Cherry
I'm always so in awe of the emotional depth Brittainy Cherry works into her stories, and this one was no exception. The love her characters experience feels big and real and beautiful, even if it's not always pretty or perfect. Behind the Bars tackled some very difficult topics, but ultimately managed to send a message of hope and forgiveness that will stay with readers long after they've finished the book.
I hope these recommendations help you find some new favourites for your shelves! If you’re looking for somewhere to donate to support the Black community, and specifically the arts-focused Black community, one of my favourite organizations to support is the Nia Centre for the Arts. This Toronto arts centre has so many amazing programs and opportunities for Black artists of every age and is a wonderful resource to have available in Canada.