Some Good Romances by Authors of Color

By Jennifer K.

If you follow book news, you may have heard that the Romance Writers of America has cancelled the 2020 RITA awards. Further digging will lead you to a massive scandal that has rocked the romance novel world for the past month. It’s a pretty complicated business, but there have been allegations of racism, reverse-racism, bullying, shady backdoor dealings, financial mismanagement, and mistreatment and under-payment of authors of color.

Some members of the RWA have been working hard to make the romance industry more inclusive of diverse authors and their stories. In my opinion, the heart of the current controversy is a messy backlash against that effort.

We don’t have time to unpack all that, but what we can do is talk about some awesome authors of color who write wonderful romance novels. There are a lot – too many for me to list here! But here are a few of my favorites.

Trade Me by Courtney Milan
The son of a Steve Jobs-like tech billionaire encounters a poor Chinese-American student. She immediately calls on him to check his privilege. He challenges her to a trading-spaces scenario. They’ll spend a month in each other’s shoes, learn how the other half live, and, inevitably, fall in love. This novel explores themes of immigration and race while telling a sweet love story.

Intercepted by Alexa Martin
Marlee was the perfect, telegenic girlfriend of a champion NFL player. His wandering hands and commitment issues put an end to that – just in time for the team’s hot new quarterback to arrive in town.  This romance is hot and full of snappy dialog.
Rafe by Rebekah Weatherspoon
Sloan Copeland is an ambitious Los Angeles doctor with a demanding career, adorable twins, and an unhelpful ex. She needs a nanny, fast. Rafe, a tattooed white man, might not be what she has in mind for her girls – but he’s certainly tempting. This funny and tender contemporary romance features a biracial couple. I like everything I’ve read by Weatherspoon.

Want more romance by authors of color?

Check out this list! And if you’ve got recommendations, pop into the comments.

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2 responses to “Some Good Romances by Authors of Color”

  1. Isaac H. says:

    Great list Jennifer! While I had heard rumors of upheaval with the romance genre, I had no idea it went that deep. It sadly sounds similar to recent controversies that have occurred in the speculative fiction genre with the HUGO awards.

    • Jennifer Keirans says:

      Yes, I think the issues driving the two controversies are similar. I’m not sure the RWA will be able to right its course, as Worldcon and the SFWA have managed to do; but we shall see.

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