Written by Naomi

February is Black History Month and also features Valentine’s Day. Why not combine the two? Below are some recommendations of romantic fiction where Black people take the lead, both in writing and in being written about. Happy reading!

Mead Mishaps series by Kimberley Lemming

First of all, these covers are absolutely gorgeous. Second, just like the titles suggest, these are cheeky, humorous cozy romantasy books with likeable characters. While this series occasionally deals with some heavy themes (violence, mention of human trafficking), overall, there is enough love, happiness and laughter to offset them. The author creates a fun world where monsters exist, and it turns out they turn into massive dorks as soon as they meet their human mate.

The Kiss Countdown by Etta Easton

This book is not being released until April, but I wanted to highlight it here anyway. In Easton’s excellent debut novel, an event planner pretends to date an astronaut so she can get a free room, and he can get a partner leading up to his space launch. This is a slow-burn romance with a realistic relationship between two good and kind and quirky people. The story is fleshed out by a great cast of characters and overall is just so much fun. And did I mention that the hero is a Black astronaut?

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Talia Hibbert is a very reliable author when I’m looking for a diverse cast of characters in all senses of the word. The titular Chloe is chronically ill and has decided that she wants to “get a life” by ticking off items on her list. She gets the help of her superintendent/friend, who is very emotionally intelligent and therefore extremely sexy. This is a very sweet, funny, lovely book with a solid relationship. Books two and three in the series are about Chloe’s sisters and are just as amazing.

A bi-romantic asexual Black main character? Sign me up. Alice has known she’s asexual for a long time, but she is learning to embrace and, most importantly, communicate her desires. The characters are all very (realistic) melodramatic college students, and as this book is very well-written, that can be both a blessing and a curse. But above all, Alice tries to do her best while navigating falling in love.

D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding by Chencia C. Higgins

If you’re looking for a low angst, fluffy and sweet romance, you’ve found it. In this lesbian romcom about a reality show, D’Vaughn and Kris have just six weeks to plan their dream wedding. The problem is, they’re not actually in a relationship. Luckily, they have a very intense connection that makes a romance between them very natural. This is a feel-good book with some family shenanigans, healing and growth.