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13 Highly-Anticipated 2021 Romance Books by Authors of Color

Pre-order your new favorite reads now. 

2021 most anticipated romance books by authors of color

From mouthwatering foodie romances to fake dating schemes, authors of color are doing the absolute most for romance readers – and we're not complaining, especially after the terrible mess called 2020.

2021 looks like a great year for swoon-worthy romance books! As an avid reader of romance books written by authors of color, I'm excited to share some titles that I’m greatly anticipating.

a pho love story

A Pho Love Story

By Loan Le

Release date: February 9, 2021

In this hilarious, quick-witted YA romantic comedy, two Vietnamese American teenagers fall in love and must navigate their newfound relationship amid their families’ dispute over their competing pho restaurants. 

A Pho Love Story offers a fun, modern blend of rivals-to-lovers and forbidden romance. Loan Le’s debut novel seems like an adorable food and family-centered romance that will have readers yearning and salivating. 

RELATED: The 10 Best Romance Books to Read in 2021

a taste for love

A Taste for Love

By Jennifer Yenn

Release date: February 2, 2021

With college just around the corner, Liza Yang agrees to assist her family bakery's annual junior competition to get on her mom's good side. 

But when Liza arrives on the first day of the bake-off, she realizes there's a catch: all the contestants are young Asian American men whom her mother has handpicked for Liza to date.

Starring a Taiwanese American leading lady, Jennifer Yen’s contemporary romance promises a fun-filled, chaotic The Bachelorette situation. It’s perfect for fans of teenage drama and reality television, reluctant heroines, and meddlesome mothers.

accidentally engaged

Accidentally Engaged

By Farah Heron

Release date: March 2nd

When her father moves a Muslim bachelor into her building in the hopes that she will marry him, career-driven Reena Manji is determined to resist Nadim's charm. 

But when Reena's career takes a nosedive, he happily agrees to fake an engagement so that they can enter a couples-only video cooking contest.

From unwanted matchmaking to forced proximity to fake engagements, Accidentally Engaged is a whimsical and lighthearted romance novel filled with well-loved tropes. I was lucky enough to read this early, and I had a blast!

act your age eve brown

Act Your Age, Eve Brown

By Talia Hibbert

Release date: March 9th

In this third installment of Talia Hibbert’s widely loved series, we follow the life of Eve Brown, the most chaotic of the Brown sisters. 

When Eve literally crashes into an uptight B&B owner, she unknowingly makes a new nemesis. However, the longer these enemies spend together, the more their animosity turns into something else.

Perfect for readers whose favorite tropes are enemies-to-lovers and grumpy/sunshine opposites, Act Your Age, Eve Brown is sure to be a compelling and addictive read.

the dating plan

The Dating Plan

By Sara Desai

Release date: March 16th

With her life all planned out, and disinterested in finding a husband, Daisy Patel can't give her family the marriage they anticipate. Desperate, she asks Liam Murphy, the childhood friend who broke her heart nearly a decade ago, to join her in a fake engagement.

Sara Desai’s next novel offers a story that’s steamy, romantic, and fun. It’s great for readers who adore career-driven heroines in STEM, marriages of convenience, and meddlesome families.

RELATED: 7 Fake Relationship Romance Books  

dial a for aunties

Dial A for Aunties

By Jesse Q. Sutanto

Release date: April 27th

When Meddelin Chan accidentally kills her date, her aunties come to the rescue. They've got a foolproof plan that involves a corpse in a cooler and a decadent wedding, but soon the Chans get themselves into more trouble than they anticipated. 

Jesse Q. Sutanto’s debut novel delves into Chinese-Indonesian culture and complicated family dynamics. It is a hilariously quirky novel that is both a romantic comedy and a murder mystery.  

If you’re in the mood for a second-chance romance with a dark little twist, Dial A for Aunties might just be the right number for you.

first comes like

First Comes Like

By Alisha Rai

Release date: February 16th

Beauty expert and influencer Jia Ahmed is too busy for dating. But when a soap opera star slides into her DMs, she finds a little time in her schedule to fall in love. 

Alisha Rai’s next novel promises a modern love story amidst an outlandish catfishing scheme. It’s fun and daring, with just the right amount of celebrity drama.

happy endings

Happy Endings

By Thien-Kim Lam

Release date: May 18th

Trixie Nguyen runs a sex toy business, to the disappointment of her Vietnamese parents. So when Trixie hosts her company's first pop-up event, she's surprised by how well it goes—until she runs into the ex who dumped her in the worst way possible. 

This debut novel serves up a sexy, steamy second-chance romance about exes with unfinished business. 

honey girl

Honey Girl

By Morgan Rogers

Grace Porter finally has her PhD, and her life together. But then, shocking even herself, Grace gets drunkenly married to Yuki, a woman she barely knows.

In her daring debut novel, Morgan Rogers explores human fears, family scars, and the longing for connection, especially when navigating the messiness of adulthood. Honey Girl promises an emotionally gripping romance that shouldn’t be missed.

RELATED: 14 Lesbian Romance Novels Everyone Should Read 

how to find a princess

How to Find a Princess

By Alyssa Cole

A queer Anastasia retelling? With a fake relationship, a fun cast of secondary characters, and too few beds on the high seas? And written by the award-winning author, Alyssa Cole? 

There's nothing else I can add to make this sapphic romance novel sound more amazing. How to Find a Princess is a needed addition to everyone’s TBRs.

lifes too short

Life's Too Short

By Abby Jimenez

In the latest addition to Abby Jimenez's The Friend Zone series, Vanessa lives her life to the fullest as a travel vlogger. But when Vanessa is suddenly housebound and on mommy duty for the foreseeable future, the last person she expects to show up offering help is the hottie from next door. 

Life’s Too Short is unapologetically sassy and hilarious, all the while tackling heavy issues such as addiction and ALS.

love is a revolution

Love Is a Revolution

By Renée Watson

In order to impress her crush, Nala tells a few tiny lies to have enough in common with him. As she falls deeper into love, Nala learns more than she expected about romance and herself. 

Beyond offering a contemporary love story, Love Is a Revolution also follows a plus-sized Black heroine and her messy journey to self-love. 

Meet Cute Diary

Meet Cute Diary

By Emery Lee

For his blog Meet Cute Diary, Noah Ramirez writes swoon-worthy stories about trans cuties getting the HEAs they deserve. But when the Internet learns that all the stories on Diary are fictional, Noah has to act fast to prove himself. 

Emery Lee’s debut is a swoon-worthy romantic comedy about a transgender teen's first love. It involves fake dating, mutual pining, forced proximity, and thoughtful explorations of gender and sexuality.

Related: 10 Romance Books Featuring Trans and Nonbinary Characters