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9 African Romance Novels You Should Read

From historical epics to feel-good contemporaries, these African books are a must-read.

African romance novels
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  • Photo Credit: Joe McDaniel / Unsplash

A good book about love changes everything. The books in this list are African romance novels that explore love in a way that is both universal and particularly African. A book about polygamy? Yes. A book about an impatient mother-in-law? Check. A book that shows the political landscape of the country it's set in? You bet. 

These 10 books introduce readers to new ways of seeing romance. Whatever kind of romance reader you are, rookie or veteran, you'll fall in love with a book on this list. 

african romance novels

Love Next Door

By Amina Thula

Abongile is an ambitious business analyst who recently moved into a new apartment in Johannesburg, South Africa. Kopano is a school teacher and artist. Kopano and Abongile are next-door neighbors. Love starts to bloom when they meet outside Abby's door as she tries hauling groceries into her new apartment. 

This modern love story explores the desire between two young people. The author enlightens readers on Xhosa women and language as she walks us through intimate moments between Abongile and Kopano. 

RELATED: 10 Black Romance Authors You've Been Missing Out On

african romance novels

Stay With Me

By Ayobami Adebayo

Yejide is hoping for a miracle child — otherwise, she'll be rejected by her mother-in-law. Yejide has done everything imaginable: medical consultations; non-stop prayers to God; pilgrimages. When relatives can't wait longer, they propose her husband get a new wife. 

Yejide and her husband Akin have been lovers since their university days. Four years into their marriage, Yejide has yet to become pregnant. But when in-laws show up with a second wife so that they may have children, Yejide is willing to go to any length in order to conceive. These risks may be too high a cost for their marriage.

This is a gripping novel, set against the political climate of 1980s Nigeria. 

african romance novels


By Lauri Kubuitsile

A busy husband and a lonely wife...

Isolated Elizabeth is finding her place in a foreign country, although she feels abandoned by her husband, Ditiro, who has a successful law practice. 

A rash decision by Elizabeth exposes their failing marriage to disaster. This charming novel is also heartbreaking, filled with moments that illustrate how we fight ourselves to save others. 

The Memory of Love

The Memory of Love

By Aminatta Forna

In this memorable novel, separate love stories are told concurrently. There are three men and three women whose love stories take place amidst the war in Sierra Leone. A man is obsessed with a woman who loves her husband. A surgeon loves the operating theatre as a manifestation of survivor's guilt.

The moving parts of this book are intricate, and focus on the power of friendship as well as romantic love. 

RELATED: 9 Books About Love for People Who Don't Like Romance Novels 

african romance novels

In Dependence

By Sarah Ladipo Manyika

This epic love story is about Tayo, a Nigerian student at Oxford University, and Vanessa, a British girl whose father is part of the colonial government in Nigeria. They fall in love at the cusp of Nigeria's independence, and this novel follows their relationship across four decades and three continents. 

The story explores the socio-political and economic disposition of African countries post-independence. This historical fiction novel is an engaging, character-driven story with authentic voices.

african romance novels

Love and Hiplife

By Nana Prah

Lamisi is an ambitious woman who would do anything to complete her PhD program. With hurdles on the horizon, Lamisi stubbornly pushes through. 

Her musical idol, Bizzy, needs a french tutor, and Lamisi is a perfect fit — plus, they soon develop chemistry. But Lamisi must soon face a ridiculous obstacle created by her PhD survivor. 

RELATED: 8 Modern Romance Novels to Cozy Up with This Winter

african romance novels

Not Just Another Interlude

By Lara T. Kareem

Sewa, a go-getting graphic artist, bumps into tech entrepreneur Jide at a restaurant. Sparks immediately fly, but Sewa is coy. When they meet again in a similar way, it becomes obvious that they are meant to be together. 

This is a beautifully written, light-hearted novel. If you're looking for a feel-good story, this is the book for you. 

RELATED: 10 Romantic Pick Up Lines for Book Lovers

african romance novels

Expecting Ty's Baby

By Empi Baryeh

Beautician Patricia Owusu meets financial consultant Ty Webber when he's on a job assignment in Ghana. They have a quick fling, and Ty returns back to the states. 

But Ty can't get Patricia off his mind. And Patricia can't get Ty off her mind. 

She tries to push him from her thoughts and work on opening her own business, but then Patricia finds out she's pregnant with Ty's baby. Shocked and surprised, Patricia decides to have the baby and move on with her life. She understands that men always leave, anyway. 

Ty's return reveals a battle of wills as they both battle childhoods that have scarred and built them into what they've become.

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african romance novels

The Seeing Place

By Aziza Eden Walker

A talented actor working as a barman while he waits for his next gig meets a beautiful TV/film producer at his workplace. Thuli, an older, successful woman, starts a passionate relationship with Andile. 

Although both of them are from different social classes, their common love for theater opens them up to sizzling chemistry. 

Keep Reading: The Best Romance Novels by Stacey Abrams, AKA Selena Montgomery