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14 Black Romance Authors You've Been Missing Out On

If you haven't been reading these authors, you've been missing out on a lot of romance.

cover of destiny's embrace, by black romance author beverly jenkins

Because the romance industry is dominated by white authors, Black romance authors don’t always get the attention they deserve. And that's unfair to both those authors and romance readers. With romances that span from the sweeping frontiers of the American West to the crowded Twitter screens of today’s digital world, these Black authors have all the love stories you need. 

What is the Black romance genre?

Black romance books are exactly what they sound like: romance novels with Black leading characters. There are Black romance novels for every kind of romance reader, from historical to contemporary to suspense.

Read through the authors spotlighted below to see what books you should be adding to your list.

Deborah Fletcher Mello

The Sweetest Thing

The Sweetest Thing

By Deborah Fletcher Mello

Throughout her writing career, Deborah Fletcher Mello has received continued praise for her romances. Starting off writing stand alone romances, Fletcher Mello later dove into writing series, like The Stallion Brothers, Sultry Southern Nights, and Bad Boys of Boulder

With rich romances, RT Book Reviews refers to Fletcher Mello as "an author who consistently delivers a strong story, complex characters and scorching love scenes."

In Fletcher Mello’s novel The Sweetest Thing, the first in her Just Deserts series, Quentin Elliott, a pastry chef, finds the future of his beloved bakery up in the air after his boss unexpectedly dies. Unbeknownst to Quentin, his boss has left the bakery to his estranged and stunningly gorgeous daughter, Harper. Though Harper wants to sell the bakery off, she begins to rethink her plans as she falls undeniably for Quentin. But, when others move in to compete for Harper’s affection and her bakery, nothing is for certain.

32 Candles

32 Candles

By Ernessa T. Carter

A fun, fresh romantic comedy inspired by the classic 80s rom com Sixteen Candles, this black romance follows the lovable Davie Jones, who just might get the guy of her dreams if she doesn't manage to screw everything up.

Between Friends

Between Friends

By Sandra Kitt

Half Black, half white, Dallas Oliver has never felt like she belonged. Her only refuge is an unexpected friendship with a white woman, Valerie Holland. But when Dallas and Valerie fall for the same guy, will their friendship survive?

Alyssa Cole

An Extraordinary Union

An Extraordinary Union

By Alyssa Cole

As writer of historical, contemporary, and sci-fi romances, Alyssa Cole does it all. Her novels include series like The Reluctant Royals and Off the Grid , as well as stand alone books, like The AI Who Loved Me, voiced on Audible by stars Regina Hall and Mindy Kaling.

The first novel in Cole’s famous The Loyal League series, An Extraordinary Union, tells the story of two Civil War spies whose paths become entangled.

Elle Burns, a former slave, leaves her freedom in Massachusetts to spy for the Union army. Driven by her belief in justice and equipped with her special abilities of memory, Elle works against the Confederacy in what has the potential to change the course of the Civil War. 

However, Elle is not the only spy working to do so. Malcolm McCall, a private detective, is assigned a near-impossible mission infiltrating a band of rebels. In an unlikely turn of events, the two are brought together in a fiery and forbidden attraction, only to find their love, their mission, and the prospects of the Civil War on the line. 

Mary Monroe

black romance novels cover image of god don't cry ugly by mary monroe

God Don’t Like Ugly

By Mary Monroe

Born to sharecroppers and the only member of her family to finish high school, Mary Monroe went on to become a self-taught and widely celebrated novelist. 

She published her first novel, The Upper Room, without a college education or the help of writing classes. While The Upper Room was well received, Monroe had to overcome fifteen years of rejection letters before her second novel, God Don’t Like Ugly, was published.

Her hard work over the years earned her many awards, a New York Times bestseller, and honors like the Maya Angelou Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Monroe’s novel God Don’t Like Ugly became one of her most famous. Referred to by Publishers Weekly as "a coming-of-age journey depicted with wit, poignancy and bite," God Don’t Like Ugly tells the story of Annette Goode, a shy, overweight, and frightened child, burdened by a terrible secret. However, upon being befriended by Rhoda Nelson, Annette finds hope coming back to her life. 

With entirely human characters and a deeply moving plot, Monroe’s God Don’t Like Ugly is the basis for other novels with the same characters, setting you up well with some more books to add to your reading list once you finish.

Shelly Ellis

Can't Stand the Heat

Can't Stand the Heat

By Shelly Ellis

When she was only nineteen, Shelly Ellis began what would later become her career in fiction after becoming a finalist in the BET Books First-Time Writers Contest. Ellis went on to earn nominations for the African American Literary Award, the RT Reviewer's Choice Multicultural Romance Award, and the NAACP Image Award.

Ellis’ acclaimed Gibbons Gold Diggers series begins with Can't Stand the Heat. In the rollercoaster romance, Lauren Gibbons, the third generation in a family of gold-diggers, hopes to break away from her family’s tradition of seduction. But Lauren quickly finds that the past isn’t so easy to escape. Even with a hot, former NFL star by her side, Lauren has to overcome her small town’s rumors, her vengeful ex, and her family’s conniving ways if she wants to find true love.

Zuri Day

Driving Heat

Driving Heat

By Zuri Day

Having written twenty-seven novels and two novellas, Zuri Day has become an expert in crafting a perfect happy ending. From blue collar to boardroom romances, Day’s many series include Sin City Secrets, The Drakes of California, and The Morgan Men

Day’s Blue Collar Lovers trilogy centers on the five attractive and upstanding Carter brothers as they look for love. 

In the first of the trilogy, Driving Heat, oldest brother and single-father Byron runs into successful and career-driven Cynthia. Although he is immediately struck by her beauty, he is not surprised when she overlooks him due to his job as a bus driver. But when the two cross paths again, Cynthia begins to see Byron in a new light.



By Erica Simone Turnipseed

Thirtysomething Noire and her ex, Innocent, are each having early midlife crises. They've both been around the world, but can only find solace in sharing a bed. Perhaps that is where they truly belong.

Beverly Jenkins

image of the cover of Destiny's Embrace by Beverly Jenkins

Destiny’s Embrace

By Beverly Jenkins

Beginning her career in the 1980s and 90s, Beverly Jenkins had to overcome the discrimination and expectations of the almost exclusively white publishing world. However, after the release of her 1994 novel Night Song and her 48 novels that followed, Jenkins established herself as a top romance writer. 

Her work has earned her many accolades including, a RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award and a nomination for the NAACP Image Award.

Beverly Jenkin’s well-known novel Destiny’s Embrace, the first in her Destiny trilogy, takes place in the American West. The story follows Logan Yates, a nineteenth century ranch owner, as he falls for his beautiful housekeeper Mariah Cooper. As the tension between the two builds, Mariah’s old lover arrives, complicating what is already a passionate, contentious, and adventurous romance. 

Jasmine Guillory

black romance novels cover image of the wedding date by jasmine guillory

The Wedding Date

By Jasmine Guillory

Jasmine Guillory started her career as a lawyer, graduating from Stanford Law School before becoming a romance writer. Once finding her niche as an adult romance writer, she took off. 

Her novel The Proposal became a New York Times bestseller, and her work has appeared everywhere from The Oprah Magazine and Reese Witherspoon’s book club picks to Cosmopolitan and Time

Her fun and light-hearted first novel, The Wedding Date, shows how coincidence can bring two people together. After Alexa Monroe and Drew Nichols become trapped in a hotel elevator, Drew convinces Alexa to pretend to be his girlfriend at the wedding he is about to attend. However, pretending quickly becomes something more as the two become involved in a long distance relationship.

Brenda Jackson

black romance novels cover image of truly everlasting by brenda jackson

Truly Everlasting

By Brenda Jackson

Brenda Jackson has long been breaking ground with her romance novels. She was the first African-American romance author to appear on the New York Times and USA Today’s bestseller’s lists for series romances, and has earned honors that include a nomination for the NAACP Image Award, a 

RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award and an RT Magazine Pioneer Award in Writing. 

Jackson has had her novels produced into movies, has made her own publishing company, and has even created her own app. And with more than 125 novels and novellas, you can always keep coming back to find a new Brenda Jackson romance. 

In Jackson’s romance Truly Everlasting, part of her Madaris Family series and once featured as a romance movie on Netflix, young Austin’s only Christmas wish is for a Daddy. When his mother, Felicia Madaris sets out to make her son’s wish a reality, she finds that her wishes might come true too.

Farrah Rochon

black romance novels cover image of the boyfriend project by farrah rochon

The Boyfriend Project

By Farrah Rochon

Writing between her courses while in school, Farrah Rochon always wanted to be an author. She realized this dream in 2007 with the publishing of her first book, Deliver Me. Since then she has written multiple series, including the Holmes Brothers, New York Sabers, and Bayou Dreams

Rochon’s most recent novel, The Boyfriend Project, has been widely praised by authors like Kwana Jackson and Priscilla Oliveras. 

In The Boyfriend Project, Samiah Brooks finds out by a live tweet that her boyfriend has not just one—but two!—other girlfriends. After going viral online, the three girlfriends pledge to focus on themselves and take a break from men. However, just as they do, Samiah meets gorgeous Daniel Collins and is left to figure out whether he might just be too good to be true.

Talia Hibbert

black romance novels cover image of get a life chloe brown by talia hibbert

Get a Life Chloe Brown

By Talia Hibbert

Talia Hibbert is a British author focused on giving honest and positive representation to people of marginalized identities. Hibbert has written both stand alone novels and series like Just For Him, Ravenswood, and most recently, The Brown Sisters

Hibbert’s latest romantic comedy in The Brown Sisters series, Get a Life Chloe Brown, centers on constant planner and chronically-ill computer geek Chloe Brown. After a near death experience, Chloe decides she must live a little more. With a neat list on how to do just that, Chloe seeks the help of her bad-boy neighbor Redford ‘Red’ Morgan. Though Chloe hopes Red will teach her to rebel, she quickly finds herself learning instead about him—and what’s underneath his tough exterior.



By Kim Cash Tate

This Christian Black romance follows Cydney Sanders, a woman who had a plan that went nowhere. At 40, she thought she'd already have a husband and children, but all she has is a bridesmaid's dress for her younger sister's wedding.

Still, things seem to be looking up when she meets the best man. He's the opposite of what she thought she wanted, but he's very good at wooing her. But then Cydney meets the Christian man of her dreams, and she's faced with the biggest choice of her life.

Keep Reading: 9 African Romance Novels You Should Read 

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