Culture

5 Top Tier Romance Books By Black Authors

If there's anything we are grateful for in the romance genre is the involvement of the black diaspora. Right now, we are getting romance books with deeper depth, plots that we rarely see in books with black characters, and most importantly, characters that won't make us cringe to death.

By Sharon Chidra Jonah

August 30, 2022

5 Top Tier Romance Books By Black Authors

Let's face it, asides the romance genre being the most popular book genre in the world, there's more to it than the 'aww' and heart-swooning moments. Just like there's more to romance than relationships and dates, there are lots to look forward to in romance books and that's why we love it! 


With romance books, there's a deeper connection we form with the characters than in other genres. We are also in love with the depth every story carries as well as the excitement that comes with them— which makes us soak ourselves in our fantasies, daydreaming about our very own Rhett Butler of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind or Daniel Jae Ho of Nicola Yoon's The Sun Is Also A Star.  Beautiful, right? 


Romance books also have the greatest tendency to make our bellies drum with butterflies while we scream into our pillows if the main characters do as much as smile at each other or even better, share special moments. 


If there's anything we are grateful for in the romance genre is the involvement of the black diaspora. Right now, we are getting romance books with deeper depth, plots that we rarely see in books with black characters, and most importantly, characters that won't make us cringe to death. 


If you are new to the romance genre, prepare yourself to be soaked into the world of no return. No seriously, you will get addicted. If you are an avid romance book reader though, I hope your heart hasn't melted completely, there are still more hot and exciting moments to do the job. So, here are 5 top tier romance books by black authors. Get your hearts ready! 

 

The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

Imagine being a wedding planner and getting jilted at the altar on your wedding day, crazy and embarrassing, right? But who doesn't love enemies to lovers' stories? 


At the beginning of the book though, there's a bit of awkwardness in the air but that was gotten rid of quickly and we were enveloped with this calm sweetness between the characters. 


There's so much to love in this book. With just the title , you should be expecting something fun and witty, and that's exactly what you get. Carolina, an afro-Latin woman is just the female lead we need to get us on our toes and saying, 'I want to be just like her.'  That's one thing we love about Carolina, how relatable she is. She has a big family (courtesy of her Brazilian side) and she represents black women when it comes to acceptable behaviour. 


The hero is the sweetest thing to grace this book! Max is calm, patient, and very easy to love. As mentioned earlier, this is a bit of an enemies to lovers’ story, so expect the cutest banter between him and Carolina. 


The Worst Best Man follows the story of wedding planner Carolina Santos, who is left at the altar. Three years later, she has an opportunity to win a dream job. She is assigned a marketing specialist - Max Hartwell, who happens to be the brother of her ex-fiancè. If you're looking for something fun, modern, and fresh, then this book is for you. 


 

Destiny's Embrace by Beverly Jenkins 

Just the synopsis of this book is enough to make my heart beat with anticipation. It's set in the 19th century between Mariah and Logan— a ranch owner and his maid.


If there's any genre that does romance properly, it's the historical genre. With heart-swooning dialogues and beautiful moments, the characters always have a way to swoop us off our feet. And Destiny's Embrace was no different. 


Mariah is a strong female character who is trying to stand her ground in society and get away from the abuse of her mother.  Logan is different from the men Mariah has come across— but not in a good way. He's an argumentative, self-confident, and arrogant man who is used to women falling on his feet. Fortunately for us, Logan didn't realise he was calling for the strong-willed Mariah until he was far gone. 


With Destiny’s Embrace, Jenkins brings readers back to the American West, where Logan Yates, a self-important ranch owner, must confront his feelings for his beautiful, free-spirited housekeeper, Mariah Cooper. While they bicker incessantly, their sexual tension is palpable, and only rises when Mariah's former lover arrives on the scene. Will she accept Logan's heart?


Set in 19th-century California, Destiny's Embrace features unforgettable characters and a satisfying mix of adventure and passion from the nation's premier writer of African-American historical romance.


You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty by Akwaeze Emezi 

Here's a Nigerian romance novel that is in every way different from your everyday Nigerian romance novel. 


This novel will make you dizzy with a rollercoaster of emotions. But let's start with the beautiful title gotten from the lyrics of Florence + The Machine's "Hunger". It says, "How could anything bad happen to you. You made a fool of death with your beauty." Which sums up a bit of the story. It's about the main character, Feyi grieving the loss of her husband who died in a car accident. 


But her journey of self-acceptance and redemption is chaotic, passionate, and not what you are expecting. Many people may have issues with this book because of how controversial and chaotic it is, but I think that's what makes it beautiful. 


You Made A Fool Of Death With Your Beauty, tells the story of Feyi Adekoya, an artist who lost her husband in an accident. It’s been five years, and she still grieves him and hasn’t been on the dating scene until a steamy encounter at a rooftop party cascades into a whirlwind summer she could have never imagined: a luxury trip to a tropical island, decadent meals in the glamorous home of a celebrity chef, and a major curator who wants to launch her art career.  She starts to date this perfect guy, but this new life she asked for isn’t all that it seems. With honouring her past, and wanting to feel alive again, how far can Feyi go for a second chance at love?


Americanah by Chimamanda Adichie 

One of the many things I love about this book is the representation of Nigerian culture and literature internationally. It tells the story of love, race, and self-reflection. And if there's anything Adichie made sure she passed across with this amazing romance novel of hers is that it's more than a love story. While the love Obinze and Ifemelu shared is attractive and beautiful to witness, we were also pulled into the theme of race. Adichie somehow made hair an issue and topic of discussion, and she had the right points to back her arguments up. So there are three things you should take away from this book; proper romance, race/hair, and self-reflection— because that's another beautiful part of the book.


Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria and reignite their passion—for each other and their homeland


Honey and Spice by Bolu Babalola

If you love enemies to lovers characters or even better, fake dating tropes, this book is something that you will hold dear to your heart! 


Everything about this book spelt 'proper romance'. It's something you would want to give to your partner to read and say, 'this is what I want. This is the romance I need.' Kiki and Malakai had amazing chemistry that will make you crave more moments with them together. The love they shared is something romance genre readers are on the lookout for raw, passionate, and sweet. If you'd love to get in your feelings, then you need this book. 


Sharp-tongued (and secretly soft-hearted) Kiki Banjo has just made a huge mistake. As an expert in relationship-evasion and the host of the popular student radio show Brown Sugar, she’s made it her mission to make sure the women of the African-Caribbean Society at Whitewell University do not fall into the mess of “situationships”, players, and heartbreak. But when the Queen of the Unbothered kisses Malakai Korede, the guy she just publicly denounced as “The Wastemen of Whitewell,” in front of every Blackwellian on campus, she finds her show on the brink.


They’re soon embroiled in a fake relationship to try and salvage their reputations and save their futures. Kiki has never surrendered her heart before, and a player like Malakai won’t be the one to change that, no matter how charming he is or how electric their connection feels. But surprisingly entertaining study sessions and intimate, late-night talks at old-fashioned diners force Kiki to look beyond her presumptions. Is she ready to open herself up to something deeper?