Books

7 Black Romance Novels That Celebrate Black Joy

It’s Black History Month and also the month of Valentine’s Day, so it’s the perfect time to pick up some romance books by Black authors! Too often, non-Black readers only add Black authors to their TBR during Black History Month, and those books are usually about the struggles of racism. Those are important to read, but there is so much more to Black literature than just those stories. These romance novels celebrate Black joy, and they’re a perfect pick for not just your February TBR but any time of year.

Let me know in the comments which romance books by Black authors you’ve read and loved! As always, Read Harder paid subscribers get access to the full list, as well as community features like commenting. Sign up to get recommendations for the Read Harder Challenge tasks as well as to keep up to date with other interesting reading challenges around the bookish internet.

Without further ado, here are seven romances to read this month that celebrate Black joy!

cover of Destiny's Embrace by Beverly Jenkins; photo of a Black woman and man in an embrace in a field of flowers

Destiny’s Embrace by Beverly Jenkins

You can’t talk about Black romance novels without mentioning the queen, Beverly Jenkins. There are so many books in her catalogue to choose from, but if you want to get started with one of her series, a good option is Destiny’s Embrace, the first book in a historical romance series that follows three sons of a rancher who find love in 19th-century California. This one stars Logan, who butts heads with the housekeeper, Mariah, until that animosity turns into a whole different kind of heat.

Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole Book Cover

Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole

Likotsi and Fabiola had a whirlwind love affair last time Likotsi was in town…until Fab broke it off without any explanation. When they meet again on the subway, Fab asks Likotsi to join her for tea, and Likotsi, looking for an explanation for what went wrong between them, agrees. What follows is a romantic night that takes them around the city while Fabiola slowly shares what’s been happening in her life that came between them. This charming second-chance romance is a novella, so it’s a quick read!

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