This special adults-only booklist celebrating the diversity of romance authors and novels, which usually don’t get mainstream attention. Our list represents different subgenres, races, sexual orientations, and abilities. It is still a work in progress, so if you have any recommendations to add this list, please email email@example.com.
Reference: M/M means two men in a relationship, and UF means Urban Fantasy
Beverly Jenkins is the acknowledged Queen here (lifetime achievement awards and everything) Vivid and Tempest are the most commonly recommended of the two. @authorMsBev loves to dive into her research, and her books will take you into parts of American history you never knew existed.
Alyssa Cole: Civil War espionage set interracial romances An Extraordinary Union and A Hope Divided
Lydia San Andres: historical romances set on the fictional island in the Spanish Caribbean (Dominican Own Voices) ~ the early 1900s
Cat Sebastian: M/M Regency period romances with series and standalones. Highly rated.
Jennie Lin’s The Lotus Palace and The Jade Temptress: Mystery suspense romances set in China c. 800 A.D.
Courtney Milan: Romances set in England in the 1860s written by a former lawyer (and Supreme Court Clerk) so a great deal of attention is paid to the laws and changes happening at the time.
Nalini Singh: PsyChangeling Series is epic
Alyssa Cole’s Off the Grid series: post-apocalyptic romance (interracial and m/m representation)
Ilona Andrew’s Kat Daniels series features a post-apocalyptic Atlanta where Magic is taking over from tech and Kat Daniels is a mercenary with a very interesting backstory to follow over a 10 book arc. Hidden Legacy series is a parallel reality where magic is the currency and the Baylor Detective agency is a small fish in a very big pond looking for answers.
The Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test by Helen Hoang. Both feature multigenerational Vietnamese American families and love interests with Autism.
Alyssa Cole is the author of the Reluctant Royals series – 5+stars!
Penny Reid’s Knitting in the City and Winston Brothers series for the nerd/ knitter reader
“Tikka Chance on Me” Suleikha Snyder novella with bad boy/good girl return to small town trope. Fabulous.
Nalini Singh is the author of the Hard Play Series set in New Zealand
Terry McMillan is known for writing books with strong black female protagonists. She is best known for her books Waiting To Exhale, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and Disappearing Acts.
Zane is a leading black erotica author. She has written over a dozen books, including Afterburn and The Other Side of the Pillow.
E. Lynn Harris was an openly gay author who depicted the lives of gay and bisexual black men in his many New York Times bestsellers. Two recommended books are Not a Day Goes By and Just As I Am.
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