In all genres, but especially romance, it is so valuable to recognize the important work that is being done by minorities within the field to pave the way for some very much needed representation that has been sorely lacking! These six Black authors are proving that romance is just as an important a genre as any with all they’ve written! So, keep reading now to learn all about the trailblazers that are lighting up the romance shelves!
1. Talia Hibbert
Talia Hibber, author of Get A Life, Chloe Brown, A Girl Like Her and The Princess Trap, is a New York Times Bestselling Author. As a British romance novelist, she focuses on writing novels with a plethora of diversity when it comes to their lead characters. Her books often contain women of varying body types, backgrounds, ethnicities and sexual orientations, with many of them in particular being Black women!
Hibber’s writing is evocative and emotional –– her stories are often poignant and carry deep messages. In a genre like romance, where the marganialized are often left out of the conversation and fail to see themselves represented, Hibber breaks barriers by showing that anyone can fall in love! It does not matter if her protagonist is Autistic, has depression, or lives with chronic pain –– all representation you can find in her works! –– Hibber shows that there is room for love in anyone’s life!
2. Alexa Martin
Alexa Martin is best known for her Playbook Series, which she cites as having been inspired by her adolescence growing up in Nashville, Tennessee. Her love of Dolly Parton and her history as being an ‘NFL wife’ gave her the experience to write the beloved series, which focuses on the sexual and romantic lives of various football players and the women they love. Fumbled, in particular, is well worth giving a read, as it features a single mother and a story of high-school sweethearts reuniting!
Martin’s work has been described as “funny, touching and sparking with power” and her novels have been listed on NPR’s Best Books of 2019! It’s easy to see the author puts so much of her own passion and love for the genre within her writing, which makes every book by her a delightful and sensual read to indulge in.
3. Jasmine Guillory
Jasmine Guillory graduated from Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, but grew up in Oakland, California. As a former law student at Stanford, this impressive and incredible writer has published several well received romance novels. Her first big hit was The Wedding Date, which was written during National November Writing Month, a story about fake dating and falling for people in unexpected places! However, writing proved to be a newfound love, as she’s since published seven other novels, including While We Were Dating and Drunk in Love!
Guillory has been described by Vogue as being: “the undisputed queen of the modern-day romance.” Such claims are hardly unsubstantiated, as Guillory’s novels are full of heart and have all aged very well as a representation of romance in the current world. Whether or not she’s the “queen of romance”, it is easy to see that her skill and natural talent as a writer makes her a force within the genre!
4. Farrah Rochon
Farrah Rochon is a south Louisiana native and author to NYT bestselling novels such as The Hookup Plan and The Boyfriend Project. She started her writing career in between classes taken at Xavier University, where she graduated with a BS. After earning herself an MA from Southeastern Louisiana University, she decided to begin focusing solely on her writing and to finally accomplish her lifelong dream of becoming published!
Rochon’s novels are not all rooted in the romance genre, but she is best known for them! Her series, the Backlist (Deliver Me and Huddle With Me Tonight), focuses on two overarching plot lines. The first, the Holmes brothers and the second, the New York Sabers. Rochon’s writing is rich and flavorful, full of epic romance and characters with tons of personality. If you find yourself overwhelmed on where to start, consider her standalone novels, A Mistletoe Affair and Runaway Attraction!
5. Kennedy Ryan
Not only is the author of Before I Let Go and The King Maker an awe-inspiring author, Kennedy Ryan also works as the founder and executive director of an Atlanta-based charity serving to help families living with Autism. Now here’s a writer who can really do it all! As a RITA® award winner and a Top 25 Amazon bestseller, Ryan’s writing is a fair indication of all the praise she’s rightfully earned.
Focusing on romances that depict women from all walks of life, readers can expect to find all kinds of well-written representation within her books. Ryan’s series, Hoops, is especially regarded in high-esteem; steamy and achingly romantic, it’s filled with the kind of love one only wishes could be easily found in the real world!
6. Whitney D. Grandison
Unfortunately, not too much is known about Whitney D. Grandison outside of her massively successful Wattpad account (where she’s amassed over 30,000 followers) and her published works. Her first novel, A Love Hate Thing, was published in 2020 (a feat in and of itself) and told the story of Tyson Trice, a Black man who has survived being shot and is still recovering from the emotional fallout when he meets Nandy Smith. It’s a love story that will keep you riveted, and may even tug forth a tear or two.
Grandison’s second novel was published more recently, in 2021, and is titled The Right Side of Reckless. While there are no plans yet for a third novel, we hope there will be more on the horizon. Grandison’s sense of characterization and youthful writing makes her a YA romance star-hitter as far as we’re concerned. We can’t wait to see more of her work in the future!
For more incredible BHM representation, click here!