Valentine’s day is the perfect time to celebrate romance and sexuality in books! It’s a time to spread love and highlight different types of couples and people in love. Additionally, with Valentine’s Day being during the same month as Black History Month, we can appreciate black romance as well. So, in honor of Valentine’s Day, Black History Month, and just sharing diverse stories with diverse characters, here are some of the best Black Queer Romance Books that you should check out this Valentine’s Day!
1. André by Jayce Ellis
In this steamy novel, André Ellison, who is at a critical point in his career leading a big project at work, decides to take a night off and head to the club. There is where he meets Marcus Tompson, who has a bright future ahead of him and could care less about working on a “small-time” report at a two-bit firm. After meeting at the club, the two engage in a night of passion, unknowingly to them, André is Marcus’ new boss. After their steamy night, they have to work side by side professionally until the project is over, meaning no kissing, no touching, and no sex, despite their growing attraction to one another.
This book tells a queer a steamy tale perfect for Valentine’s Day. Not only is this novel perfect for queer and black representation in books, but it is also going to satisfy your hunger for romance this holiday season! Additionally, according to a Goodreads review, “it is very relatable as a person of color.” So, if you are a person of color looking for more relatable books or just looking for something more diverse in the M/M romance genre, this book is perfect for you!
2. Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole
This second-chance love story, follows Likotsi and Fabiola, two women who met on a dating app but whose relationship ended in heartbreak. Likotsi just returned to New York City and is determined to rediscover her joy when she reunites with Fabiola. After Fabiola asks Likotsi out to tea, Likotsi agrees, hoping to find out why she was dumped, and they end up spending the day in the city together. Fabiola slowly starts to reveal why she let Likotsi go and they both wonder if they can make this second chance work.
This book is a novella in a larger series, Reluctant Royals, by Alyssa Cole which you can also check out. This F/F is perfect for warming your heart this Valentine’s Day. It is inspiring and shows that sometimes it is all about the right time and right place. You’ll always find yourself connecting with the right person for you and this novella tells this story with diverse characters and queer romance. What’s not to love?
3. Bound to Liberty by Kiru Taye
Bound to Liberty is a book apart of the Bound Series by Kiru Taye. It follows James Cooker who has not had the easiest life. Rejected and nearly killed by his family, he is also a closeted gay man in a country where being out is dangerous. And, to make matters worse, the first man he ever loved is engaged to a woman. So, James decided to engage in a holiday fling with Ethan Eze. Ethan, who has had a life the complete opposite of James, is not afraid to go for what he wants. Born in the land of the free with a loving, nurturing, family and a military vet, Ethan has never let anything stop him and when he sees James, he knows he wants him. As desire soon turns into devotion between the two, James is not ready to lose his heart again and Ethan has to decide if he’s willing to fight for love.
This book is one of the more serious on this list. It deals with more serious issues such as being closeted and fearing coming out which is a reality for many queer people. The contrast between James’ and Ethan’s lives really shows how two people can have the same identities and still experience such different lives depending on their environment. This is a read that brings the romance aspect for Valentine’s Day and also highlights really important struggles faced by members of the LGBTQ+ community while also bringing diversity perfect for Black History Month.
4. Neighborly by Katrina Jackson
Katrina Jackson truly highlights an experience of exploring one’s sexuality in this erotic novel. Neighborly follows Heaven and her boyfriend Calvin, an amateur boxer who she’s deeply in love with, as they move to a new town renting a duplex and preparing to start their lives together. Their neighbors, Tasha and Stephen, have a great life a well. They go to work and come home to a life of perfect domestic bliss where Stephen cooks and Tasha does the dishes. However, when Tasha and Katrina develop an attraction for each other, they have to decide what they must do especially when the walls between their bedrooms are paper-thin and their partners just want them to be happy.
This F/F novel will give you that erotica you may be looking for this Valentine’s Day. Whether you are single or just looking for something spicy to read, this book is perfect for you and has the diversity that many of us are looking for in the book world with a unique relationship we often don’t see.
5. In His Corner by Christa Tomlinson
Two best friends are put to the real test when their relationship evolves into something more. In His Corner is about Tré Montgomery and Brandon Wilkes, a professional wrestling team. Tré loves working with Brandon but craves more from his partner yet conceals his feelings for fear of damaging not only their friendship but his career as well. Brandon loves connecting with an audience but cannot seem to truly connect with the only man he wants, Tré. After trying to be subtle with Tré and drop hints about his feelings, Brandon makes a decision that threatens the men’s relationship. If they want to keep from being torn apart, both men must learn to bring the confidence from the ring into their private life and go after what they really want.
This book is romantic and fun as you get to see these characters navigate their relationship and attempt to take it to the next level. It is a trope we see all the time with friends to lovers and the frustrating miscommunication but that’s what makes it more fun and perfect for Valentine’s Day!
I genuinely believe there’s something for every romance lover on this list looking for a queer story this Valentine’s Day. And even better, it features queer black couples! However, this is not an extensive list (as it only features cis-gendered couples) and I encourage everybody to engage in more diverse stories from Black and other POC authors this month and all year round!