If you read romance and are active on Twitter, odds are you’ve heard a LOT about the struggles of diverse writers of romance. I actually have just recently become more active on Twitter, and this conversation is part of the reason.
Naima Simone wrote a very well-worded (and eye-opening) article about “Sales in the Diverse Books Movement“. She draws some good attention to the comparison of sales for two of her books in the same series, one with a black cover model and the other with a white one. I was double interested in this article because just yesterday I bought the first book, Scoring With the Wrong Twin, because of a tweet Jenny Holiday posted a series of tweetsthat included a few diverse reads she’s starting with to diversify her reading experience.
One thing I really appreciate about the article by Naima Simone is that she gives the reader a list of some authors to check out as a starting point to diversify your romance reading list, which I’ve included below. I’ve linked to each author’s Amazon page in the below list to make it easy for you to check them out. 😉 I’ve also noted if I’ve got any personal experience with reading any of these authors’ works. I think the only way we’re going to change the romance industry is for readers to “put your money where your mouth is,” so I’m committing to reading at least 1 book each month by one of the below authors (or author or color not on this list), as well as making an effort to request ARCs by diverse authors from Edelweiss and NetGalley. I’m always a little leery of indie publishers because I’ve read some real stinkers (poorly written, poorly edited) so I tend to avoid them, but I see now that by doing that I’m likely missing out on some great reads as well!
If you have a great book or author you’d like to recommend, please let me know in the comments!
To help point us all in the right direction, here are a few authors of color and/or authors who write books with diverse characters that need your support:
- Nalini Singh
- Robin Covington
- Kit Rocha
- Sabrina Sol
- Alisha Rai I just bought Hurts to Love You and can’t wait to read it! I’m a sucker for brother’s best friend trope…
- Pintip Dunn
- Vanessa Riley
- Reese Ryan
- Alyssa Cole I rated A Princess in Theory 4 stars and really enjoyed it! You can read the review here. Bonus points for diversity in romance AND women in STEM!
- Beverly Jenkins I recently purchased Breathless, Forbidden, and Night Hawk by Ms. Jenkins, so watch for reviews of these books on my blog soon.
- Tif Marcelo
- Caridad Pineiro
- Berta Platas
- Julia Amante
- Tracey Livesay
- Melia Alexander Had to buy Driven to Temptation when I was looking up this author. Had to. Oh, Amazon 1-click, you get me into so much trouble…
- Theodora Taylor
- Stacy Reid Hooray for historical romances!
A few other of my own additions to Naima’s list:
- Naima Simone herself. I’m looking forward to reading Scoring With the Wrong Twin
- Courtney Milan I loved The Countess Conspiracy, and look forward to reading more of her work. Historical ladies in STEM, yay!
- Sherry Thomas More historical romances, my romance subgenre of choice 🙂
- Alexis Daria Take the Lead looks especially interesting to me
- Ines Bautista-Yao
Remember to let me know in the comments if you have some more romance authors of color to recommend!
9 thoughts on “Discussion: Diversity in Romance”
I am listening to A Princess in Theory right now, and I love Ledi! So far, it's tons of fun. I have two Tif Marcelo books too, because they have been lauded by bloggers I look to for romance recs. I have enjoyed books by Kennedy Ryan, and her new book (which I must get), Long Shot, is getting a ton of great buzz. I also really enjoyed Jasmine Guillory's debut, and am excited about her next book.
I don't read much romance, but I just read the article by Naima Simone, and it really was an eye-opener. I think it's awesome though that both you and her are spreading the word about some diverse authors people can support though! 🙂
Thanks for the comment and for the recommendations, Sam! I will definitely have to check those authors out. I have a copy of The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory sitting on my TBR shelf that I really need to read.
Thanks for your comment, Laura. 🙂 I was a little hesitant to post this because I don't want to be yet another white girl totally missing the point, so hopefully I got it right. I love discovering authors that are new to me!
I definitely think think that we need more diversity in romance. But not just with POC. We also need to see more characters that are on the autism spectrum, and who have chronic illnesses! Thanks for the list, I'll have to check out some of those authors. 🙂
I agree completely, Anna! I recently bought A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert which has a black heroine in the autism spectrum. I'm also holding out hope that the third book in Debbie Burns' Rescue Me series will have Patrick as the leading man – an awesome side character with Asperger's from the previous books.
You bring up a good point. Of course readers want diversity in their romance books too. I don't read much romance, but I might if they had some diversity in them as well. Thanks for sharing this!
I liked Lydia San Andreas' books too. They are historicals set on a fictional Caribbean island. K.J. Charles wrote a great m/m series featuring an Indian lead. I've decided recently to only read romances recommended by people on Twitter. Left to my own devices I pick horrible books.
I don't read a ton of (strictly) romance, but I definitely agree with the idea of diversifying my reading. The only one of these authors that I've read is Pintip Dunn—I've loved her books!Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction