Romance by authors of color

Over the past week, there’s been a spirited discussion on Romance Twitter (yes, it’s a thing) about the way the industry and publishers treat authors of color as well as readers of color. Authors told stories about being shunted to “ethnic” imprints, seeing books by white authors featuring characters of color with racist tropes in them, and, in one thoughtless thread, someone asked if people of color even wanted to read or write romance.

If you’re wondering how to find an author of color writing good romance, here are some great recent choices available at the Seattle Public Library:

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A genre reading list for library insiders

Chances are some of you haven’t heard of ALA’s Reading List Council, but trust me on this one: Their annual list of top books in several genres is a book lover’s gem. They pick the best in eight genres — including mystery, science fiction, and adrenaline (read: suspense/heart-thumping-page-turner) for adult readers. Librarians love that the Reading List is selected by readers advisory librarians who offer suggestions for similar titles. Readers love getting a list of genre favorites that includes winners and finalists.

To get you started with your holds, here are the 2018 winners (for books published in 2017). And be sure to check the full Reading List where you’ll find sixty-four (64!) reading recommendations.

Adrenaline

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips
Joan and her four-year-old son, Lincoln, are enjoying an afternoon outing at the zoo when the unthinkable happens–a mass shooting. Trapped and in tremendous danger, Joan must rely on her bravery and survival instincts to make it out alive. This terrifyingly plausible thriller unfolds in real time.

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Second Chance Romance

Everyone has their romance catnip, a trope or plot device that makes it an automatic read for them. One favorite is the rekindled romance with a spouse, often after an estrangement or a marriage by proxy.

In Eloisa James’s The Ugly Duchess, Theo (Theodora) and James have known each other for years, and Theo thought their marriage was one of love. But when she finds that it was purely for her dowry, she escapes London for the Continent, leaving her husband. In response, James leaves as well and sets sail, becoming a notorious pirate. When Theo returns to London, she’s the toast of the Continent—confident in her unusual looks, and distrustful of James. How can he win her back? This is the fourth in James’ fairy tale retellings series. Continue reading “Second Chance Romance”

Fantasy Checklist Challenge: Romantic Fantasy

~posted by Selby G.

Romance novels, by their very nature, are usually not considered great literature. This is not to say that romance novels are not worth reading, but perhaps they should be judged with relaxed criteria. It is no different in the fantasy romance subgenre. Stories abound with sexy witches, shape shifters of all ilk and fairies that fall in love with humans. Here are a few that stand out as being particularly special for one reason or another.

Find Warrior in the SPL catalogWarrior by Zoe Archer is the first in a series of novels with the premise that there are sources of magic in the world that need protecting. The Blades of the Rose are a group who try and keep magical sources out of the hands of the Heirs of Albion. This first book is set mainly in Mongolia and actually had enough cultural information in it that I now want to visit there- minus evil men with magic trying to kill me, of course. If magic and the 1800’s are your thing then this is a great read. Continue reading “Fantasy Checklist Challenge: Romantic Fantasy”

Romance: Until the End of Time by Danielle Steele

– posted by Tinh

Until the End of Time by Danielle Steel

Until the End of Time is an interesting, unbelievably sweet story about the destiny and fate of two different couples, four decades apart.  The strong, deep love between Bill and Jenny stirs in a reader the desire for such perfect love in life.  Bill was a dedicated young lawyer who left everything to become a minister.  Jenny was a successful and talented fashion stylist. Bill met Jenny and fell in love at first sight. He loved everything about her and treated her with such respect, thoughtfulness, support and love that she could not help but returned his love.  The second couple is Robert and Lillibet, whose fates are connected through a book Lillibet had written.  Robert owned a publishing company, and Lillibet’s book caught his attention and he quickly fell in love with her writing.  He was intrigued by Lillibet being an Amish girl and soon fell in love with her even before he met her.  Lillibet’s father opposed her publishing as it violated the Amish rules.  What would she do and what would the couple face? Continue reading “Romance: Until the End of Time by Danielle Steele”