By Collection Management Librarian Dontaná
Nestled in the middle of February’s observance of Black History Month, and the day before Valentine’s Day, Black Love Day is a celebration of love specific to Black people.
Founded in 1993 by Ayo Handy-Kendi, Black Love Day rests upon “5 Loving Acts”: Love for The Creator, Love for Self, Love for the Black Family, Love for the Black Community, and Love for the Black Race. Learn more about Black Love Day »
Start the season of love with novels of romance, coming of age & understanding
American Royalty by Tracey Livesay
Why you should try it: All eyes are on the royals right now, and this romance is sure to satisfy the craving for more royal content.
Description: In this dangerously sexy rom-com that evokes the real-life romance between Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Markle, a prince who wants to live out of the spotlight falls for a daring American rapper who turns his life, and the palace, upside down.
I'm So (Not) Over You by Kosoko Jackson
Why you should try it: We've all answered a call or text from an ex, hoping that they've realized the error of their ways, but they usually haven't. Maybe this time is different?
Description: Kian Andrews hasn't heard from his ex-boyfriend, Hudson Rivers, but an urgent text has them meeting up at a cafe. Maybe Hudson wants to profusely apologize for the breakup. Or confess his undying love... But no, Hudson has a favor to ask—he wants Kian to pretend to be his boyfriend while his parents are in town, and Kian reluctantly agrees. The dinner doesn't go exactly as planned, and suddenly Kian is Hudson's plus-one to Georgia's wedding of the season. But their fake relationship is starting to feel like it might be more than a means to an end, and it's time for both men to fact-check their feelings.
Aphrodite & the Duke by J. J. McAvoy
Why you should try it: If you watched Bridgerton, saw the diversity, but then read the Julia Quinn series and realized it wasn't there, this first in a new series is for you.
Description: A jilted beauty and a regretful duke discover that second chances can be divine in this diverse Regency romance for fans of Bridgerton.
Business Not as Usual by Sharon C. Cooper
Why you should try it: An upbeat workplace romance set in California that is sure to warm the heart.
Description: I am beautiful. I am confident. I am lovable. I am a lottery winner. This is the mantra that will get Dreamy Daniels through each day until she makes it big. Growing up with a father who is an A-list actor and a socialite mother, venture capitalist Karter Redford lives in the world of the rich and famous. Karter is used to his life revolving around work, but when he decides he wants someone to share it with, he falls for someone his mother would never approve of: hilarious, quirky Dreamy. Though it's clear they're from different worlds, their relationship might just be his greatest investment yet.
The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory
Why you should try it: An enemies-to-lovers romance by a queen of Black romance? Yes, please!
Description: Maddie and Theo have two things in common: Alexa is their best friend, and they hate each other. After an "oops, we made a mistake" night together, neither one can stop thinking about the other. With Alexa's wedding rapidly approaching, Maddie and Theo both share bridal party responsibilities that require more interaction than they're comfortable with.
Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
Why you should try it: This is a perennial favorite for its handling of romance, friendship, and mental health.
Description: With her newly completed Ph.D. in astronomy in hand, Grace Porter goes on a girls' trip to Vegas to celebrate. She's a straight-A, work-through-the-summer, certified high achiever. She is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn't know, until she does exactly that.
If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
Why you should try it: This might be a strange addition to this list, but there is a deep and abiding love between Tish and Fonny, and their families, that makes this a classic of literature and love.
Description: When a pregnant Tish's boyfriend Fonny, a sculptor, is wrongfully jailed for the rape of a Puerto Rican woman, their families unite to prove the charge false.
A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole
Why you should try it: If you're still feeling the royal fever, this steamy, engaging romance is the perfect remedy.
Description: Mistaken by his betrothed as a pauper instead of a prince, Prince Thabiso, the sole heir to the throne of Thesolo, decides to keep his real identity a secret as he experiences life and love with Naledi Smith—until the truth comes out, which changes everything.
The Romantic Agenda by Claire Kann
Why you should try it: This is a romance novel with a vested interest in showing a different side of attraction and falling in love.
Description: Joy is in love with Malcolm. Malcolm wants to date Summer. Summer is in love with love. And Fox is Summer's ex-boyfriend. Thirty, flirty, and asexual, Joy is secretly in love with her best friend, Malcolm, but she's never been brave enough to say so. When he unexpectedly announces that he's met the love of his life—and no, it's not Joy—she's heartbroken. Fox sees a kindred spirit in Joy and decides to help her. He proposes they pretend to fall for each other on the weekend trip to make Malcolm jealous. But spending time with Fox shows Joy what it's like to not be the third wheel, and there's no mistaking the way he makes her feel.
Dontaná is a Collection Management Librarian who was born with an unending reading list. She is almost always reading two books simultaneously and is easily distracted by cool covers.