15 of Our Favorite Books on Black Romance [UPDATED]

15 of Our Favorite Books on Black Romance [UPDATED]

With Valentine's Day approaching, we've added even more titles to our list of books all about Black love

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Start Slideshow
Image for article titled 15 of Our Favorite Books on Black Romance [UPDATED]
Photo: wavebreakmedia (Shutterstock)

You may have just put your Christmas decorations away, but Valentine’s Day is almost here. And if you need a little help getting in touch with your romantic side, a good book can help you get there.

Even if you’re someone who usually prefers mystery or thrillers, there’s nothing like a beautiful love story to restore your hope in a happily ever after – or something really close to it. These are some of our favorite books about Black love.

Advertisement
Previous Slide
Next Slide

2 / 20

“Luster” by Raven Leilani

“Luster” by Raven Leilani

Image for article titled 15 of Our Favorite Books on Black Romance [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

“Luster” is a steamy story about a young woman trying to navigate her twenties, who finds herself involved with a middle-aged white man in an open marriage. This book has so many plot twists and turns that you won’t be able to put it down.

Advertisement
Previous Slide
Next Slide

3 / 20

“On Rotation” by Shirlene Obuobi

“On Rotation” by Shirlene Obuobi

Image for article titled 15 of Our Favorite Books on Black Romance [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

Ghanian-American, Angie Appiah is trying to please her parents by getting into medical school and snagging the perfect, successful partner. But when she fails a med school exam and gets dumped by her boyfriend, everything falls apart. As she feels her parents’ disappointment, Angie begins to question everything. On Rotation explores the struggles and expectations of the immigrant experience.

Advertisement
Previous Slide
Next Slide

4 / 20

“Good Morning, Love” by Ashley M. Coleman

“Good Morning, Love” by Ashley M. Coleman

Image for article titled 15 of Our Favorite Books on Black Romance [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

In Good Morning, Love, musician and songwriter Carlisa “Carli” Henton is looking for her big break. But like most aspiring artists, she has to work to cover her New York City rent. Carli thinks she’s got it all figured out until she meets a rising star Tau Anderson who turns her world upside down. If you loved Jasmine Guillory’s While We Were Dating, this book is for you.

Advertisement
Previous Slide
Next Slide

5 / 20

“If Beale Street Could Talk,” by James Baldwin

“If Beale Street Could Talk,” by James Baldwin

Image for article titled 15 of Our Favorite Books on Black Romance [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

James Baldwin’s classic novel, “If Beale Street Could Talk,” is a love story for the ages. It tells the story of Tish, a young woman in love with Fonny, who is also the father of her child. The two are planning to get married, but everything changes when Fonny is falsely accused of a crime. And instead of planning a wedding, their families are desperately trying to clear his name.

Advertisement
Previous Slide
Next Slide

6 / 20

“What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day,” by Pearl Cleage

“What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day,” by Pearl Cleage

Image for article titled 15 of Our Favorite Books on Black Romance [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

In “What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day,” Ava Johnson leaves her life in Atlanta to return to her hometown of Idlewild after her career dreams are shattered. But she gets more than she bargained for as she tries to help her friends and family who need her and finds herself falling in love.

Advertisement
Previous Slide
Next Slide

7 / 20

“The Wedding Date,” by Jasmine Guillory

“The Wedding Date,” by Jasmine Guillory

Image for article titled 15 of Our Favorite Books on Black Romance [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

If you’re looking for a lighthearted rom-com, try “The Wedding Date,” from New York Times bestselling author Jasmine Guillory. When Drew and Alexa get stuck in an elevator together, Alexa agrees to be his plus one at a wedding. But after a night of pretending to be a couple, they can’t deny that something is there. They just have to figure out how to make it work.

Advertisement
Previous Slide
Next Slide

8 / 20

“Their Eyes Were Watching God,” by Zora Neale Hurston

“Their Eyes Were Watching God,” by Zora Neale Hurston

Image for article titled 15 of Our Favorite Books on Black Romance [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

“Their Eyes Were Watching God” is one of Harlem Renaissance writer Zora Neale Hurston’s best-known works and a beautifully written love story. It tells the story of Janie Crawford, a beautiful woman who endures three unsuccessful marriages until she meets Tea Cake, a younger man who allows her to experience true love on her own terms. Zadie Smith called it, “A deeply soulful novel that comprehends love and cruelty, and separates the big people from the small of heart, without ever losing sympathy for those unfortunates who don’t know how to live properly.”

Advertisement
Previous Slide
Next Slide

9 / 20

“Disappearing Acts” by Terry McMillan

“Disappearing Acts” by Terry McMillan

Image for article titled 15 of Our Favorite Books on Black Romance [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

“Disappearing Acts” tells the story of Zora, a teacher and aspiring singer who meets Franklin, a construction worker, while moving into her apartment. And while they fall fast and hard for each other, they have to endure a rocky road to find their happy ending.

Advertisement
Previous Slide
Next Slide

10 / 20

“Honey and Spice” by Bolu Babalola

“Honey and Spice” by Bolu Babalola

Image for article titled 15 of Our Favorite Books on Black Romance [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

“Honey and Spice” is a rom-com about finding love in unexpected places. Kiki Banjo is the host of the popular show on her campus radio station, and she’s out to stop her fellow female students from falling in love with players. But when she gets caught kissing Malakai, a guy she has publicly trashed, her credibility is ruined and she finds her show in danger. But as the two forge a fake relationship to save their reputations, they discover there may be something more.

Advertisement
Previous Slide
Next Slide

11 / 20

“Seven Days in June” by Tia Williams

“Seven Days in June” by Tia Williams

Image for article titled 15 of Our Favorite Books on Black Romance [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

“Seven Days in June” is a sexy love story about two writers getting a second chance at love. Fifteen years after a week-long teenage love affair changed their lives, two writers meet unexpectedly at a literary event. And over the course of seven summer days in New York, they try to see if they have what it takes to sustain a relationship as adults.

Advertisement
Previous Slide
Next Slide

12 / 20

“An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones

“An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones

Image for article titled 15 of Our Favorite Books on Black Romance [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

“An American Marriage” is a touching love story from Tayari Jones and a 2018 Oprah’s Book Club pick. Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are looking forward to their new life together. That is, until their lives are ripped apart when Roy is arrested and sentenced to prison for a crime he insists he didn’t commit. While Celestial tries to keep herself together, she finds herself getting closer to her childhood friend Andre. But when Roy is released, can the two find a way to rekindle the love that brought them together in the first place?

Advertisement
Previous Slide
Next Slide

13 / 20

“Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie

“Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie

Image for article titled 15 of Our Favorite Books on Black Romance [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

“Americanah” is a beautifully written story about love and identity. Ifemelu and Obinze are a young couple looking to leave military-ruled Nigeria for America. But everything doesn’t go according to plans. Ifemelu gets a dose of reality when she is forced to face what it means to be Black in America. Obinze, unable to enter America in a post-9/11 world, is forced to live a dangerous undocumented life in London. But when they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, they rediscover their passion for each other and their home country.

Advertisement
Previous Slide
Next Slide

14 / 20

“The Wedding” by Dorothy West

“The Wedding” by Dorothy West

Image for article titled 15 of Our Favorite Books on Black Romance [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

The Wedding” is the final work by Harlem Renaissance author Dorothy West and a powerful story about race and class. The prominent Coles family is getting ready for their daughter Shelby’s wedding. But instead of marrying someone who is “the right shade” and has “the right job,” she’s about to walk down the aisle with a white jazz musician. And the community is forced to deal with the changing face of their community.

Advertisement
Previous Slide
Next Slide

15 / 20

“The Prophets” by Robert Jones Jr.

“The Prophets” by Robert Jones Jr.

Image for article titled 15 of Our Favorite Books on Black Romance [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

“The Prophets” is a touching work of historical fiction by Robert Jones Jr. It tells the story of Isaiah was Samuel, two enslaved men whose love for one another is threatened when a fellow slave starts preaching the gospel on the plantation and turns the rest of the slaves against their relationship.

Advertisement
Previous Slide
Next Slide

16 / 20

“Love Poems” by Nikki Giovanni

“Love Poems” by Nikki Giovanni

Image for article titled 15 of Our Favorite Books on Black Romance [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

If you’re looking to impress your love with a poem this Valentine’s Day, but can’t come up with anything on your own, look no further than “Love Poems,” a beautiful collection of work written by Nikki Giovanni. Some will make you cry and some will make you blush, but they all will make you want to read them over and over again.

Advertisement
Previous Slide
Next Slide

17 / 20

“Nothing Burns as Bright as You” by Ashley Woodfolk

“Nothing Burns as Bright as You” by Ashley Woodfolk

Image for article titled 15 of Our Favorite Books on Black Romance [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

“Nothing Burns as Bright as You” is a YA romance from bestselling author Ashley Woodfolk. It tells the story of two girls whose friendship evolves into something more. But as they grow closer, the blurry lines become dangerous.

Advertisement
Previous Slide
Next Slide

18 / 20

“Things We Couldn’t Say” by Jay Coles

“Things We Couldn’t Say” by Jay Coles

Image for article titled 15 of Our Favorite Books on Black Romance [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

“Things We Couldn’t Say” is a coming of age story about a teenager who is dealing with his bisexual identity, finding his first love and the return of his mother, who abandoned him and his family when he was nine.

Advertisement
Previous Slide
Next Slide

19 / 20

“Indigo” by Beverly Jenkins

“Indigo” by Beverly Jenkins

Image for article titled 15 of Our Favorite Books on Black Romance [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

“Indigo” tells the story of an escaped slave who becomes a member of the Underground Railroad. When she is asked to help an injured man find his way to safety, their romance develops

Advertisement