One of the book displays on the first floor of the library right now is on diverse romance novels, and it’s pretty amazing to see the variety of covers on there! Of course you have your books that are just some model’s shirtless torso – but romance novels are a lot wider than that, too! We see a lot of popular romance books here at the library with protagonists and love interests of different races, sizes, orientations, so I wanted to highlight some of them here!
A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev
This book is not Sonali Dev’s latest, but a little older (2016) – which is great, because it means that if you like it, you have a bunch more books by her just waiting for you!
Mili Rathod hasn’t seen her husband in twenty years—not since she was promised to him at the age of four. Yet marriage has allowed Mili a freedom rarely given to girls in her village. Her grandmother has even allowed her to leave India and study in America, all to make her the perfect modern wife. Which is exactly what Mili longs to be—if her husband would just come and claim her.
Bollywood’s favorite director, Samir Rathod, has come to Michigan to secure a divorce for his older brother. Persuading a naïve village girl to sign the papers should be easy for someone with Samir’s tabloid-famous charm. But Mili is neither a fool nor a gold-digger. And before he can stop himself, Samir is immersed in Mili’s life—cooking her dal and rotis, escorting her to her roommate’s elaborate Indian wedding, and wondering where his loyalties and happiness lie.
Heartfelt, witty, and thoroughly engaging, Sonali Dev’s novel is both a vivid exploration of modern India and a deeply honest story of love, in all its diversity.
Rebel by Beverly Jenkins
Beverly Jenkins is a very popular author of historical romances, and this is the start of a new series for her: Women Who Dare. The second book came out earlier this year (Wild Rain), but why not start here? (Although it’s worth noting that they follow separate characters, so there’s not really a need to read them in order).
Valinda Lacey’s mission in the steamy heart of New Orleans is to help the newly emancipated community survive and flourish. But soon she discovers that here, freedom can also mean danger. When thugs destroy the school she has set up and then target her, Valinda runs for her life—and straight into the arms of Captain Drake LeVeq.
As an architect from an old New Orleans family, Drake has a deeply personal interest in rebuilding the city. Raised by strong women, he recognizes Valinda’s determination. And he can’t stop admiring—or wanting—her. But when Valinda’s father demands she return home to marry a man she doesn’t love, her daring rebellion draws Drake into an irresistible intrigue.
Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall
What is it about English authors and romantic comedies? Or humor in general? All the raves I’ve heard about this book focus on just how funny and joyful it is, and that feels like exactly the right kind of book for November.
When tangentially—and reluctantly—famous Luc O’Donnell is forced back into the spotlight in the worst possible way, he has to think fast if he wants to save his floundering reputation. Enter Oliver Blackwood. Stunningly handsome and effortlessly put together, Oliver is successful, an ethical vegetarian, and has never appeared in a scandal mag even once. In other words, he’s perfect boyfriend material and exactly what Luc needs to appear respectable again. But when their fake relationship starts to feel like real romance, Luc and Oliver might have to consider whether they’re willing to fight for the truth of their new relationship…scandal, and consequences, be damned.
Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Hibbert, Talia
This is another one that’s the start of a series; in this case, each book is focusing on a different one of the Brown sisters. You can start here, with the first one; there are also two more currently out, 2020’s Take a Hint, Dani Brown and 2021’s Act Your Age, Eve Brown.
Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?
- Enjoy a drunken night out.
- Ride a motorcycle.
- Go camping.
- Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
- Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
- And… do something bad.
But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.
Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.
But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior.