20 Black Romance Books That Celebrate Black Love

In this book list, I am spotlighting several black romance books that celebrate black love. These books feature amazing black characters written by some of my favorite black romance authors and you should devour every single one!

So whether you like contemporary, paranormal, young adult, or LBGTQ+ romance novels, there’s something for everyone with these recommended black romance books.

Episode 39: Best Black Romance Books That Celebrate Black Love

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My Favorite Black Love Romance Books

Seven Days in June is one of the best black romance books that celebrate black love. Find more black romance books on the list from She Reads Romance Books.

Seven Days in June
by Tia Williams

When Eva Mercy, a single mother and bestselling erotica writer, and the enigmatic, award-winning novelist Shane Hall meet at a literary event in New York, sparks fly. But what no one knows is that fifteen years earlier, teenage Eva and Shane spent one week together, madly in love. While they may pretend to be strangers, they can’t deny their chemistry.

Over the next seven days, amidst a steamy Brooklyn summer, Eva and Shane reconnect. But Eva is wary of the man who broke her heart and wants Shane out of the city so her life can return to normal. Before he disappears, though, she needs a few questions answered.

Why I Loved This Black Love Romance Book: This was my first book by Tia Williams and I found the writing fabulous and the characters amazing. The use of flashbacks really added to their connection but kept the current storyline flowing. I also loved the fact that both were writers and had their respective mental and physical struggles that they carried but ultimately found their way back to one another.

Related: Best Book Club Books

Upsy Daisy is one of the best black romance books that celebrate black love. Find more black romance books on the list from She Reads Romance Books.

Upsy Daisy
by Chelsie Edwards

College, cookies, capers, Oh my! Daisy Payton has everything. Exceptional grades. Impeccable clothes. Model family. But perfection comes at a high cost, and Daisy is wilting. Determined to use college as her chance to bloom anew, she’s focused on only one thing, leaving the Payton name behind and forging her own path—even if she has to tell the teeniest of fibs to do it.

Trevor Boone has nothing. Abandoned as a child. Raised by distant relatives. Constantly reminded he’s a burden. Trevor’s lived at the edges of opulence for years, having all he’s ever desired dangled just out of reach. But his ambition is finally about to pay off and nothing will distract him from his goal—finishing college top of his class and starting life, on his own terms.

When Daisy and Trevor meet it’s clear from the start that they’ll tempt each other to distraction, can they learn to put their ambitions aside and fall or will they lose it all?

Why I Loved This Black Love Romance Book: This is Edwards debut novel and she crushed it! Not only did I love the writing and the characters, but this book takes you back to the 1970s and you totally get swept into the era!

I loved Daisy and Trevor’s romance but this book had so many other engaging themes within it such as friendship, the bonds of family, the importance of loyalty, honesty, forgiveness and grace. It also peered into different social stratas, familial expectations and grief. I can’t recommend it enough!

Check out my full book review of Upsy Daisy.

Before I Let Go is one of the best black romance books that celebrate black love. Find more black romance books on the list from She Reads Romance Books.

Before I Let Go
by Kennedy Ryan

Their love was supposed to last forever. But when life delivered blow after devastating blow, Yasmen and Josiah Wade found that love had its limits . . it couldn’t save their marriage.

Yasmen wasn’t prepared for how her life fell apart, but she’s finally starting to find joy again. She and Josiah have found a new rhythm: co-parenting their two kids and running a thriving business together.

Yet, like magnets, they’re always drawn back to each other, and now they’re beginning to wonder if they’re truly ready to let go of everything they once had.

One stolen kiss leads to another . . . and then more. It’s hot. It’s illicit. It’s good – until it starts to hurt again. As old wounds reopen, Yasmen and Josiah wonder if it is too late for them to find forever. Or could they be even better, the second time around?

Why I Loved This Black Love Romance Book: Ryan is one of those rare authors who can deliver not only an incredible love story but one that also really makes you think about an important social topic. Once the reason for their separation and divorce is revealed (trigger warning for some) Ryan explores the very important topic of depression and how it not only effects a person but their relationships and children as well. This book is fantastically written, and one I highly recommend reading.

Check out my book review of Before I Let Go.

Related: Best Second Chance Romance Books

Honey & Spice is one of the best black romance books that celebrate black love. Find more black romance books on the list from She Reads Romance Books.

Honey & Spice
by Bolu Babalola

As host of radio show Brown Sugar, Kiki Banjo’s mission is to protect her listeners from heartbreak. Which puts Whitewell College’s newest student, handsome ‘player’ Malakai Korede, at the top of her hitlist.

But when Kiki’s dream summer internship in New York depends on finding a fresh angle for her radio show, she must make an unlikely bargain with Malakai himself – to put their simmering clashes aside to form a fake relationship, something sweet and spicy enough to win over the whole campus.

However, close proximity to the notorious heartbreaker brings everything Kiki thought she knew about her own heart into question. Why does throwing out her stringent romantic rulebook suddenly so tempting?

Why I Enjoyed This Black Love Romance Book: While it did take me a few chapters to get into it because I just wasn’t following the writing style, I’m glad that I stuck with it because once Kiki and Malakai devised their fake dating plan, it got good.

The character development of Kiki and Malakai was done really well and the two just seemed to fit. I also liked the focus on sisterhood as well as the focus of how a man’s word can really crush someone’s reputation which doesn’t get discussed enough in books.

Check out my book review of Honey & Spice.

Related: Best College Romance Books

By the Book is one of the best black romance books that celebrate black love. Find more black romance books on the list from She Reads Romance Books.

By the Book
by Jasmine Guillory

Isabelle is completely lost. When she first began her career in publishing after college, she did not expect to be twenty-five, still living at home, and one of the few Black employees at her publishing house. Overworked and underpaid, constantly torn between speaking up or stifling herself, Izzy thinks there must be more to this publishing life.

So when she overhears her boss complaining about a beastly high-profile author who has failed to deliver his long-awaited manuscript, Isabelle sees an opportunity to finally get the promotion she deserves. All she has to do is go to the author’s Santa Barbara mansion and give him a pep talk or three. How hard could it be?

But Izzy quickly finds out she is in over her head. Beau Towers is not some celebrity lightweight writing a tell-all memoir. He is jaded and withdrawn and―it turns out―just as lost as Izzy. But despite his standoffishness, Izzy needs Beau to deliver, and with her encouragement, his story begins to spill onto the page.

They soon discover they have more in common than either of them expected, and as their deadline nears, Izzy and Beau begin to realize there may be something there that wasn’t there before.

Why I Loved This Black Love Romance Book: This is a forced proximity, modern Beauty and the Beast romance that is part of the Disney Meant to Be books. The best part about this book for me was all the little references to Beauty and the Beast that Guillory threw in there from Izzy’s first stroll around New York, to the Michaela’s nickname Kettle and her young son, to the Wifi password and many other gems.

More Black Love Romance Books – Contemporary

The Dating Playbook is one of the best black romance books that celebrate black love. Find more black romance books on the list from She Reads Romance Books.

The Dating Playbook
by Farrah Rochon

When it comes to personal training, Taylor Powell kicks serious butt. Unfortunately, her bills are piling up, rent is due, and the money situation is dire. Taylor needs more than the support of her new best friends, Samiah and London. She needs a miracle.

And Jamar Dixon might just be it. The oh-so-fine former footballer wants to get back into the NFL, and he wants Taylor to train him. There’s just one catch – no one can know what they’re doing. But when they’re accidentally outed as a couple, Taylor’s game plan is turned completely upside down. Is Jamar just playing to win…or is he playing for keeps?

I’ve read a few romance books with the storyline of a trainer and injured athlete falling for each other, but I love that this one has a fake relationship angle to it as well!

Snapped is one of the best black romance books that celebrate black love. Find more black romance books on the list from She Reads Romance Books.

Snapped
by Alexa Martin

Elliot Reed is living her best life—or pretending to. She owes it to her dad’s memory to be happy and make the most of her new job as Strategic Communications Manager for the Denver Mustangs. Things are going well until star quarterback Quinton Howard Jr. decides to use the field as his stage and takes a knee during the national anthem.

As the son of a former professional athlete, Quinton knows the good, the bad, and the ugly about football. He’s worked his entire life to gain recognition in the sport, and now that he has it, he’s not about to waste his chance to change the league for better. Not even the brilliant but infuriating Elliot, who the Mustangs assign to manage him, will get Quinton back in line.

A rocky initial meeting leads to more tension between Quinton and Elliot. But as her new job forces them to spend time together, Elliot realizes they may have more in common than she could’ve imagined. With her job and his integrity on the line, this is one coin toss that nobody can win.

I love that Martin weaves in real-world issues into her stories including this one which focuses on several topics in competitive sports and in the world at large in addition to their budding romance.

Related: Best Office Romance Books

Fake It Till You Bake It is one of the best black romance books that celebrate black love. Find more black romance books on the list from She Reads Romance Books.

Fake It Till You Bake It
by Jamie Wesley

Jada Townsend-Matthews is the most reviled woman in America after turning down a proposal on a reality dating show. When she comes home to lick her wounds, Jada finds herself working at San Diego’s newest cupcake bakery, Sugar Blitz, alongside the uptight owner and professional football player Donovan Dell.

When a reporter mistakenly believes Jada and Donovan are an item, they realize they can use the misunderstanding to their advantage to help the struggling bakery and rehabilitate Jada’s image. Faking a relationship should be simple, but sometimes love is the most unexpected ingredient.

This book honestly has me at cupcake bakery but I’m also a sucker for fake dating books! Plus I love that Donovan is not only a football player but business owner.

Related: Best Football Romance Books

You've Been Served is one of the best black romance books that celebrate black love. Find more black romance books on the list from She Reads Romance Books.

You’ve Been Served
by Kristen Alicia

It’s the Magic 8 Ball’s fault. All of it. One teeny little question, and suddenly Simone Alexander is chucking her whole life out the window. So long, being a chef in California—it’s time for law school. In Michigan. Where there’s actual winter. And law school’s nothing like the romantic comedies said it was.

Simone is tragically underprepared. Hell, she’s already behind before classes have even begun, and her hard-as-nails Contracts professor is giving her no mercy. Then there’s Silas Whitman, her tall and annoyingly cute neighbor. Off campus, Silas is incredible. Kissable, even. In class, he is one thousand percent the obnoxious kiss-ass.

But Simone’s given up everything to be a lawyer. The competition is fierce and she has a hateful professor gunning for her to fail, but she’s not about to let little things like sleep, or love, stop her from kicking law school ass…

I love a strong heroine who goes after what she wants and that is Simone! But I appreciate that Alicia doesn’t make her road an easy one and yet she finds love along the way.

What a Match is one of the best black romance books that celebrate black love. Find more black romance books on the list from She Reads Romance Books.

What a Match
by Mimi Grace

Meticulous and driven Gwen Gilmore knows what she wants… especially in a man. She is newly single and doesn’t have time for lackluster chemistry or mixed signals. But the dating scene proves to be slow and unserious, and she realizes she may need some help.

Professional help. A matchmaker, to be more specific. Nothing will distract her from finding a man who checks all the boxes, except maybe her brother’s grumpy best friend who’s just moved into her home.

Anthony Woods has had a crush on his best friend’s sister since the day he met her, and he’s managed the unfortunate affliction by keeping his distance. However, when apartment problems have him temporarily sleeping on her couch, Gwen is suddenly closer than ever. And as much as he tries, his scowls and frowns can’t stop the sparks from flying.

As they connect and get to know each other, Gwen can’t help but notice when the perfect-on-paper boyfriend she has in mind starts to take an unexpected shape. Will she stick to the dating plan outlined by the professionals? Or admit when it comes to love, there’s no right way to fall.

What is it about someone who’s determined to find love but can’t see it right in front of them? I hope Anthony can use their forced proximity situation to finally get the girl!

Related: Brother’s Best Friend Romance Books

The Neighbor Favor is one of the best black romance books that celebrate black love. Find more black romance books on the list from She Reads Romance Books.

The Neighbor Favor
by Kristina Forest

Lily Greene has already found her perfect man: her favorite fantasy author. But after months of correspondence, he ghosts her – and she’s left broken-hearted.

Nick Brownhas just moved in next door. Charming and attractive, he’s the perfect date for Lily to take to her sister’s upcoming wedding.

Little does Lily know that Nick is the very author she’d been talking to. And Nick has no idea that Lily is the shy, bookish woman he slowly fell in love with . . .

But he refuses to complicate things even more. And yet when he sets her up with someone else, he can’t seem to get her off his mind . . .

I’m a sucker for books where characters fall in love anonymously like Lily and Nick! Who wouldn’t fall in love with their favorite fantasy author, am I right?

A Cowboy to Remember is one of the best black romance books that celebrate black love. Find more black romance books on the list from She Reads Romance Books.

A Cowboy to Remember
by Rebekah Weatherspoon

With a headline spot on a hit morning show and truly mouth-watering culinary skills, chef Evie Buchanan is perched on the edge of stardom. But at an industry party, a fall lands Evie in the hospital—with no memory of who she is.

Scrambling to help, Evie’s assistant contacts the only “family” Evie has left, close friends who run the luxury dude ranch in California where Evie grew up. Evie has no recollection of them—until former rodeo champion Zach Pleasant walks into her hospital room, and she realizes his handsome face has been haunting her dreams . . .

Zach hasn’t seen Evie in years—not since their families conducted a campaign to make sure their childhood friendship never turned into anything more. When the young cowboy refused to admit the feelings between them were real, Evie left California, making it clear she never wanted to see Zach again.

Now he refuses to make the same mistake twice. Starting fresh is a risk when they have a history she can’t recall, but Zach can’t bear to let go of her now. Can he awaken the sleeping beauty inside her who might still love him?

I was in my cowboy era when I started reading this one by Weatherspoon which features some hunks who really know how to wear a cowboy hat. Plus, the amnesia storyline is really interesting! Read this one before it’s made into a TV series!

Young Adult Black Love Romance Books

Highly Suscpicious and Unfairly Cute is one of the best black romance books that celebrate black love. Find more black romance books on the list from She Reads Romance Books.

Highly Suspicious & Unfairly Cute
by Talia Hibbert

Bradley Graeme is pretty much perfect: he’s a star football player, manages his OCD well (enough) and comes out on top in all his classes . . . except the ones he shares with his ex-best friend, Celine.

Celine Bangura is conspiracy-theory-obsessed. Social media followers eat up her takes on everything from UFOs to holiday overconsumption – yet, she’s still not cool enough for the popular kids’ table. Which is why Brad abandoned her for the in-crowd years ago. (At least, that’s how Celine sees it.)

These days, there’s nothing between them other than petty insults and academic rivalry. So when Celine signs up for a survival course in the woods, she’s surprised to find Brad right beside her.

Forced to work as a team for the chance to win a grand prize, these two teens must trudge through not just mud and dirt but their messy past.

And as this adventure brings them closer together, they begin to remember all the good parts of their history. But has too much time passed . . . or just enough to spark a whole new kind of relationship?

I Talia Hibbert is one of my favorite romance authors and I love that she dived into young adult romance with this title that was one of my most anticipated new romance books of 2023. Hibbert has this amazing ability to weave in important social issues like mental illness into her novels which I fully support 100%.

Related: Romance Books Featuring Mental Health Issues

Love Radio is one of the best black romance books that celebrate black love. Find more black romance books on the list from She Reads Romance Books.

Love Radio
by Ebony LaDelle

Prince Jones is passionate about music and romance, dishing out relationship advice on his Love Radio show. But his own love life is looking kind of quiet…Until he meets Dani Ford.

Dani isn’t checking for anybody. She’s focused on her plan to move to New York City to become a famous author, and avoiding dealing with what happened at that party a few months ago.

When the two meet, sparks fly – but Dani’s not looking to get derailed. So she gives Prince just three dates to convince her that he’s worth falling for…

I love that Prince is a self-professed teen love doctor who believes he can get a girl who hates all things romance. Kudos to LaDelle to switch roles where the guy is the one who believes in love. I can’t wait to see what’s up his sleeve to make that happen in just three dates!

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry is one of the best black romance books that celebrate black love. Find more black romance books on the list from She Reads Romance Books.

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry
by Joya Goffney

Quinn keeps lists of everything—from the days she’s ugly cried, to “Things That I Would Never Admit Out Loud” and all the boys she’d like to kiss. Her lists keep her sane. By writing her fears on paper, she never has to face them in real life. That is, until her journal goes missing . . .

Then an anonymous account posts one of her lists on Instagram for the whole school to see and blackmails her into facing seven of her greatest fears, or else her entire journal will go public. Quinn doesn’t know who to trust. Desperate, she teams up with Carter Bennett—the last known person to have her journal—in a race against time to track down the blackmailer.

Together, they journey through everything Quinn’s been too afraid to face, and along the way, Quinn finds the courage to be honest, to live in the moment, and to fall in love.

Quinn is a teen after my own heart because I too keep lists about everything, not just book lists 😊. I cannot wait to see how she faces her fears but am also excited to see how the hunt for her blackmailer turns out!

Related: Books About Teenage Romance

Paranormal Black Love Romance Books

Witchful Thinking is one of the best black romance books that celebrate black love. Find more black romance books on the list from She Reads Romance Books.

Witchful Thinking
by Celestine Martin

Lucinda Caraway loves living in Freya Grove, the mystic seaside town where charms, hexes, and magical beings of all kinds are the norm. She spends her days teaching high school history and her nights reading tea leaves and tending to her conjure garden. It’s a good life . . . but she can’t stop wishing for more.

Until one night, that wish turns into a spell, and suddenly Lucy can’t say no. Not to a public karaoke performance. Not to running a 10K. And, most alarmingly, not to her high school crush, Alexander Dwyer, who needs her help unjinxing his new house—which just happens to be right across the street from hers.

Alex has spent the last ten years traveling the world on adventures Lucy has only ever dreamed of, and he’s planning to leave again as soon as his house is safe to sell. But until Lucy can unhex herself, she and Alex are stuck together. And with so much magic in the air, maybe the next spell Lucy casts will be the one that convinces him to stay.

Sounds like Lucinda is having a very long YES Day in this one but I’m excited to see how it might push her out of her comfort zone and right into the arms of Alex too!

Related: Best Witch Romance Books

A Ghost in Shining Armor is one of the best black romance books that celebrate black love. Find more black romance books on the list from She Reads Romance Books.

A Ghost in Shining Armor
by Therese Beharrie

Gemma Daniels has never been quite the “down to earth” woman her adoptive parents raised her to be. She even has a unique gift: she can see ghosts—and she likes helping them settle their unfinished business.

But the hotter-than-hot stranger she impulsively kisses on a bet is not only a phantom, he’s determined to help her. And the only way Gemma can explain his presence is to pretend they’re a real-life couple . . .

Levi Walker lived—and lost his life—to save his sister. Now he’s got a second chance at life if he assists Gemma in reuniting with her own long-lost sibling . . . and then never sees Gemma again. But as he starts to enjoy her irrepressible personality, he’s finding it hard to abide by any rules at all.

Gemma is thrilled to be getting to know her sister, but it causes a family rift she may not be able to heal. On top of that, she’s falling for a ghost with a dilemma. For Levi must decide what loyalty—and living—is truly all about.

To fix their mistakes, Gemma and Levi must risk being real with themselves—and each other—if they’re ever to claim true love . . .

I love romance books with dilemmas and I really don’t know how Gemma and Levi will address the one they find themselves in. A bit of paranormal, fake dating and suspense all in one- it sounds fantastic!

Related: Best Paranormal Romance Books

LGBTQ+ Black Love Romance Books

D'Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding is one of the best black romance books that celebrate black love. Find more black romance books on the list from She Reads Romance Books.

D’Vaughn & Kris Plan a Wedding
by Chencia C. Higgins

Instant I Do could be Kris Zavala’s big break. She’s right on the cusp of really making it as an influencer, so a stint on reality TV is the perfect chance to elevate her brand. And $100,000 wouldn’t hurt, either.

D’Vaughn Miller is just trying to break out of her shell. She’s sort of neglected to come out to her mom for years, so a big splashy fake wedding is just the excuse she needs.

All they have to do is convince their friends and family they’re getting married in six weeks. If anyone guesses they’re not for real, they’re out. Selling their chemistry on camera is surprisingly easy, and it’s still there when no one else is watching, which is an unexpected bonus. Winning this competition is going to be a piece of wedding cake.  

But each week of the competition brings new challenges, and soon the prize money’s not the only thing at stake. A reality show isn’t the best place to create a solid foundation, and their fake wedding might just derail their relationship before it even starts.

I think we’ve seen worse on reality TV than marrying for prize money, am I right? I’m intrigued that D’Vaughn is seeing this as an opportunity to come out as that seems like a big stage to do so but I love when two people fall in love while faking it.

Related: Best Reality TV Romance Books

How to Find a Princess is one of the best black romance books that celebrate black love. Find more black romance books on the list from She Reads Romance Books.

How to Find a Princess
by Alyssa Cole

Makeda Hicks has lost her job and her girlfriend in one fell swoop. The last thing she’s in the mood for is to rehash the story of her grandmother’s infamous summer fling with a runaway prince from Ibarania, or the investigator from the World Federation of Monarchies tasked with searching for Ibarania’s missing heir.

Yet when Beznaria Chetchevaliere crashes into her life, the sleek and hot investigator exudes exactly the kind of chaos that organized and efficient Makeda finds irresistible, even if Bez is determined to drag her into a world of royal duty Makeda wants nothing to do with.

When a threat to her grandmother’s livelihood pushes Makeda to agree to return to Ibarania, Bez takes her on a transatlantic adventure with a crew of lovable weirdos, a fake marriage, and one-bed hijinks on the high seas.

When they finally make it to Ibarania, they realize there’s more at stake than just cash and crown, and Makeda must learn what it means to fight for what she desires and not what she feels bound to by duty.

Cole definitely takes you on an adventure with this lesbian romance book, and who doesn’t love an “only one bed” romance that ups the stakes? Plus, who wouldn’t want to find out that they are secretly royalty?

Related: Best Royal Romance Books

I'm So Not Over You is one of the best black romance books that celebrate black love. Find more black romance books on the list from She Reads Romance Books.

I’m So Not Over You
by Kosoko Jackson

It’s been months since aspiring journalist Kian Andrews has heard from his ex-boyfriend, Hudson Rivers, but an urgent text has them meeting at a café. 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. Hudson comes from a wealthy family where reputation is everything, and he really can’t afford another mistake.

If Kian goes, he’ll help Hudson preserve appearances and get the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in media. This could be the big career break Kian needs.

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.

I’m never one to pass up a cute fake dating romance and I love how this one brings two forever lovers back together. It’s hard to see people bend over backwards to meet their familial expectations but I hope that Hudson can overcome them!

Related: Best Gay Romance Novels

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Check out She Reads Romance Books' list of the best black romance books that celebrate black love from her favorite black romance authors!
Leslie Murphy is the owner and writer of She Reads Romance Books.

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Leslie is the founder, writer, and producer of She Reads Romance Books (and the She Reads Romance Books Podcast), an online book community focused on romance books and the readers who love them because life is better with a love story.

Leslie reads 150 romance books a year and has been called a "book expert" by CNN. Reading romance is her passion and she cultivates her book lists with the best books worth reading in the genre. Leslie graduated magna cum laude from Davidson College where she honed her writing skills and also holds two Master's degrees. Join her community in the She Reads Romance Books Reader Lounge.

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