15 Cross Cultural Romance Books You’ll Totally Fall For

Diversify your romance book reading with these cross cultural romance books you don’t want to miss!

These are the best romance books featuring cross cultural romance where love is found between characters of different race, ethnicity, culture, and religion.

All romance book happy endings make my heart swoon but these diverse and multicultural romance books featuring characters representing cross cultural romance are books you’ll totally fall for.

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The Best Cross Cultural Romance Books

Love, Chai, and Other Four-Letter Words is one of the best cross cultural romance books worth reading. Check out the entire list of multicultural romance books on She Reads Romance Books.

Love, Chai and Other Four-Letter Words
by Annika Sharma

Kiran Mathur knows firsthand how dangerous love can be. After all, her sister’s marriage in India nearly destroyed Kiran’s family.

So she’s decided to redeem romance herself—by not falling for anyone who might disappoint her parents. That is, until she meets her new neighbor Nash Hawthorne.

Nash is a dedicated doctor and committed to being alone. His family life has taught him the inevitability of abandonment, and he isn’t ready to question his beliefs.

But in spending time with Kiran, he starts to experience emotion he’s never felt before.

For both, love feels like a risk. But when the future only starts to make sense with each other, it might be time to follow their hearts…

I absolutely adore the premise of this cross cultural romance where a woman is determined to be the perfect daughter for her Indian family and a man is determined to protect his heart.

Kiran is an immigrant from India and Nash is a psychologist who meet in New York City and have to face their fears in an effort to follow their hearts. Check it out and then read all the books in the Chai Masala Club series.

Related: Romance Book Heroes With Wounded Hearts

Lunar Love is one of the best cross cultural romance books worth reading. Check out the entire list of multicultural romance books on She Reads Romance Books.

Lunar Love
by Lauren Kung Jessen

Olivia Huang Christenson is excited yet terrified to be taking over her grandmother’s matchmaking business.

But when she learns that a new dating app has made her Pó Po’s traditional Chinese zodiac approach all about “animal attraction,” her emotions skew more toward furious and outraged.

Especially when L.A.’s most-eligible bachelor Bennett O’Brien is behind the app that could destroy her family’s legacy.

Liv knows better than to fall for any guy, let alone an infuriatingly handsome one who believes that traditions are meant to be broken.

As the two businesses go head to head, Bennett and Liv make a deal: they’ll find a match for each other—and whoever falls in love loses.

But Liv is dealing with someone who’s already adept at stealing business ideas . . . so what’s stopping him from stealing her heart too?

I’m always a fan of enemies to lovers books and I adore that this one focuses on two rival “matchmakers” and Chinese astrology.

This book delivers on Chinese cultural traditions and the Chinese zodiac but does so in a fun way with a bet between the two matchmakers to see if traditional practices or modern algarithms win out when it comes to finding love.

Related: Best Enemies to Lovers Books

American Dreamer is one of the best cross cultural romance books worth reading. Check out the entire list of multicultural romance books on She Reads Romance Books.

American Dreamer
by Adriana Herera

Nesto Vasquez is taking a huge gamble moving his Afro-Caribbean food truck from New York City to the wilds of Upstate New York.

He’s got six months to make it a success so the last thing he needs is a distraction.

Jude Fuller is proud of the life he’s built on the banks of Cayuga Lake, if only he wasn’t so lonely.

When he tries Ithaca’s most-talked-about new lunch spot he can’t get enough of Nesto’s food or of Nesto.

Only staying together may not be so easy. Can Nesto remember that happiness isn’t always measured by business success? And can Jude overcome his past and trust that his man will never let him down?

This book will hit you right in the stomach and in the feels where a Dominican American running a food truck falls for a white librarian.

I love the cultural aspect of the Afro-Caribbean food but this cross cultural romance also delves into topics of immigration, evangelical Christianity, and homophobia.

Read this and then check out all the books in the Dreamers series for more MM romance.

Related: Best Gay Romance Novels

Pride and Protest is one of the best cross cultural romance books worth reading. Check out the entire list of multicultural romance books on She Reads Romance Books.

Pride and Protest
by Nikki Payne

Liza B.—the only DJ who gives a jam—wants to take her neighborhood back from the soulless property developer dropping unaffordable condos on every street corner in DC.

But her planned protest at a corporate event takes a turn after she mistakes the smoldering-hot CEO for the waitstaff.

When they go toe-to-toe, the sparks fly—but her impossible-to-ignore family thwarts her every move.

Liza wants Dorsey Fitzgerald out of her hood, but she’ll settle for getting him out of her head.
As the adopted Filipino son of a wealthy white family, Dorsey’s always felt a bit out of place and knows a fraud when he sees one.

But when Liza’s protest results in a viral meme, their lives are turned upside down, and Dorsey comes to realize this irresistible revolutionary is the most real woman he’s ever met.

Not going to lie, this book initially caught my eye because it’s a modern Pride and Prejudice retelling but I love that it too is a cross cultural romance with great diverse characters.

Payne creates a story with a Black Elizabeth and a Filipino Darcy with all the plot points and characterizations we love about Austen’s original and completely makes it her own.

You can already tell that the sparks are really going to fly between Liza and Dorsey given what is at stake for both and their unfortunate meet-cute.

Related: Best Pride and Prejudice Retellings

Ana Maria and the Fox is one of the best cross cultural romance books worth reading. Check out the entire list of multicultural romance books on She Reads Romance Books.

Ana Maria and the Fox
by Diana Dela Rosa

Ana María Luna Valdés has strived to be the perfect daughter, the perfect niece, and the perfect representative of the powerful Luna family.

So, when Ana María is secretly sent to London with her sisters to seek refuge from the French occupation of Mexico, she experiences her first taste of freedom far from the judgmental eyes of her domineering father.

If only she could ignore the piercing looks she receives across ballroom floors from the austere Mr. Fox.

Gideon Fox elevated himself from the London gutters by chasing his burning desire for more: more opportunities, more choices. For everyone.

Now, as a member of Parliament, Gideon is on the cusp of securing the votes he needs to put forth a measure to abolish the Atlantic slave trade once and for all—a cause that is close to his heart as the grandson of a formerly enslaved woman.

The charmingly vexing Ana María is a distraction he must ignore.

But when Ana María finds herself in the crosshairs of a nefarious nobleman with his own political agenda, Gideon knows he must offer his hand as protection . . . but will this Mexican heiress win his heart as well?

I love that this is a historical cross cultural romance where a Mexican heiress is exiled to London and falls for a British, mixed race member of Parliament working to abolish the slave trade.

Despite both characters having their own agendas at play, it is quite the slow burn romance that becomes a marriage of convenience story.

Related: Best Historical Romance Novels

Sari, Not Sari is one of the best cross cultural romance books worth reading. Check out the entire list of multicultural romance books on She Reads Romance Books.

Sari, Not Sari
by Sonya Singh

Manny Dogra is the beautiful young CEO of Breakup, a highly successful company that helps people manage their relationship breakups.

As preoccupied as she is with her business, she’s also planning her wedding to handsome architect Adam Jamieson while dealing with the loss of her beloved parents.

For reasons Manny has never understood, her mother and father, who were both born in India, always wanted her to become an “All-American” girl. So that’s what she did.

She knows next to nothing about her South Asian heritage, and that’s never been a problem—until her parents are no longer around, and an image of Manny that’s been Photoshopped to make her skin look more white appears on a major magazine cover.

Suddenly, the woman who built an empire encouraging people to be true to themselves is having her own identity crisis.

But when an irritating client named Sammy Patel approaches Manny with an odd breakup request, the perfect solution presents itself: If they both agree to certain terms, he’ll give her a crash course in being “Indian” at his brother’s wedding.

What follows is days of dancing and dal, masala and mehndi as Manny meets the lovable, if endlessly interfering, aunties and uncles of the Patel family, and, along the way, discovers much more than she could ever have anticipated.

I had to add this book to the list because I love how its about a woman looking to reconnect with her South Asian roots after losing her parents and realizing how much of her Indian heritage she doesn’t know.

Tie that in with a man looking for help with a break-up request, you get a sweet, fake dating romance while attending an Indian wedding!

Related: Best Fake Relationship Romance Books

The Other Man is one of the best cross cultural romance books worth reading. Check out the entire list of multicultural romance books on She Reads Romance Books.

The Other Man
by Farhad J. Dadyburjor

Heir to his father’s Mumbai business empire, Ved Mehra has money, looks, and status. He is also living as a closeted gay man.

Thirty-eight, lonely, still reeling from a breakup, and under pressure from his exasperated mother, Ved agrees to an arranged marriage.

He regrettably now faces a doomed future with the perfectly lovely Disha Kapoor.

Then Ved’s world is turned upside down when he meets Carlos Silva, an American on a business trip in India.

As preparations for his wedding get into full swing, Ved finds himself drawn into a relationship he could never have imagined—and ready to take a bold step.

Ved is ready to embrace who he is and declare his true feelings regardless of family expectations and staunch traditions.

But with his engagement party just days away, and with so much at risk, Ved will have to fight for what he wants—if it’s not too late to get it.

This cross cultural romance is written at the time when being gay was still a crime in India so it explores the added pressure Ved is carrying while also going along with an arranged marriage to a woman.

Read it for his growing relationship with an American but also check it out for his own personal growth as a gay man in Southeast Asia.

Related: Best Arranged Marriage Romance Books

First Love Take Two is one of the best cross cultural romance books worth reading. Check out the entire list of multicultural romance books on She Reads Romance Books.

First Love, Take Two
by Sajni Patel

On the verge of realizing her dream of being a doctor, Preeti Patel should be ecstatic. But between the stress of her residency, trying to find a job, and managing her traditional, no-boundaries family, Preeti’s anxiety is through the roof.

Relationships and love aren’t even an option. Fortunately, Preeti’s finally found a new place to stay . . . only to discover that her new roommate is her ex.

Preeti never quite got over Daniel Thompson. Super-hot, plenty of swagger, amazing cook—the guy is practically perfect.

And if it weren’t for their families, there might have been a happily ever after. But it’s hard to keep her sanity and libido in check when the man of her dreams is sleeping mere feet away.

Can Preeti and Daniel find a way to stand up and fight for each other one last time . . . before they lose their second chance?

This cross cultural romance is a second chance romance love story where two exes are forced to face their miscommunication and break up from six years ago now that they are living together.

Nothing like forced proximity to finally bring issues to light!

But for these roommates to find their new footing, they will also have to address some tough topics such as mental illness and racism.

Related: Best Second Chance Romance Books

A Duke By Default is one of the best cross cultural romance books worth reading. Check out the entire list of multicultural romance books on She Reads Romance Books.

A Duke By Default
by Alyssa Cole

New York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and—most importantly—herself.

An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she’s capable of.

Turns out she excels at aggravating her gruff silver fox boss…when she’s not having inappropriate fantasies about his hot Scottish burr.

Tavish McKenzie doesn’t need a rich, spoiled American telling him how to run his armory…even if she is infuriatingly good at it.

Tav tries to rebuff his apprentice—and his attraction to her—but when Portia accidentally discovers that he’s the secret son of a duke, rough-around-the-edges Tav becomes her newest makeover project. 

Forging metal into weapons and armor is one thing, but when desire burns out of control and the media spotlight gets too hot to bear, can a commoner turned duke and his posh apprentice find lasting love?

Alyssa Cole brings the sparks with this cross cultural romance where love is the last thing either character is looking for but cannot deny.

Portia is a Black American woman who ups and moves across the pond to Scotland to be an apprentice for a swordsmith in Scotland! I have to say that this is the first contemporary romance I’ve found about a woman making swords in an armory but I’m all for it.

Then we have Tavish who is a biracial Chilean and Scottish man hellbent on denying his attraction to the new woman in his life.

I love the diversity, I love the reluctant makeover angle, and I always love a romance with a Scottish hero to fall for!

Heart and Seoul is one of the best cross cultural romance books worth reading. Check out the entire list of multicultural romance books on She Reads Romance Books.

Heart & Seoul
by Jen Frederick

As a Korean adoptee, Hara Wilson doesn’t need anyone telling her she looks different from her white parents. She knows.

Every time Hara looks in the mirror, she’s reminded that she doesn’t look like anyone else in her family—not her loving mother, Ellen; not her jerk of a father, Pat; and certainly not like Pat’s new wife and new “real” son.

At the age of twenty-five, she thought she had come to terms with it all, but when her father suddenly passes away, an offhand comment at his funeral triggers an identity crisis that has her running off to Seoul in search of her roots.

What Hara finds there has all the makings of a classic K-drama: a tall, mysterious stranger who greets her at the airport, spontaneous adventures across the city, and a mess of familial ties, along with a red string of destiny that winds its way around her, heart and soul.

Hara goes to Korea looking for answers, but what she gets instead is love—a forbidden love that will either welcome Hara home…or destroy her chance of finding one.

Frederick gives us a different angle with this cross cultural romance where a Korean-American woman travels to her birthplace to learn about her birth parents and roots.

I am excited to learn about Korean culture along with Hara and follow along on her journey to understanding her birth parents, her adoptive parents, her upbringing and to finding love in the process.

Related: Romance Books That Inspire Travel

American Royalty is one of the best cross cultural romance books worth reading. Check out the entire list of multicultural romance books on She Reads Romance Books.

American Royalty
by Tracey Livesay

Rapper Danielle “Duchess” Nelson is on the verge of signing a deal that’ll make her one of the richest women in hip hop.

But an incident with a rising pop star has gone viral, unfairly putting her deal in jeopardy.

A brilliant professor and reclusive royal, Prince Jameson prefers life out of the spotlight.

But with the Queen’s children involved in one scandal after another, she puts Jameson in charge of a tribute concert in her late husband’s honor.

Out of his depth, he takes the advice of a student and signs “Duchess” for the gig who’s anxious for the good publicity.

Too late, Jameson discovers the American rapper is popular, raunchy and not what the Queen wanted, although he’s having an entirely different reaction.

Thrown together, they give in to the attraction flaring between them. But as the glare of the limelight intensifies and outside forces try to interfere, will the Prince and Duchess be a fairy tale romance for the ages or a disaster of palatial proportions?

I really enjoyed this royal romance book that riffs off the real-life romance between Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Markle that inspired this story.

It’s quite an opposites attract romance between the American rapper who’s known for being in the spotlight and the quiet British professor who wants to steer clear of the spotlight.

Duchess is a force and she totally stole the show for me with her entrepreneurial spirit and desire to live her life on her own terms while also confronting the prejudice of the monarchy.

Check out my review of American Royalty.

Related: Best Royal Romance Books

A Proposal They Can't Refuse is one of the best cross cultural romance books worth reading. Check out the entire list of multicultural romance books on She Reads Romance Books.

A Proposal They Can’t Refuse
by Natalie Cana

Kamilah Vega is desperate to convince her family to update their Puerto Rican restaurant and enter it into the Fall Foodie Tour.

With the gentrification of their Chicago neighborhood, it’s the only way to save the place.

The fly in her mofongo—her blackmailing abuelo says if she wants to change anything in his restaurant, she’ll have to marry the one man she can’t stand: his best friend’s grandson.

Liam Kane spent a decade working to turn his family’s distillery into a contender. But just as he and his grandfather are on the verge of winning a national competition, Granda hits him with a one-two punch: he has cancer and has his heart set on seeing Liam married before it’s too late.

And Granda knows just the girl…Kamilah Vega.

If they refuse, their grandfathers will sell the building that houses both their businesses. With their futures on the line, Kamilah and Liam plan to outfox the devious duo, faking an engagement until they both get what they want.

But soon, they find themselves tangled up in more than either of them bargained for.

I have to say that I love the common thread of highlighting ethnic food and drink in cross cultural romance books. I could literally eat and drink my way through this list if I wanted to and be so happy 😊.

But I’m loving the fake relationship that Kamilah and Liam agree to to get their respective grandfathers off their backs, and can’t wait to see these meddling men in action to bring these two together!

Related: Best Fake Relationship Romance Books

After Hours on Milagro Street is one of the best cross cultural romance books worth reading. Check out the entire list of multicultural romance books on She Reads Romance Books.

After Hours on Milagro Street
by Angelina M. Lopez

Guapo pobrecito, her grandmother calls him. The “poor handsome man.”

Professor Jeremiah Post, the poor handsome man, is in fact standing in the way of Alejandra “Alex” Torres turning Loretta’s, her grandmother’s bar, into a viable business.

The hot brainiac who sleeps in one of the upstairs tenant rooms already has all of her Mexican American family’s admiration; she won’t let him have the bar and building she needs to resurrect her career, too.

Alex blowing into town has rocked Jeremiah to his mild-mannered core, but the large, boisterous Torres clan is everything he never had.

He doesn’t believe Alex has the best interest of her family, their community, or the bar’s legacy in mind.

To protect all three, he’ll stand up to the tough and tattooed bartender with whom he now shares a bedroom wall—and resist the insta-lust they both feel.

But when an old enemy threatens Loretta’s and the surrounding neighborhood, Alex and Jeremiah must combine forces.

It will take her might and his mind to save the home they both desperately need.

I love Angelina M. Lopez’ books because she writes strong Latinx women you can’t help but love.

I adore that it’s the quiet cinnamon roll of a professor who stands up to Alex who is quite boisterous and gruff given the trauma she’s carrying.

Check out this romcom that really brings out Mexican American culture and history.

A Caribbean Heiress in Paris is one of the best cross cultural romance books worth reading. Check out the entire list of multicultural romance books on She Reads Romance Books.

A Caribbean Heirress in Paris
by Adrianna Herrera

Paris, 1889. The Exposition Universelle is underway, drawing merchants from every corner of the globe…including Luz Alana Heith-Benzan, heiress to the Caña Brava rum empire.

Luz Alana set sail from Santo Domingo armed with three hundred casks of rum, her two best friends and one simple rule: under no circumstances is she to fall in love.

In the City of Lights, she intends to expand the rum business her family built over three generations, but buyers and shippers alike can’t imagine doing business with a woman…never mind a woman of color.

This, paired with being denied access to her inheritance unless she marries, leaves the heiress in a very precarious position.

Enter James Evanston Sinclair, Earl of Darnick, who has spent a decade looking for purpose outside of his father’s dirty money and dirtier dealings.

Ignoring his title, he’s built a whisky brand that’s his biggest—and only—passion.

That is, until he’s confronted with a Spanish-speaking force of nature who turns his life upside down.

From their first tempestuous meeting, Luz Alana is conflicted. Why is this titled—and infuriatingly charming—Scottish man so determined to help her?

For Evan, every day with Luz Alana makes him yearn for more than her ardent kisses or the marriage of convenience that might save them both.

But Luz Alana sailed for Paris prepared to build her business and her future; what she wasn’t prepared for was love finding her.

I’m already obsessed with this cross cultural romance featuring a Dominican woman of color with a rum business and a Scottsman with a whiskey business who meet in Paris of all places.

The historical angle adds another interesting element to this marriage of convenience story that is sure to dazzle.

Crazy Rich Asians is one of the best cross cultural romance books worth reading. Check out the entire list of multicultural romance books on She Reads Romance Books.

Crazy Rich Asians
by Kevin Kwan

When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry.

But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor.

On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers.

I admit that I adored the Crazy Rich Asians movie but have to circle back to read the book!

I love the juxtaposition of a Chinese American coming face-to-face with the opulence of her boyfriend’s old money family in Singapore and the tension that her visit exposes between mainland Chinese and overseas Chinese.

Do YOU have a favorite cross cultural romance book you couldn’t put down? Please share it in the comments below. I’d love to hear it!

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Discover the best cross cultural romance books worth reading in this book list from She Reads Romance Books if you're looking for books with multicultural romance.

Leslie Murphy is the owner and writer of She Reads Romance Books.

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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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