Saturday Smutty Six: Black Historical Romances on Holly’s TBR

In my romance journey – that is, since Erin, Ingrid and I started The Smut Report and reading romance took over my brain – I’ve gone from all historicals, to no historicals, back to thinking historicals are pretty awesome. The caveat: I am bored with lords, and want historicals about working class people, or queer people, or people of color. 

To that end, here are some of the Black Historical Romances that I look forward to reading in the near future. All feature at least one Black protagonist and were written by Black authors. 

Titles link to the book’s Amazon page.

Destiny’s Captive by Beverly Jenkins

LADY PIRATE! Need I say more? 

Note: Jenkins’ book Captured, about a black pirate who steals slaves, was a close second, but a big part of my goal in putting this list together was to highlight some of the other amazing authors besides Jenkins who are writing Black historical romance. 

An Unconditional Freedom by Alyssa Cole

The third in the Loyal League trilogy, about Black Union spies. I read the first two and thought they were excellent (especially book 1) – both examine issues of race, allyship, and resistance during the Civil War. No Confederate Apologist Nonsense here! Plus, Alyssa Cole writes consistently swoony love stories. I honestly can’t believe I haven’t already read this one.

The Bittersweet Bride by Vanessa Riley

Second chance romance, you say? In Regency England, you say? First book in a series about people advertising for spouses, you say? With a gorgeous cover, you say? I am so there. 

Heart and Hand by Rebel Carter 

Here we have a Western mail order bride throuple. Either you are me, and immediately one-click it, or you are…not me, and decide this is definitely not for you. 

Love’s Serenade by Cheryl Lister

This book, about musicians during the Harlem Renaissance having a second chance at love, is part of a larger series of African-American historical romances – one book set in each decade of the 20th century. So while I want to read Lister’s book first (because Harlem Renaissance), I am also interested in other titles in this series. Like, what does a historical romance about the 1980s even look like? Can’t wait to find out!

Moonrise by Roberta Gayle

Fun fact! People have been writing Black historical romance for a while, so I had to include an old school read on this list. Moonrise is about artists in 19th century Paris, which sounds friggin’ awesome. The only challenge will be getting my hands on a copy…because it’s currently selling on Amazon for $900. I love smut, but not that much. 

Other recommendations for historical romances featuring Black characters finding love? Let me know in the comments!

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