June 12 was the 53rd anniversary of Loving vs. The State of Virginia. This was the Supreme Court Case that outlawed the anti-miscegenation laws that were still present in 16 of the United States. What’s scary is that Alabama didn’t even officially accept this ruling until the year 2000, a full 33 years after it was national law. It now seems wild that these types of relationships was ever even outlawed, but that’s America for you.
As the product of and participant in interracial relationships, these types of romances will always have a special place in my heart. There have been a few articles written about interracial relationships here at Book Riot in the last few years, this one being one of the most recent ones. These are primarily focused on the YA audience, which is great. I think it’s awesome since it compounds the reality that those types of relationships are real and meaningful.
I also love seeing interracial couples in adult romance because I don’t feel like it was accepted as early as YA romance. This seems especially true when one remembers the Twitter smackdown that was started when a woman had something to say about the interracial couple on the cover of Alyssa Cole’s A Duke by Default.
In honor of Loving Day this year, I wanted to recommend some of the books that I’ve read or heard about that help uphold the belief that this day highlights, which is that love knows no colors and everyone is worthy of it.
Can’t Escape Love by Alyssa Cole
So, part of me did want to list the previously mentioned A Duke by Default or Prince on Paper for this. However, this in-between-the-novels novella is awesome in that it not only shows an interracial couple but one where both have differing abilities. This is something that is also very close to my heart. It’s about Regina, the twin sister to Portia of A Duke by Default and her love interest, Gus. He needs to create an anime romance escape room, but knows nothing about the show it’s supposed to be based on. Regina does and offers to help in exchange for the use of Gus’s voice to help her sleep.
I promise it’s not as creepy as it sounds.
This is a short, cute, sweet, and steamy romance. The exchanges between Gus and Regina make me smile. One that sticks out to me is when it comes up that Gus will see Regina when she’s getting ready for bed. The first thing she says is, “Don’t make fun of my bonnet”. Poor Gus says “Okay” verbally but internally it’s, “I don’t know what that means.” It’s a small thing and I don’t know why it stuck out to me, but it was adorable and still makes me smile when I think about it.
A Gentleman Never Keeps Score by Cat Sebastian
Sam Fox is the Free Black owner of The Bell, a pub and safe haven for others in his community. When he is tasked by his friend Kate to find and destroy a compromising painting of her, he agrees to without hesitation.
Hartley Sedgwick is a former darling of society. After a dark secret from his past is revealed, he retreats to his home, rarely venturing out. When Sam infiltrates Hartley’s house, he finds himself drawn to the self-imposed hermit, wanting to bring him out of his shell and open his heart. This is a more edgy romance since it deals with a lot of hard-hitting topics, but it ultimately is a romance about two flawed and hurting people who find comfort in each other. And that in and of itself is inspiring.
Wanna Bet? By Talia Hibbert
Talia writes a lot of interracial romances, so it was hard to narrow it down. I went with this one because it includes one of my favorite tropes: friends to lovers. Jasmine is the perennial party girl who doesn’t do relationships due to her belief that they lead to nothing but heartache. She also holds the erroneous belief that everything she has a hand in will ultimately fail. So, she’s kept Rahul firmly in the friends only box.
Rahul is her best friend and confidant who has been holding a candle for her ever since they met in college. Thinking the attraction is one-sided, he’s happy to be just her friend. He never pushes for me, preferring to have Jasmine in his life in that role than not at all. Once it becomes clear that the attraction is mutual, Rahul plays to win. He knows that the prize of Jasmine’s heart and love is worth it.
This book is steamy with a capital S-T-E-A-M-Y. I listened to the audiobook and there were a few times I almost drove off the side of the road. As with all of Talia’s books, it is sweet and inspiring with MCs having their history. Talia is one author who almost always makes me tear up in a good way at some point in her books since the emotions discussed always hit me square in my feels.
Hearts on Hold by Charish Reid
Librarians in love? Swoon. I loved everything about this book. The many interracial representations in this book make me love life and being who I am. I especially enjoyed John’s niece, Becca, and his loving and sometimes clueless interactions with her. There were many instances where I was laughing out loud, and where he legitimately didn’t know how to approach her. But it wasn’t a color thing either (their family is an interracial blended family) it was more of a grown man versus a teenage girl thing. While Victoria had her hesitations about the relationship for a few reasons, John never seems bothered by it due to his family situation. This is a feel good romance and I can’t wait to see what else this author has for us.
The Pursuit Of… by Courtney Milan
This was originally one of the three novellas that made up Hamilton’s Battalion: A Trio of Romances, which also includes a story from Alyssa Cole. It is about a Black American soldier who is recovering in the infamous Yorktown and a white deserting British officer. It’s hate at first sight, which is one of my favorite tropes, that eventually (of course) blossoms into love.
These are just a handful of the many books out there that highlight interracial love. Let us know over on social media any of your favorites that we may have missed. And Happy Loving Day!!