If you were to ask me about my introduction to romance novels, an author I will always bring into the conversation is Rochelle Alers.
Very early on, some of the first times I remember reading a love story that featured Black couples was between the pages of a Rochelle Alers novel. It was the quiet and gentle soul of Ivan Campbell from her Best Men series that drew me into a hero that maybe wasn’t such an alpha but equally as powerful and dominating. There were the Blackstones of Virginia who made me curious about stud farms. And, well, the Cole family…they’re probably one of the main reasons I am so obsessed with series. One book is fine, but five or more featuring a family? Sign me up! In her work, you’ll become engrossed in family secrets and love, read as characters get a resurgence of life in a new city, and rediscover what or who really makes them happy.
What I have always loved about her novels is that the characters felt like home. They always felt familiar, and their happily ever afters were ones I rooted for.
A pioneer in the space and a writer of 60 plus books and nearly 2 million copies in print, this novelist effortlessly weaves tales of expansive sagas, charming small-town romances, and love, that even when you may deem it instant, is always worth the ride.
Here are three books to get you started:
You absolutely cannot mention Rochelle Alers and not talk about the uber-popular and fan-favorite Hideaway series, featuring one of my favorite fictional families, The Coles.
Perhaps the wealthiest African American family in the U.S., what they have even more than money is love. These books feature smart, independent, and tenacious women and the fiercely powerful and protective men who love them.
In Hideaway, Parris Simmons has spent ten years hiding from her ex-husband’s evil threats while keeping a secret from the only man she’s ever loved — Martin Cole.
We take the journey through the beginning of their courtship until Martin has found her again. When he finds her, he offers protection once again, but that’s not the only thing he’s willing to settle for.
Go to Cuba with the matriarch and patriarch of the Cole family, travel to Jamaica with the Kirklands, or reside in Florida or Mississippi. You’ll take trips, you’ll learn history, and you’ll never forget the lingering love.
Don’t get near Michael Kirkland, though. We have an agreement and conversations need to be had.
The Whitfields are experts in the wedding industry. A wedding planner, a pastry chef, and a florist make this three-book series sweet and decadent.
For the sake of not messing with the flow, start with the first book — Long Time Coming. Tessa Whitfield is an in-demand wedding planner who does not believe in mixing work with pleasure. When it comes to Micah Sanborn though, things are liable to change. However, as much as this relationship is moving at a great pace, Micah isn’t able to say three very important words. Three words may cost him one of the few real things he really wants to keep in his life.
Looking for a feeling of home in a small town? The Cavanaugh Island series is the way to go. Haven Creek is the third book in the series, but it’s my favorite and is a great introduction. Morgan Dane is an architect using to living life by a particular set of plans. When she’s offered her dream job in Cavanaugh Island, she learns that things don’t always work out according to plan, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Carpenter Nathaniel Shaw returns home to the small-town life to recharge, while there he reconnects with Morgan Dane who is not the person he remembered from high school. Both would prefer to play it safe but when real love is on the line, is that really an option?
To learn more about her work, visit Rochelle Alers’s website.