Hispanic Heritage Month is upon us. It’s important to celebrate the contributions of Latine authors to Romancelandia, as they haven’t always been high lighted as they should. I have compiled a list of some of my favorite romances by Latine authors. From historical to LGBTQ+ young adult, this list is a perfect place to start if you’re new to the genre. There’s even a little Back to the Future magical realism in one of them. Truly, something for every reader.
Reading about different cultures and different life experiences is one of the greatest joys of reading. It’s so interesting to see the world through another person’s eyes that you wouldn’t normally be able to undergo on your own. Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop coined the metaphor that reading should be mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors. It should be a way for us to see ourselves, to look in on other experiences we can’t understand first hand, and step into another person’s point of view. Romance written by Latine authors with Latine characters is a way for me to encounter a culture different from my own, making me a more analytical reader by “living” a story outside my experience.
The Wedding Crasher by Mia Sosa
Solange Pereira loves happily ever afters. When her wedding planner cousin needs her help on a job, she agrees. It’s an easy job and helps her family, but she stumbles on some information that convinces her that this couple is more likely to end up divorced than with an HEA. It’s not right to keep this information to herself. Lives are at stake! So she crashes the wedding to keep the groom from making the biggest mistake of his life. This interrupts Dean Chapman’s life plan. He had “fiance” ticked off on his list and was just about to cross out “start a family” when a stranger ruined everything. He’s not about to let her derail “make partner,” the next step in his plan, without a fight, but he needs a significant other for an assignment. He confesses in front of the whole church that he was secretly in love with Solange the whole time, and because she feels awful for ruining his life, she agrees to go along with it. As things progress long enough for Dean to make partner, the lines between fake feelings and real ones start to blur.
A Lot Like Adiós by Alexis Daria
Michelle Amato has worked hard to transition from a career in marketing to building her own freelance graphic design business. She’s done this at the cost of her love life, but what is success without some sacrifice? Despite what her marriage obsessed Puerto Rican Italian family says, she’s mostly happy. Honestly, she hasn’t felt anything real for anyone since Gabriel Aguilar, her first love, moved away 13 years ago. Gabriel hated saying goodbye to Michelle, but he knew he had to get away from his demanding parents if he ever wanted to make a life on his own terms. And it’s worked, he’s the co-owner of the hottest celebrity gym in L.A. A big investor is determined to start a New York City location, and Gabriel is the logical choice to spearhead the opening since he’s familiar with the city. Reluctantly, he returns only to find out that Michelle is in charge of the gym’s new marketing campaign. This could be the second chance they both had secretly been hoping for, but never dared to dream.
Stripped by Zoey Castile
Robyn Flores is a mess. She’s going to be late to work, again. All she needs is her laundry from the cleaners and to get out the door. When she unpacks the clothes, she finds a sparkly, red white and blue thong…for a man. This is so not what she needs right now. It turns out that the clothes got switched up with her neighbor’s, super hot Zac Fallon. The attraction between them is instant, and they agree to get to know each other more. It looks like Robyn’s life is taking a positive turn until her best friend’s bachelorette party where she sees Zac front and center on the stage. He’s sure this is too much for an elementary school teacher from an old-fashioned family, but he’s not ready to give up. There’s only one steamy seduction plan left to win her over.
A Caribbean Heiress in Paris by Adriana Herrera
Luz Alana Heith-Benzan is newly arrived in Paris for the 1889 Exposition Universelle with her two best friends from Santo Domingo. She’s there to grow Caña Brava, the rum business her family built over three generations. Luz Alana knew it was going to be difficult to get the men of Europe to do business with a woman, but add that she’s a foreigner and a woman of color, and even the indomitable lion that is Luz Alana is discouraged. The last thing she needs is a smart-mouthed Scot making things more complicated in both business and her heart. James Evanston Sinclair, Earl of Darnick, knows a good product and a good business plan when he sees it, and Luz Alana has both. Plus striking beauty and wit in equal measures. When a marriage of convenience is the best way for both to get what they want, neither is quick to agree, but it’s the best thing for business. Now both need to realize it’s what’s best for their hearts as well.
West Side Love Story by Priscilla Oliveras
In this homage to Romeo and Juliette, Mariana of Casa Capuleta will do anything for her family. What her adoptive parents need right now is financial help in an increasingly expensive San Antonio community. Mariana and her sisters agree that they need to win the Battle of the Mariachi Bands to help out their family. Of course their father’s archnemesis, Hugo Montero, is competing with his band, making the decades-old feud between them worse. Mariana knows about the rivalry but cannot stop her secret attraction to a dark-eyed mariachi. Antonio Montero knows that Mariana is strictly off limits because she’s a Capuleta, but that doesn’t stop him from pursuing her, starting a secret affair. As the competition grows more fierce, so does their attraction to one another, and they vow to bring peace to their families so they can finally be together. As these star-crossed lovers will soon find out, it’s not as easy as they thought.
What Happens in Miami… by Nadine Gonzalez
Alessandro Cardenas is on a secret mission. He joins the art scene in Miami in order to track down the person forging his late grandfather’s paintings and will stop at nothing to find the culprit. The hot parties and hotter women are just a benefit of the job. He doesn’t expect to meet Angeline Louis, a gallerist in the city. Suddenly, the lines between work and seduction become deliciously blurred. Angeline doesn’t suspect anything, right? Maybe she has some dark secrets of her own. Antonio isn’t sure what he can trust because of how much he is holding back, but he knows the attraction between them isn’t a lie.
Spin Me Right Round by David Valdes
The past is holding Luis Gonzalez back in this YA romance. All he wants is to go to prom with his boyfriend, but his “progressive” school doesn’t allow it because of something that happened in the late 1900s when his parents were in high school. He’s determined to give his fellow LGBTQ+ friends the prom, and respect, they deserve. When a hit on the head knocks him back to 1985, he meets Chaz Wilson who is the reason that everything is messed up in the present. Luis devises a plan to give Chaz his first real kiss to change the future for himself and his friends. That’s easier said than done in a conservative ’80s high school where it’s not safe to be an out gay kid. Homophobes are around every corner, including Gordo, Luis’s estranged father. It doesn’t take long for Luis to realize he is in over his head trying to change the future, not make things worse, and get back to the present. Turns out he might be head over heels, too.
A Proposal They Can’t Refuse by Natalie Caña
Chef Kamilah Vega is determined to save her family’s Puerto Rican restaurant, if only they would let her enter it into the Fall Foodie Tour. It’s the best chance they have at saving the restaurant in the increasingly gentrified Chicago neighborhood. But there’s an additional kink in her plan: her blackmailing abuelo says the only way he will let her change anything is if she marries his best friend’s grandson, the one man she can’t stand. Liam Kane has worked for 10 years to turn his family’s distillery into a nationally recognized name. Now they are on the verge of winning a national competition and the success they’ve always dreamed of when his Grandad hits him with a one-two punch. He has cancer and his dying wish is to see Liam married and happy, specifically to Kamilah. If the couple refuses, the grandfathers will sell the building that houses both businesses. There’s no other option, Kamilah and Liam must fake an engagement to secure their futures. What they don’t plan on is actually wanting to keep each other in those futures as well.
Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa
This is another YA romance that follows Julián Luna, who is so close to leaving his small town of Corpus Christi, Texas, and going to UCLA, where he can finally be out and his true self. But one drunken night at a party, Jules is tired of his life being a lie and impulsively tweets about his sexuality. The consequences at home that come with this are huge and painful. The consequences online that come from this are that Mat shoots his shot. He’s cute, empathetic, and from L.A., and slides into Jules’s DMs, launching a long distance relationship via FaceTime and texting. While his romantic life is better than ever, Jules’s fears about coming out in his small town have come true, and he has to face them alone because the one person he needs most is 1,500 miles away. Meanwhile, Mat is determined to make sure that he and Jules have the happily ever after they deserve.
Worth Every Second by Jocelyne Soto
If you want a cocky college football player falling for a shy wallflower who keeps her head down, then this is the book for you. In the slowest of burns, Hunter meets Selena and first they build a friendship IRL. Neither one of them knows that they are also secretly messaging the other on HEX, an anonymous website where Hunter impulsively posted hot pictures after finding out his girlfriend of three years had cheated on him. In person, Selena is shy and insecure, but online she is bold and asks for exactly what she wants. She’s having trouble coming to terms with the fact that her crush actually notices her. But what will happen with their relationships when the truth comes to light and their worlds collide?
I can’t wait for y’all to dive into these excellent authors. Hopefully you’ve found some that are new to you or found some new to you titles by authors you already love. If you’re looking for even more recommendations for romance by Latine authors, check out this list of must read romances, this list of 20 great books by Latine voices, or 15 Latine poets who are breaking down boarders.