Black Lesbian & Bi Romance Recommendations
Updated: Nov 2, 2020
I love to read, it's been a part of my life since I can remember. Writing takes some time away from that but I still read for pleasure as well as research. By that I mean, one way to become a better writer is to read other people's work. Also, women loving women is just something special, and if there is an opportunity to read a story that features this dynamic and it is well done, I'm there.
...women loving women is just something special, and if there is an opportunity to read a story that features this dynamic and it is well done, I'm there.
I started writing romance with queer Black women because I wanted to contribute to a void I saw and desperately want to see expand. While the library isn't huge, there are Black authors both past and present who are writing some vivid and interesting stories about what it is to be a queer Black woman in love and life. Below are some stand out books that I've read.
I chose to focus on independently published authors because that is where you will find most of this type of work. Major publishers of lesbian fiction have done a very poor job of representation with what they put out. Regardless, I'm more than happy to promote my fellow writers. Making a way out of no way is what our people have always done, so here's to forging the path ahead.
Turn Me Out: The Novel by T. Ariez
What can I say about this story other than please read it! Stud on stud is quite the taboo topic still within the Black lesbian community and I love how this story approaches it. Angel has to come to terms with her desires and Ace eventually does too. Things do not automatically go well and there is actually quite a bit of push and pull before the conclusion. I liked that I didn't know what was going to happen but I was rooting for them along the way. It was a pleasure to read about a dynamic not often seen in Black lesbian stories.
This is a short story but it packs a punch. Sometimes the one thing I find missing in romantic scenes is the sensuality of the interaction. You get that for sure with this story and I finished wishing there was more. If I were to say anything was wrong with this it would be the length, which of course just means I enjoyed it so much I wanted it to be a full-fledged novel. Despite that, this is a nice quick read that will stay with you after you're done.
This book is the first in a three-book series. It was a pleasant surprise and I am always excited for a new author to enter the Black lesbian fiction scene. I really liked both of the characters in this series and Shantel does a wonderful job immersing the reader into their respective worlds of football and fashion. Be prepared for the fact that you will not get the happily ever after until the final book but it's a pleasant journey along the way.
Okay, so this is a two-book series and it is a roller coaster ride. I didn't know what to expect but let's just say it went in quite a few unexpected directions. While I didn't love some of the more melodramatic elements, it is a captivating story and I was sucked in from the beginning. Cleopatra and Jacqueline are a very sexy couple and their love scenes are... well I'm still blushing thinking about some of them, lol. Aside from that I really was moved by the love in their relationship, that was the center of the story and you felt that even when the characters made some questionable decisions. Both books are long, coming in at 337 pages and 545 pages respectively, but you don't feel it as you read because you become that invested in the story.
This is the debut of a new author and it was a fun romp. I liked how the relationship was handled. Bri has never been with a woman but there isn't the angst that usually follows in most of these types of stories. Instead, she is more than happy to enjoy her experience with DeeDee and I found that refreshing. The love scenes were sexy but tasteful and I truly liked the conversations and interactions between DeeDee and Bri. It is a novella but you still get a decent story despite the length.
The final book in this three-part series just came out and it was a five-year wait. I'm happy that the author came back and gave us a conclusion because as a reader I was definitely waiting. This series is more fiction than romance which is fine. There are romantic elements and you can feel the connection between the characters who are into each other but I definitely think it gives a more realistic depiction of relationships and what makes or breaks them. There is lots of drama as well so if that's your thing you will get sucked in very easily.
This book was a pleasant surprise and a great find. There aren't many books about polyamorous relationships and definitely very few about a dynamic of all women. I think Harper did a great job showing how the characters connected but also the problems that can arise with this type of relationship. The love scenes were fun and hot but the love between the characters was also touching. I was sad to see it end and I hope she will continue this story.
I've been mainly discussing f/f (female on female) stories but I couldn't leave out this queer romance. It features a polyamorous romance between two women and a man. This was a fun book and I really liked the connection felt between the three characters. At no point did it feel gratuitous and the love scenes, my oh my. The love that develops between the three characters is really touching and I liked how they each brought something to the table that one of the others needed. The two women are bisexual so that made my little bi heart sing. Mike respects what Cali and Precious have and how it is different than what he has with them and I really like how it was portrayed.
This was a sweet little romance and I liked the chemistry between the two characters. The book is told from Skylar's point of view so I do wish we got to know the love interest Lo a bit more because she was such a cool character but overall I enjoyed it. I liked their chemistry and I appreciated how Skylar was comfortable in her sexuality. While she had never dated a woman before she was open to love in whatever form it was being presented.
But wait, there's more...
As I said at the beginning of this post, I chose to focus on independent authors but there are a few people I still want to mention. These are authors that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading who, for the most part, are traditionally published.
I looooove Fiona and recommend any book from her catalog. She is a master at writing sensual, romantic, and raw stories that will leave you breathless. I love that she isn't afraid to branch out and write a variety of stories too including paranormal and her most recent superhero series. There is so much talk of representation but it's great to not only see books featuring Black protagonists but also diversity within those stories. If you haven't had the pleasure of reading her books, do yourself a favor and pick one up.
I can vividly remember when I first read the Choices series. I devoured the first book and couldn't wait for the next ones to come out. The series features romantic entanglements but it's really about the friendship and lives these characters build as they grow from college students to adulthood. Skyy has written only one other standalone book and her work has been included in a couple of anthologies (including one with a story from Fiona Zedde called Les Tales). It seems writing might be behind her as she pursues other ventures but if you haven't checked out her books, definitely do so.
What can I say about Alyssa Cole except that she is awesome. I don't normally read historical romance but I don't hesitate to pick up her work because I know I will enjoy it. She is a beautiful writer and it has been awesome seeing her write books featuring queer Black women. Alyssa writes a variety of diverse romance, contemporary and historical, and most of her stories do not feature women loving women but the ones that do are brilliant.
That's it for my list, I hope you discovered some new books to try. It was fun talking about what I've been enjoying over the last few years. Who knows, maybe this time next year I'll be able to write another post featuring even more Black authors!