Black BookTok Is A Celebration Of Fictional Black Love

Read these novels for all the feels

In case you live under a rock, books are back. And not just any books– Black love romance books. 

That’s right. Tell your mama she can stop hiding that steamy book under her bed. We shamelessly read those in public now. And we have no one else to thank but #BookTok. This not-so-niche corner of TikTok has allowed the publishing industry to soar, contributing to a 30 percent increase in book sales last year. While the girlies are having a field day reading, reviewing, and recommending their favorite– and often scandalous– romance novels, we rarely see Black protagonists in these pages.

“Everybody wants a happy ending,” says content creator Ayanna Morgan. “It’s so important to see ourselves centered in Black stories because it’s like, ‘Okay, this can happen to me too.’” 

Read ‘BookBaddie Bri’s Favorite Books Written By Black Authoress’

It wasn’t until I stumbled upon the marginalized sector of this community known as #BlackBookTok that I found Black and biracial love stories worth kicking my feet and giggling over. “It’s really a community where you [can] discover books [that celebrate] characters that look like you,” says content creator Adrienne Joseph. ”It goes beyond what you will typically see when you walk into your average bookstore.” 

Below, we’ve rounded up the best Black BookTok-backed romance novels for GU readers to curl up with this V-Day season- because we deserve to see ourselves happily in love, too.  

Reel By Kennedy Ryan $16

The first book in Kennedy Ryan’s Hollywood Renaissance series, Reel, is a dazzling tale of Black love in the context of Hollywood. When director Canon Holt scouts fresh face Neevah Saint to be the star of an upcoming project set in 1920s Harlem, passion quickly arises between the two. Chalked full of lust, scandal, fame, and family drama, Reel is the perfect Black romance for the girlie who also loves a stellar plot. 

All I’ve Wanted All I’ve Needed By A.E. Valdez $17

Part of the Rise and Fall series, this gem follows Harlow Shaw as she walks away from a long-term relationship to find herself. But wait, don’t keep scrolling just yet. In traveling around the world to find that much-needed self-love, a romance creeps in between her and her good friend, Acyn. Will she go for it, or will she focus on herself? Add to your TBR to find out. 

The Neighbor Favor By Kristina Forest $16

Lily Greene is your classic bookish protagonist. While she spends half of her time climbing the ranks of the publishing company she works at, she spends the other half emailing her favorite unnamed fantasy author (don’t you just love modern romance?) It isn’t until she gets a new and undeniably fine- neighbor that the two finally meet. But unlucky for her, Nick Brown prefers to keep his ladies at arm’s length. 

Only For The Week By Natasha Bishop $14

This one’s for my Type A Baddies. Janelle is a successful OB-GYN who habitually puts others’ happiness before her own. When she’s tasked with helping to plan her sister’s wedding (Oh, who is engaged to Janelle’s ex), the claws come out, and a certain best man sweeps her off her feet. Set in Tulum, make sure to pack this messy one for your next girl’s trip. 

The Culmination Of Everything By Christina C. Jones $12

Get your tissues because this rollercoaster is emotional. In the first book of the author’s Sugar Valley series, Kyle meets Ben when he saves her from falling while rock climbing in Sugar Valley, and it’s safe to say that the two are less than charmed by each other. While Kyle is reserved, Ben is a whole new level of grumpy. But through confronting their own paths and feelings for each other, Kyle and Ben may just be what each other needs.

Seven Days In June By Tia Williams $13

Is this roundup even legit without Seven Days in June? This steamy novel follows Eva- bestselling erotica writer and mother- and Shane- an award-winning author who reconnect years after spending a sensual week together as teenagers. Now that the two are all grown up, they must face their past and probable future by spending a week heating up the already scorching Brooklyn summer. 

Fake It Til You Bake It By Jamie Wesley $8

This last one’s so sweet you might just get a cavity. After reality star Jada Townsend-Matthews turns down an engagement in front of the entire world, she returns to her hometown for some much-needed downtime. In her heartbroken state, she takes a job at a bakery run by a crabby owner who also happens to be a professional football player, Donovan Dell. Between the press in their business and their complicated pasts, will these two stay sweet or end sour?

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