[June] Celebrating Pride and Supporting Queer Black Voices Through Reading

Celebrating Pride and Supporting Queer Black Voices Through Reading

June is a time to celebrate the beauty and courage of Queer family across the board. This month especially, as we strive to recognize and appreciate our Pride History, it’s vital to acknowledge the rich contributions of Black Queers throughout history and today. One lovely way to celebrate this powerful presence in our lives is through reading Black Sapphic Romances written by Queer Black authors. These stories are an exciting way for us all to connect further with both queer identity and Blackness! By reading these books, we not only discover important lessons about living openly as  LGBTQIA+  but also gain inspiration from within a loving representation that has been long denied in many places around the world.

Why Representation Matters - Acknowledging the History of Queer Black Authors

When we talk about representation and diversity in literature, it's important to acknowledge the history of queer black authors and how their voices have been minimized or erased altogether. These writers have been contributing to the literary canon for generations, but their work is often overlooked or undervalued. Looking back, it's clear that the lack of representation in publishing is a systemic issue that must be addressed. But it's also important to highlight the incredible contributions of these authors. By recognizing and celebrating their work, we can encourage a more inclusive and diverse literary landscape for future generations.

Embracing the Power of Diversity in Romance Genres

Romance is a genre that is constantly evolving. While classic stories of boy meets girl will always get plenty of attention and shelf space, it's time to embrace the power of diversity within the genre. After all, love comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Whether it's a same-sex romance, an interracial love story, or a tale of different cultures coming together, these stories offer a chance to expand our perspectives and experience the world through someone else's eyes. By embracing diversity in romance, we open ourselves up to new and exciting narratives that reflect the world we live in.

As we honor and celebrate the diversity within our community, it's important not to forget about the intersectionality of identities. Supporting the voices of queer Black individuals is crucial for creating a more just and equitable society. There is a wide selection of books written by queer Black authors on a variety of topics, from memoirs to romance novels and science fiction. By actively seeking out and reading these works, we can broaden our understanding of the experiences and stories of marginalized communities. Let's continue to celebrate pride and support queer Black voices through the power of literature.


Crimes of Passion by Jack Harbon

Press play on this funny, sexy short story about rival true-crime podcast hosts forced to play nice and work together when, in reality, all they want to do is kill each other.

Emery Thompson hates Calvin Chamberlain. From the way he acts like he’s better than everyone to the way he moves through the world thinking his podcast is the cream of the crop, every little thing about the man gets to him. Even that dashing, oh-so-confident smile. He’d rather be caught dead than be around the man any longer than necessary—or admit that last part out loud.

Calvin Chamberlain hates admitting defeat. It’s hard enough losing sponsors for his historical crime podcast while obnoxious pop culture ones like Emery’s only gain more, so it’s a particularly cruel twist of fate when a late fan’s request for a collaboration with Emery lands in his lap. He’s in no position to turn down the plea, and with no way out, Calvin reluctantly agrees.

But keeping things purely professional turns out to be a challenge when these two make it to the studio. Their chemistry crackles through their microphones, and soon, their numbers begin to skyrocket. Can these two make a killing off what they once thought was a death sentence—and more importantly, will Calvin and Emery give into the heat of passion?

* * * * 

Can’t Resist Her by Kianna Alexander

Two very determined women—in love, at odds, and risking a lot on a second chance.

After years away from home, Summer Graves is back in Austin, Texas, to accept a new teaching position. Of all the changes to the old neighborhood, the most dispiriting one is the slated demolition of the high school her grandmother founded. There’s no way she can let developers destroy her memories and her family legacy. But the challenge stirs memories of another kind.

On the architectural team revitalizing the neighborhood, hometown girl Aiko Holt is all about progress. Then she sees Summer again. Some things never change.

Neither can forget the kiss they shared at their senior-year dance. Neither can back down from her unwavering beliefs about what’s right for the neighborhood.

For now, the only thing Summer and Aiko are willing to give in to is a heat that still burns. But can two women with so much passion—for what once was and what could be—agree to disagree long enough to fall in love?


Stud Like Her by Fiona Zedde

Chance has been in love only once, but it wasn’t with the girlfriend she stayed with for far too long. The same girlfriend who dropped Chance when she became too inconvenient. Or maybe just boring.

To bury her disappointment, Chance tries to return to the woman she loved back when she was too afraid to be herself. A stud attracted to other studs.

Instead of her old love, though, Chance finds Garett: a new and persistent admirer with the kind of swagger that leaves Chance weak in the knees. Garett is hot and very popular with her half a million followers on social media. She’s also a lot younger than Chance is used to. Not to mention there’s something familiar about her, something dangerous, that Chance can’t quite put her finger on.


Looking by Katrina Jackson

Darren and Nadia think they're ready to add a girlfriend to their marriage, but Jourdan knows between them is exactly where she belongs.


In Case You Forgot by Fredrick Smith & Chaz Lamar

Two newly single, Black, queer, and socially aware men have packed up to start again—in love, career, and life—in the West Hollywood neighborhood of LA. Zaire James, on the cusp of 30, has decided marriage isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Despite friends, family, and coworkers loving Zaire’s “perfect” partner, divorce is a necessary step for finding himself and being free. If only it were that easy. Kenny Kane has made a career of deferring dreams, lowering expectations, and chasing partners not on his level in hopes of finding a love to call his own. However, on the verge of the big 4-0, he realizes the clock is ticking on all his dreams. As Zaire and Kenny undo the significant relationships of their pasts, they hope new opportunities, energy, mindsets, and connections will reinvigorate what is missing in their lives—drama and all.


Neighborly by Katrina Jackson

Heaven has been in love with her boyfriend Calvin since the day they met. The amateur boxer is perfect; kind, supportive and loving, the body of a god and sex so good she's willing to follow him any and everywhere. That's how they end up in a new town, renting half a duplex and ready to start their lives together. Their new apartment is perfect. Big enough to lay down roots, a backyard studio for her to work on her art, and a neighbor who inspires the naughtiest fantasies. Tasha and Stephen have a great life. They go to work, they come home, Stephen cooks and Tasha does the dishes. It's domestic bliss. And if there's something better than bliss, it's whatever Tasha feels the first time she lays eyes on her new tenant next door and the way Stephen's eyes glaze over in lust when she shares her fantasies. What are two taken women to do when the attraction is mutual, the wall between their bedrooms seems paper thin, and the men they love only want them to be happy?

Neighborly is the second Erotic Accommodations series.

Each book is a standalone story of erotic desire at your doorstep, or closer. Each book is a stand-alone.


Renovation Of Love (Love On Madison Island Book 1) by Meka James

Her return could be a second chance to repair a first love...

Forty-three and jobless, Cynthia Marshall finds herself in the last place she'd expected, back home on Madison Island, GA. Her small hometown holds the ghosts of choices past. From the large Victorian she inherited from her beloved aunt, to unresolved family issues, and the boy turned man she left behind over two decades ago.

Starting a new career is hard enough but having to do so side by side with a person whose heart she broke is something she never accounted for.

Marcel Lewis is the owner of the only construction company on the island and is the key to making Cynthia's new dream a reality. He never quite got over the abrupt departure of the first woman he ever loved. Her return means he can finally get answers to the whys and what-ifs that have plagued him.

Years have passed, feelings have remained, but some wounds have yet to heal. The more time they spend together, the walls of the old house aren't the only ones tumbling down. But they can't construct a future without answering for decisions of the past.


The Nanny by Brandy Bush

I know what people see when they look at me. I know what they assume. That I'm my kids's nanny. That my husbands are my employers. I don't know why it annoys me, but it does. It activates some primal part of me and makes me want to stake a claim on my place in my family. And what better way to do that, than to get pregnant again?

Besides, trying to get pregnant is great for short-term stress relief and that's just what I need right now.


Invisible Life By E. Lynn Harris

The remarkable first novel by a young, gay, Black author who fashioned a deeply moving and compelling coming-of-age story out of the controversial issues of bisexuality and AIDS. Law school, girlfriends, and career choices were all part of Raymond Tyler's life, but there were other, more terrifying issues for him to confront.

Being Black was tough enough, but Raymond was becoming more and more conscious of sexual feelings that he knew weren't "right." He was completely committed to Sela, his longtime girlfriend, but his attraction to Kelvin, whom he had met during his last year in law school, had become more than just a friendship.

Fleeing to New York to escape both Sela and Kelvin, Raymond finds himself more confused than ever before. New relationships - both male and female - give him enormous pleasure but keep him from finding the inner peace and lasting love he so desperately desires. The horrible illness and death of a friend force Raymond, at last, to face the truth.

Invisible Life has been hailed as "one of the most thought-provoking books - since James Baldwin's Another Country" (Richmond Voice), and Harris's "stories have become the toast of bookstores, reading groups, men, women, and gay and straight people" (Atlanta Journal-Constitution).


Sips of Her by Karmen Lee

Julie Kim's life was supposed to be simple. Falling for the gorgeous barista with the enigmatic smile was not part of the plan.

Cameran Davis loves love, and her coffee shop, Love & Lattes, reflects that. But, she's starting to wonder if maybe happily ever after isn't in the cards.

A surprise run-in culminates in a ruse leading to acknowledging feelings and steamy nights. When things get real, will they fight for a chance at happiness or go their separate ways?

SIPS OF HER is adorably sweet, wonderfully steamy, and comes complete with its own HEA.


Once Ghosted Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole

Alyssa Cole returns with a fun, sexy romance novella in the Reluctant Royals series!

While her boss the prince was busy wooing his betrothed, Likotsi had her own love affair after swiping right on a dating app. But her romance had ended in heartbreak, and now, back in NYC again, she’s determined to rediscover her joy—so of course she runs into the woman who broke her heart.

When Likotsi and Fabiola meet again on a stalled subway train months later, Fab asks for just one cup of tea. Likotsi, hoping to know why she was unceremoniously dumped, agrees. Tea and food soon leads to them exploring the city together, and their past, with Fab slowly revealing why she let Likotsi go, and both of them wondering if they can turn this second chance into a happily ever after.


Queen of the Banished: The Awakening (A Lesbian Fantasy Novel) by Tuesday Harper

An epic story about love and magic, rivalry and revenge…

Thrown out of their magical community, a group of witches fights to scrape by in mortal society. Despite their efforts, the only hope to dethrone the wicked enchantress that banished them lies in the hands of an unknown heir that no one is even sure exists.

In an odd twist of fate, Safiri, a witch with unique powers, starts hooking up with Corinne, a bookstore clerk who doesn’t even believe in magic. Corinne worries the smooth talker will play with her heart. What she doesn’t expect is Safiri to reveal hidden truths from her past.

According to the prophecy, Corinne is meant to save the banished and restore the balance to the magical world. Safiri believes she can, but might be the only one. Corinne doesn’t have any magical abilities and seems more interested in having a normal life than stepping into the power that was destined for her.

Corinne must decide if she has the courage to tap into the power inside of her she never knew existed.


Naked in Your Bedroom: An Erotic Lesbian Romance by Tuesday Harper

Having a crush can bring that butterfly feeling. But having a crush on your roommate is just asking for trouble.

Fallon is supposed to be on her road to self-discovery, focusing on herself and doing yoga. She swore off love, relationships, and even took a vow of celibacy after her last break-up. Her roommate, Whitney, a sexy former basketball player, makes her reconsider.

Not like it matters. Fallon definitely isn't her type. She doesn't think Whitney would want to pursue a relationship with another masculine woman. Instead, she turns to Fallon as her trusted confidante, knocking on her door looking for advice. Whitney is oblivious that her friend is crushing on her and Fallon has convinced herself she's okay with that.


That Could Be Enough by Alyssa Cole

Mercy Alston knows the best thing to do with pesky feelings like "love" and "hope": avoid them at all cost. Serving as a maid to Eliza Hamilton, and an assistant in the woman's stubborn desire to preserve her late husband's legacy, has driven that point home for Mercy—as have her own previous heartbreaks. When Andromeda Stiel shows up at Hamilton Grange for an interview in her grandfather's stead, Mercy's resolution to live a quiet, pain-free life is tested by the beautiful, flirtatious, and entirely overwhelming dressmaker.

Andromeda is a woman who knows what she wants and resolutely overcomes anything that tries to stop her. She’s a seamstress, shopkeeper, and soon-to-be owner of her very own boarding house—if she doesn’t get distracted by Mercy, a luminescent woman furiously trying to dim her own light. Andromeda is intrigued, and when Mercy declares that she doesn’t believe in love—well, Andromeda does love a challenge.

They find in each other both friendship and a fierce attraction that won't be denied. Mercy begins dusting off the parts of herself she'd locked away for safekeeping, and Andromeda finds in Mercy something more fulfilling than the thrill of the chase. Neither is prepared for love, though, and both must learn to trust in the possibility that it will be enough.


D’Vaughn & Kris Plan A Wedding by Chencia Higgins

D’Vaughn and Kris have six weeks to plan their dream wedding.

Their whole relationship is fake.

Instant I Do could be Kris Zavala’s big break. She’s right on the cusp of really making it as an influencer, so a stint on reality TV is the perfect chance to elevate her brand. And $100,000 wouldn’t hurt, either.

D’Vaughn Miller is just trying to break out of her shell. She’s sort of neglected to come out to her mom for years, so a big splashy fake wedding is just the excuse she needs.

All they have to do is convince their friends and family they’re getting married in six weeks. If anyone guesses they’re not for real, they’re out. Selling their chemistry on camera is surprisingly easy, and it’s still there when no one else is watching, which is an unexpected bonus. Winning this competition is going to be a piece of wedding cake.   

But each week of the competition brings new challenges, and soon the prize money’s not the only thing at stake. A reality show isn’t the best place to create a solid foundation, and their fake wedding might just derail their relationship before it even starts.

Cupid Calling by Viano Oniomoh

Ejiro Odavwaro wants to fall in love. Obiora Anozie wants a free vacation. Both hope they’ll find what they want on the upcoming reality dating show Cupid Calling, where they’ll be competing alongside twenty-eight other bachelors for the heart of one bachelorette.

The very last thing they expect is to fall for each other.

Soul To Keep by Rebekah Weatherspoon

With every commitment comes sacrifice …

College junior Jill Babineux knows where her priorities lie. Between a full course load, her blood pledge to feed a certain vampire, and all the community service hours she’s got to log with her sisters in Alpha Beta Omega Sorority, the last thing on her mind is finding love, especially with an immortal.

Which works out just fine for Miyoko “Tokyo” Hayashi who’s been so busy enjoying her wild days and even kinkier nights, she’s never had a reason to speak to the tiny know-it-all. But after a random run-in and a few carefully plotted encounters, Miyoko learns that there’s more to the sorority’s least favorite member.

Miyoko never thought she’d actually start to like the girl, let alone love her, but when true evil comes for Jill, Miyoko finds herself willing to do anything to protect her. Anything.

Ablaze by A.H. Cunningham

Sometimes you think you know yourself until you realize you’ve only scratched the surface.

Mariana Torres Charles is finally ready to fulfill her dream as a bandleader and designer for the up-and-coming Carnival Band LoveVibe for Miami Carnival. The win would be proof that she can follow through on her goals because in love…the follow through is less than stellar. After a long string of crushed lovers, she is done breaking hearts.

When Mason Brathwaite, her forever-friends-with-benefits, needs a date to a networking event to snag a new sponsor for his Student Community Center, she volunteers to attend with him hoping to catch a break from the pressures of dating. But when they meet the mysterious Daniel Robinson, son of Mason’s prospective donor and experienced kinkster, she can’t help but forget her newfound resolve.

Every moment they spend together illuminates her thoughts and desires, but her track record at love tells her it is only a matter of time before their liaison smokes away.

With Mason’s vying for her heart and Daniel’s and Daniel seducing their minds, what can a woman do but succumb to the temptation calling to her? Mariana will deal with the ashes once they come. After all, that's her specialty.

* * * *

I planned for this list to be short, but the moment I started looking, I found so many queer romances written Black authors. This just proves that if you’re looking for it, you’ll find it! Who did I miss on this list? Give me more queer Black romance authors to read!

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