About a year ago I was chatting with a fellow romance fan. She’s new to the genre and has a more focused interest on paranormal romances, especially vampire stories. I’m more old school, in that I’ve been reading romance books for almost 30 years, starting with Rosemary Rogers’s historical novels (and other authors writing at the time) and branching out from there.
Both of us found ourselves wishing that there were more romance books out there with women who not only look like us but also date like us. See, we’re both Black women who grew up in diversity rich areas, and while we both like the mainstream romances you find in bookstores, there is something to be said for reading a story with a heroine we can identify with both physically and culturally.
I got a Kindle last year and began to build my library on it with electronic copies of paperbacks I already own. I hadn’t really sought out new authors, but an email from that same friend about Amazon’s multicultural section got me thinking about actively searching for the type of books I craved to read, books that would make me nod my head and say “oh yeah, I’d totally say that” or “she sounds just like my mother/family/friend.” So I decided to give it a shot, found a “try” book—you know, the one that’s on sale or inexpensive but has a good overall review so you’re willing to give it a try—and I’ve never looked back. Now I have a list of several authors whose books I eagerly anticipate and savor when I read, plus many more I have yet to discover. I’d like to think more readers are interested in the multicultural romance subgenre but haven’t figured out where to begin.
My “try” book is by Sienna Mynx, an author whose novels I’ve since grown to love tremendously. Mynx writes amazing romances with incredibly flawed, complex alpha males, and strong but compassionate women. Those are my favorite kinds—I can’t stand too-stupid-to-live heroines and bland heroes. I’ve quit more than a few books because I couldn’t tolerate one or both of the protagonists. I have never had that problem with Sienna Mynx’s books.
The first book I read was the novella series “Illegal Affair.” Originally in three parts, Amazon now offers it as the complete story on Kindle. I read it in one sitting late into the night (let’s not talk about the next day at work). It’s the story of Rae, an FBI agent, and Shane, a local hood with a troubled childhood. They meet at her birthday celebration, which takes place at a bar. He’s trying to create an alibi, and she’s out to have some fun. The sparks fly pretty quickly, but complications soon arise. It’s an entertaining read with well-written characters who get caught up in what is between them and have to fight every step of the way to find happiness. After finishing that book, I purchased most of her other available books. My favorites are the “Mi Carino/Mi Carina” duo and her soon-to-be-completed “Lee’s Girls” trilogy.
“Mi Carino/ Mi Carina” is the highly dramatic, emotionally wringing love story of Diego and Marcella. Marcella is a sweet, laid back woman getting out of a bad relationship when she literally runs into Diego one day at a restaurant. In “Mi Carino,” Diego woos Marcella then wins her only to lose her to his own demons. Part two, “Mi Carina” is Diego’s road to redemption to prove to himself he’s worthy of Marcella’s love for him. Their story is not just about their passion for each other but one of healing and hope in the face of adversity, whether from outside sources or self-destructive behavior.
While “Lee’s Girls” is still a book shy of completion with the final part to be published in the near future according to the author, it is not too early to jump in to this series featuring Michelle aka Chocolat and Lee. “The Heist,” book one, reveals how Lee is able to pull Michelle back into the underworld of jewel thievery with the help of her younger sister. It follows their high stakes adventures of revenge in a tropical backdrop. “For the Love of Chocolat” continues the push-pull love story between Michelle and Lee against a backdrop of betrayal, murder, and duplicity. It is an exciting novel as well as a bit of a nail-biter—Lee has a secret that will likely destroy his burgeoning relationship with Michelle. You won’t want to put any of these books down.
Sienna Mynx’s exciting tales of passion, emotional drama, pain, acceptance, growth and love are something I think every romance reader should give a try, regardless of who they are.
Miss D has been reading romance books for over 25 years. A native Californian making her way in the Big Apple, she likes to spend her downtime relaxing in front of the TV, chatting with friends, sitting in Central Park and playing beach volleyball.