Apr 27 2012 1:30pm

Finding Your “Try” Book: Satisfying a Craving for Something New

Illegal Affairs by Sienna MynxAbout 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. 

Mi Carino by Sienna MynxThe 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.  

The Heist by Sienna MynxWhile “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. 

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Heather Waters
1. HeatherWaters
Great piece, Miss_D, thanks! I'm interested in giving one of these a try as well--maybe "Mi Carino" first?

I love the novella series idea. As much as I love the HEA, it's all about the journey, isn't it? So I'm a big fan of story arcs over multiple books for a big payoff. The anticipation is part of the fun for me, which is why I love TV so much, I think...
Vanessa Ouadi
2. Lafka
I actually don't really look after heroines who look and behave like me when I read a romance book (nor any book BTW). I like to be surprised, I like to be taken out of what I know, so if the heroine is very different from me, in character, appearance or behaviour, I'm really fine with it ^^ Not that I won't read a book where the heroine is like me (though I have not yet met such a book, me being a french geeky overweight girl of arabic ascendance, and all ^^), but I've never searched such a book :)
Thank you for all these recommandations anyway, I haven't read any ^^
3. Miss_D
@Lafka... I get what you're saying but for me, in my 25+ years of romance book reading, it's only been in the last year that I wanted to read a book with a heroine similar to me. Up until then, it was usually a heroine UNlike me that I was reading about and I wanted a change after so many years of knowing only "other", if that makes sense. Anyhoo, I appreciate your feedback and please let me know if you decide to give any of those books a try.

@redline_ Thanks! I love "Mi Carino/Mi Carina" and I don't think you can go wrong with it or "Lee's Girls". The former is a bit darker than the latter, though. This author also has a few stand alones that are well-reviewed on Amazon that I've also read, "Black Butterfly" and "Before Sunrise", as well as her almost completed trilogy "Aiden's Game" followed by "Daisy's Choice". Any would be good to start with, I think.

And I agree with you about the journey. With most romances, you already know that there will be a HEA but if the journey is bland or rushed or contrived, it doesn't make for a very satisfying HEA. the same goes with TV. It's all about how the characters make their way to the finish line.
Vanessa Ouadi
4. Lafka
@Miss_D : I think I will give them a try, I do like full-of-angst romances _ Mi Cariña in particular tempts me (I'm quite fond of seeking-redemption stories) ^^
Nicole Leapheart
5. BoxyFrown
This was great - I love finding new authors, and I have at least 2 friends who have similar reading interets as I who are always looking for these kinds of reads!
K.M. Jackson
6. kwanawrites
Thanks for this post Miss_D. I love finding good new authors and especially good new multi-cultural romance authors.
Robbie Thornton
7. Button
I don't specifically buy books based on the skin color, ethnicity, or the regional customs of the characters, but I do often enjoy them when I happen upon them. I was born in the Southern US, but enjoy dual residency now and have lived most of the past 9 years in Australia. Perhaps I'm a bit more homesick than most. There's no corn bread here, no "pitcher of tea" in the fridge, so obviously I love when I happen across a well done romance set in the rural south. That's when I get to thinking "I can so hear my momma sayin that"! The culture here is so different, and while I love Australian stories, its the ones from my culture and the home of my heart that resonate in me the deepest.
8. violon
I am same like of "Button"
9. rdsangel127117
Thanks for the recommendations Miss D! I just finished "Trolling Nights" by Savannah J. Frierson and "Tatted" by Renee LaRuse. I'd also recommend "The Presiden'ts Girlfriend Series" by Mallory Monroe and BOMAW (Beauty of Man and Woman) by Mercedes Keyes.
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