Black women deserve to be swept off our feet. We deserve to be the object of affection in whirlwind romances and if anyone deserves a happy ending, it’s us. Sadly images of Black women as the main character in sweet depictions of love are few and far between. More often than not, our love stories look like struggle love. In 2023, henceforth and forevermore, we’re off that. Whether that type of love has manifested itself in your real life or not, here are some juicy romance books with black female leads to remind you of the possibilities. 

A Makeover And A Man

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Savvy Sheldon is stuck in a rut. She has a stressful but unwilling job, a worthless boyfriend and her kitchen is falling apart. Tackling one area of her life at a time, Savvy starts with the dilapidated kitchen. Then she gets a makeover. Next up she finds her job. Lastly, she takes a good, hard look at the man in her life. Eventually, she finds all of her self-improvement efforts have resulted in the life and love of her dreams.

A Tough Choice

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Joy, who is asexual, is in love with her best friend Malcolm. She’s never had the courage to tell him. Unaware of Joys feelings, Malcolm has gone on living his life and reveals that he’s met the one. Joy is devastated. When Malcolm invites her on a weekend getaway, she realizes it might be her last chance to tell him how she feels, before it’s too late. When Joy meets Fox, the two decide they should feign a relationship to make Malcolm jealous. But playing these games, leaves Joy confused about which man is right for her.

Cooking Up Something Special

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Jada Townsend-Matthews is persona non-grata after she turns down a proposal on a popular reality television show. When she returns home to pick up the pieces of her life, she begins working at Sugar Blitz. The local bakery is owned by former football player Donovan Dell. When a reporter mistakes the two for an item, they realize they can use the faux relationship to their advantage. The tagline for “Fake It Till You Bake It” is, “Faking a relationship should be simple, but sometimes love is the most unexpected ingredient.” We’re all in.

The Boy Next Door

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In this romance book with a black female lead, Lily Greene is an outcast in her family. They’re all about Black excellence and her dreams of becoming a children’s book editor don’t quite align. Plus, Lily has found herself stuck in the nonfiction department. Looking to escape her unsatisfying life, she begins corresponding with an author. Things are going well until he ghosts her just when she needs a date to her sister’s wedding. She taps her handsome neighbor to do the job instead. Hence “The Neighbor Favor.” Little does she know, her neighbor and the author who pulled the disappearing act might have a lot more in common than she realizes.

I’m Coming Out

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Mahalia missed her chance at a fabulous sweet sixteen party. But there is another type of party in which she can be the honored guest: a coming out party. “In Friday I’m In Love” by Camryn Garrett, we follow Mahalia as she prepares to make this party the hottest event. She works extra hours, searches for the flyest dress and flirts with her crush to ensure she has the time of her life. But will it all work out. 

Old Black Money

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If you are a fan of “Bridgerton” and love a good period piece then you should add “The Davenports” to your reading to-do list. This novel follows a formerly enslaved and now wealthy Black family. And with wealth comes expectations. The Davenport’s eldest daughter, Olivia, is supposed to get married. Her younger sister, Helen, is in love with the wrong man. And their childhood friend loves someone she can never be with. Then, there’s Ruby who loves the Davenport brother. It’s a lot, following four women working to find autonomy in life and love. But it’s oh, so worth it.

A Work Romance

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Mixing business with pleasure is always a dangerous equation. But when love strikes, it’s hard to fight it. That’s what architect Ari James discovers the very first day on the job at her new firm. Soon her budding relationship begins to compromise her work. “The Build Up” is Tati Richardson’s debut novel due out at the end of this month. It can be pre-ordered now.

Veronica Wells-Puoane is a contributor for 21Ninety.

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