T10T — Valentine’s Day edition: let’s talk about DIVERSE romance!

February 11, 2020


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week’s theme is a love freebie, so I decided to recommend 10 of my favorite diverse romances! I made myself limit this to 2 titles per author because otherwise, the whole list would have been split between the same couple of authors. ??

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a girl like her

It would have been impossible to write this list without mentioning the book that made me dive head-first into loving the romance genre, as well as the book that first made me realize there was more to the genre than just thin white women and cishet pairings.

DIVERSITY: Ruth (heroine) is fat, Black (own-voices), and autistic (also own-voices).

over and over again

I also couldn’t make this list without naming one of my favorite ships in the universe: Luca and Imre. This sweet, slow-burn age gap romance is honestly a master class in character development and angst. ♥

DIVERSITY: Luca is gay; Imre is gay and Romani. The author is a multiracial bisexual trans man.

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the kiss quotient

Though the hype for this one has calmed down a little in the almost two years since its release, it’s definitely still high on my list of favorites. Not only is it diverse as hell, it also offers great treatment of sex workers!

DIVERSITY: Stella (heroine) is autistic (own-voices); Michael (hero) is Vietnamese/Swedish; several side characters are Vietnamese (own-voices).

the winter quarters

This is a recent addition to my list of favorites, but it was so delightful, just writing this post has me wanting to reread it. Childhood best friends turned lovers? That’s my shit right there.

DIVERSITY: Both main characters are Japanese and gay.

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red, white & royal blue

You all knew this one was coming, right? I think just about everyone I know is putting this on their favorite romances lists, but I had to include it, too, because it’s just so damn cute and worthy of all the love and hype.

DIVERSITY: Alex is biracial (Mexican/white), bisexual, and has ADHD; Henry is gay. The author is queer.

the cardigans

Fair disclaimer here: this is the first book in the first season of a pretty long-running series (each installment is short and the over-arching series essentially imitates the idea of a television show), and these aren’t just romance books, they’re also mystery/crime thrillers following a couple of detectives… who just happen to have some pretty steamy feels for each other. ?

DIVERSITY: Malcolm is Persian/Jewish-American and bi; Seong-Jae is Korean-American, gay, and demigray-ace. The author is a multiracial bisexual trans man.

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get a life, chloe brown

Have I talked about this book enough yet, honestly? It doesn’t matter, I’m gonna talk about it some more. ? It’s just so hilarious and sexy and the rep means SO MUCH to me.

DIVERSITY: Chloe (heroine) is Black (own-voices), fat, and has fibromyalgia (own-voices); Red (hero) has PTSD from a toxic/abusive relationship.


I wasn’t originally sure if I was making this list exclusive to adult romances, but then I remembered this precious little graphic novel existed, and there was just no way I could leave it out. If you haven’t met the sweetest, softest little baker boys imaginable, you gotta fix that.

DIVERSITY: Ari is Greek and gay; Hector is Samoan and gay.

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made for you

This was my first Anyta Sunday read, and I can assure you, it won’t be my last. While there’s a lot of pining and angst in this one, it’s really mostly just incredibly cute and light. I didn’t know how much I loved romances involving home renovations until this one, either. ?‍♀️

DIVERSITY: Ben and Jack are both gay.

captive prince (trilogy)

Last but certainly not least comes the first book in one of my favorite series of all time. Loads of trigger warnings go along with this series — primarily the first installment; things lighten up tremendously afterward — but it features one of the single greatest romances I’ve ever read in my life.

DIVERSITY: Damianos is bisexual; Laurent is gay. The author is queer and genderqueer/nonbinary.


Writing this list brought me face-to-face with something very saddening to my little queer lady heart: I can’t name a single f/f romance (not including books of other genres that happen to feature romance as a subplot) that I genuinely loved. I have a handful of f/f romances on my TBR, but I wanted to ask you all for recommendations, too. If you know of any f/f romances you think are super swoon-worthy, please drop them in the comments below!


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More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Just a horror aficionado/geek girl trying to juggle motherhood, reading, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

    1. I’m currently reading Red, White and Royal blue, and I’m loving it so far! Also I have Bloom checked out from the library and can’t wait to read it!
      Great list!

      My post!

    1. I’ve had my eyes on A Girl Like Her and The Cardigans for a while now and STILL haven’t picked them up! ? Idefinitelyy will be picking up Over and Over again bc you had me at age-gap! Great suggestions!

      1. Thank you! I hope you love Over and Over Again ? If you haven’t gotten it yet, I saw in Cole’s newsletter today that it’s on sale for $2.99 for the kindle version right now and all the proceeds go to a charity (I can’t remember the name of it off the top of my head but I’m sure it’s all on his twitter if you’re interested!).

    1. From these books, I’ve read & loved The Kiss Quotient & Red White & Royal Blue. And thanks to this post, most of the others are going on my TBR. Thank you!!

    1. I think it’s really cool that you made note of the diversity in all of these books. What a good idea.

      My TTT .

      1. Thank you so very much! I have never even heard of some of these so I’ll be looking them up ASAP, and I’ve already pulled the twitter link up in another tab to scroll through the moment I finish catching up on comments haha! I can’t wait! ?

    1. I’m so happy to see some of my favorite romances on here like The Kiss Quotient and Red, White, & Royal Blue! And I think including Bloom was such a great move, because it was one of the sweetest graphic novels I’ve read! (No pun intended.) And I actually read Get a Life, Chloe Brown last month after I saw you taking about it on your blog! It was so good, and now I can’t wait for Take a Hint, Dani Brown to be released!

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