Tea and Biscuits Book Discussions: Diversity In Romance

belle-and-the-beauWhat makes a romance novel even better is to see the strength and courage that we see in diversity in romance. Every time I find one of these treasures, there are times I just want to hold it close because they are so rare to find especially the well written ones. I fell in love with these type of romances when I first started reading romance. Beverly Jenkins, is one of my favorites to read and was my first author to read when it comes to diversity. Now, I don’t know about any of you or where you live or the type of people you are surrounded by. But where I have lived (In Utah) there is hardly any diversity so it was never something I grew up with and was surrounded by. So when I discovered historical romances that dealt with a unique set of circumstances the diversity gives us….it was as if a whole new world was opened up to me and I only craved to know more. Belle and the Beau and Josephine and the Soldier were the first two books that dealt with this topic and I soaked it up like a sponge. What is very interesting and unique about Beverly Jenkins is the passion and the feels that just flow in her stories so flawlessly. She does implement quite a bit of history in her books, so not everyone is a fan of that. However I love the way she makes history come alive and its accurate and its obvious she does her research.

Now some of the other authors that have broached this topic is Donna Fletcher, Heather Graham, Cassie Edwards and Rosanne Bittner. Now these authors have done a fabulous job with handling diversity in romance so well. Now what makes these stories so different from the others? What is it that makes them stand out from the rest? Well let me tell you what it does for me. I love a solid romance, but what I get out of these stories can be so much more depth and it isn’t for everyone because it tends to deal with some difficult issues. But I love seeing a couple fall in love and overcome some tough challenges even ones that seem impossible. For example, in a story by Heather Graham, Captive. We have a coupe who are practically “forbidden” to be together because the hero is a native american and the heroine is white. We see how they overcome some painful moments to reach their happily ever after. And what I also liked was that Graham didn’t surgar coat anything and even their happy ending doesn’t mean life stops happening, she portrayed how they would still have plenty of struggles and challenges through life, but they stick together to get through them and I LOVE seeing that in romance. Its one of my favorite things to see in a romance novel, that its real and vivid and packed with emotion and diversity just adds another spice to the mix. Now most of the diversity I have read has dealt mostly with Native American’s which is not for everyone because if the author writes it right, can be quite painful and stressing and sometimes you just want to relax into a love story. But the ones I have had the pleasure to read, opened my eyes when I didn’t know much about this type of American history and even makes you realize how truly blessed we all are and to take pleasure in those happy and fun moments we have in life. But it also makes me appreciate the true struggles many had to deal with especially following the Civil War or even before that dealing with how many horrible things affected the native american’s or those from Mexico or Spain. I love the history of it all and adds something quite special to a love story. I have always wondered through the past ten years or so, why these stories affect me differently. I think its because its different and unique and not many authors broach this topic. In fact, its not as common as it used to be. Which is why I have loved seeing the recent love bloggers have had with the newest releases from Jenkins and falling in love with this style of romance. Seeing Diversity in Romance in unique, an adventure and worth the ride!!!

Questions For My Readers

Have you read diversity in romance?

If so, what do you love/hate about it? Do you have any favorites that you would recommend?

8 thoughts on “Tea and Biscuits Book Discussions: Diversity In Romance

  1. I love your post topic. I’ve gone out of my way to choose historicals with diversity in them though I still need to read some Beverly Jenkins. I think my love for it started with good ol’ Louis L’Amour westerns and other adventures from when I was a kid reading my dad’s books. The West was a rather diverse place and I loved that L’Amour told it like it was. I’ve cried over some of the Native American historicals I’ve read. As to those who write with an eye for diversity, I like Kaki Warner, Lori Austin, and, I also enjoy Jeannie Lin’s books for her Asian historical romances,

  2. I live in Central New York (which is nothing like NYC). I grew up in this tiny little town and there was very little racial diversity there. There was economic diversity, but other than that, almost everyone was white. I live in Syracuse now, where there is lots of diversity and I love it. But I haven’t read a ton of romance featuring diversity, but I’m working on it. I loved Indigo by BJ, and I have another one of her books that I plan to read soon. I think it’s called Destiny’s Embrace. I’m really excited to read that. I’ve also read A Bollywood Affair which has Indian main characters and I LOVED THAT! And Hard to Hold On To by Laura Kaye, where the hero is black. Another winner!

  3. oh wow that is awesome to see some historical romance with diversity in them, I had to admit, I have not seen many only perhaps a handful that I myself had come across. I think there needs to be more diversity, I agree. I am from NYC, but I moved to a very small town myself and the difference is stark.

  4. I also live in an area (a small fishing village) where there’s not a lot of diversity so like you, books are my way to learn & live vicariously through others. I haven’t read a lot of historicals with racial diversity per se, just a few, but I have in contemporary romance. Stand outs have been like others have mentioned: Laura Kaye’s Hard to Hold On to and anything written by Sonali Dev. Also, Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices, a Steampunk series, has an Asian gentleman in a love triangle with an Englishwoman.

  5. I live in a mountain town in Colorado where there isn’t much diversity. However, I grew up in Texas where there is lots. I love seeing diversity in books – any genre – but especially in romance. It’s very realistic to think that couples from different races fell for one another. I also like seeing stories with different cultures – books like Snow Flower and the Secret Fan or Memoirs of a Geisha. Have you read Pamela Clare’s MacKinnon’s Rangers series, Renee? One of the books in the trilogy has a Scottish man and a Native American woman fall for one another. I love the historical detail of the series which is based on a real man and his group of Rangers. Great post!

  6. Great post! I honestly crave more diversity in romance in every iteration — race, religion, orientation, etc. Everyone loves and everyone needs love and it’s important to represent this in books. I’m definitely going to check out some of your suggestions! ♥

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