by Jamie Canavés
As discussions continue regarding representation and ownvoices in publishing, let’s celebrate some Latinx authors writing romance–-before, during, and after Hispanic Heritage Month. Year-round celebrating, is what I’m saying. And I’m talking swoony. Kissy. Shexy. Funny. And filled with amor. Plus, getting to see your culture, or getting to know someone else’s, is a really nice addition. If these authors have yet to make it on your radar, I’m going to fix that, and I strongly advise you move at least one to the top of your (surely) never-ending TBR list.
HERE TO STAY by Adriana Herrera
LOL moments and a kitten–I’m sold! Okay, you need more, of course. Julia del Mar Ortiz may have her dream job–in charge of a department store’s charitable foundation!–but she left her New York life behind to move to Texas with her boyfriend, who had the nerve to leave her after a few weeks in a new state. Rude! And another dude is about to make her life not-so-great, as Rocco Quinn has been hired by the store for business expansion and he’s looking to axe Julia’s dream job. This is a slow-burn, enemies-to-lovers so while Julia may hate Rocco now, after he joins her Gotham Exiles Club Julia learns he’s conflicted over his job and is also socially conscience, which makes her start to warm to him. You love to see it! Come for the heartwarming romance, stay to watch immigrant families flourish with some help, the awesome friendships, family dynamics, and laughs. It’s heartwarming, I tell you!
Bonus: Adriana Herrera has a huge backlist of standalone and series romances including AMERICAN DREAMER which follows Nesto Vasquez, and his Afro-Caribbean food truck, and a customer, Jude Fuller, who can’t get enough of Nesto’s delicious food and of course Nesto. I don’t know about you, but I can smell the sofrito! I’ll take one of everything from the menu.
THE WORST BEST MAN by Mia Sosa
First, the cover cracks me up. Second, it looks like a perfect film poster, so someone adapt this, por favor. Here’s an enemies-to-lovers story that belongs in Alanis Morissette’s Ironic song because Carolina “Lina” Santos is a wedding planner who got left at the altar three years ago. I know! Now Lina has the opportunity for a dream job, but it comes with a serious catch: Max Hartley. He was the best man at her ill-fated wedding…because he’s the groom’s brother. Lina is still furious over the whole being-left-on-her-wedding-day thing, so strap in for snark, pranks, and then sparks–and a kick to the face along the way (he’s fine!). You get a Portuguese-speaking own-my-own-business Brazilian lead, a tight Brazilian family, safe sex (hello, condoms!), and characters who say what they need and feel even if they don’t always get it right. (That’s what a good apology is for.) There’s so much to love here!
Bonus: Mia Sosa also has two romance series including ACTING ON IMPULSE, which follows Tori Alvarez to Aruba where she meets, and doesn’t recognize, Hollywood heartthrob Carter Stone.
YOU HAD ME AT HOLA by Alexis Daria
Telenovela! Family! And a secret! If you’re still missing your weekly JANE THE VIRGIN fix (it’s streaming on Netflix, so feel free to rewatch!), this should help a bit. Jasmine Lin Rodriguez has landed a role in a bilingual romantic comedy and isn’t letting her recent tabloid-covered breakup, or her lack of español, distract her. Nor a last minute casting change that lands Ashton Suárez, from Miami fame, as her scene smooching partner. Ashton is hoping
this will be his break with English-speaking American audiences, since so far he’s only broken into the Miami telenovela scene. The two have so much riding on this that nerves, a disastrous first meeting, and personal lives are getting in the way of chemistry on set. So they practice off set. Oh, you know where this is going… Travel to Puerto Rico for Ashton’s family and get to know Jasmine’s hilarious primas, and remember how I said this was for JANE THE VIRGIN fans–-you get to watch (read) a lot of the behind-the-scenes filming of the telenovela. Including how there are checks in place for this show regarding everyone feeling comfortable filming the steamy scenes! It’s fun, interesting, and like two stories in one!
Bonus: Alexis Daria has standalone romance novels and a duology with a Dance Off show in her backlist!
Are you still here? Go read these fantastic Latinx romance novels!
Jamie Canavés is a Book Riot contributing editor and Tailored Book Recommendations coordinator. She writes the Unusual Suspects mystery newsletter, never says no to chocolate or ‘80s nostalgia, and can hold a conversation using only gifs. Tweets: @Oh_Dinky.