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Feb: Building Your Romance Library


I have been tasked by the Romance Writers of America to curate the ideal 100 books every romance reader, writer, or library should possess. Feel free to shoot me an email if you can think of a must-read, in classic literature, as well as a gotta-have series for any bookshelf.




Licorice Whips

"Sweet" Hawkes is a BDSM dominant who has lost his smile. Although he loves the candy store called Decadent Treats that he co-owns with his brother, Masaun, he's lost the passion he had for making treats for his customers. After releasing his last submissive, Sweet decides to dive in head first into business and forget about love and disciplining. He wants to open up a second Decadent Treats and a store that would sell quality BDSM toys and apparel. Sweet never expects to find an obstacle outside his door. Nikla Dearwood has made it her mission to picket outside of the Decadent Treats store to warn customers about eating too much sugar. Although as a Pilates and yoga instructor, it would seem as though her protests have to do with leading a healthy lifestyle, Nikla has other motives. Besides this protest, she wants to open up her own exercise studio in downtown Virginia Beach.

Confessions in B-Flat

Essence bestselling author Donna Hill brings us an emotional love story set against the powerful backdrop of the civil rights movement that gripped a nation—a story as timely as it is timeless...


The year is 1963. In Harlem, the epicenter of Black culture, the fight for equality has never been stronger. The time is now. Enough is enough. Yet even within its ranks, a different kind of battle rages. Love thy neighbor? Or rise up against your oppressors?


Jason Tanner has just arrived in New York to help spread the message of his mentor, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., of passive resistance, while beat poet Anita Hopkins believes the teachings of Malcolm X with all her heart: that the way to true freedom is “by any means necessary.” When Jason sees Anita perform her poetry at the iconic B-Flat lounge, he’s transfixed. And Anita has never met anyone who can match her wit for wit like this…


One movement, two warring ideologies—can love be enough to unite them?


Confessions in B-Flat is a celebration of the hard-won victories of those who came before us, and a stark reminder of just how far we still have to go.

If Beale Street Could Talk

From one of the most important writers of the twentieth century comes a stunning love story about a young Black woman whose life is torn apart when her lover is wrongly accused of a crime—"a moving, painful story, so vividly human and so obviously based on reality that it strikes us as timeless" (The New York Times Book Review).


"One of the best books Baldwin has ever written—perhaps the best of all." —The Philadelphia Inquirer


Told through the eyes of Tish, a nineteen-year-old girl, in love with Fonny, a young sculptor who is the father of her child, Baldwin’s story mixes the sweet and the sad. Tish and Fonny have pledged to get married, but Fonny is falsely accused of a terrible crime and imprisoned. Their families set out to clear his name, and as they face an uncertain future, the young lovers experience a kaleidoscope of emotions—affection, despair, and hope. In a love story that evokes the blues, where passion and sadness are inevitably intertwined, Baldwin has created two characters so alive and profoundly realized that they are unforgettably ingrained in the American psyche.

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