AAPI Romance Books

4 minute read

Add These AAPI Romance Books To Your #TBR

Celebrate these authors and their work this May!

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month! And what better way to celebrate than with some AAPI romance books? From romantasy to contemporary romance novels, we’ve got you covered.

We’ve compiled a list of new and upcoming titles and authors that are paying tribute to the various segments of the huge diaspora of the Asian and Pacific Islander experience.

Top AAPI Romance Books To Read Next:

How To End A Love Story by Yulin Kuang

Author Kuang weaves a complicated story about grief and forgiveness that centers on one terrible event. When Helen encounters Grant, the catalyst for the tragedy, years later, the two of them start to connect in surprising ways. Can Helen’s traditional parents, conservative and insular Chinese immigrants, put the past aside in order to forgive and welcome him?

I loved this book, enemies to lovers is my favorite trope, although this particular relationship has a twist. To be ready for it!

“I’ll read anything she writes. An absolute star.” –Emily Henry

“I was hooked on the very first page. Don’t miss this one!” — Carley Fortune




The Emperor and The Endless Palace by Justinian Huang  

This genre-bending novel from debut author Huang defies time and space in the most epic of ways! Following two queer Asian characters through three time periods and borrowing liberally from Chinese history and myth, this lovely book spins an unforgettable story about the absolute power of true love.

I’m not really sure how to describe this book. It almost defies description, too. The only applicable word I can conjure up is “ground-breaking”.

“This is the sexiest and most compelling read of what is, I think, a brand-new genre: Historical, erotic, reincarnation romance. I couldn’t put it down.” —Lynda Obst, Hollywood producer of Interstellar and Contact

“Opulent…a mystical story of star-crossed lovers who chase true love and atonement across thousands of lifetimes” —Library Journal




Say You’ll Be Mine by Naina Kumar

Meghna and Karthik don’t know each other, but they have meddling parents in common! Both of them find this convenient when they need a quick fake partner, so they agree that an “engagement” would solve quite a few short-term problems. To their surprise, they begin to develop true romantic feelings. This book looks at romance through a very specific cultural lens, which adds complexity and nuance to the story.

“Perfect for fans of grumpy-sunshine pairings and mostly closed-door romances.”Library Journal

“Kumar debuts with a swoon-worthy contemporary that marries a grumpy-sunshine romance with a deep exploration of familial relationships. . . .”Publishers Weekly




The Good, The Bad, The Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Bestselling series alert! Meddy’s mother interrupts her honeymoon to invite the newlyweds to Jakarta for a large Chinese New Year celebration. When a VERY important document goes missing, Meddy, her new husband, and her meddling, beloved Aunties find themselves in the middle of a dangerous situation.

This book is a delightful wrap-up for the Aunties series. I’ll miss the capers and antics of these unforgettable ladies, but I can’t wait for Jesse Q. Sutanto’s next book!

“Sutanto packs in loads of local color, and gives the aunties ample opportunity to let their freak flags fly.”—Publishers Weekly
“Sutanto delivers another addictive romp, managing to negotiate a thrilling (multi) happily-everafter finale because, alas, this concludes the Aunties series.”—Booklist




Night and Day by Roselle Lim

Our final AAPI romance book has two lovers are destined to be together. But they are also destined to never see each other again. Working opposite shifts in the same place, they two discover that they can talk to each other for a few minutes just before dawn. Why are they in the middle of a war between the gods?

Growing up in a household where Filipino Catholicism and Chinese superstition bore equal weight, Roselle Lim devoured books about mythology as a child, all of which contribute to the shape of the fantasies of her novels.

“The fascinating concept and skillful storytelling will carry readers through to the end…there’s plenty to enjoy here.”Publishers Weekly

“This carefully plotted story, dense with clues that Camille and Ward work to solve, is sure to appeal to puzzle masters. A clever novel that is part fantasy, part escape room strategy and trickery, and part romance.”Kirkus Reviews



What fresh titles are on your TBR for AAPI month? Any must-reads that we’ve missed?

Alissa S.