Exploring “Own Voices” Romance Books

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Exploring “Own Voices” Romance Books

Romance novels have a special place in the hearts of many readers, offering an escape into the world of love and passion. However, what happens when the characters and stories don’t reflect the diversity of the real world? This is where the “Own Voices” romance books comes in.

The term “Own Voices” refers to books written by authors who share the same marginalized identities and experiences as their characters. One of the most significant benefits of this genre of romance is that they allow readers to explore different cultures, experiences, and perspectives while still delivering all the swoon-worthy romance that readers love.

“Own Voices” Romance Books

Sweet, Lovely, Attentive 

by K W Jeppesen

isbn: 9781039180277,template: listArm has just arrived in Minnesota from Thailand, excited for his first semester of university in America and to leave some painful parts of his past behind. Exhausted after his long flight (and almost having his bags stolen), he quickly passes out upon making it to his dorm room. Suddenly, he awakes to a gentle voice and aqua blue, angelic eyes he can’t break his gaze away from. They belong to Logan, aka Legs, a gorgeous, good-humored Minnesota farm boy who is to be Arm’s roommate. But before long, both boys can sense there’s more to their feelings than a shared bond as roommates.

From there blossoms a love story that leads Arm and Legs through being best friends to a romantic relationship full of lasting commitment, support . . . and flirtatious teasing, verbal sparring, and overthinking. As Arm works part-time translating the work of Tim, a gay author of boys’ love (BL) stories who helps the couple out more than once, he becomes convinced he has fallen into a dramatic BL plot. He’s not wrong-together Arm and Legs face drama around campus, family secrets, and past trauma as they build a relationship according to their own rules.

Pretending He’s Mine 

by Mia Sosa

isbn: 9780062690401,template: listFor Hollywood agent Julian Hart, representing his best friend–megastar Carter Williamson–means it’s nearly impossible to keep his personal life and career separate. To make matters worse, Carter’s younger sister has been starring in Julian’s wildest fantasies more often than he’d care to admit. He knows she’s off-limits, but when Ashley shows up on his doorstep, needing a place to crash… suddenly his greatest temptation is sleeping down the hall.

Free-spirited Ashley Williamson doesn’t do commitment. Jobs, apartments, men… why let herself be tied down? But she’s had a crush on her older brother’s best friend for years and she’s committed to making Julian want her, one towel-clad midnight encounter at a time. But just as things start heating up, their steamy flirtation is interrupted by Carter’s east coast wedding. Ashley has no desire to go home and face her reputation as the family disappointment. But living with–dare she say dating?–a successful, sexy film agent could really help her save face.

This Could Be Us 

by Kennedy Ryan

isbn: 9781538706824,template: listSoledad Barnes has her life all planned out. Because, of course, she does. She’s a domestic goddess who’s never met a party she couldn’t host or a charge she couldn’t lead. The one with all the answers and the perfect vinaigrette for that summer salad. But none of her varied talents can save her when catastrophe strikes, and the life she built with the man who was supposed to be her forever, goes poof in a cloud of betrayal and disillusion.

But there is no time to pout or sulk, or even grieve the life she lost. She’s too busy keeping a roof over her daughters’ heads and food on the table. And in the process of saving them all, Soledad rediscovers herself. From the ashes of a life burned to the ground, something bold and new can rise.

Uncaged Summer 

by Colet Abedi

isbn: 9798888451724,template: listAvalie Monfared has a theory about saying “I Do”–that the magic ends there. After thirteen years of magic-free marriage to her high school sweetheart, she’s discovered where it went: gambling and prostitutes.

Now, Ava is on a quest to rediscover herself–and men. Her soul-searching finds her living on a succession of friends’ and family’s couches, which happen to be in some of the most luxurious zip codes in and around Los Angeles. What follows is an unpredictable summer full of shamans, attack birds, awkward dates, sizzling flirtations, and unsolicited advice–especially from her traditional Persian family members, who are eager to see her remarried. With every laugh-out-loud adventure in each locale, Ava finds more solace and wisdom. And while it’s not how she planned to spend the last year of her thirties, Ava learns that there is power in letting go.

Wake Me Most Wickedly 

by Felicia Grossman

isbn: 9781538722565,template: listSolomon Weiss has little interest in power, but to repay the half-brother who raised him, he pursues money, influence, and now–a respectable wife. That is, until outcast Hannah Moses saves his life, and Sol finds himself helplessly drawn to the beautiful pawnshop owner.

Forever tainted by her parents’ crimes, Hannah sees only a villain when she looks in the mirror–no one a prince would choose. To survive, she must care for herself, even if that means illegally hunting down whatever her clients wish. So, no matter how fair or charming she finds Sol, he belongs to a world far too distant from her own.



One Last Word 

by Suzanne Park

isbn: 9780063216099,template: listSara Chae is the founder of One Last Word, an app that allows you to send a mes-sage to anyone you want after you pass. Safeguards are in place so the app will only send when you’re definitely, absolutely, 100% dead, but when another Sara Chae dies and her obituary is posted online, Sara discovers that drafted messages she had drunkenly uploaded on one night have been released –one each to her emotionally charged mother, to her former best friend who ghosted her, and to her unrequited high school crush, Harry Shim.

Still reeling from this disaster, Sara finds out she’s been accepted into a venture capital mentorship program– and that the mentor she’s been assigned to is none other than Harry, who’s now a major VC superstar. With her life going from uncertain to chaotic overnight, Sara has to deal with the havoc that ensues and reopen wounds from the past to find a true path forward.

Stars in Your Eyes 

by Kacen Callender

isbn: 9781538726037,template: listLogan Gray is Hollywood’s bad boy–a talented but troubled actor who the public loves to hate. Mattie Cole is an up-and-coming golden boy, adored by all but plagued by insecurities.

When Logan and Mattie are cast as leads in a new romantic film, Logan claims that Matt has “zero talent,” sending the film’s publicity into a nosedive. To create positive buzz, the two are persuaded into a fake-dating scheme–but as the two actors get to know their new characters, real feelings start to develop.




Marry Me by Midnight 

by Felicia Grossman

isbn: 9781538722541,template: listLondon, 1832: Isabelle Lira may be in distress, but she’s no damsel. Since her father’s death, his former partners have sought to oust her from their joint equity business. Her only choice is to marry–and fast–to a powerful ally outside the respected Berab family’s sphere of influence. Only finding the right spouse will require casting a wide net. So she’ll host a series of festivals, to which every eligible Jewish man is invited.

Once, Aaron Ellenberg longed to have a family of his own. But as the synagogue custodian, he is too poor for wishes and not foolish enough for dreams. Until the bold, beautiful Isabelle Lira presents him with an irresistible offer . . . if he ensures her favored suitors have no hidden loyalties to the Berabs, she will provide him with money for a new life.

The Hurricane Wars 

by Thea Guanzon

isbn: 9780063277274,template: listAll Talasyn has ever known is the Hurricane Wars. Growing up an orphan in a nation under siege by the ruthless Night Emperor, she found her family among the soldiers who fight for freedom. But she is hiding a deadly secret: light magic courses through her veins, a blazing power believed to have been wiped out years ago that can cut through the Night Empire’s shadows.

Prince Alaric, the emperor’s only son and heir, has been tasked with obliterating any threats to the Night Empire’s rule with the strength of his armies and mighty shadow magic. He discovers the greatest threat yet in Talasyn: a girl burning brightly on the battlefield with the magic that killed his grandfather, turned his father into a monster, and ignited the Hurricane Wars. He tries to kill her, but in a clash of light and dark, their powers merge and create a force the likes of which has never been seen.

Courting Samira 

by Amal Awad

isbn: 9780063317673,template: listComing from a moderately traditional Muslim family, twenty-seven-year-old Samira Abdel-Aziz has endured her fair share of arranged matches–first dates she calls “doorknock appeals,” where she and her possible suitors eat snacks in her living room in the company of both sets of parents. Her general rule: no shoes with tassels, no cheesy leather jackets, no mustaches. A girl has to have some standards, right? The truth is, Samira is already experiencing enough wedding drama as an assistant at Bridal Bazaar magazine and as a gofer for her soon-to-be-married cousin and nemesis Zahra. She’s not sure she needs to add any of her own.



On Rotation 

by Shirlene Obuobi

isbn: 9780063209152,template: listBut then it quickly all falls apart: her boyfriend dumps her, she bombs the most important exam of her medical career, and her best friend pulls away. And her parents, whose approval seems to hinge on how closely she follows the path theychose, are a lot less proud of their daughter. It’s a quarter life crisis of epic proportions.

Angie, who has always faced her problems by working “twice as hard to get half as far,” is at a loss. Suddenly, she begins to question everything: her career choice, her friendships, even why she’s attracted to men who don’t love her as much as she loves them.

And just when things couldn’t get more complicated, enter Ricky Gutierrez. Brilliant, thoughtful, sexy, and most importantly, seems to see Angie for who she is instead of what she can represent.

Jana Goes Wild 

by Farah Heron

isbn: 9781538725450,template: listJana Suleiman has never really fit in–everyone always sees her as too aloof, too cool, too perfect. The one time she stepped out of her comfort zone. She ended up with a broken heart and a baby on the way. Aaaand lesson learned. Now she’s a bridesmaid for a destination wedding in Serengeti National Park, and almost everyone she knows will be there. Even her potential new boss. And of course (because who doesn’t love surprises!) her gorgeous-but-not-to-be-trusted ex.

Fortunately, Anil Malek is a great dad, even if Jana hasn’t quite forgiven him. For lying to her all those years ago. Determined to show he has no effect on her whatsoever. She and the bridesmaids concoct a go-wild list to get Jana through the week. Sing karaoke? Sure. Perform their high school dance routine in front of strangers? Okay. But the more she lets down her guard, the less protection she has against her attraction to Anil. And Jana soon realizes it’s one thing to walk on the wild side. And quite another to fall for her ex all over again.

Take the Lead: A Dance Off Novel 

by Alexis Daria

isbn: 9781250817969,template: listGina Morales wants to make it big. In her four seasons on The Dance Off, she’s never even made it to the finals. But her latest partner, the sexy star of an Alaskan wilderness show, could be her chance. Who knew the strong, silent, survivalist-type had moves like that? She thinks Stone Nielson is her ticket to win it all. Until her producer makes it clear they’re being set up for a showmance.

Joining a celebrity dance competition is the last thing Stone wants. However, he’ll endure anything to help his family, even as he fears revealing their secrets. While the fast pace of Los Angeles makes him long for the peace and privacy of home. He can’t hide his growing attraction for his dance partner. Neither wants to fake a romance for the cameras, but the explosive chemistry that flares between them is undeniable.

Circling Back to You 

by Julie Tieu

isbn: 9780063069848,template: listCadence Lim has transformed from behind-the-scenes number cruncher to an integral part of the sales team at Prism Realty. But despite moving up the corporate ladder, her complicated relationship. With her estranged elderly father weighs heavily and she can’t seem to shake the desire for a new beginning.

At least Cadence can always lean on her favorite co-worker and co-conspirator, Matt Escanilla. A top broker with an unsuccessful love life. The forever single Matt is constantly being nagged by his loving Filipino family to settle down.


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