These Romance Novels By Latinx Authors Need To Be On Your Fall Reading List
Fall not only marks the beginning of cuffing season, but it also kicks off Latinx Heritage Month, which honors Latinx and Hispanic communities. So there's no time better than the present to dive deep into these romance novels by Latinx authors that bring complex, swoon-worthy, and brave Latinx characters and their relationships to life.
Some of these fictional stories tackle real issues the Latinx community has faced. One novel, Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera, examines the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands in September 2017. Other stories, including Alexis Daria's You Had Me at Hola, channel a romantic comedy featuring the stars of a soap opera and a telenovela. So if you're looking for a light read, a fun tale, or something more dramatic, there's a romance novel written by a Latinx author for everyone.
Whether you are part of the Latinx community yourself, or looking to learn more about the culture, you'll find something to hold onto in each one of these books, such as the rich relationship a young woman has with her abuela or the Cuban traditions tucked into pockets of Miami. These novels put Latinx heritage and culture front and center, and blend them into relationships you could find yourself in.
During Latinx Heritage Month — which kicked off on Sept. 15 and ends on Oct. 15 — and beyond, pick up and enjoy these romance novels by talented Latinx authors. You'll close each one and either identify with the characters within the story or leave an engaging, page-turning experience with a better understanding of another culture.
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1. 'The Worst Best Man' by Mia Sosa
The start of Carolina "Lina" Santos' story in The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa is ironic and worthy of an eye roll. Lina is a wedding planner, but she was unceremoniously ditched at the altar. Now, she has to face one of the people who made her big day such a disaster: her ex's brother, Max, aka the best man at her wedding. Sosa — a USA Today bestselling author — beautifully tells Lina's story with Max, and relays how the couple manages their love-hate relationship.
2. 'You Had Me at Hola' by Alexis Daria
Jasmine and Ashton landed the leading roles in a bilingual romantic comedy, and now they have to bring the heat for the cameras so their careers don't simmer down to nothing. The only issue is that the first time they met was sort of a train wreck, so now they have to put in work behind the scenes to appear as though they're falling for each other on screen.
Alexis Daria's hilarious and captivating words fully immerse readers in the relationship of a soap opera star and a telenovela dream guy. You Had Me at Hola adds to her full collection of works featuring success in the Latinx community.
3. 'Woven in Moonlight' by Isabel Ibañez
Woven in Moonlight takes place in Inkasisa, a fictional land created by author Isabel Ibañez, inspired by her parents' home country, Bolivia. The twisty and mesmerizing tale reflects aspects of the South American country's history and politics.
Ximena, the main character and a decoy royal, is sent to marry Atoc, a man who's responsible for upheaving the people of her country. She must find a way to strengthen the resistance in Inkasisa without creating a war in this powerful romance novel.
4. 'This Train Is Being Held' by Ismée Williams
This romance novel by Ismée Williams is your favorite meet-cute with moments that will tug on your heartstrings. It tells the story of Isabelle Warren and Alex Rosario's three-year "friendship," which begins with a notable first impression and ends with a stroke of fate.
Williams — who is not only an author, but also a doctor, mother, researcher, and New York City resident — addresses prejudice, the pressure of parental dreams, and romance all in This Train Is Being Held.
5. 'Never Look Back' by Lilliam Rivera
Lilliam Rivera isn't just the author of Never Look Back, which hit shelves and online bookstores on Sept. 15, 2020. She's also an award-winning writer who's known for her YA work and has been featured in the New York Times and Elle.
Rivera's latest work will add something meaningful and special to your reading list. It tells the very real stories of Eury — who lost everything when Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico — and Pheus, a charming singer who will try to win over Eury's heart. The fight for life and love is a theme throughout this book, as well as real-life emotions that are told through the perspective of fictional figures.
6. 'A Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrow' by Laura Taylor Namey
Laura Taylor Namey's novel about Lila Reyes — a teenage girl who's super passionate about her family's bakery in Miami — doesn't come out until Nov. 10, 2020. However, you'll definitely want to add it to your reading list once it's released, as this novel will teach you about the deep Cuban roots of Miami and the relationship a young Latinx woman has with her abuela.
This international love story truly unfolds when Lila meets Orion Maxwell while he's delivering tea from his family's shop. Your heart will skip a beat as you turn the pages in A Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrow.
7. 'Each of Us a Desert' by Mark Oshiro
Each of Us a Desert follows Xochitl as she wanders around the desert alone, telling stories of her village... until Emilia arrives and they begin to form a connection. The two women fall in love as they conquer the dark depths of the terrain they walk. Written by Mark Oshiro, a queer, Latinx author, this novel is sure to capture the fantasy side of any love story.
8. 'Dark and Deepest Red' by Anna-Marie McLemore
Add Dark and Deepest Red to your reading list this fall if you're looking for a romantic but spooky read, written by a Latinx author. This novel follows Rosella Oliva and Emil. Rosella is cursed with red shoes sealed to her feet that make her dance wildly. The shoes draw her to Emil, who is connected to the mystery and history of the shoes. This story is sure to keep you on your toes — no red heels required.