21 February 2024
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Thirty-three Caribbean Romance Writers To Read in 2024

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In the world of literature, the Caribbean boasts a treasure trove of exceptionally talented authors weaving captivating tales infused with vibrant dialogues, local flavors, and captivating settings. Despite being underestimated, the romance genre in the Caribbean is witnessing a burgeoning community of writers poised to captivate readers with their distinct perspectives on love and life. Ranging from historical romances to modern stories brimming with love and excitement, these authors present a diverse array of voices and narratives. Discover and lose yourself in the enchanting works of thirty-three Caribbean romance writers, each destined to leave an indelible mark in the literary landscape through their heartfelt love stories.

Antigua & Barbuda

Rilzy Adams, a contemporary romance author hailing from Antigua and Barbuda, leads a dual life as a lawyer during the day and a writer whenever she can carve out free time. Driven by her belief in the profound influence of love on the world, she finds herself compelled to weave tales of individuals discovering and embracing love. Her book, “Go Deep,” garnered the prestigious ‘Ripped Bodice Award.’ 

Kimolisa Mings, an author known for her works in contemporary Caribbean romance, women’s fiction, and erotica, observed a disparity between Caribbean fiction and its popularity among readers. Recognizing that existing books either hailed from authors residing beyond the region or depicted stories set in larger islands, she undertook the initiative to close this divide. Kimolisa committed herself to crafting narratives of “happily ever afters” situated in smaller locales, aiming to fill the void she perceived in the literary landscape.

Cuba

Allie Therin, a Cuban-American author celebrated for her award-winning romance and urban fantasy novels, boasts a diverse professional background. Alongside her literary prowess, she has ventured through roles as a bookseller, attorney, Parks & Rec assistant, boom operator, and, for a comically brief stint, a barista. With an enduring passion for romance, mystery, and speculative fiction, Allie’s journey traversed various professions while growing up in a small Pacific Northwest town abundant in bears but lacking Spanish-speaking ones willing to converse with her.

Janelle Milanes proudly identifies as a second-generation Cuban American. Her literary repertoire, notably her debut novel ‘The Victoria in My Head,’ intricately weaves her upbringing as a second-generation Latina in America into its narrative tapestry. Frequently, her stories prominently showcase Cuban-American protagonists, resonating with her own cultural heritage and experiences.

Dominican Republic

Adriana Herrera, a USA Today bestselling author, hails from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where she spent her formative years. Her writing passionately captures the essence of individuals who mirror her own community, crafting narratives that culminate in unapologetically joyful conclusions. Her debut novel, ‘Dreamers,’ garnered widespread acclaim, earning features in Entertainment Weekly, NPR, NBC’s TODAY Show, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Oprah Magazine.

Lydia San Andres is a a prolific writer that resides and crafts her narratives in a tropical setting. Renowned for her historical romances featuring Latinx characters set in the Caribbean, Lydia’s storytelling reflects her deep connection to the region’s rich cultural tapestry. Born in Puerto Rico and primarily raised in the Dominican Republic, she continues to call the Dominican Republic her home.

Zaida Polanco, an Afro-Dominican writer, captivates audiences with her compelling storytelling. Embracing the art of professional procrastination, she finds joy in indulging in useless trivia, immersing herself in 90s hip-hop, and dedicating ample time – perhaps excessively – to admiring her canine companion. Among her notable works are titles such as ‘Swing Batter Swing,’ ‘Extra Credit: A Dirty & Diverse Novella,’ and ‘Crush, Interrupted,’ the latter published in 2019.

Haiti

Nadine Gonzalez, an accomplished author and attorney, hails from New York City, born to Haitian immigrants, a heritage that profoundly shapes her identity. During her tenure in law school, Gonzalez embarked on her inaugural novel, a venture that mirrors the dynamic essence of Miami’s diverse cultures in her modern romance narratives. Critics acclaim her work as ‘a sleek and entertaining contemporary romance that offers vibrant settings, appealing characters, and a sexy and nuanced love story.

The Bahamas

Arthia Nixon, originally from The Bahamas, later made her home in North America. Renowned for her illustrious career in journalism, Nixon found solace and a creative outlet in writing novels, transitioning from the world of news to fiction, seeking refuge from the challenges of single parenthood and financial strains. Her versatility spans across various literary genres, with her unexpected success in the realm of erotic romance novels earning her acclaim.

D.M. Mortier, a celebrated Bahamian author renowned in the realm of romance, boasts an impressive literary portfolio. Notable among her works is the well-received ‘I Want To Be Yours’ from the British Billionaires series, alongside compelling titles like ‘Secret Obsession,’ ‘Unclaimed Mate: Lethal Legacy Vampire Series,’ ‘Primal Obsession,’ and ‘Flawless Deception.’ Mortier’s writing prowess transcends genres, traversing through romance, fiction, and young adult categories, showcasing her versatility as an author.

Trinidad and Tobago

Amalie Howard, a distinguished author honored on USA Today and Publishers Weekly’s bestseller lists, possesses a rich background. Born in Trinidad & Tobago, she spent her formative years in this vibrant setting, shaping her early experiences. Currently residing in Colorado with her family, Howard’s literary works have gained prominence, drawing attention from media outlets such as The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly, and Seventeen Magazine.

Heather Rodney-Diaz has been scribbling tales since she mastered spelling her name, adorning her home’s walls with colorful creations. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, she now resides with her husband, crafting stories while working full-time at an international diplomatic organization in Port of Spain. Currently immersed in editing her second romantica, Heather cherishes weaving hot and captivating heroes and heroines into her narratives, a reflection of her deep-seated romantic spirit.

Trinidadian author N.G. Peltier‘s passions encompass anime, books, and video games. A lifelong devourer of words, she relishes writing romance and weaving eerie Caribbean folklore into her tales. Her repertoire includes “Sweethand” (Island Bites, #1), “Don’t Go Baking My Heart” (Island Bites, #2), and “A Trini Christmas Collection,” each resonating with readers. Nestled in Trinidad, she navigates a whirlwind of ideas and characters vying for their story to be told.

Sarah Dass, a Tobagonian young adult fiction writer, relocated from Trinidad to Tobago at the age of two. Educated at the University of the West Indies and University College London, she honed her storytelling skills from childhood. Growing up in a Tobago seaside resort, her debut novel, “Where the Rhythm Takes You,” draws deeply from her coastal upbringing. This contemporary YA retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion received acclaim, earning distinctions such as the Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection and a spot on YALSA’s 2022 Best Fiction for Young Adults list.

Simona Taylor, a prolific author with sixteen published romance novels and extensive ghostwriting experience exceeding fifty novels and novellas, resides on the twin island of Trinidad and Tobago. Her bustling household includes two challenging teenagers testing her limits, alongside a furry clan comprising four dogs with a cumulative eleven legs and four cuddly yet cunning cats. Post-COVID, her newfound passion for baking sourdough bread consumes her, nurturing her nearly year-old starter named Sir Crumbley Mc Butterbottom IV.

Vanessa Riley, a prolific and dedicated author, specializes in historical fiction, many of which delve into Caribbean history, drawing from her Trinidad & Tobago heritage. Her profound fascination with Caribbean, Georgian, and Regency history intricately weaves through her literary works. Her novel, “Sister Mother Warrior,” a compelling historical fiction set in 18th-century Saint-Domingue (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic), eloquently delves into the complexities of slavery, amplifying the voices of two remarkable women, Marie-Claire Bonheur (the first Empress of Haiti) and Gran Toya (a West African-born warrior) pivotal in the revolution. Her work also includes titles in the historical romance genre.

Jamaica

Talia Hibbert, a British romance author, is celebrated for her inclusive storytelling featuring characters of diverse races, ethnicities, body types, sexual orientations, and life journeys. Her acclaimed 2019 novel, “Get a Life, Chloe Brown,” stands as a testament to her literary prowess. Hibbert’s familial ties to Jamaica are traced through her father, who hails from Jamaica, with roots in the Windrush generation that migrated to the UK. This rich multicultural heritage deeply influences and resonates throughout her literary works, fostering narratives that embrace diverse cultural experiences and backgrounds.

Fiona Zedde, originally born in Jamaica and currently residing in Spain, embarked on her writing journey, penning approximately thirty books. Primarily focused on narratives depicting black lesbian and queer love, her literary repertoire boasts acclaimed works like the Lambda Literary Award finalists, “Bliss” and “Every Dark Desire.” Zedde’s ongoing commitment to writing likely involves crafting another book, ensuring its storyline centers on queer romance and queer women.

Judy Powell, a Jamaican author and passionate romance reader, recognized a void in the representation of Caribbean-centric romance narratives. This realization sparked her debut novel, “Hot Summer,” a contemporary romance illuminating a Jamaican/African American love story. Celebrating the richness of cultures within the African diaspora, the book embraces diversity. Continuing her literary journey, Powell penned the sequel, “Hot Chocolat,” a finalist in the Toronto Romance Writers Competition, following the success of her debut. Her literary prowess was further acknowledged with the silver medal in the Jamaica Creative Writing Competition for “Coffee, Cream and Curry,” a captivating literary work.

Nicola Yoon, a Jamaican-American literary luminary, holds acclaim for her young adult romance novels. Born in Jamaica and raised partly there before settling in Brooklyn, New York, she has ascended to the #1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list, garnering numerous awards.

Her debut novel, “Everything, Everything,” debuted in 2015, swiftly followed by “The Sun Is Also a Star” in 2016, both transitioning into successful film adaptations. Yoon’s repertoire expands with works like “Instructions for Dancing” (2021) and contributions to anthologies such as “Meet Cute” (2018) and “Blackout” (2021).

Zuri Day, originally from Jamaica and now settled in California, is a distinguished author renowned for her captivating romance and contemporary narratives, boasting multiple successful series. Away from her writing desk, she finds joy in globetrotting, preparing vegetarian cuisine, and cherishing moments with her loved ones.

Honorable mention (because they’re simply some of the best Caribbean romance books we’ve ever read) goes to Colin Channer, a celebrated Jamaican writer, often likened to “Bob Marley with a pen,” capturing spiritual, sensual, and societal themes from a distinctly Jamaican literary standpoint. His novels bear titles inspired by renowned Marley songs, emblematic of his cultural connection. Channer’s literary canvas is marked by profound explorations of love and relationships, cementing his position as a notable figure in the romance genre. Renowned for his lyrical and sensual prose, his writings intricately dissect complex themes of identity, class, and spirituality, earning recognition among readers and peers alike. While Channer’s novels primarily explore romantic relationships, they transcend traditional romance narratives, delving deeper into social and cultural landscapes. Offering a unique Jamaican perspective, his works serve as compelling conduits, portraying love and relationships through the prism of Jamaican culture and spirituality.

Martinique

Karine Saint Jacques, an author acclaimed in contemporary romance, young adult, and fantasy genres, crafts narratives distinguished by slow-burn love stories entangled with diverse obstacles hindering the romantic connections of her characters. Her protagonists often embody emotionally scarred personas, captivating her with their depth and resilience. Through gripping adventures, Saint Jacques orchestrates journeys wherein these characters profoundly impact each other, fostering growth and self-realization.

Montserrat

Nerissa Golden, an accomplished media strategist, business coach, and acclaimed author, draws inspiration from her Caribbean upbringing, which fueled her multifaceted interests in music, film, and technology. Her experiences serve as a wellspring of creativity for her latest literary venture, the “Return to Love” series spotlighting four astute businesswomen thriving on the vibrant island of Montserrat.

Puerto Rico

Liana De la Rosa, an author specializing in historical romance, crafts a range of diverse narratives within the Regency and Victorian periods. Among her works is “Ana María and the Fox” (The Luna Sisters, #1), acclaimed with an average rating of 3.45. Anticipated on June 4, 2024, her forthcoming book, “ISABEL AND THE ROGUE” (The Luna Sisters 2), promises to captivate readers with another intriguing instalment in the series.

Andie J. Christopher, a USA Today Bestselling author, specializes in crafting contemporary romances featuring sharp, witty, and alluring narratives that lead complex characters toward their happily ever afters. Her works have garnered attention from esteemed platforms such as NPR, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, and The New York Post. Renowned for her portrayals of prickly heroines, she’s notably credited as the creator of the Stern Brunch Daddy. Proudly embracing her Puerto Rican heritage, Andie has expressed that writing a Puerto Rican character significantly contributed to incorporating her cultural identity into her self-conception as an author.

Alexis Daria, a Puerto Rican author hailing from New York, specializes in crafting love stories featuring Latina and Latino characters, showcasing the vibrant diversity within the Hispanic community. Her literary work resonates with the rich tapestry of cultural nuances, emphasizing the importance of the representation of Latino characters in literature.

Priscilla Oliveras, a USA Today bestselling author, specializes in crafting contemporary romance novels infused with a distinctive Latinx essence. Celebrating her Puerto Rican-Mexican heritage, she ardently incorporates the richness of her Latinx culture into her novels, aiming to offer readers an authentic portrayal of her background.

Evelyn Lozada is an author specializing in contemporary romance novels that often delve into the lives of women married to professional athletes. In her novel “The Wives Association: Inner Circle,” she explores the journey of a young woman who becomes involved with a football star and subsequently forms a circle with other sports wives. Beyond romance, Lozada’s literary repertoire spans contemporary sports fiction and chick lit, exemplified by works like “The Perfect Date,” co-authored with Holly Lorincz. Recognized for engaging narratives, her books authentically portray Latinx culture, offering readers a glimpse into the challenges and triumphs experienced by her characters while providing a taste of Latino culture.

Mia Sosa, an American romance novelist, gained significant recognition for her 2020 novel “The Worst Best Man.” Her heritage encompasses both Puerto Rican and Brazilian roots, shaped by her upbringing alongside her mother and her mother’s two divorced sisters after her parents’ separation. Initially featuring Latinx heroines in her early works, Sosa’s 2020 publication, “The Worst Best Man,” pivoted to center on her Brazilian heritage. Known for intricately developed supporting characters and addressing socially relevant themes, her novels have been lauded for their humor by reviewers.

Natalie Caña, a romance author, infuses her Latinx culture, personal escapades, and love for telenovela antics into creating contemporary romances filled with humor and heart. Despite various roles—from teacher to Emmy award-winning producer—she’s been a lifelong writer. Her tropetastic trilogy celebrates Puerto Rican families in Chicago, featuring engaging tales like “A Proposal They Can’t Refuse” and upcoming works “A Dish Best Served Hot” and “Sleeping With The Frenemy.” Known for realism and escapism, Caña’s unique style creates believable yet captivating narratives. Her debut novel sprung from a 4 a.m. dream, hastily jotted in her notes app before returning to work.

St. Kitts and Nevis

Hailing from St. Kitts & Nevis, Jewel Amethyst is a renowned romance author celebrated for her collections of short stories and poems. Her debut novel, “A Marriage of Convenience,” earned a glowing 4-star review from Romantic Times. Among her repertoire, notable works like “Holiday Brides,” “Hurricane of the Heart,” “Indiscretion,” and “From SKB with Love” showcase her Caribbean-influenced storytelling, delving into intimate romantic themes infused with a vibrant multicultural essence.

St. Lucia

Dr. Julia E. Antoine, known for her romance novels published under the pen name Ju Ephraime, is a prolific novelist originating from St. Lucia. With an extensive repertoire of over 25 romance novels, she holds the title of St. Lucia’s most prolific novelist. Among her works are titles like “One Hell of a Prize” and “A Wonderful Piece of Dark Mahogany.” Readers can find her books at various retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ENVISION, Books-A-Million, IndieBound, and more.

If you enjoyed this post and want to connect with Caribbean writers, promote a book of your own and connect with like minds, head over to our Karibbean Kollective Literary League on Facebook. We’ll see you there!

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