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If You Like…Multicultural Books

In light of the very gracious post by Handyhunter about cultural appropriation, it seems that we should compile a list of books that feature multicultural characters. Please note whether the book is a young adult (YA) or romance as well as whether the multicultural characters are main or secondary.   Please also be respectful of other people’s recommendations.   This is not to say that you can’t disagree with them, but let’s keep the comments as civil as possible.

Here are a couple to start the thread:

  • Eileen Wilks, Tempting Danger featuring Lily Yu, of Chinese descent.   Main protagonist.   Urban fantasy romance.
  • Meljean Brook, Demon Moon featuring Savi Murray, of Indian descent.   Main protagonist. Urban fantasy romance.
  • Jade Lee, The Concubine, historical set in China featuring two Chinese protagonists. Historical.
  • Anne McAllister, Antonides’ Forbidden Wife, featuring Ally, half Japanese.   Main protagonist.   Straight contemporary.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Camille
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 04:21:25

    There’s also Christine Feehan’s Mind Game featuring half-Japanese, half Native American hero, Nicolas Trevane and heroine Dahlia LeBlanc of South East Asian descent (it’s not clear, implied on her features) if I remember correctly. Contemporary Paranormal Romance.

    And Lora Leigh’s Tanner's Scheme with a half South East Asian (it’s unclear, more implied with her features) heroine, Scheme Tallant. Erotic Romance (romantica?)

  2. Ozgal said
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 04:46:35

    Kelly Hunter’s Wife for a Week (Presents/Modern Heat) had a chinese couple in the secondary romance. And another one of hers, Sleeping Partner, has, I think a half-chinese heroine.

    Lots of Suz Brockmann’s books have characters of widely varying backgrounds.

  3. Tae
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 05:05:50

    when we say multicultural do you mean not white?

    Yes, I do love Brockmann’s book and Into the Storm, a troubleshooters book, has Lindsay a Japanese heroine.

    Lynn Viehl’s Darkyn book, Twilight Fall – Liling is of Chinese descent, paranormal romance

    I’m partial to Asian heroines since I’m Asian myself.

  4. Tehani WEssely
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 05:06:47

    “The Two Pearls of Wisdom” (Australian title, also published in the USA as Eon: Dragoneye Reborn, and as Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye in the UK) by Alison Goodman – Asian-style world and cultures.

    Kylie Chan’s “Dark Heavens” fantasy series – Chinese setting and pseudo-mythology

    Lian Hearn’s Otori fantasy series – based on feudal Japanese world.

  5. Jia
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 06:00:30

    Justina Chen Headley, Girl Overboard featuring Syrah Cheng of Chinese descent. Main protagonist. Love interest is also Latino. Contemporary YA.

    Alison Goodman, Eon: Dragoneye Reborn featuring a fantasy world loosely based on historical China. YA fantasy.

    Cindy Pon, Silver Phoenix featuring a fantasy world based on historical China. YA fantasy.

    David Macinnis Gill, Soul Enchilada featuring Eunice Smoot who is biracial (half-black, half-Tejana). Love interest is Mexican. Contemporary YA.

    Caridad Ferrer, Adios to My Old Life featuring Ali Montero of Cuban descent. Main protagonist. Contemporary YA.

  6. Mala
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 06:26:29

    I’m not a huge fan of the “exotic half” in genre fiction, which often seems to make characters of color slightly more “accessible” for readers while also fetishizing their ethnicity to some extent. But since the majority of multicultural fiction features the trope…sigh.

    Off the top of my head:

    The Wild Child, a historical by Mary Jo Putney has an Indian secondary character, Kamal, and a half-Indian secondary character, Jena.

    The China Bride, a historical by Mary Jo Putney has a half-Chinese half-Scottish heroine, Troth.

    Loving a Lost Lord, a historical by Mary Jo Putney has a half-Indian hero, Adam (though I wouldn’t recommend this book and almost threw it across the room).

    Fire on the Wind, a historical by Barbara Dawson Smith has Damien, a half-Indian hero.

    The Duke of Shadows a historical by Meredith Duran stars Julian, also part Indian.

    The Red Heart of Jade, a paranormal by Marjorie Liu features Mirabelle Lee, who I believe is Chinese (but I could be wrong; it’s been a while since I’ve read the book).

    Hope Adams, who appears in Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld urban fantasy novels, notably Personal Demon, is half-Indian.

    Golden Fire, by Jonathan Fast, is more mainstream historical fiction, but it has enough romance in it to probably count. The characters are derived from the story of real-life ancient Indian king Chandra Gupta and completely Indian.

  7. Lynne Connolly
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 06:35:39

    Two of mine, both in the pipeline:
    “Crystal Tides,” with an Iranian heroine #
    “Beauty of Sunset” with a half Asian (Chinese) hero (out on Wednesday, yay!)

    Many of Elizabeth Lowell’s books feature Chinese or half Chinese heroes and heroines. Isn’t it “Jade Island” whose heroine has some cultural issues with her family?

    And of course Jade Lee’s Tigress books and her recent Blaze, all of which I loved.

    Suzanne Brockmann’s “Harvard’s Education” where both the hero and the heroine are African American.

    Did you know that Queen Charlotte, wife of George III is said to have the ‘marks of her heritage’ in her face? Someone in her ancestry slipped off the marital wagon and had an affair with an African.

  8. BevQB
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 06:43:20

    Back before Ilona Andrews’ Magic Bites was released, Amazon kept recommending it to me. It was the cover that sold me because it was different than most other Urban Fantasy covers out there. Kate Daniels is most definitely something other than Caucasion and the cover reflected it. Fortunately, the book and now the subsequent books in the series lived up to my expectations of something different in UF.

  9. Travis
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 07:18:33

    These are all YA with female protagonists.

    Does My Head Look Big in This? – Palestinian Australian Muslim protagonist.

    Flygirl – African American protagonist.

    If You Come Softly – White Jewish protagonist with African American boyfriend.

    Rain Is Not My Indian Name – Native American protagonist.

    Born Confused – Indian American protagonist.

    Weedflower – Japanese American protagonist.

  10. Eliza Evans
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 07:32:11

    On the YA front, Justine Larbalestier just had Liar, and a few years ago there was a paranormal called Haters by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez. Valdes-Rodriguez also wrote a couple of Latina chick lit books, but I’m a fan of Haters because the main character is from New Mexico (where I grew up.)

  11. Lynette
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 08:00:57

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned Beverly Jenkins Historical novels featuring African-American h/h.

  12. Susanna Kearsley
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 08:02:48

    Lesley Downer’s The Last Concubine has a Japanese hero and Japanese heroine, and it was up for the UK’s Romantic Novel of the Year last spring. (Lesley herself is half-Chinese and has lived in Japan). Here’s the blurb:

    How do you fall in love when your society has no word for it? The Last Concubine is an epic love story closely based on historical events, chronicling nineteenth-century Japan's extraordinary change from a medieval to a modern country. This is the story of a shogun, a princess and the three thousand women of the women's palace – all of whom really existed – and of the civil war that brought their way of life to an end.

    I haven’t read it yet, but it’s in my TBR as it sounds really lovely (and the cover of my UK copy is stunning).

  13. vivi
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 08:04:28

    Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeking series features characters of multiple ethnicities, both primary and secondary. Her upcoming one, Bonds of Justice, has a hero of Asian descent.

  14. Jane
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 08:08:20

    I forgot Julie Leto’s books featuring Marisela Morales. These were my favorite Leto books. I think that there were two of them: Dirty Little Secrets and Dirty Little Lies.

  15. RStewie
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 08:29:23

    The Negotiator series, by CE Murphy, features a heroine that is half African-American. The series is done (I think), and includes: Heart of Stone, House of Cards, and Hands of Flame. I really liked these books.

    Also, some of Nalini Singh’s books have multi-cultural hero(ine)s, as well.

  16. Dani
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 08:37:59

    There are two books by Tammy Williams I like, Choices and Blindsided, both interracial romances featuring African American heroines. Race is an issue, but a minor one in both stories as the couples have other obstacles to overcome for their HEA.

    Anything by Beverly Jenkins. She does great historicals and you get an education in African American history that’s enlightening.

  17. Mireya
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 08:38:07

    If memory serves, Christine Feehan’s “Dark Possession” features an AA heroine.

    Nalini Singh, as mentioned already, tends to involve multicultural main characters in her Psy/Changeling series i.e. “Hostage to Pleasure”.

    Most of the multicultural books I’ve read are erotic romance. Author Marilyn Lee has quite a number of multicultural stories. Some may find her work a bit “heavy”, but I enjoy it. Be forewarned that if you try hers, she does write bluntly graphic (it IS erotic romance after all). Another erotic romance author who wraps multicultural in some of her work is Stephanie Burke. Her works tends to be humorous. Jet Mykles has a super hot erotic romance titled “Fox and Dragon” which is also multicultural. Shelly Laurenston’s books involve multicultural main characters. Her books are fun reads. Theolyn Boese’s comedy, “Over the Wall”, involves a hero that is half Asian (if memory serves. Read it well over a year ago).

  18. Theresa
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 08:51:57

    I can’t recommend enough Barbara Samuel’s Madame Mirabou’s School of Love and A Piece of Heaven (and really anything else of hers that I’ve read). They are classified as women’s fiction, but they were certainly romances enough for me. The woman are caucasian, but men are not. Rich, rich, deeply layered stories.

  19. Diana Peterfreund
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 08:53:50

    THE COMPANION, by Susan Squires. The heroine is half-Egyptian, and that’s a huge plot point, since the Egyptians think she’s white and the English think she’s not. The hero is a vampire. Of sorts.

  20. MD
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 09:26:27

    Trick of the Light

    All humorous urban fantasy with some romance, by Rob Thurman. Great reads.

  21. Jane
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 10:05:32

    @Diana Peterfreund I haven’t read Squires in a long time and I keep meaning to pick her up. I know that she has a long running series. Do you think I can jump in with The Companion?

  22. Jane
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 10:06:01

    @MD These books have multicultural protags? I thought the brothers were two white guys (they are depicted as such on the cover.

  23. Jane
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 10:07:01

    I forgot LA Banks series for St. Martin’s Press and the recent Beth Kery book featured a half polynesian heroine and half polynesian hero. Together making one polynesian person.

  24. Mala
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 10:17:46

    I can’t believe I forgot these in my earlier list!

    Never Deceive a Duke – The Liz Carlyle historical has a Jewish hero in Gabriel Gareth Lloyd.

    Mary Jo Putney also has half-Native American Maxima in Angel Rogue and half-Gypsy Nicholas in Thunder and Roses.

    Tessa Dare’s Surrender of a Siren and A Lady of Persuasion feature the secondary character of Josiah or “Joss,” who is half-black and half-white.

    Okay, I’m done now. I swear.

  25. Courtney Milan
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 10:22:08

    Books not yet mentioned:

    There’s Jamie Ford’s “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet,” a love story set in WWII USA about a childhood romance between a Chinese boy and a Japanese girl (who gets sent to the internment camps).

    I have on my radar Wendy Tokunaga’s “Love in Translation” which comes out in a few weeks. I met her at RWA Nationals and she told me a little about this book, and I’m just dying to read it.

    Very, very far out on the radar as well is Kristina McMorris’s SPARROW’S SONG, scheduled for (I think) a 2012 release from Kensington. It’s also a cross-cultural WWII romance and I can’t wait for it–and I can’t believe we are still more than two years out. :(

  26. Jia
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 10:22:11

    @Jane: Trick of the Light has a half-black, half-Asian protag. The others, the supporting cast is diverse and the mythos used is not your standard white bread urban fantasy.

  27. Jia
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 10:25:19

    Paula Yoo, Good Enough featuring Patti Yoon of Korean descent. Main protagonist. Contemporary YA.

    Marilyn Pappano, Scandal in Copper Lake featuring Anamaria Duquesne who is half-black. Heroine. Contemporary romance.

  28. Jill Sorenson
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 10:46:35

    I also liked The Companion by Squires. I think it’s the first in a series? I didn’t notice any confusing stuff. A very memorable book.

    Lisa Kleypas’ Sugar Daddy gets mentioned a lot for other reasons, but I think Liberty, the heroine, is a great multicultural character.

    Linda Howard’s Cry No More features a very sexy hero, Diaz. I believe he’s Mexican or Mexican-American.

    So many more, but those are two of my favorites…

  29. Bonnie L.
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 11:19:31

    Don’t forget Marjorie M. Liu’s Dirk and Steele books. Most of her characters (both main and secondary) are multicultural and she also sets her books all over the world.

  30. Darlynne
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 11:34:39

    The hero of Devon Monk’s Allie Beckstrom series (Magic to the Bone, etc.) is African American. Love, love, love those books.

  31. Jane
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 11:42:45

    @Darlynne: Really? I had no idea. I’m loving all these suggestions and recommendations.

  32. Diana Peterfreund
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 12:11:14


    Jane, THE COMPANION is actually the first book in her vampire series, so you shouldn’t have any trouble. It was out a few years ago. I don’t know how well the others stand alone, but it’s the first book. It’s one of my very favorite romances. You really understand why these two people are PERFECT for each other.

  33. Anne Scott, Samhain Editor
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 12:21:18

    I love this thread. While I don’t have time to read as many Samhain books as I’d like, there have been a number of recent books (not to imply there aren’t many others at Samhain, recent and older):

    Trinity by Lauren Dane has a hot jaguar-shifting biracial hero (part of her Cascadia wolves series). Stripped by Marcia Colette is gritty urban fantasy with a kickass African-American part-werewolf heroine. Those are two I’ve read and/or edited.

    For contemporaries, I know there’s a Latino firefighter in Dee Tenorio’s Burn For Me and Alisha Rai’s Glutton For Pleasure has an Indian heroine.

    In other books, I too loved The Duke of Shadows and Tempting Danger. Also, there’s Patricia Briggs’s Alpha and Omega series-‘the hero has Native American heritage.

  34. senetra
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 12:45:36

    Shelly Laurenston’s Pride shifter books have multiracial casts

    The heroine of Here, Kitty, Kitty is Latino
    The heroine of Go Fetch is black
    The heroine of the Wolf, the Witch, and Her Lack of Wardrobe is black
    The heroine of the Mane Squeeze is half Chinese
    The wild dogs are of all races.

  35. BevQB
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 12:49:05

    DOH! How could I forget Ann Aguirre’s Blue Diablo? Now that’s a multi-cultural Urban Fantasy! Even Corinne’s love interests are multi-cutural (Chance is half Korean and Jesse is Hispanic).

  36. Sandy D.
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 13:48:31

    Sharon Shinn’s YA fantasy, General Winston’s Daughter not only deals with ethnic differences (in a vaguely Middle Eastern world), it very explicitly deals with the politics of colonization and cultural appropriation.

  37. Janine
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 15:04:58

    Here are some of my faves (not counting my crit partners’ Meredith Duran and Bettie Sharpe’s stories featuring minority protagonists, which I also love):

    No Crystal Stair by Eva Rutland (reviewed here) — African American hero and heroine, romance/saga

    Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series — many multicultural characters, paranormal romance

    “Alpha and Omega” in On the Prowl, Cry Wolf and Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs (reviewed here) — Half Native American hero, urban fantasy/ paranormal romance hybrid

    Dirty by Megan Hart (reviewed here) — Jewish hero, erotic novel

    Broken by Megan Hart (reviewed here) — Jewish heroine, erotic novel

    “Los Conversos” by Jesse Sandoval in Tangle XY (reviewed here) — m/m romance with two Hispanic heroes, one of which is also Jewish and the other of which has some Egyptian ancestry as well

    Dancing Moon by Barbara Samuel – Native American hero, historical romance

    Bed of Spices by Barbara Samuel – Jewish hero, historical romance

    A Man to Slay Dragons by Meagan McKinney — Jewish heroine, romantic suspense

    Alisa Kwitney’s chick lit often features at least one Jewish protagonist, too. My favorite is probably The Dominant Blonde which has a Jewish heroine.

    “Through the Fire” by Monica Jackson in Big Girls Don’t Cry — African American hero and heroine

    Since Sharon Shinn was mentioned above, Heart of Gold and “Blood” in Quatrain, both romantic science fiction, deal with interracial and cross-cultural relationships

    The Veiled Web by Catherine Asaro, romantic science fiction, Muslim, Moroccan hero, Hispanic heroine

    Ursula Le Guin’s science fiction and YA fantasy usually has dark skinned protagonists.

    I also second (or is it third?) The Companion by Susan Squires

    Lastly, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston is a classic love story featuring African American characters. It doesn’t have a happy ending but it is a lovely, beautifully written book.

  38. MD
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 15:05:59


    Georgina (Cal’s true love) isn’t white. I believe there are other minorities in Thurman’s first series; I can’t recall off-hand.

    Thurman presents a variety of ethnic heritages in her books, including Native American, and the heroine of her Trick of the Light series is decidedly not your average Buffy.

  39. Anne Douglas
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 15:12:51

    Loose Id has quite a solid selection of multicultural in all sorts of genre.

  40. DS
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 15:29:49

    Susan Wiggs’ Lord of the Night had a secondary romance with African characters.

  41. Sarah MacLean
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 15:46:54

    Just read Jade Lee’s HQN Blaze, Getting Physical – Contemporary (obvs); hero is Chinese; part of the book is set in China.

  42. Janine
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 15:50:04


    Susan Wiggs' Lord of the Night had a secondary romance with African characters.

    I think you mean Wiggs’ The Charm School?

  43. Jia
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 16:12:07

    @MD: Delilah’s half-Asian too.

    And this is a childrens book and not a YA but it’s a charming book for all ages: Grace Lin, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.

  44. Sherry Thomas
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 16:34:46

    Bettie Sharpe‘s novella from Samhain, LIKE A THIEF IN THE NIGHT, features two leads neither of which are white (or completely white).

    A fact which I didn’t mention in my review for Dear Author, because when it’s Bettie Sharpe writing, you barely notice anything except the writing.

  45. Kay Sisk
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 16:46:40

    Words of the Pitcher, Kei Swanson, Genesis Press, years ago. Japanese baseball player and white heroine.

  46. Camille
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 16:49:43

    I forgot Takeshi Matsuota’s Autumn Bridge which has mostly Japanese characters, but the romance is between a Japanese hero and a caucasian woman (I think she’s American), both main protagonists. This is sort of a book 2 but you don’t need to read Cloud of Sparrows to love it, although it will enhance the experience.

    Katie MacAlister’s spin-off of the Aisling Grey series- the Silver Dragons Series features a half Aboriginal hero, Gabriel.

  47. Darlynne
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 17:26:29

    @Jane: Jane, in Magic to the Bone, Ms. Monk describes Zayvion Jones as follows:

    He had a good, wide smile and a high arch to his cheeks that made me think he had Asian or Native along with the African in his bloodline.

  48. DS
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 17:32:23

    @Janine: No, not Charm School. Renaissance Venice, heroine is an artist who is planning to become a prostitute (ok, maybe courtesan is a better word) to support herself while she perfects her craft. Hero is much older. Not too horrible mystery subplot. It was published in 1993 when evidently there was a push at introducing multicultural secondary romances.

  49. Mikou
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 17:41:03

    Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series. Mercy is part white, part Native American (Blackfoot?).

    I’ve found varying ethnicities in some of the m/m romance novels I read:
    1. James Buchanan – Taking the Odds series – Native American protag
    2. James Buchanan – Personal Demons – hispanic protag
    3. Josh Lanyon & Laura Baumbach – Mexican Heat – hispanic protag and 2ndary characters
    4. J.M. Snyder – Power Play – hispanic protag

  50. Anne Douglas
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 17:48:41


    Katie MacAlister's spin-off of the Aisling Grey series- the Silver Dragons Series features a half Aboriginal hero, Gabriel.

    Maori or Pacific Islander I think, rather than Aboriginal

  51. Jia
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 17:50:35

    @Camille: Oh, Autumn Bridge is one of my favorite books ever! And yes, Emily is American.

  52. Charmaine
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 18:01:57

    Maybe you all should review more books by Red Rose Publishing, Loose-Id and Elloras Cave you wouldn’t have to do this….

    P.S. Funny you only tagged Asian American and multicultural…why?

  53. Janine
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 18:04:42

    @DS: Funny, I read Lord of the Night and while I remember loving the setting and the mystery, I don’t recall the secondary romance. The reason I thought you were referring to The Charm School was because that one (set in 1800s U.S. and South America, Brazil, I think) had a secondary romance with African American characters. The hero’s best friend, a former slave, was trying to free the woman he loved from slavery. I thought it was quite moving.

  54. Caligi
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 18:27:35

    Bound By Blood I’m pretty sure had a Puerto Rican heroine, and the kickass heroine of the next book Damned By Blood was Turkish. A Turkish vampire, but whatever.

    The heroine in Kleypas’ Sugar Daddy is half Mexican.

    Pamela Clare’s MacKinnon’s Rangers series set during the French and Indian War has a major secondary character who is an American Indian. Clare says on her site that he’ll get his own book some day as well.

    That’s about all I’ve read, that hasn’t yet been mentioned and that I’d recommend to anyone, unless we’re counting AA romance, but it doesn’t look like we are.

  55. Diana Peterfreund
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 18:58:58

    Oh, and the love interest in my YA, Rampant, is half African-American, half Italian.

  56. Janine
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 19:32:20


    That's about all I've read, that hasn't yet been mentioned and that I'd recommend to anyone, unless we're counting AA romance, but it doesn't look like we are.

    Why wouldn’t AA romance count? By all means if you’ve got recommendations for those, go ahead and list them. I know I’m interested.

  57. eilisflynn
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 19:49:51

    My Festival of Stars from Cerridwen Press … half Japanese, both hero and heroine.

  58. Elly
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 20:21:23

    Mentioned on the other thread, but I loved At First Sight by Tamara Sneed (AA Romance – Kimani) and enjoyed the sequel At First Touch too. I thought there was going to be a story for the third sister, but I can’t find anything about it. These books started with a typical Harlequin type plot – wacky will requires three big city sisters to spend two weeks in the small town house where their late grandfather grew up – but they were really handled well and are very engaging. I’m still looking to buy the third book – if only someone would publish it!

  59. Diana
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 20:23:19

    Indiscreet, a Harlequin Blaze by Alison Kent, features a heroine who’s half Asian, if I remember correctly. She’s the main character. I really enjoyed this book.

  60. DS
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 20:31:54

    @Janine: It sounds like essentially the same set up with the secondary characters as Charm School. In Lord of the Night The woman was a slave, belonging to the brothel where the heroine was living. They were friends. The man, who was mute, had some relationship to the hero that I can’t remember right now.

    This discussion has made me think of sf where the future society is often depicted as color blind with regard to humans but having a hard time accepting aliens as equals. Of course some writers turn it around and the aliens have a hard time accepting humans as equals. Kristine Smith’s Jani Killian books fit the former, C. J. Cherryh’s Chanur books, especially The Kif Strike Back are among the latter.

  61. Caligi
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 20:41:39


    Well, I’ve been slowly working my way through Beverly Jenkins’ backlist as I see them in used book stores and I’ve yet to find a bad one. They’re all historicals, as far as I know. I haven’t tried her newer ones.

    Kimani is usually pretty good. I have good luck with that line. It’s about as reliable as the American Romance line with similar themes. I admit to a potato chip association with those lines. I can’t remember names or titles.

    I like Brenda Jackson, who seems to be the queen of AA romance at Kimani/Silhouette, but I mentally edit her books as I read them, making the superfluous family members poof. If she just stuck to the main event, they’d be great books. Pretty sure I’m the minority there, though.

    We’ve established that I’m quite white, so I’m no expert. I only just got over the “AA books are for them” mental block late this summer, so I haven’t branched too far out.

    I’d like more authors to look for as well for outside the Harlequin world. I’d also love to hear of WWBM books, since I’d take a good looking black guy over a good looking white one any day of the week

  62. brooksse
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 21:06:26

    Gennita Low’s Facing Fear – a romantic suspense (contemporary) featuring an Asian heroine. Her Chinese heritage was a very important part of the story.

  63. Christine
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 21:16:00

    I’m curious is anyone knows any romances that star a white female protagonist and an Asian male as her lover? Without any of the weird, creepy fetishism. I ask because I myself am in a relationship of the aforementioned configuration, and it’s pretty rare to see. Please don’t assume I have “yellow fever,” or any of the other derogatory phrases! I love multiculturalism, and I’d love to see the issues and diversities explored more readily in fiction. I like my men of every color possible!

  64. Sasha Knight, Senior Editor, Samhain Publishing
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 21:56:30

    This is a fantastic thread and I’ve added quite a few books to my wish list. I’d love to recommend a few books I’ve edited over the last several months:

    Selkie Island by Jorrie Spencer features a Black Canadian hero and a selkie shapeshifter heroine.

    ePistols at Dawn by Z.A. Maxfield is a gay contemporary romance featuring a Korean male paired with a white male.

    His Convenient Husband by J.L. Langley is a gay contemporary romance featuring a Hispanic male paired with a white male.

    Alisha Rai has written two stories for Samhain featuring multicultural characters. Glutton for Pleasure has an Indian heroine and Cabin Fever has an Hispanic hero.

  65. Miki S
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 22:20:09

    Was just skimming the CLEVNET ebook site, and came across this Silhouette Special Edition from October, 2008:

    Family in Progress by Brenda Harlen

    Hiring crackerjack photographer Samara Kerizo was one of the best business moves Steven Warren ever made. But falling for the gorgeous Tokyo transplant was not on the single father’s agenda. Even if Samara was quickly turning his mind from business to pleasure…

    Working for Steven was just the fresh start Samara needed. But falling for her sexy boss wasn’t part of the deal…until an off-the-books date led to and off-the-charts kiss! And though Steven might be a whiz at restoring old cars, Samara knew all the right moves…especially when it came to winning the hearts of the wary widower and his irresistible kids….

    Even better, the heroine on the cover actually looks Asian!

  66. Caligi
    Nov 10, 2009 @ 00:41:40

    @Sasha Knight, Senior Editor, Samhain Publishing:

    I forgot about Cabin Fever, with the latino cop hero. That was a pretty good book.

  67. Lynne Connolly
    Nov 10, 2009 @ 03:20:38


    I'm curious is anyone knows any romances that star a white female protagonist and an Asian male as her lover?

    Funny you should say that. “Beauty of Sunset,” out tomorrow at Ellora’s Cave, has a white heroine and a Chinese hero. Edie Howard and John Sung. The fetishism involves glass dildos, not race issues. Both Edie and John are comfortable with who they are. She’s ten years older than him, and she worries about that more.

  68. Camille
    Nov 10, 2009 @ 05:56:30

    @Anne Douglas:

    I’m sure Gabriel was Aborigine but I’ll have a re-read :) Apologies to anyone I’ve offended!

    @Jia: I love it too! YAY, glad I got that right, I knew she wasn’t English.

  69. Jill Sorenson
    Nov 10, 2009 @ 09:08:38

    I like Ann Christopher for AA romance. Sweeter Than Revenge is a very sexy, well written contemporary. I’ve been meaning to grab up more of her books.

  70. Xica
    Nov 10, 2009 @ 10:11:23

    If anyone likes sexy Graphic Novels and a FREE READ, I’ve started a web paranormal romance GN featuring an Asian, African American and a Welsh alpha hero (to be paired with mult-ethnic alpha heroines). I created this site specifically after Handyhunter’s post. Please stop by and tell me what you think of my bad lads.
    Click on my name for the link.

  71. Melissa
    Nov 10, 2009 @ 10:42:31

    Ice Blue, Fire and Ice by Anne Stuart (Asian heroes, part of Ice series)
    Dragon Heat, Black Dragon, Dragon Master by Allyson James (Asian-American heroines, paranormal romance series with dragons)
    Psy/Changling series by Nalini Singh (multi-cultural characters)
    Dirk and Steele series by Marjorie Liu
    Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs (part Native American heroine, urban fantasy/romance series)
    Comanche Moon by Catherine Anderson (Native American hero, historical western set in Texas in 1860’s)
    Mackenzie’s Mountain by Linda Howard (part Native American hero)
    Getting Physical by Jade Lee (Asian hero)
    Delaney’s Desert Sheikh by Brenda Jackson (Middle Eastern hero, African American heroine)
    The Panther and the Pearl by Doreen Owens Malek (Turkish hero, historical romance set in late 1800’s in Turkey)

  72. tracyleann
    Nov 10, 2009 @ 13:42:21

    Another vote for Duke of Shadows.

    I also enjoyed Simone Elkeles’s debut YA novel, Perfect Chemistry, which features a Mexican American as the hero. Lots of stereotypes on the surface (he’s a gang member, she’s the “perfect” blonde cheerleader), but I enjoyed how the author subtly played with these stereotypes and really made the characters multi-dimensional despite expectations. A great, fast read despite a bit of a rushed ending and one case of a teen using sex to try to get her own way (hey, they are teenagers).

  73. tracyleann
    Nov 10, 2009 @ 14:02:20

    I also fondly remember an old Harlequin Romance from the early 90s: The Cinderella Coach by Roz Denny. I was about a half-Chinese woman with traditional, wealthy grandparents who were pressuring her to marry a man of Chinese decent. She, of course, falls for someone else. I am pretty sure it was my first multicultural romance and remember enjoying the scenes where the heroine exposed the hero to Chinese culture and a Chinese parade/festival (they designed parade floats). I may have to look this one up again…

  74. Kay Sisk
    Nov 10, 2009 @ 14:47:59

    If we’re allowed a bit of self-promotion, I have two books with multi-cultural themes: the hero in One Year Past Perfect is Costa Rican and the hero in The Mermaid and the Eagle is Mexican.

  75. A
    Nov 10, 2009 @ 15:40:11

    The greatest multicultural romance ever penned: Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott.

  76. KS Augustin
    Nov 10, 2009 @ 17:37:43

    Yes, I echo Kay’s comment. I have quite a few non-white characters in my books. And, Christine, I’m working on a white female/Asian hero short story right now.

  77. Jeannie Lin
    Nov 11, 2009 @ 16:41:23

    I just happened to find this thread while looking for a review about a Viking romance, of all things.

    Jade Lee has already been mentioned several times, so just wanted to “ditto” that. Her historicals are wonderful. I have the contemporaries on my TBR list.

    Parker Publishing focuses on multicultural romance.
    Jax Cassidy’s novella Siren’s Seduction in the Lotus Blossom Chronicles features a Chinese hero and an African American heroine. Cassidy’s Art of Sensuality features a Japanese heroine and a Caucasian hero.

    And there’s no release date yet, but I have two upcoming historicals set in Tang Dynasty China. One is a Harlequin Historical full length and the other is a Harlequin Undone short. :)

  78. Janine
    Nov 11, 2009 @ 19:20:07

    My review of Tangle Girls, a multicultural fantasy/SF f/f anthology of short stories is now up.

  79. Venus Vaughn
    Nov 12, 2009 @ 20:26:37

    Fire & Ice by Anne Stuart is the fifth in her Ice series and features a Japanese hero and a white woman In fact, there’s a scene in there that i think I might go back and re-read tonight.

    I read the whole slog of comments on the original thread and remember someone saying that the heroine of Dark Possession by Feehan didn’t ring true for her. The heroine is AA. She read fine to me – just another normal ass-kicking, psychic, immortal-loving heroine.

  80. JuiceBerries
    Dec 01, 2009 @ 10:22:39

  81. Nikki
    Jan 25, 2010 @ 23:36:10

    Love this site. Everyone has great suggestions. Here are a few more that I haven’t seen listed yet:

    Kiss of the Dragon by Barbara Faith (White heroine/ half Chinese hero)

    Shaking off the Dust by Rhianna Samuels (White heroine/ Japanese hero)

    Mergers & Matrimony by Allison Leigh (White heroine/ Japanese hero)

    No Ordinary Love by Angela Weaver (AA heroine/ Chinese hero)

    Tall, Dark and Irresistible by Joan Elliot Pickart (White heroine/ half Korean hero)

    I can’t remember if these following books were mentioned, but both are by Kei Swanson:

    Ebony Eyes (AA heroine/ Japanese hero)
    A Drummer’s Beat to Mend (AA heroine/ Japanese hero)

    Happy Reading!!!

  82. More Book Recs: Diverse Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy « Genreville
    Jul 21, 2010 @ 06:05:52

    […] other resources for you: Dear Author has a post of multicultural romance recs that includes lots of paranormal romance; search the comments for “paranormal” or […]

  83. Tasha
    Aug 23, 2010 @ 06:43:39

    Thnx every1 for sharing ur books’ experience with us…. i luved Alisha Rai’s Glutton for pleasure n almost all of Nalini Singhs books….r their similar books 2 them???i like their writing styles without showing some weird crap in their books abt mixed culture….n if any1 has free links 2 any of da others books plzzzzzzzzzzzz telme i luv books bt gotta live on small pocketmoney :'(

  84. Jeanette
    Sep 14, 2010 @ 18:50:04

    I highly recommend the following:

    Marilyn Lee- Eye of the Beholder

    Stephanie Morris – Hard to Resist

    Marie Rochelle – Lucky Charms

    LaVerne Thompson – Come to Me

    Lena Matthew – The Good, the Bad, the Naughty

    Stephanie Morris – The Past Between Them

    Nadia Aidan – Every Desire

    Reana Malori – To Love a Marine

    Stephanie Williams – Masquerade

    Stephanie Morris – Laws of Attraction

    and many more but I’ll save them for another post ;-)

  85. wade2121
    Aug 08, 2011 @ 00:00:56

    This is a cool thread! Thanks for the recs!

    Seanan McGuire author of the Toby Daye series, urban fantasy.

  86. Gloria
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 22:38:34

    Looking for a series with Asian heroine and Caucasian hero. All I can remember is the heroine grew up on the streets (in China), befriends an older Asian guy and was probably in love with him. She then marries an older (Caucasian) guy and moves to the States. She becomes this kick-ass agent? when she grows up due to her husband? They have a son together but the husband dies. The series starts with her going back to China? to look for this older friend. He is in some kind of trouble because of some potion he supposedly made. Her partner, the hero, and her have a strong chemistry but she doesn’t want to start anything with him. Ring any bell anyone? I really don’t remember all the details and the author’s name.

  87. Syahira
    Feb 07, 2014 @ 08:08:35


    BTW one of Kate Daniels’s novella have an Indonesian American as a main character. I end up transcribing some of the dialogues in Indonesian while reading it. But

    I could recommend Ellen Oh’s Prophecy but some folks hated it while I think its a good story set during the three kingdom time ancient korea. I’m currently reading the second book but I notice there’s some changes to fit in the primary complaints about the first book by most western audience. Mostly due the descriptive which I think its fine in the first place but thats because I’m used to korean historical dramas.

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