, opens in the middle of a sexual encounter between preppy, blonde Annie Collins and her towering, tattooed, biracial trainer, Oksana Gorinkov.Annie is engaged, but while her fiancé is in Europe getting in a few last jollies, Annie decides that she’d like to sleep with a woman before settling into heterosexual monogamy.There is one protagonist of colour named—unfortunately/hilariously—Alex Rodriguez.I have a lot of sympathy for the poor writer who actually made an effort to include a Latino character, but what a mess.Imagine staffing a large North American hospital without African-Americans, East or South Asians (and no Jews, either).Even with A-Rod on the team, this would never work.In any case, this is not a space for taunting or bitterness—this is a space of love.So, let’s look at a handful of excellent romance novels set in this world in the present day which feature characters of many colours, by writers of colour.
Editors from larger publishing houses, thus, do not acquire them as often.The half-Russian, half-West African Oksana lives with her grandmother and teenage sister in West Hollywood.Imprints catering to African-American readers–Kimani by Harlequin and Dafina from Kensington, for example–do brisk business, but the number of authors and characters of colour who cross over is rare.(An illuminating discussion can be found in the comments section of this Love in the Margins post.) The lack of crossover, however, often garners absurd results: Take, for example, Harlequin Medical’s NYC Angels series, a multi-authored group of novels set in a Manhattan hospital.
In romance novels, it seems easier for a person of colour to get a date with a were-lion than with a non-shifting human being.
I guess if a reader is down with leonine loving, then stories featuring sex with Asian people aren’t so scary.