Authors of Color: Support Black Romance Authors

The world is a shit show right now and allies should be looking for ways they can support the Black community right now. For romance readers, I ask that you show your support by considering buying books from Black romance authors. Thanks to Kristan Higgins for suggesting this on Twitter. This is the first post in a continuing series that I'll be featuring here on Cheeky Reads. 

Below are some books that I'm personally super excited about and think you'll love! Check out the descriptions and then click through to buy these amazing stories. 

One of Oprah Magazine's 21 Romance Novels That Are Set to Be the Best of 2020

USA Today bestselling author Talia Hibbert returns with another charming romantic comedy about a young woman who agrees to fake date her friend after a video of him “rescuing” her from their office building goes viral...

Danika Brown knows what she wants: professional success, academic renown, and an occasional roll in the hay to relieve all that career-driven tension. But romance? Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt. Romantic partners, whatever their gender, are a distraction at best and a drain at worst. So Dani asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits—someone who knows the score and knows their way around the bedroom. 

When big, brooding security guard Zafir Ansari rescues Dani from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, it’s an obvious sign: PhD student Dani and former rugby player Zaf are destined to sleep together. But before she can explain that fact to him, a video of the heroic rescue goes viral. Suddenly, half the internet is shipping #DrRugbae—and Zaf is begging Dani to play along. Turns out his sports charity for kids could really use the publicity. Lying to help children? Who on earth would refuse? 

Dani’s plan is simple: fake a relationship in public, seduce Zaf behind the scenes. The trouble is, grumpy Zaf is secretly a hopeless romantic—and he’s determined to corrupt Dani’s stone-cold realism. Before long, he’s tackling her fears into the dirt. But the former sports star has issues of his own, and the walls around his heart are as thick as his... um, thighs. 

The easy lay Dani dreamed of is now more complex than her thesis. Has her wish backfired? Is her focus being tested? Or is the universe just waiting for her to take a hint? 

“Talia Hibbert is a rockstar! Her writing is smart, funny, and sexy..." - Meg Cabot, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Little Bridge Island and Princess Diaries series  

"If you're looking for an easy charmer, this is the novel for you."—Shondaland
When their foster-turned-adoptive mother suddenly dies, four brothers struggle to keep open the doors of her beloved Harlem knitting shop.

Jesse Strong is known for two things: his devotion to his adoptive mom, Mama Joy, and his reputation for breaking hearts. When Mama Joy unexpectedly passes away, he and his brothers have different plans for what to do with Strong Knits, their neighborhood knitting store. Jesse wants to keep the store open. His brothers want to tie off loose ends and close shop....

Part-time shop employee Kerry Fuller has kept her crush on Jesse a secret. When she overhears his impassioned plea to his brothers to keep the knitting shop open, she volunteers to help. Unlike Jesse, Kerry knows the “knitty-gritty” of the business, and together they make plans to reinvent Strong Knits for a new generation.

But the more time they spend together, the stronger the chemistry builds between them. Kerry, knowing Jesse’s history, doesn’t believe their relationship can last longer than she can knit one, purl two. But Jesse is determined to prove to her that he can be the man for her forever and always. After all, real men knit.

n this witty rom-com celebrating the "unique joys of strong female friendships," three young women bond when the live Tweeting of a disastrous date leads them to discover they've all been duped by the same man. (Jasmine Guillory, author of The Wedding Date)

Samiah Brooks never thought she would be "that" girl. But a live tweet of a horrific date just revealed the painful truth: she's been catfished by a three-timing jerk of a boyfriend. Suddenly Samiah-along with his two other "girlfriends," London and Taylor-have gone viral online. Now the three new besties are making a pact to spend the next six months investing in themselves. No men and no dating.

For once Samiah is putting herself first, and that includes finally developing the app she's always dreamed of creating. Which is the exact moment she meets the deliciously sexy Daniel Collins at work. What are the chances? But is Daniel really boyfriend material or is he maybe just a little too good to be true?

"A smart, funny digital-age romance about real women living in the real world. Couldn't put it down!" --Abby Jimenez, USA Today bestselling author of The Happy Ever After Playlist

*Cosmopolitan: Best Summer Reads 2020*O, The Oprah Magazine: Most Anticipated Romances of 2020*Book of the Month selection*LibraryReads selection*Bookpage: Most Anticipated Romance of 2020 *SheReads: Most Anticipated Reads of Summer 2020

Publishers Weekly Summer Reads 2020 Editors’ Pick

“Smart and witty . . . the perfect historical read.”

 —Julia Quinn, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Created by a shrewd countess, The Widow’s Grace is a secret society with a mission: to help ill-treated widows regain their status, their families, and even find true love again—or perhaps for the very first time . . .
When headstrong West Indian heiress Patience Jordan questioned her English husband's mysterious suicide, she lost everything: her newborn son, Lionel, her fortune—and her freedom. Falsely imprisoned, she risks her life to be near her child—until The Widow's Grace gets her hired as her own son’s nanny. But working for his unsuspecting new guardian, Busick Strathmore, Duke of Repington, has perils of its own. Especially when Patience discovers his military strictness belies an ex-rake of unswerving honor—and unexpected passion . . .
A wounded military hero, Busick is determined to resolve his dead cousin’s dangerous financial dealings for Lionel’s sake. But his investigation is a minor skirmish compared to dealing with the forthright, courageous, and alluring Patience. Somehow, she's breaking his rules, and sweeping past his defenses. Soon, between formidable enemies and obstacles, they form a fragile trust—but will it be enough to save the future they long to dare together?

“One of the best historicals I’ve read in years.” 
—Kristan Higgins, New York Times bestselling author 

“Vanessa Riley at her finest.”
—Sarah MacLean, New York Times bestselling author

“Expertly crafted romance.”
Publishers Weekly, STARRED review

Book Review: Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras

Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras Cover

Book Review: Island Affair 

Publisher:  Zebra  
Release Date: 4/28/2020
ISBN: 1420150170
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 Heart Review

TW: Eating Disorders

Book Blurb:
Sought-after social media influencer Sara Vance, in recovery from an eating disorder, is coming into her own, with a potential career expansion on the horizon. Despite the good news, her successful siblings (and their perfect spouses) have a way of making her feel like the odd one out. So, when her unreliable boyfriend is a no-show for a Florida family vacation, Sara recruits Luis Navarro—a firefighter paramedic and dive captain willing to play the part of her smitten fiancĂ© . . .

Luis’s big Cuban familia has been in Key West for generations, and his quiet strength feeds off the island’s laidback style. Though guarded after a deep betrayal, he’ll always help someone in need—especially a spunky beauty with a surprising knowledge of Spanish curse words. Soon, he and Sara have memorized their “how we met” story and are immersed in family dinners, bike tours, private snorkeling trips . . . sharing secrets, and slow, melting kisses. But when it’s time for Sara to return home, will their fake relationship fade like the stunning sunset . . . or blossom into something beautiful?

Cheeky Thoughts: 
This was such a fun book! Exactly what I needed at this time and I finished it in a day and then found myself looking at photos from my last trip to Key West! Priscilla really brought Key West and that community to life in this story and her love for it just comes out on the page. 

My favorite part of this story was how Priscilla deftly handled the inclusion of the eating disorder of the main character. It was woven into the story in such a believable and heart-felt way without this turning into a dark and heavy read. It's a perfect example of how you can write REAL characters who live with secrets and struggles just like we do in real life. Her characterizations felt well written and true to the characters she had created. 

For me, there were a few areas that made this a 4 Heart review instead of 5. 

The first issue I had was the initial meet cute of Sara and Luis. While I loved the premise and set-up, it felt a little too quick to be believable. As much as Sara was in a tough spot, it was hard for me to suspend my disbelief for how quickly she jumped right into Luis' truck (basically a total stranger) with him and offered to take him to stay with her family. I would have liked a little more time of Sara still being wary even after Luis agrees to help her. 

My other issue was the resolution of the relationship issues between Sara and her sister. While I LOVED Priscilla digging into this sister dynamic and showing family relationships that are strained, it felt to me that this particular issue needed much more than just one conversation for it to start being turned around. The animosity is sooo deep at the beginning of the story, that I would have liked to have seen multiple steps/touchpoints between the sisters as they get toward the end of the story events. 

All in all, I highly recommend this book and loved both of the families dynamics, the setting and most of all the great characters Priscilla created. Luis and Sara are a wonderful romance story surrounded by families you want to keep reading more and more of. I will be checking out Priscilla's backlist, but also cannot wait to hear when the next book in this series will release. Because this one is so good, of course there will be another book in this series! 

I you haven't read this yet, pick up a copy today and enjoy a fantastic summer romance! 

Follow Me on Instagram!

I'm finally branching out of my blog cave and created a #Bookstagram account over on Instagram as @Cheeky_Reads. Would love it if you would follow me there! While I will tease out when new reviews post on the blog, I'm hoping to do content exclusive to that shorter form platform.

Here's a peek at my first ever #bookstack. I have a LOT to learn about taking images and creating book layouts, but I hope you'll enjoy watching me try to get better. LOL!

Also, if you don't already follow me on Twitter hit me up there as @CheekyReads and let's talk all things books and romance!

- Cheeky Girl Sabrina