This month is meant to recognize, support, and celebrate the essential contributions and influences of Hispanic and Latino Americans in North America. Latin culture is such a rich and beautiful part of the fabric of our lives, it deserves far more representation than it gets. Given our current climate, this month’s celebration feels more critical than ever. To celebrate, let’s take a look at some of my favorite books and authors that represent Hispanic Heritage. I tried to find some books from every sub-genre in romance. It was much easier to find contemporary romance titles than it was to suss out historical representation. After weeks of searching, I finally had to rely on the knowledge of lifelong historical romance reader friend for a contribution in this section. It’s safe to say, we need to do better here, romanclandia!
Forever Mine by Elizabeth Reyes
The Moreno Brothers series by Elizabeth Reyes kicks off with Forever Mine. This is a YA story about seventeen-year-old Sarah and her experiences finding her way through the awkward high school years. A series of unfortunate events lead to a very bitter Sarah in a new school. All is not well until she meets Angel Moreno. Angel has some very deep-set beliefs about the ability of boys and girls being just friends. In perfect YA angsty dramatic fashion, Sarah has a secret back home that could throw a wrench in their relationship. With a novella and a prequel tossed in for good measure, there are seven books in this highly-rated series.
Rock Chick Regret by Kristen Ashley
I’m beginning to think I can’t create a TBT list without a Kristen Ashley book! She deserves her own sub-genre at this point! Ashley’s Rock Chick series has not one but two books you should consider. Rock Chick Rescue is Eddie and Jet’s story. It’s excellent and gives a beautiful look at the importance of family in Latin culture. But, nothing and I can’t stress this enough, NOTHING beats the fire and passion of Hector in Rock Chick Regret. Hector messes up big time, and the most unthinkable thing happens to the woman he loves, Sadie. Rock Chick Regret will break your heart multiple times and slowly put it back together, all while setting your e-reader on fire from the chemistry between these two. Lordy be, lordy be. This is not an easy read, but the redemption is worth it.
Love, In English by Karina Halle
Karina Halle does not mess around when she writes. Halle is not afraid of going there, “there” being wherever the story takes her, even if it is raw, painful, and filled with controversy. Her books are not for everyone, and that’s okay, she will tell you that herself. Karina Halle is a fearless writer, and in many ways, we are all the better for it. Her book, Love, in English deals with the taboo subject of infidelity. Mateo is older, wealthier, and married. Vera is young, tattooed, and filled with commitment issues. She’s spending the summer in Spain teaching conversational English to business people. This book is messy, and raw and not the sort of book I thought I’d enjoy but Love, in English is an old dog, meets new tricks for me! Not to be outdone, Halle’s Dirty Angels series is equally, if not more intense. The first book, Dirty Angels, hits the ground running. It is a walking trigger warning, but somehow Halle pulls it off. The story of a young woman caught up in the wars of Mexican drug cartels is like nothing I’ve ever read. That’s par for the course when it comes to Karina Halle books; never a dull moment, never an easy read, but always a lot to think about when it’s over.
Snow Falling by Jane Gloriana Villanueva (Caridad Pineiro)
If you’d like something a little milder on the taboo scale but is still a fair and genuine representation of Latin culture, Mia Sosa’s Love on Cue series will not disappoint. This series deals with real and intense familial issues but in a more light-hearted and fun way. Also, I’d be remiss if I left off Jane the Virgin! Snow Falling is the book Jane Gloriana Villanueva writes in the incredibly popular CW television series, Jane the Virgin. In pure telenovela form, Snow Falling is technically a historical romance set in the early 1900s that is highlighted on the show. Of course, Jane isn’t a real person, so all credit goes to author Caridad Pineiro for ghostwriting this beauty!
Princess by Gaelen Foley
Speaking of historical romances, check out Princess by Gaelen Foley. The second book in her Ascension trilogy tells the story of the King’s most trusted spy, Darius Santiago and his forbidden love, Princess Serafina. Princess released way back in 1999 and is a “…marvelous adventure filled with intrigue and pageantry.” As I mentioned, I struggled to find good historical romance representation and I’m open to hearing your suggestions.
Eat Prey Love by Kerrelyn Sparks
Finally, I’d like to share one of my favorite paranormal books, Eat Prey Love by Kerrelyn Sparks. Sparks’ Love at Stake series is seriously one of my all-time favorite paranormal series ever! Eat Prey Love gives us Carlos Panterra, a were-panther looking for his mate. She must love children because he has a whole pack of orphaned shifter babies under his supervision. Caitlyn isn’t just human, she’s the daughter of one of the big bad guys in the series. Poor Carlos can undoubtedly pick ’em! To his credit, paranormal beings don’t really get to “pick ’em” do they? Fate often deals a mysterious method to the madness it throws at couples. Their trek through the jungle is full of intense and edge-of-your-seat adventures. In a word, the animal magnetism is explosive!