I’ve been waiting quite a while to read the first Harlequin Presents with a black character. Harlequin finally published it in the U.S., though snuck it into a two-in-one so they didn’t have to depict a black man on the cover. I suppose this is marginally better than whitewashing. (Or never publishing it at all.) Interestingly, the original Mills and Boon cover is quite bold.
Race doesn’t come into the story much: it’s mentioned by Blaise as a conflict for his mother and father (apparently an interracial marriage) but he thinks of that as a problem of another time. This is otherwise a pretty standard HP with, unfortunately, one of my least favorite HP tropes — the heroine with a physical flaw that disgusts every single person in the world except the hero. You’d never guess that most people are pretty damn imperfect. And Blaise’s “must… keep… control” journey is pretty threadbare at this point. I did like Ella’s mature attitude about their relationship, and the end has a pretty sweet grovel.