A Willful Woman…

Thoughts about books from a romance addict.

Diverse Romance Challenge

on September 19, 2016


(No one seems to have a problem with this, so I’m going to proceed as planned.)

This new challenge just started and will run til the end of the year. Since it’ll take awhile, I’m going to post now and update as I fill it in. I think I will also attempt to find “own voices” stories for as many of the squares as possible. Suggestions very welcome!


interracial: Hold Me by Courtney Milan. Hero’s ethnicity is Thai and Chinese, heroine’s is way back Latina. This also features a trans heroine, but I’m hoping to fill that box with an “own voices” square. (Which as far as I know, this isn’t.)

Latinx MC

Muslim MC

MC w/mental illness:

Desi MCSmoke and Secrets by Suleikha Snyder. (own voices)

The second book in the “Bollywood Confidential” is set in the same world as Spice and Smoke, with some recurring characters, but it’s a far more conventional genre romance. The two storylines could have come straight out a Harlequin Presents: one is about a betrayed ex-wife who fears to love again, the other is reunited lovers with a secret baby! And an Evil Other Woman tries to destroy both.The frequent references to Bollywood movies make this all kind of meta, but not in an annoying way. The main characters — Priya, “item girl,” and her former love, producer and actor Rahul, and Sunny, talk show hostess loved by Davey, her producer — are all awash in the Bollywood milieu and living a life right out of a romantic movie seems only natural.

Jewish MC: Craving Flight by Tamsen Parker. I don’t know if this is own voices, but it seems to be really well done. Clever, insightful juxtaposition of religious orthodoxy and kink.

Trans MC:

Physically disabled MC:


Diverse Historical:


Ownvoices: The Bollywood Bride by Sonali Dev. I’m hoping to get own voices books for as many squares as possible; since I already filled the “Desi MC” square, I’m putting this story here. Intense, angsty romance. It’s actually less about Bollywood than about first and second generation Indians living in America, and the immersive supporting detail is lovely.

Black MC: Tell Me Something Good by Jamie Wesley. (Own voices.) Fun opposite attracts romance about dueling radio hosts. She’s a relationship expert that’s all about feelings, he’s a good-time sports guy.

East Asian MC:

WOC in Romance: His for Keeps by Theodora Taylor. I’ve seen the author mentioned on the #WOCinRomance feed, so I assume it is own voices. White hero/biracial heroine. Sweet singer/songwriter heroine with secrets has to fight for love.

Set outside US/UK

Full figured MC: Mayday by Olivia Dade.


Asexual MC:

Middle Eastern MC:

Poc on Cover:





5 responses to “Diverse Romance Challenge

  1. This is excellent! And I will fall to my knees and praise you should you win TWO bingo cards per month (now THERE is your challenge!)

  2. Jackie Horne says:

    Willaful: I believe “LI” stands for “love interest,” if that’s what your question mark was interrogating. And I think you’re right that “QPoC” means “queer person of color.

    Which squares do you think will be the most difficult?

  3. […] Source: Diverse Romance Challenge […]

  4. N.S.Beranek says:

    Fantastic idea! I’m going to re-post this on my site and let’s see how many people we can get to do this! Brava! My hat’s off to you!

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