(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.)
MC w/mental illness:
Desi MC: Smoke 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.
Physically disabled MC:
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:
Set outside US/UK
Full figured MC: Mayday by Olivia Dade.
Middle Eastern MC:
Poc on Cover: