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Multicultural Romance

What is the Multicultural Romance Genre?

The Multicultural romance genre is pretty self-explanatory. It focuses on stories which feature characters and situations with more than one ethic background. Usually one character is White (often the heroine) and one is not (often the hero), although there are some novels where both characters are non-white. Generally, “multi-cultural” means a Black man is dating a White woman. There are a few where it is reversed, and some novels where both characters are non-White, but generally the “culture” being addressed is race and not any other dimension of identity.

These novels are mostly set in the present day, although there are some novels which are set back in the South during the antebellum period (1800-1865) where the rich white landowner’s daughter/niece falls in love with one of the field slaves.

What to Expect in the Multicultural Romance Genre

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  • Usually there is some kind of “hands off” dynamic which involves a “forbidden” relationship

  • Features modern day stories and situations

  • Features realistic characters

  • This genre features quite a bit of outside interference from family members/friends, etc.

  • A troubling number of novels in this genre have forced sex scenes that can be quite disturbing to read about

Multicultural Romance Characteristics

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  • Level of Angst

    On a scale of 1-10, the level of angst in this genre is usually in the mid-range, although if the relationship is portrayed as forbidden based on race, it does tend to ratchet the tension up a bit.

  • Character Development

    This genre tends to focus a little less attention on the characters and quite a bit more attention on the setting and the story.  The characters are often defined by their external appearance instead of any internal conflict (or the internal conflict is based on the external circumstances). The physicality of the hero in these novels plays a very large role in the story’s development.

  • Plot Strength

    As with most romance novels, the plots can become a little cookie-cutter. Depending on the ability of the writer, the plots tend to vary widely between outstanding and silly/awkward.

  • Romantic Tension

    There is quite a bit of romantic tension in this genre since, as sad as it is to say, multiculturalism is still viewed as “exotic.” So, there is a certain level of tension the way some of these novels construct the relationships.

  • Level of Eros

    This genre has a relatively high level of eros. The characters who engage in a forbidden relationship create quite a bit of tension, so when they finally do get together it’s usually pretty “hot.” Otherwise, as with most romance novels, we know how it will end, and the challenge is often trying to be together despite some outside interference from family and friends.

  • Prose Quality

    There is a lot of variation in the quality of writing in this subgenre – some of them are entertaining and well-written, and others are filled with troubling stereotypes – it is all dependent on the individual author. The impact of the writer’s writing skills are pretty significant in the enjoyment of the story.

Related Romance Subgenres

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  • Contemporary Romance: This genre is closely related to contemporary romance and/or historical romance depending on the setting.

  • Alpha Romance: The heroes also often resemble “Alphas”

  • Billonair Romance: Quite a few novels portray them as “millionaire/billionaire.”

Multicultural Romance isn't for you if

You like Regency-style romance. You are troubled by stereotypes – some of these novels which openly refer to Black male characters as having/giving into their “savage instincts” are very difficult to read. You are uncomfortable with physical domination/subordination/suggestions of forced sex

Multicultural Romance is totally for you if

You like physical characterizations, graphic sex scenes, and you like heroes who take charge

Popular Multicultural Romance Books
  • 1 Shameless (2016)


    By Lex Martin. Is about a young man trying to raise his niece as a single parent, and the young woman who comes along and seems to have all the answers, and perhaps the keys to his heart.

  • 2 Destiny’s Captive (2014)


    By Beverly Jenkins. Is the story of a young woman who is descended from pirates and has decided to carry on the family business. After she steals a ship, the owner is none too pleased, and will stop at nothing to get his ship back, and claim the beautiful thief as his own.

  • 3 Midnight (2010)


    By Beverly Jenkins. Is set during the Revolutionary War and tells the story of a female spy who is helping the rebels fight for independence and a man on a mission of personal vengeance.

  • 4 Her Billionaire Savior (2016)


    By Samantha Andrews. Focuses on a woman who has just left an abusive relationship and sworn off love. When she meets the hero, he sweeps her off her feet and into his bed, but can she get past her own fears to trust in love again?

  • 5 Bane (2015)


    By Brenda Jackson. Is about a Navy SEAL who has returned to reclaim the woman he left behind, only to find that she has left and isn’t ready to forgive him. However, with her life being in danger, she might not have a choice but to put her faith and trust in him again.

  • 6 Locked with Him (2015)


    By Ellen Dominick. Is the story a librarian and a hot guy looking for a book. Oh, and he’s a billionaire but doesn’t want to tell her. There is a storm…they are stuck there. Passion ensues. How come this never happens to me when I go to the library?

  • 7 Taming the Wolf (2011)


    By Maureen Smith. Is the story of an “exotic” woman who needs help to save her struggling community outreach program, and wealthy attorney Marcus is just the man to give it to her.

  • 8 In Love with a Younger Man (2009)


    By Cheryl Robinson. Is about a woman in her early 40’s who isn’t quite ready to throw in the towel. Enter the hot, successful, gorgeous 25 year old who makes her feel young again, and they both start their journey toward seeing if “forever” is an option.

  • 9 Riding Rebel (2015)


    By Kiru Taye. Tells the story of a daredevil businessman and the journalist who is determined to discover the truth about his past, present and future.

  • 10 Loving Yasmine (2015)


    By Ana E. Ross. Is about a woman who is a powerful and successful divorce attorney who has seen the kind of ugliness that can happen in relationships. Now that her childhood crush is stable and settled, will he be able to convince her to give them a chance?