Ali Reads... Indigenous Voices
This month, Ali Williams brings us a selection of her favorite romance novels penned by indigenous and First Nation authors. And what a GREAT selection it is!
Remember, just click on the cover and a link will take you there.
As we celebrate the fact that not one, but two black women have now won a RITA, as well as the first ever South Asian author (congrats to Kennedy, Minx and Nisha), it's important to remember our fight for equality and diversity is not over just because we didn't have an all-white winner list.
This month I'm sharing romances I love by indigenous and First Nation authors. Some of them are #ownvoices indigenous romances, and some are romances written by indigenous authors. I've loved discovering these writers, and hope to see more of these voices gracing our bookshelves in the future!
Ghost by Robin Covington
Oliver Burns knew sneaking out on the most delicious one-night-stand he ever had would come back and bite him in the ass. Caught up in his own swagger when he was named to the “30 under 30” list, he publicly bragged that his next goal was to sign the reclusive artist “G” to his talent roster at his comic publishing company and now he’s got to make it happen.
So, Oliver can only laugh when he realizes that the guy he pulled a post-sex runner on a couple of years earlier is Gareth Rain, also known as “G” – creator of the First Nations graphic novel juggernaut, Ghost Warriors – and the one man he always regretted leaving behind. But Oliver didn’t get to the top by giving up, so now he’s laser focused on two things: getting Gareth on his team and back in his bed.
Heartbeat Braves by Pamela Sanderson
There’s never a dull moment at the Crooked Rock Urban Indian Center.
Rayanne Larson knows firsthand the struggles of native people. Working at Crooked Rock gives her the chance to do good work for Indians living in the city. She has high hopes for the Center’s progress until its new leader hands her special project over to his underachieving—and distractingly sexy—nephew.
Henry Grant’s life is going just fine. Though he knows rez life, he’s always been an urban Indian. He has no interest in the Indian Center job his uncle pushes on him. That is, until he meets Rayanne. She’s attractive and smart, and like no woman he has ever met.
Rayanne is determined to keep her distance but when the Center faces a crisis, the two of them are forced to work together and she can no longer ignore the sparks between them.
Scarlet Lies by Lani Young
Lies are beautiful – when the truth hurts.
Sixteen years ago, Scarlet’s family sent her away in disgrace. She’s been back once – with disastrous consequences. Now, her little sister is getting married and Scarlet's headed home once more. Will this be the reunion she's always longed for? Or will the lies of her childhood entangle her once more in their beautiful embrace?
She has a nightmarish fear of flying and she’s escorting her sister’s wedding dress through three different time zones. He’s the tall, dark and handsome stranger that gets in her way… What happens when Scarlet has to go home to be bridesmaid to her least favorite little sister, (who loves to remind everyone she’s a former beauty Queen every other minute?) Can she survive three weeks of tropical heat and mosquitos, droves of busybody relatives all wanting to tell her WHY she’s still single as she endures the wedding from hell? Six hundred guests, three wedding dresses, twenty-four cake tiers, fifteen bridesmaids, a mother on a mission to makeover her daughter who ‘lacks ambition,’ and ONE deliciously divine man who alternately renders her speechless then drives her to outrage - all add up to a recipe for disaster. Or does it?
All the King's Men by Alex Powell
Fox is a mindnet hacker, and works for the mysterious man known only as King. He spends his time uncovering dangerous secrets and releasing them to the public.
But those who cause trouble are bound to attract it, and despite their precautions King is taken prisoner by an unknown government. And if Fox is going to save him, he's going to need help—help that comes from the very last place he expected to find it.
Abandon by Wanika Fazekas
Ava’s life isn’t easy. Her dad is long gone and, her mum is an alcoholic who lives in the next town over. She lives with her volatile drug-addicted cousin Sam and cares for her baby sister Emerson all while still going to school. The only affection she receives is from the neighbour across the road.
That is until Dakota, with his intense green eyes and dangerous aura, enters her life and mesmerises her from the very first moment. Ava is hooked, and Dakota won't leave her alone.
But Dakota has a secret. He is a werewolf.
Avoiding Mr Right by Anita Heiss
Peta thinks that '...taking a man to Melbourne would be like taking a sandwich to a smorgasbord', that's why she is leaving him at home.
Peta Tully has found her Mr Right - the only trouble is, she's not sure she's ready to settle down. Not just yet, anyway - so when she's offered a twelve-month contract interstate which just might win her the job of her dreams, she puts her Sydney life on hold, packs her bags and jumps on a plane, leaving her doting boyfriend behind. Peta takes a voluntary vow of celibacy, but sticking to it proves harder than she imagines.
Feral Nights by Cynthia Leitich Smith
When sexy, free-spirited werecat Yoshi tracks his sister, Ruby, to Austin, he discovers that she is not only MIA, but also the key suspect in a murder investigation. Meanwhile, werepossum Clyde and human Aimee have set out to do a little detective work of their own, sworn to avenge the brutal killing of werearmadillo pal Travis.
When all three seekers are snared in an underground kidnapping ring, they end up on a remote island inhabited by an unusual (even by shifter standards) species and its cult of worshippers. Their hosts harbor a grim secret: staging high-profile safaris for wealthy patrons with evil pedigrees, which means that at least one newcomer to the island is about to be hunted. As both wereprey and werepredator fight to stay alive, it’s up to mild-mannered Clyde — a perennial sidekick — to summon the hero within. Can he surprise even himself?
Over and Over Again by Cole McCade
A ring of braided grass. A promise. Ten years of separation.
And memories of an innocent love with the power to last through time.
When Luca Ward was five years old, he swore he would love Imre Claybourne forever. Years later, that promise holds true—and when Luca finds himself shipped off to Imre’s North Yorkshire goat farm in disgrace, long-buried feelings flare back to life when he finds, in Imre, the same patiently stoic gentle giant he’d loved as a boy. The lines around Imre’s eyes may be deeper, the once-black night of his hair silvered to steel and stone…but he’s still the same slow-moving mountain of a man whose quiet-spoken warmth, gentle hands, and deep ties to his Roma heritage have always, to Luca, meant home.
Imre is more than twice Luca’s age.
And Luca’s father’s best friend.
Yet if Imre is everything Luca remembered, for Imre this hot-eyed, fey young man is nothing of the boy he knew. Gone is the child, replaced by a vivid man whose fettered spirit is spinning, searching for north, his heart a thing of wild sweet pure emotion that draws Imre into the compelling fire of Luca’s frustrated passions. That fragile heart means everything to Imre—and he’ll do anything to protect it.
Even if it means distancing himself, when the years between them are a chasm Imre doesn’t know how to cross.
But can he resist the allure in cat-green eyes when Luca places his trembling heart in Imre’s hands…and begs for his love, over and over again?
Her Land Her Love by Evangeline Parsons Yazzie
Ninaanibaa’s heart belonged to Hashké Yił Naabaah (The Warrior Who Fights with Anger). She loved him for protecting his awéé’ (babies), K’é (kinship), Naabeehó (Navajo people) and Dinétah (land). Hashké Yił Naabaah is summoned on a pursuit to restore peace and harmony to Dinétah. Nínááníbaa’ gently placed her hand over her heart and wondered if her own heart was prepared to never feel love again. She stopped to think about life without love, the kind of love that her husband showered upon her.
Leaving their sacred land was a painful decision forced upon them but Hashké Yił Naabaah and Nínááníbaa always relied on their love, prayers, and kinship in overcoming hardship, loneliness, and suffering. Will they escape the shackles of war and reunite with their children within the four sacred mountains of Dinétah?
Eternal Lovers by V. S. Nelson
Humans weren't the only ones to migrate to America...
When two hidden worlds collide near modern day Lake Michigan, Jennifer, a young Native American, is confronted with the reality not everything is as it seems and things do go bump in the night. The questions she has long since asked are answered in this epic tale of self discovery when she meets Gabriel; the director of Guardians Incorporated.
Born in New Tuat, Netchkhet, now known as Gabriel, came to Earth some five thousand years ago to protect the human race, Disillusioned because of an unfulfilled prophecy, he has become cold and distant - even from those of his kind. Secretly, he waits for his enemy to take his head so he may leave this world for good.
Can a tiny Selkie melt his hardened heart and restore his faith in a power far greater than himself? When history repeats itself, can he save her from death's embrace or will they be robbed of a future again?