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Black Love: 11 Books that would make a perfect Valentine’s (or Galentine’s) read

Jazz by Toni Morrison

Summary: A passionate novel set in New York City during the Jazz Age. Jazz is a novel dominated by love, grief, and offers a perceptive account of black urban life. During the winter of 1926, a middle-aged man named Joe shoots and kills his teenage mistress. Joe’s wife gets her revenge by attacking the dead teenager’s body at her funeral. Toni Morrison’s novel deals with the many facets of love, including the less idealised ones — love lost, forbidden love, infidelity, grief, and revenge. By presenting the point of view of several characters, the reader gets a glimpse of the metamorphic nature of love: how it evolves over time, and how it can die and be reborn.
You’ll like this book if…you like Toni Morrison’s lyrical writing style would like to be immersed in black New York City in the 1920s.
Get the book today on Amazon: UK |  US.

Loving Donovan by Bernice L. McFadden

Summary: A novel about hope, forgiveness, and love — and the different ways in which men and women deal with these experiences. The novel is split into parts and chapters narrated by the two main characters — Campbell and Donovan — at several points of their lives.After meeting by chance while living in the same neighbourhood, the pair grow together and share their dreams, opening their hearts to each other. Over the course of the novel Bernice L. McFadden explores just how much impact the love one gets as a child can affect their future relationships. Campbell and Donovan both grew up in broken families, yet they still believe in the power of love. This is a story of growth, finding love, and finding ways to keep it alive despite challenges.
You’ll like this book if…you like coming-of-age stories and tales of complicated family and romantic love.
Get the book today on Amazon: UKUS.

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Summary: In an alternate society that is divided by colour which bans inter-colour mixing, two completely different young people find each other in ways that are forbidden. Sephy is a Cross — part of the dark-skinned ruling class, — while Callum is a Nought — “colourless” and descendant of the dominated class once enslaved. Despite laws that forbid interclass mixing, Sephy and Callum have been best friends since they were young. As they grow older and form their own convictions, they realise that they must be together. This romance is doomed, however, because Sephy and Callum and worlds apart — but no one can impose barriers on love.
You’ll like this book if…you like dystopian fiction and want to read about forbidden love.
Get the book today on Amazon: UK |  US.

All Our Names by Dinaw Mengestu

Summary: This novel set during an African revolution follows the paths of two Ethiopian students who share an unbreakable bond. The two young boys both come from poor villages and had never been in a city before. This shared experience and sense of identity is what brings them together, laying the foundation for a long-lasting friendship. When violence breaks out, they’re separated — by circumstance and an ocean. Mengestu spins a tale of separation and tests how long love can survive when time, distance, and no communication come in its way.
You’ll like this book if…you want to read more about the immigrant experience in America and childhood love that is treasured into adulthood.
Get the book today on Amazon: UKUS.

Taffy by Suzette D. Harrison

Summary: A novel following twenty-three-year-old Taffy, an unhappily married woman and mother of one, and her return to her hometown down south. Set in the 1930s, Taffy must get her son back from her own parents before catching a train to Chicago. Taffy is driven by motherly love and the eagerness to abandon a loveless marriage, but then everything changes after bumping into her long-lost love. Even after seven years of separation, the love, lust, and anger they both felt are still alive. Once secrets are discovered and old wounds are exposed, Taffy and Roam must answer the “what if” questions left open by her decision to walk out on their engagement.
You’ll like this book if…you enjoy reading stories about long-lost love where two lovers reconnect.
Get the book today on Amazon: UKUS.

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo

Summary: University sweethearts Yejide and Akin have been married for four years. Defying Nigerian custom, Akin refuses to marry more than one woman because of the love and respect he has for his wife. Everything changes when Yejide has trouble getting pregnant, despite the numerous treatments she undergoes. When Yejide’s family — who are hoping for a child more than Akin and Yejide are — arrives at their front door with a woman who is to be Akin’s second wife, Yejide descends to madness. Adebayo’s debut novel deals with deep and passionate love, polygamy, jealousy, being replaced, and what one is willing to sacrifice for their loved ones.
You’ll like this book if… you want to read about polygamous couples and the emotional baggage it comes with.
Get the book today on Amazon: UKUS.

African Love Stories: An Anthology by Ama Ata Aidoo

Summary: An anthology that portraits African love in all its glory. In the twenty short stories included in this book, the myth that African women are poor helpless victims is defied and shattered. Spanning from seducing men into loving them to the tribulations of pregnancy, child labor, and motherly love, these stories touch upon numerous forms of love and ways one can love. Set against the backdrop of several African cities and villages, love is the theme connecting all of these narratives and is never depicted in a conventional way.
You’ll like this book if… you enjoy reading unconventional love stories that prove that there is no “one” way of loving someone.

Get the book today on Amazon: UKUS

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Summary: In this novel of self-discovery, identity, and immigration; love is portrayed as long-lasting and able to survive across geographical borders. Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love when they’re teenagers in 1980s Nigeria. The love they have for each other grows by the day until Ifemelu must leave for America in search of better opportunities. While learning things about herself and where she fits into American society, her heart still yearns for Obinze, who is planning on meeting her. Unfortunately, post-9/11 society and law deny Obinze’s visa, and a passionate reunion can’t be arranged. After almost a decade and a half, the two former lovers’ paths cross once again in their homeland — but can their love survive time and an existing marriage?
You’ll like this book if…you’re interested in getting the perspective of two lovers separated by circumstances. If you like reading about how far love can go, this is the book for you.
Get the book today on Amazon: UKUS.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Summary: Two American workers, one an executive and the other an artist, settle into the routine of a married couple shortly after tying the knot together. As they’re getting used to their new routines and work life, Roy is arrested for a crime Celeste knows he’s not guilty of. While Roy is in prison, Celeste shows him her love and relies on her childhood best friend Andre for emotional support — but their connection gets deeper and more substantial by the day. One day, Roy is suddenly released after five years of incarceration, and Celeste must make a choice between the two most important men in her life.
You’ll like this book if…you’re interested in how love dies and is reborn without anyone expecting it.
Get the book today on Amazon: UK | US.

The Perfect Find by Tia Williams

Summary: An entertaining novel about starting again and adapting to new circumstances — in the workplace and in the dating world. Jenna is a forty-year-old former it-girl fashion editor who has seen her career and love live crushed to pieces. While trying to adapt to the ever-changing mechanics of the online world, she unexpectedly meets and is infatuated with a twenty-two-year-old videographer. Jenna questions whether the feelings she has for Eric are worth putting everything on the line. This novel deals with a broken heart, starting over, and handling a risky workplace crush.
You’ll like this book if… you want to switch things up and read a funny book about love and lust that proves that age is nothing but a number.

Get the book today on Amazon: UKUS.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Summary: Hurston’s classic novel follows Janie as she grows up and deals with a succession of loveless marriages. Jeanie is a character that knows what love is and isn’t. At sixteen, she was married off to an old, rich man who she doesn’t love at all; she runs away with her then-second husband, who beats her and clips her wings; and finally finds true love’s calling in Tea Cake. Hurston takes a deep and insightful glimpse at love by putting Jeanie through heartbreak, abuse, and redemption. This is a novel that captures love’s true essence and the heart’s capability of feeling it after decades of neglect.
You’ll like this book if…you want to read a coming-of-age story where love plays an important part in the character’s drive and motivation.
Get the book today on Amazon: UKUS.


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    Black Love: 11 Books that would make a perfect Valentine’s (or Galentine’s) read