I used to read the Harlequin romances back in the 80’s, and they were 99.5% white couples. There may have been the occasional mixed chick, but she was never a mixed black chick.
Flash forward to the late 90’s/early 00’s, and I discover that there are actual romances written by black women for black women that feature black couples! I lost my damn mind, and Rochelle Alers is partly to blame. Her Hideaway series was my life for the longest. I was so absorbed in that series, you couldn’t tell me nothing! She was the gateway for me in discovering other authors like Brenda Jackson who wrote about black love exclusively. Times have surely changed because you love who you love, but I’ll never forget where it all started for me.
There are a whopping thirteen books (and counting) in this series, and you can tell by the covers (many have been updated, some with interracial couples-Why, I don’t know because to the best of my knowledge, these were all black couples.) that these are vintage reads, lol. The stories themselves are timeless, though. These are hardly hardcore erotic but sensuously sweet. My favorite, by far, is No Compromise which takes place in my hometown of Washington, DC.
Hideaway takes the reader all over the US and beyond. It was so refreshing to read about educated, successful, and accomplished black folk where the women were equal to their male counterparts. Sadly, I didn’t keep my paperbacks when those damn Kindles dropped. I’ll soon need to rebuild my entire collection and reread the stories because it’s been a good minute, but these are the perfect beach reads. Sadly, many of them are still not available on Kindle, but you can score the paperbacks for cheap on Amazon. This would make a great TV series. I’m just sayin…