theGrio’s Top 50 books to read this summer: ‘Black Love and Black Glamour’

Check out the top books to read this summer that spotlight Black love and Black glamour

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The joy of Black love with a strong shot of Black glamour is the perfect prescription for breaking out of a pandemic rut. One novel revolves around Hollywood. The other is about love among the literary glitterati of New York. 

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams (Romance)

Tia Williams is one of contemporary romance’s most talented rising stars. In Seven Days in June, she blends humor, heat and angst in a beautifully written second-chance romance about two novelists who had difficult childhoods, during which their brief and intense one-week long romantic interlude was the brightest spot.

Even though they’ve come out the other end successful and (mostly) whole, their relationship and trust were casualties. Many years after their estrangement, they meet again on stage at a literary festival and the sparks are still there. Whether they want to admit it or not, for each other, they’re the ones who got away. They’ve both been writing about and to each other in their books.

Bonus rec: Williams’ previous novel, The Perfect Find, is also about beautiful Black people falling in love in New York City. For me this book was pure bliss. Though lighter in tone, it’s just as absorbing and a soon-to-be Netflix movie starring Gabrielle Union, Keith Powers and Gina Torres.

Reel by Kennedy Ryan (Romance)

Kennedy Ryan is a master storyteller and an undisputed queen of romance. Nuanced and self-aware, the sophistication and scope of her latest only further burnishes her crown. Reel follows a famous Black film director and an up-and-coming actress, both driven professionals, who love their craft and the magic they’re making together on screen, but also can’t help falling in love. I

It’s complicated and a little messy, and the situation is ripe for scandal, even though consent is thoroughly discussed and enthusiastically given. In addition to their romance unfolding in the present behind the scenes, within the context of the movie they’re making, Ryan takes us back to the Harlem Renaissance for a story within the story about a talented Black singer who went unheralded in her time.

Despite their high glam Black Hollywood surroundings, Neevah and Canon are sweet, relatable and grounded. I fell hard for them both.

Related and recommended: While We Were Dating by Jasmine Guillory and Act Like You Mean It by Shae Sanders (both in Love and Romance)

Return to TheGrio Top 50 Books of Summer Main Page 

More theGrio Top 50 Book picks: Family Ties | American Art and Ideas | LGBTQ+ Pride | Black Love and Black Glamour | Spreading Our Wings | Crime and Consciousness | Historical Reckoning | Nonfiction | Thrills and Chills: Mystery/Suspense/ThrillerLove and Romance | Historical Fiction | Fiction from the Diaspora | Contemporary Fiction

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