Love, African American Style

E. Lynn Harris
"Zola Denise Norwood is a young hot editor in chief of Bling Bling, (the magazine “for people who want everything!) who’s at the top of her game, ruling the roost in business as well as the bedroom. Having discovered 'the power of three' (not tying herself down to just one guy) Zola surrounds herself with a coterie of men : her best male friend, the gay Hayden; her Monday night man, Jabar, and enjoys stolen nights with married Bling Bling owner and media mogul Davis Vincent McClinton, a man who chases power at all costs…Still, Zola dreams of finding true love."
Marcus Major
"At 36, self-made millionaire John Sebastian has it all--a booming business, a luxurious home, a gorgeous girlfriend, and the respect of his friends--but somehow it's not enough. Returning to the tough streets of Newark, New Jersey, he spots Josephine Flowers, the love of his life, the woman he allowed to walk away seven years ago. He is driven to reconnect with her, even though the cost to his pride is high, and even though she's now married to another. For only her blessing, her love, will prove to John that he is, at last, a man most worthy."
Benilde Little
"Ina West grew up independent and solitary, raised by an artistic, unavailable mother and a reliable, loving father. As a twenty-something photographer, Ina landed in Manhattan's bohemian art scene after college, at the same time that she started dating the devoted, hardworking Jay Robinson. When her mother's mental state began to deteriorate, her closest cousin became dangerously ill, and her free artist's lifestyle put her in some vulnerable situations, Ina found comfort in Jay's trajectory into the safe, privileged world of the African-American upper middle class. Forsaking her independence and creativity for the joys of family life and material wealth, she married Jay, had three children, and moved to the suburbs; gradually, Ina gave herself completely to motherhood and the upkeep of their increasingly luxurious lifestyle. And they had it all: the SUV, the lavish home, the expensive but casual wardrobe. Then one day, after twelve years, Jay comes home from work and announces that he's leaving."
Valerie Wilson Wesley

"A trio of great single women is being driven to distraction; they have one thing in common -- Randall Hollis, a successful art dealer at the top of his game. Randall is rich, handsome, and charming -- the true-to-life dream lover of these smart, independent women who all find themselves passionately involved with him during the same seven-month period. There's Medora Jackson, an artist who has loved Randall since college and is now desperately trying to cut him loose. But turning Randall Hollis out of her life will end up being far more difficult than she thinks. There's Ana Reese-Mitchell, a wealthy widow and art collector who is haunted by the death of her best friend and the specter of her cruel late husband. She hopes Randall Hollis will be her second chance at love. And there's ambitious Taylor Benedict, a graduate student in art history who is coming to terms with her parents' divorce and problems from her childhood that she can't chase away. She's sure that Randall Hollis will be the first rung on her ladder to success.

"Randall Hollis is a man for all seasons, representing a different fantasy for each of the women who love him. As the novel unfolds, each woman will discover more about herself than she bargained for. And each, along with the errant Randall himself, will finally know the true meaning of love and the peace that comes with forgiveness."

Also available on audio.

Arthur Flowers

"It's Beale Street in Memphis in the age when jazz was spelled 'jass' and ragtime was just a glint in Scott Joplin's eye. Lucas Bodeen is the bluesman, and Melvira Dupree is the conjure woman he loves. But pitted against them are all the forces of nature, the clashing of their own stubborn wills, and a society mired in the laws of Jim Crow and the mob. Combining the ancient African storytelling art of the griot with the American offshoots of blues and hoodoo, Arthur Flowers sings us a story that makes us smile - a story of life, and how love and happiness really happen."

Carl Weber
"In Richmond, Virginia, Stephanie and Jasmine compete for affection from their grandmother, Big Mama. The oldest sister, Jasmine, is waiting on her boyfriend, Derrick, to get out of jail. After three years of loyalty and celibacy, on one of her visits she finds Derrick in a compromising position with his baby's mama, Wendy. The hurt of that encounter causes her to seek out her friend, Dylan. Their relationship starts off shaky when his ex-girlfriend claims that she is pregnant. Little sister, Stephanie, has a daughter by her high-school sweetheart, Malek, who left her to pursue a music career in Washington, D.C. Throughout all of the "baby's mama drama," Jasmine and Stephanie learn that they actually have more in common and that no matter what they will always be sisters."
Van Whitfield

Meet Shawn Wayne. He's single, employed, hard-bodied, a former All-American, and looking for his ideal woman. Shawn may have an obsession with ESPN's "Sports Center," money, and going to the gym, but he's a good guy. According to his best friend, Kelly, however, he may have to "expand his universe" a little to find the right woman. Shawn's search for the woman of his dreams leads to dating misadventures ranging from nightmare blind dates and underage flings to encounters with married swingers.

Held hostage by today's technology, where dating has become a complex web of answering machines and cell phones, he finds the rules have changed, and that he now has to contend with six different types of women:1s--"I just got out of a really bad relationship."2s--"I'm not interested in a relationship. I just have friends."3s--"What is it you said you do for a living?"4s--"Men are dogs."5s--"My biological clock is ticking. I need a man."6s--"I'm single, I'm available, and, yes, I'm interested."Will Shawn find his "6"?

(Publisher's summary)

Diane McKinney-Whetstone
For the last twenty years, the beautiful Verdi Mae has led a comfortable life with Rowe, the conservative professor who rescued her from addiction when she was an undergrad. But her world is about to shift when the smell of butter lingers in the air and Johnson -- the boy from the back streets of Philadelphia who pulled her into the fire of passion and all the shadows cast from it -- returns to town.
Rochelle Alers
Daniel Clinton's affair with his best friend's beautiful widow, Rebecca, yields more than love. Nearly torn apart by guilt and deceit, both surrender to their overwhelming desires and love for each other, forever.
Daamiah S. Poole
A wild romp through relationships, love, and marriage follows Malik Moore as he finds himself torn between two women--his pregnant fiance Kimberly Vanessa Brown and his gorgeous new receptionist Shonda--a disastrous love triangle that teaches him a valuable lesson in love.
Yolanda Joe
"Sandy is a twenty-something executive on the fast track at work and looking for love in her personal life. T.J. is the object of her affection, a jazz pianist who prefers to keep his romances casual--but who may be facing the real deal in Sandy. Bebe is Sandy's confidante, a bank supervisor who is struggling through her self-imposed 'sex sabbatical.' Speed is T.J.'s father and best friend, a man who isn't too old to learn a few things from his son. Together these four weave a funny, touching, and vivid tale of coping with the ups and downs of everyday life in Chicago that readers won't soon forget."
Terry McMillan

Stella Payne, a 42-year-old divorced investment analyst, takes a vacation in Jamaica where she meets a Jamaican man half her age. Through this relationship, she soon realizes that she must confront her hopes and fears about love and about life and the way she lives it.

On Film:
Angela Bassett, Taye Diggs, and Whoopi Goldberg star in this 1998 film adaptation. If you can't make it to the islands yourself, check out this movie for breathtaking Jamaican scenery with some self-discovery on the side.

April Sinclair
A romantic voyage of self-discovery for African American DJ Daphne Dupree begins when the lonely Chicagoan meets Skylar, a sexual harassment mediator, and finds that a budding and blossoming relationship can lead to a true vision of self.
Pearl Cleage
Joyce Mitchell was widowed far too young when her beloved husband, Mitch, died in a tragic accident five years ago. Since then she's kept her hands full and her mind and heart occupied by running The Sewing Circus, an all-girl group she founded to provide badly needed services like day care and job counseling to young women, many of whom are single mothers. More important, The Circus is a place for lively, wide-ranging, heart-to-heart discussions that will help members grow into what Joyce likes to call "twenty-first-century free women."

All in all, Joyce has a full and rich life. She has her work, her family, her friends, and her town. But there are some nights when she crawls into bed alone and has to admit that something is missing. What she doesn't have is that red dress she keeps dreaming about or a social life that would accommodate it even if she braved the mall and bought one. To further complicate matters, she may not have The Sewing Circus much longer, as the state legislature has decided not to fund the group's vital but hard-to-define work with young women who are too often regarded as problems rather than possibilities. Feeling defeated and pessimistic, Joyce reluctantly agrees to keep a date for dinner at the home of her best friend, Sister--a reverend like no other--and finds not only a perfect meal but a tall, dark stranger named Nate Anderson.

Sheneska Jackson
When the man she loves confesses to being unfaithful, Madison McGuire, 30, a black teacher in a Los Angeles private school gives him the boot and proceeds to seek a replacement. But finding another man to love is not easy -- there is lots of sex, but no love -- and by the time her first love comes back knocking on the door, she has caught the AIDS virus.
Toni Morrison
May, Christine, Heed, Junior, Vida-even L: all women obsessed with Bill Cosey. The wealthy owner of the famous Cosey's Hotel and Resort, he shapes their yearnings for father, husband, lover, guardian, and friend, yearnings that dominate the lives of these women long after his death. Yet while he is either the void in, or the center of, their stories, he himself is driven by secret forces--a troubled past and a spellbinding woman named Celestial.
Eric Jerome Dickey

"In Naughty or Nice, Eric Jerome Dickey explores the lives of three sisters, each with their own man problems. But this holiday season, Frankie, Livvy, and Tommie McBroom are not only getting together, but finally gettin' it together-and discovering what family, sisterhood, and love are all about."
Also available on audio.

J.D. Mason

"He stared at himself in the mirror, wondering how he'd managed to lose track of time. Complacency had managed to set in again. . . A decent job, warm home, food on the table, and a body to curl up next to at night; he'd made the mistake of getting comfortable. Comfort fooled him into thinking it was all good when it wasn't. Damn nightmares had a way of reminding him of that."
Ever since he was fifteen, John King has been on the run from the ghosts of his past, always drifting, never settling down in one place or with one woman, though more than one has certainly made the offer of forever-after. But every time his memories of life back in Texas start to haunt him too deeply into the night, John realizes that it's time to move on. That is, until he rolls into Denver, Colorado, grooving to Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It on," and meets Connie Rodgers, a woman who grew up on the mean streets and has the pain and the battle scars to prove it. And yet, she inspires him to think "If indeed there were a home for the perfect kiss, it would be on her lips." John is reluctant to admit that here is a woman who just may understand his very soul, even if she does have some baggage of her own. But both must face their pasts if they ever hope to be free to live and love.

(Publisher's description)

Omar Tyree

A sultry-sweet novel with a contemporary edge...When a young auto mechanic with a creative approach to the mating game tries out his latest pick-up line on Sharron Francis, he turns her life upside down.

Available on audio cassette.

Lolita Files
"With steamy thrills and disastrous infidelities, Lolita's latest is a humorous tale of two women who find themselves poised at life's crossroads with everything to lose but their friendship. What's a girl to do when she finds out her man's been feeding her lies?"
Lorene Cary

Philadelphia: 1855
A Virginia planter is on his way to assume a diplomatic post in Nicaragua, accompanied by his cook, Ginnie, and two of her children (one of whom is his). Temporarily stranded when they miss their steamboat, Ginnie makes a thrilling leap of the imagination: it is the moment she has been desperately waiting for, the moment she decides to be free. In broad daylight, under the furious gaze of her master, she walks straight out of slavery into a new life -- and into a whole new set of compromising positions. We follow Ginnie as she settles with a respectable and rambunctious black family, as she reinvents herself, christens herself Mercer Gray, dodges slave catchers, lectures far and wide in the cause of abolition, and falls in love with a man whose own ties are a formidable barrier to their happiness.

 

Margaret Johnson-Hodge

The last time Dajah Moore took a chance a wild bike ride left her with a scarred knee. Years later, life has left her with a scarred heart. A hardworking accountant, she doesn't risk chances. When she meets Rick, can she put her fears aside? For Rick, no-one comes before his four-year-old daughter Kanisha. She's the only reason he puts up with her volatile mother Gina. Meeting Dajah changes his life, until Gina's outrageous behaviour threatens to destroy everything.
Also available as an audiobook to download.