30 African romance novels you should read

It’s the month of love (although we think every month is a month of love, but that’s for another post). Romance novels are a daily celebration of love. Yet, often, African romance novels are omitted from various lists as if the writers and readers don’t exist. But we do. So we made our own list. 😀

This is a list of romance novels written by African writers about African protagonists. We’re aware there are African writers who write about non-Africans and vice versa. This list is not about them. Sorry, not sorry. 😀 The stories include contemporary, historical, fantasy and suspense subcategories of romance.

Like many romance novelists, some of the authors in this list are prolific. So if you read one and love it, there will be many more to read from the same author. Some are new(ish) writers but we've also included modern-day African romance pioneers, including some of the firsts to publish in ebooks.

The list is dominated by West Africans (read Nigerians 😜), understandably and the books are written in English. However, the list is not exhaustive. Feel free to leave a comment if you know any books that meet the above criteria, especially romance novels by Africans about North Africans! We want to read those too.

Note: A romance novel must have a central romantic love story and an emotionally satisfying happy ending (where the lead characters survive the story and live happily ever after together). For example: While Romeo and Juliet is a love story, it is NOT a romance story. In the same vein, Nicholas Sparks books are NOT romance novels. So please do not suggest any tragic love stories. Thank you. 😉

Without further ado, let’s begin.

<<<The West Africans>>>

Men of Valor box set by Kiru Taye (historical romance, ebook, paperback)

This collection of three stories goes where the standard historical romances rarely ever go—into the heart of Africa before colonisation.

HIS TREASURE – In a time when men ruled their households with firm hands, can a quiet man tame his rebellious wife with persevering love?

HIS STRENGTH – When a warrior seeks to claim a free-spirited woman, he soon discovers a tigress unwilling to be caged. Is the hunter about to be hunted?

HIS PRINCESS – With the weight of a kingdom on his shoulders and his honour at stake, can a Prince truly love a slave?

All buy links are HERE

His Inherited Princess by Empi Baryeh (contemporary romance, ebook, paperback, coming soon to audiobook)

India Saene, Princess of Bagumi, must enter a marriage alliance to save her kingdom from an economic crisis. Tragedy strikes when her husband of a few hours is killed in an accident on the way to their honeymoon. She recovers from a coma two weeks later to discover she has been inherited by her husband's younger brother! Sheikh Omar El Dansuri has never wanted to be king, nor does he desire a wife. However, when his older brother dies, he not only becomes the future king of Sudar, but he also inherits his brother’s bride through an age-old tradition. Falling for the headstrong India is out of the question especially when evidence points to her as his brother’s killer. Neither India nor Omar wanted this marriage, but the passion that burns between them cannot be denied. When India’s secret is revealed, will either of them survive the consequences?

All buy links are HERE

Love at First Sound by Amaka Azie (contemporary romance, ebook, paperback)

Heartbroken after discovering her fiancé’s double life, Emem Akpan ends the relationship and moves into an apartment at the other end of Lagos, determined to get her life back on track with no more diversions. However, a massive dose of distraction bumps into her in the form of Yomi, a sexy younger man who has set his sights on her and will stop at nothing to get her attention. Yomi Oladipo has always harboured a crush on Sasha, the anchor of his favourite radio show …. who happens to be none other than Emem, his new downstairs neighbour. Enthralled, he wants to get to know her better, but just when she decides to give them a chance, a troubling secret about her shatters his heart. After experiencing a savage betrayal by someone he once trusted, will Yomi be able to overcome Emem's devastating revelation?

All buy links are HERE

Love and Hiplife by Nana Prah (contemporary romance, ebook, paperback)

Lamisi Imoro will do anything to complete her PhD before the extension is up. It doesn’t matter who dies, leaves her high and dry, or hates her guts, she’s on fire. But, her supervisor wants to prove just how much he’d love to see her fail by throwing obstacles to thwart her from reaching her goal. Desperate for help and nowhere else to turn, she’s forced to ask for the assistance of the hiplife artist who once saved her from a nasty fall. She finds that their scorching attraction is a problem and is determined to tamp her rising emotions because nothing will stop her from getting what she set out to accomplish. Blaise Ayoma is on the verge of taking African Francophone countries by storm with his new style of music. Learning how to sing in French without butchering the beautiful language is harder than he thought. Multi-linguist, Lamisi is the key to his success. When his presence in her life puts her in danger, will he end the budding relationship in order to keep her safe?

All buy links are HERE

Valentine's 2020 by Tomilola Coco Adeyemo (steamy romantic suspense, ebook)

She broke his heart once. They were young and he was hopelessly and insanely in love with her. Now that she has returned, years after she hid his child from him, Handsome Billionaire Tycoon Tokunbo Carew will do everything within his power to stay away from his first love and the mother of his child, Lola Sodipo. However, as much as he tries to, he can't stay away from her. As he battles the biggest threat to his family business and legacy just yet, Tokunbo Carew must decide whether or not he wants a family or true love. He must also realize that his dark side may cost him the one true love he's ever known.

Amazon | Okadabooks

Fine Maple (Age is no Bother #2) by Emem Bassey (steamy contemporary romance, ebook)

Agnes is 37, never been married, has two kids for a man who left her to marry a woman who wouldn't add weight after childbirth, and owns a small pastry business she runs from her apartment. She is the description of what society calls an 'old cargo', a woman with kids whom no sane man would marry. She is okay with this reality and only lives to take care of her kids and grow her business.

Until Bass shows up at her door. He’s everything that’s wrong—he’s younger by seven years, he’s kind of an online celebrity, he’s her neighbour and her only friend’s cousin. It was a disaster waiting to happen but Bass thinks otherwise. Can Agnes dare believe his convincing words?

All buy links are HERE

The Only One by Somi Ekhasomhi (contemporary romance, ebook, paperback)

An old love... …or a new passion. Hope has never forgiven Charles for the pain he caused her when he married someone else, but when he shows up in her life, separated and contrite, she is tempted to accept his apologies. But then there’s Daniel, who is handsome, successful and sexy, with a smile that lights up her insides. He’s the perfect man, as long as she’s prepared to let go of her feelings for Charles. With her heart on the line, will Hope choose the past, or allow herself to fall for someone new?

Amazon | Okadabooks

Redeemed Through Love by Unoma Nwankwor (Inspirational Romance, ebook, paperback)

At thirteen, Halima Dajuma discovers that her father has another family. No longer is she an only child, but younger sister to three older brothers. This discovery changes everything. For a while, Halima happily settles into a safe life shaped by her family's expectations. Now, determined to find her voice, she breaks an arranged betrothal and embarks on a journey of self-discovery. The search for truth rattles her world and the people in it, in ways she didn't bargain for. When everything comes crashing down, will she be content with what she finds or wish she'd remained in the comfort of the familiar? The connection was electric, heart jolting even, but it came from the wrong source. Charming, attractive, and successful, Ekene Odili, is the Dajuma family lawyer. He's also friends with Halima's oldest brother, Rasheed. For years, religion and her fiancé stood between Halima and Ekene. He knows she's off-limits. However, knowledge is no match for a heart that refuses to adhere to logic. When he begins to see the pain she has to endure, is he willing to sacrifice his heart and let her go? The ultimate loss soon shatters her heart, then will Halima still have the courage to surrender to a redeeming love? Note: This is the standalone story of the baby sister to the brothers from the Sons of Ishmael Series. Of course, you do not have to read the series to read this book, but for the full ultimate experience, you'd want to.

Amazon | Okadabooks

The One by The Fertile Chick (Contemporary Romance, ebook, paperback)

Erinkan has met her soul mate, the man who ticks every single box she has. Handsome, smart and wealthy, the mystery Kay is everything she has ever prayed for. But in a cruel twist of fate, she loses his contact information and as she didn't give him hers, he has disappeared from her life just as quickly as he came into it. Determined not to give up, a manhunt begins for the man of her dreams.

Until she meets Emeka, a man nothing like what she thinks she wants, making her question everything she has ever thought about love...and who could be THE ONE!

Amazon | Smashwords

The Naive Wife - Rachel's Choice by UfuomaEE (Inspirational Romance, eBook, paperback)

On the day of her sister's marriage introduction, radio show host, Rachel Eden, meets Ejike and Doug; two friends that could not be more different.

She finds herself instantly attracted to Ejike, but there's something about Doug and the way he's determined to win her heart.

Neither men are who they appear to be, however, making Rachel's choice harder. Her producer and friend, Dongjap, also makes his intentions known, but could he be a little too late?

Amazon | Smashwords

Midnight Dance by TM David West (Contemporary Romance, ebook)

Having lost her mother four years ago, and recently losing her job, Prue considers leaving Calabar to join her Aunt Lillian in Lagos her only choice. But when she discovers that her aunt too had passed, without her very reticent and disapproving grandfather telling her, she is confused which way to go. And that confusion multiplies when her grandfather accuses her of theft and sends her out of his home. Clarence Abang considers old man Aaron Rawlings flagrantly ruthless, self-righteously judgmental and downright insufferable and only deals with him in matters of business. But it becomes personal he has to take his granddaughter into his home and then it becomes even more personal when his on-and-off girlfriend, Bibi, doesn't like the arrangement at all.

Amazon | Okadabooks

Serwah: Saga of an African Princess by Rita Coker (Young Adult, Historical Romance, ebook, paperback)

Set in 18th Century Ghana during the time of the renowned Asante Kingdom, the son of a chief is betrothed to a princess of legendary beauty. The royal couple brave intrigue, doubt and many surprises on their path to marriage.