Although the publishing industry is slowly starting to become more diverse, women of color are still underrepresented in both mainstream and lesbian fiction. March 1 is Women of Color Day, so I thought it would be great to talk about our favorite titles featuring LGBTQ+ characters of color.
If you need to brush up on the rules of Lesbian Book Bingo, check out the rules post.
15 GREAT LGBTQ+ BOOKS WITH CHARACTERS OF COLOR
I’ve put together a list of 15 novels featuring lesbian, bi, pansexual, and queer women of color as main characters. I hope you’ll enjoy them.
Anika takes the long way home up soul mountain by Eliza Andrews
When her mother is diagnosed with cancer, Anika Singh reluctantly returns home to Marcine, Ohio. She hopes she won’t run into Jenny, her high school sweetheart-turned-ex-wife.
Then there’s Amy, a dark-haired beauty who happens to be in Marcine for a friend’s wedding. Nothing serious can happen with Amy; she’s only going to be in town for a week. Which means that falling for her would be stupid, especially given the fact that Jenny might be available again.
Breaking Jaie by S. Renée Bess
Twenty-eight-year-old Ph.D. candidate Jaie Baxter is supremely confident about three things: She will become a noted writer. She’ll win the prestigious Adamson Prize. And she can have any woman who grabs her attention. But Jaie’s arrogance begins to slip away the day she meets Terez Overton, a woman whose ethnicity matches hers, but whose background is the exact opposite.
Available at:Amazon Barnes & Noble
Homecoming by Celeste Castro
An author and sought-after Native American rights expert is invited to keynote at a conference set in her hometown. A place she’d like to continue to avoid, but she can’t turn it down; the issues are too near and dear. Along the way she meets a bartender-slash-professor-slash-advocate-slash—you get the picture. After several misunderstandings between them and three days stranded together following a natural disaster, home doesn’t feel like such a bad place after all.
Available at: Bella Books Amazon Apple iBooks
Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan
High-school junior Leila has made it most of the way through Armstead Academy without having a crush on anyone, which is something of a relief. Her Persian heritage already makes her different from her classmates; if word got out that she liked girls, life would be twice as hard. But when a sophisticated, beautiful new girl, Saskia, shows up, Leila starts to take risks she never thought she would, especially when it looks as if the attraction between them is mutual.
The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez
Before Buffy, before Twilight, before Octavia Butler’s Fledgling, there was The Gilda Stories, Jewelle Gomez’s sexy vampire novel. In 1850s Louisiana, Gilda escapes slavery and learns about freedom while working in a brothel. After being initiated into eternal life as one who “shares the blood” by two women there, Gilda spends the next two hundred years searching for a place to call home.
Available at: Amazon Apple iBooks
A Return to Arms by Sheree L. Greer
When Toya meets Folami and joins the activist collective RiseUP!, she thinks she’s found her life’s purpose. Folami’s sensuality and her passion for social justice leave Toya feeling that, at last, she’s met someone she can share all parts of her life with. But when a controversial police shooting blurs the lines between the personal and the political, Toya is forced to examine her identity, her passions, and her allegiances.
Available at: Bold Strokes Books Amazon Apple iBooks
Not Your Sidekick (Sidekick Squad, book 1) by CB Lee
Meet Jess Tran, who really wants to live up to her superhero parents’ expectations, but doesn’t seem to have any powers of her own. When she takes an internship with tech firm Monroe Industries, she has a chance to prove herself and also work with her crush, Abby, but soon they uncover a plot that’s bigger than heroes and villains altogether.
Keeping Secrets (Mimi Patterson/Gianna Maglione Mystery, book 1) by Penny Mickelbury
Someone is killing closeted gay people in Washington, D.C. Police Lieutenant Gianna Maglione has a month to find the killer–or she’ll find body #6.But she has another problem in ace newspaper reporter Mimi Patterson, who thinks the public has a right to know a serial killer is on the prowl. They clash…but only in public. Their private attraction is as dangerous to them as, well, a serial killer.
Available at: Amazon Apple iBooks
Falling into Place by Sheryn Munir
Romance isn’t for Tara. After a college fling, she vows to never love again—especially since it feels like there’s no future for same-sex love in India. Then, one rain-soaked night, a mad decision brings Sameen into her life. She’s cute, full of life…and straight. In an instant, everything changes.
Available at: Ylva Publishing Amazon
An Outsider Inside by R J Samuel
For Irish-Indian lesbian activist, JAYA DILLON, an outsider who craves belonging over all else, survival depends on hiding the truth of who she is and who she loves – from herself. She discovers a manuscript, written by an Indian woman, Lana, who disappeared in worrying circumstances. Jaya is drawn into a fictional world that may be truer than reality.
Available at: Amazon
Sacred Fire by Tanai Walker
Tinsley Swann is cursed to change into a beast for seven days, every seven years. She keeps her distance from the world, and has more of a relationship with the antique erotic postcards she collects. With the time of her transformation approaching, she finds herself torn between two women. One woman is Sandra, Tinsley’s new boss, and the two are having an affair.
Bold Strokes Books
Tailor-Made by Yolanda Wallace
A bespoke suit shop in Brooklyn. A tailor who never dates her clients. A gender-bending model. Romance couldn’t be better suited.
Available at: Bold Strokes Books Amazon Apple iBooks
Keile’s Chance by Dillon Watson
One fateful day in the park, Keile Griffin falls for a pair of big brown eyes. Sure the eyes are attached to a toddler, but when she meets his mother, Hayden Davenport, she realizes what has been missing in her life. Will she and Hayden be able to set aside past baggage to forge a future together?
Available at: Bella Books Amazon
Pink by KD Williamson
Shawnna Green is heartbroken, lost, and broke. Starting over fresh in New Orleans, she takes a job at Stumpy’s Sex Emporium. There she experiences every slice of life imaginable while also discovering that women, dating, and sex aren’t what they used to be. Can Shawnna pick herself up, reach out, and connect with those around her? A smoldering look at the things we hide from ourselves.
Available at: Ylva Publishing Amazon Apple iBooks
The Power of Mercy (Superheroine Collection) by Fiona Zedde
To her family, Mai Redstone is weak. When she becomes Mercy, a rooftop-climbing chameleon with at least nine lives, she finds her power. But when Mercy is called in by police to a murder case, her whole world threatens to crumble. The dead man made her childhood a hell. She is torn between giving the murderer a medal and finding the killer for her family. Mercy is a blade that can cut both ways.
If you haven’t done so already, download your bingo card, pick the book you want to read for the women of color square, and start reading! Remember that you can either read one of the 15 books listed above or pick another novel featuring an LGBTQ+ woman of color.
Leave a comment to win a book
In addition to winning books by completing a line on the bingo card, there’ll also be a giveaway for each post. This time, you can win one of two paperback books. One lucky winner will win a copy of Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan, and a second winner will win Homecoming by Celeste Castro.
To be entered into the drawing, leave a comment and let us know which book you’re going to read for the women of color square or if you can think of other lesbian books that fit this category.
I’ll announce the winners of the giveaway on Thursday, March 8.
The reading list for the next bingo square—celebrity romance novels— will be posted on March 15. There’ll be another giveaway too!
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55 thoughts on “Women of Color (Lesbian Book Bingo #5)”
I read “Falling into place” for this category. :-)
Kelie’s Choice was so good. I think I’m going for Not your Sidekick by CB Lee. That looks really good.
I read “Parties in Congress” by Colette Moody for this section and loved it 😉
I read A Taste of Sin by Fiona Zedde for this category. It wasn’t really my style, but I’m very glad I read something new rather than re-reading something I’ve read before.
Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee
I loved Falling into Place! I’m excited to add more books to my tbr list – I think I’ll read Keile’s Chance first!
I got Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel whe it was on sale through Book Bub so I’m going to eventually read that.
I’m gonna read The Power of Mercy by Fiona Zedde. It looks great! Happy reading! :-)
Yay for a longer TBR pile. Tailor-made especially piqued my interest.
I read Miss Match for this square, but for my next card, I’m thinking about Private conversations by K.C. Atchison. For my Age Gap card, I just found out Fiona Zedde’s Hungry For It features WOC.
I used Alyssa Cole’s novella “That Could Be Enough” for this square.
In my blog I have a list of books I’ve enjoyed in the last few years that would work nicely for this square for those who like to mix their bingo themes with historical/sci-fi/fantasy:
Serpentine by Cindy Pon (Chinese-based YA fantasy, not a romance but significant themes of same-sex desire)
Everfair by Nisi Shawl (alternate steampunky history of the Congo where some of the colonial horror was successfully challenged, realistic depiction later 19th c attitudes towards romantic and sexual relations between women, both positive and negative)
“That Could Be Enough” by Alyssa Cole (novella in the linked collection Hamilton’s Battallion) (lovely wounded-bird romance between two black women in post Revolutionary New York)
The House of Binding Thorns by Aliette de Bodard (post-magical-apocalyptic Paris with fallen angels and dragon kingdoms; there are queer charcters in most of de Bodard’s work but I’ve chosen this one for the significant same-sex relationship involving an Annamite (Vietnamese) woman; note that this book is best read after the previous volume The House of Shattered Wings which also features queer relationships)
I read Pink for this block! Really good story with smoking hot sex scenes!
Oh geez, wow, so many great books on the list! I’d really recommend Tailor-Made by Yolanda Wallace btw, I read it a couple months ago and it was amazing–I love how Yolanda Wallce writes her more androgynous protagonist, and all the beautiful suits <3 Okay but I'm probably going to end up reading either An Outsider Inside, The Gilda Stories, or Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel. I was really excited to see An Outsider Inside on this list because I just got a copy, like, yesterday! I also am considering reading Bury Me When I'm Dead by Cheryl Head and I Can't Think Straight by Shamim Sarif. Basically I have just discovered Hoopla and so my TBR is a bit too long.
I’ve read The Power of Mercy and it was amazing in so many amazing amazing ways. It blew my mind. (of course, I read it last year I think, so it doesn’t count for this. :)) Tailor-Made was also kinda cool too!! (I think it’s my entry for that square perhaps, I’d have to look).
And, I’ve been meaning to read Not Your Sidekick forever, maybe this is the kick in the butt I need to actually read it.
The new sequel of Penny Mickelbury is out … excellent read.
I also read “Parties in Congress”, reading now “Beyond Innocence” by Carsen Taite.
I read Tailor-Made about a month ago and loved it.
I’m just finishing “Anika Takes the Long Way Home Up Soul Mountain”. Don’t let the title deter you. It is well worth reading. I would recommend reading “To Have Loved and Lost” by the same author first, as it has Anika as a secondary character and you get a nice intro to her before reading Soul Mountain. (that one is a basketball novel so you can get your sport square filled.)
I choose to read ‘Homecoming’ by Celeste Castro
Pink by KD Williamson
This was a great book!!!
I just finished ‘CeeCee’ by B.L. Wilson, but I am now reading ‘Anika takes the long way home up soul mountain’ by Eliza Andrews…then I just downloaded ‘An Outsider Inside’ by RJ Samuel. I think I will have to start a 3rd card… :-)
I’m still undecided on this category, and in fact am stuck on a few others too but I will take your recommendations under consideration. Although I have read quite a few of them already in past years and am trying to have no re-reads for my bingo card.
I definitely second “Tailor Made.” Such a good read.
I’m gonna go for Eliza Andrews’ “Anika takes the long way home up soul mountain” for this, since I just got done reading the previous novel & loved it!
I’ve read 5 books with WOC leads so far this year: Basic Training of the Heart and Heart’s Orders by Jaycie Morrison, Who’d Have Thought? by G Benson, Miss Match by Fiona Riley and Long Distance Coffee by Emma Sterner-Radley.
I have 4 of the 15 mentioned. A good excuse to go book shopping! :-)
I’ve just started reading “An Outsider Inside” by R J Samuel. Nicely written.
I’m going to read A Return to Arms
my spot is going to All the Little Moments
by G Benson
I’m using Falling Hard for this square
I will read Heartstopper by R.J. Samual for the WOF square.
I read both Tailor Made and Falling hard in this category.
Tailor Made is in my “to read” list, I’ve really enjoyed Yolanda Wallace’s previous books.
Excited to see the next list, I have a soft spot for celebrity romances.
Ah this books all look amazing! I hope I shall eventually read all of them, but for the purposes of the bingo challenge I’m leaning towaards Not Your Sidekick, A return to arms or the Gilda stories.
If I’m remembering correctly, the book Dreadnought by April Daniels might also fit this square?
I will likely read Anika first. I added a few to my wishlist as well. :-) this is one of just 2 remaining squares for me.
Think I’ll read Tailor-Made for this category.
All the Little Moments by G Benson would fit in this square, as well.
I’m thinking about going with “tell me again how a crush should feel” although I plan to check all the books in this list and about five of them will end up on my to read list eventually. Thanks to you I won’t be bored for years :)
I read Pink for this one.
I’m planning on reading Tailor-Made by Yolanda Wallace. I thought Keile’s Chance was a good book. Also, I’ve read A Return to Arms which took me a while to get into but in the end I ended up enjoying it quite a bit.
I’m reading Keile’s Chance by Dillon Watson
I read Parties in Congress for this square. Oddly enough it was hilarious. I loved it!
I’m trying to read new books so I might try An Outsider Inside since I just picked it up last week.
All of these look great. Wish I had more time to read!
I’m reading The Power of Mercy for this square. I also have Pink waiting to be read. Another pretty good read that would fit this square is When I Was Your Girlfriend by Nikki Harmon.
I have only read The Power of Mercy listed here. but for the bingo square I have read Out of the Shadows A Detective Amy Sadler Mystery, by Michelle Arnold
Anika takes the long way home up soul mountain by Eliza Andrews is the book I’m going to read next.
I read ‘Death Wears Yellow Garters’ by Rae D Magdon. It has an Indian protagonist.
For this square, I finished the graphic novel “Bingo Love” by Tee Franklin. It’s about two young ladies who fall in love in the 60s after meeting at a church bingo game. They’re torn apart by their families, marry other people, and then reunite decades later (not spoilers as this was all mentioned in the blurb on Amazon.) Absolutely loved the artwork and enjoyed the story.
Currently reading “Anika takes the long way home up soul mountain” by Eliza Andrews. The author’s voice flies right off the page, letting you know you’re in for a unique read.
The Mangoverse by Sara Glassman is amazing! It starts with The Second Mango and follows the newly crowned Queen on her journey to find a wife. The book is set in a fantasy land based loosely on Florida and Jerusalem and the main character is described multiple times as having brown skin.
I read Anika takes the long way home up soul mountain.
Have already filled this square with Shattered by Lee Winter 😀
Damn my WTR list is growing out of control! For this square i’ve read Rusty Logic by Robin Alexander, 24/7 Yolanda Wallace and i’m still finishing I can’t think straigth by shamim sarif and i’m still hunting for a fourth
great suggestions, I think I will read Outsider Inside. I have it and just haven’t gotten to it.
I read My Secrets Your Lies by N’Tyse for this block. It wasn’t my usual style but I enjoyed reading it, there were some bits that made me want to tear up.
I think I will read the Dillion Watson book recommended here!