You might not realize that May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. If you’re looking to celebrate in 2023, we’ve got some romance books you should check out.
While there are tons of romance recommendations out there, I feel like there’s a shortage of recommendations for Asian authors in general. That’s not to say they aren’t out there but it doesn’t feel like Asian authors are searched for as much.
Regardless, we’re here to break the trend and focus on some authors for AAPI Month. I know I did one of these last year and there might be some duplicates, but there are some authors I just can’t get enough of and some I know I didn’t feature in last year’s list.
Of course, I’d love to know some of the romance authors you’ve been reading for AAPI Month and if you have you think I should add to my TBR. As with most posts like this, this shouldn’t be a “trend” you stick to within the month of May but rather a conscious effort you make to read inclusively all year long.
These romance books are incredible picks for your AAPI Month TBR.
Before getting into my list, I wanted to feature two authors I adore and recommend all the time which are Ana Huang and Jackie Lau. Ana Huang is known for her Twisted series, some of which feature Asian characters along with her Kings of Sin series. As for Jackie Lau, she writes contemporary low-angst romances. She also put together an ebook guide for AAPI month if you want to check it out.
Of course, there are just Asian authors but not specifically Asian-American authors but I still wanted to feature some of my favorites for 2023 so let’s get into them.
1. Exes and O’s by Amy Lea
2023 is the year of me discovering Amy Lea and never shutting up about her. Her books are some of the absolute favorites I’ve read this year. I just love her ideas and how she manages to craft such unique stories for her characters.
While I did enjoy Set On You, I’m recommending Exes and O’s because it’s her 2023 release and honestly, it’s an amazing book. It’s truly a love letter to romance readers, the struggles of finding love, and the importance of not looking back. Honestly, I feel like you can’t go wrong with no matter where you start in her catalog.
2. Love, Comment, Subscribe by Cathy Yardley
Speaking of another author I adore, Cathy Yardley is an author I can’t get enough of. Even though I’ve only read two of her books, she’s managed to make me fall in love. The first one I read from here was Love, Comment, Subscribe which is a romance between two Youtubers who are working on collaborations together.
Love, Comment, Subscribe is the obvious place to start as it begins the Ponto Beach Reunion series. The second is a friends-to-lovers romance while the third book is a second-chance romance. This one is also available on Kindle Unlimited for read and listen, too. If you haven’t tried out this series, I think it’s worth checking out as it’s just a lot of fun.
3. The Comeback by Lily Chu
While I have a standalone review of this one, I still wanted to feature it. Lily Chu has such a talent for telling the stories she does especially when it comes to fame. The way she talks about celebrities and their private lives is everything. Coupled with both books featuring strong female Asian heroines, I couldn’t get enough of these.
There’s a reason why her books start off as audiobooks as the words just fly off the page. If you’re a K-Pop fan, I think The Comeback will be exactly what you’re looking for this spring. Plus it’s a great one to bring to the beach with you.
4. Wings Once Cursed and Bound by Piper J. Drake
Moving onto the final recommendation, I wanted to feature something completely different from the rest of the list, and Wings Once Cursed and Bound fits the bill. This is another one that I featured a standalone review for but I feel like it hasn’t gotten the hype it deserves.
This is a fantasy romance following Peeraphan who is dealing with a fairytalelike curse and Bennet who ends up becoming her partner in trying to save herself. Of course, we find out that Peeraphan isn’t who she seems. However, the romance between the two is part of the reason why I couldn’t stop reading because their chemistry was dynamic.
All in all, this is a relatively short list but since May is almost over, I wanted to make sure I featured at least a few releases by Asian authors. These are also pretty accessible as they’re all by larger publishers so if you’re still hunting for some AAPI recs, hopefully you’ll enjoy these.
Are there any AAPI romance authors I missed? Be sure to let us know in the comments.