The best Native romance novels by Native authors

The Books I Picked & Why

Hearts Unbroken

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Book cover of Hearts Unbroken

Why this book?

This is one of the best Native books I’ve ever read. As a white-passing Native who lived away from the tribe, I really identified with Louise Wolfe’s experience as one of the few Native families in their mostly white, middle-class Kansas town. Lou’s struggle against racism on a macro and micro scale is relatable, and the story is wonderfully rewarding. It's a must-read.


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The Wildest Ride

By Marcella Bell

Book cover of The Wildest Ride

Why this book?

I really enjoyed this tale of two people who’ve faced discrimination in rodeo their entire lives for being Black, Native, and, in Lil’s case, a woman. What I love is that it’s not primarily a story about racism. It’s a beautiful romance first, an exciting rodeo competition second, and while racism is there, of course, they succeed despite it. It’s such an uplifting read about strength, hard work, love, and passion.


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Blessed

By Maggie Blackbird

Book cover of Blessed

Why this book?

I’m not a religious person, but I learned a lot about Catholicism and its complex history with Indigenous tribes reading this book. But first and foremost, the book is a steamy second chance M/M (male/male) romance about two men caught on opposing sides of the tribal schism between followers of the Catholic church versus traditional Ojibwe culture. It’s a great Native same-sex romance read.


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Heartbeat Braves

By Pamela Sanderson

Book cover of Heartbeat Braves

Why this book?

I don’t usually read sweet, fade-to-black romance (I’m a fan of the full-steam-ahead stuff), but there is so much deadpan Native humor I was howling with laughter the whole time. The Crooked Rock Urban Indian Center staff and regulars are wonderful characters. How they establish this new community in the city, displaced from their tribal communities, is so recognizable for someone who lives 500 miles away from my tribe.


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Taking on the Billionaire

By Robin Covington

Book cover of Taking on the Billionaire

Why this book?

I don’t usually read billionaire romance because the billionaires are often crappy humans, and I don’t enjoy reading about crappy people getting a happily-ever-after. This book was a great exception. Adam Redhawk isn’t just a billionaire, he’s an Eastern Band Cherokee billionaire who was taken from his home and community when he was a child. Now he’s hired a PI to help him find his long-lost siblings to reconnect with the past that was stolen from him. I enjoyed the romance and the characters a lot. If you read billionaire romance, let this be one of them.


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