The holiday season can be a stressful time for all of us, especially when a lot of people are on your gift-giving checklist like your friends. What gift can we give our homegirls that is unique, creative, and fitting, AND that shows our gratitude for sticking by us through thick and thin this year? For your amigas that love to read, we have you covered. To celebrate the bookworms in your life, we’ve rounded up a few romance books written by Latina authors that are steamy, exciting, and full of that juicy chisme we love so much! What better gift could there be besides a love story that reflects our history, heritage, culture, and people?
This is by no means an exhaustive list but is hopefully a starting point for you as you start shopping for your friends this season. Read on to learn more about 12 romance books by Latina writers that are perfect to gift your book-loving amigas.
Kiss Me, Catalina by Priscilla Oliveras
If your amiga loved reading West Side Love Story by Puerto Rican and Mexican American author Priscilla Oliveras, they’ll adore the sequel Kiss Me, Catalina! Inspired by Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, the novel follows Catalina “Cat” Capuleta, a rising star in the mariachi world, as she gets the chance to join mariachi celebrity and heartthrob Patricio Galán on tour and make music with him. But where Patricio is demanding and proud, Cat is headstrong, and their relationship is soon nothing but tension and conflict on the road. But they quickly discover that beneath their fiery personalities, old wounds, and chemistry on stage, they may truly be a perfect match for each other. This is the kind of love story that is addicting and timeless for romance fans.
The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas
Mexican American author Isabel Cañas’s debut novel Hacienda is one for the historical fiction love story fans. Set in the years after Mexico’s War of Independence, the story follows Beatriz, who, after losing her father and home to the war, accepts a marriage proposal from Don Rodolfo Solórzano despite the eerie rumors surrounding his first wife. But when she arrives at his lavish estate, nothing is what she thought and she’s quickly haunted by visions, voices, and paranoia. Thankfully, help and a new possibility for romance arrives in Padre Andrés, a young priest and witch. But even their collaboration may not be enough to fight the evil together. And if your friend is a superfan of Isabel, don’t forget to look out for her next book, Vampires of El Norte, releasing next August 2023.
Amor Actually by Adriana Herrera
Amor Actually is a Christmas-themed anthology edited by Adriana Herrera that features seven best-selling Latina authors with a specialty in romance—Zoey Castile, Alexis Daria, Adriana Herrera, Diana Muñoz Stewart, Priscilla Oliveras, Sabrina Sol, and Mia Sosa. In these nine heartwarming stories that all take place on Christmas Eve in New York City, couples are faced with second chances, big choices, and connections, from getting the courage to invite that special someone to Nochebuena dinner, to being snowed in with a potential new love interest. This collection is guaranteed to give your friends those warm and fuzzy feels this holiday season. Get the tissues!
The Perfect Date by Evelyn Lozada
The Perfect Date by Evelyn Lozada and Holly Lorincz is the ultimate fake-dating love story you didn’t know you need in your life. Angel Gomez is a Bronx-based Puerto Rican woman who has been a single mom since she was 16, and is now providing for her son by working at a bar and studying to become a nurse. Then there’s Caleb “The Duke” Lewis, a charming star pitcher for the Bronx Bolts whose been seen by the tabloids as a playboy. When the pair meet at Angel’s work, Caleb sees an opportunity to better his image and she’s faced with the proposition of being Caleb’s fake girlfriend to make it happen. But what is real and what isn’t becomes too blurred for either of them to ignore and soon, they start to wonder if they could make happily ever after happen with each other for real.
Big Chicas Don’t Cry by Annette Chavez Macias
Big Chicas Don’t Cry by Mexican American author Annette Chavez Macias is the perfect blend of romance, family, and female empowerment that the chicas in our lives need this holiday season. The novel follows four cousins and best friends―Mari, Erica, Selena, and Gracie―after their childhood swapping secrets and sharing family traditions is ended by Mari’s parents splitting up and moving away. Fifteen years later, the girls are each growing through personal struggles of loss, hardship, identity crisis, and fear of love. When one of their cherished relatives suddenly passes away, the cousins are reunited once more, causing each to wonder if their previous years of love will be enough, or if 15 years is enough to keep them separated even in the face of tragedy.
The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Best known for her best-selling novel Mexican Gothic, Mexican Canadian novelist Silvia Moreno-Garcia‘s novel The Beautiful Ones is a swoon-worthy read for the love story enthusiasts in all of us. Set in the fictional world of Loisail, this magical romance follows Nina and her hopes to join the coveted ranks of The Beautiful Ones, the country’s most notable socialites, and her romance with entertainer Hector Auvray. They grow close when they discover each other’s telekinetic abilities but just as romance seems to be on the cards, Hector reveals a secret that may threaten her reputation and their courtship. This book is a must for fans of Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott.
After Hours on Milagro Street by Angelina M. Lopez
After Hours on Milagro Street by Mexican American author Angelina M. Lopez is an enemies-to-lover romance story to remember. The story follows Alejandra “Alex” Torres, a bartender who’s frequently at odds with Professor Jeremiah Post, a tenant in the building. He’s earned the respect and admiration of Alex’s family and wants to protect them, their home, their community, and their matriarch’s bar. But in Alex’s eyes, he just stands in the way of her turning it into a successful business. When an old enemy returns to town and puts the bar in danger, Alex and Jeremiah are forced to work together to save everything they hold dear, and may finally act on the lust they have for each that they’ve denied for so long. This is an especially sexy read for your friends who like a steamy love story.
Violeta by Isabel Allende
Isabel Allende, the iconic Chilean author of the classic novel The House of the Spirits, returns with her latest epic novel Violeta, which follows the titular character throughout an entire lifetime of joy and struggle. Told in a form of a letter to “someone she loves above all others,” Violeta recounts her birth in 1920 as the only girl in a family of boys and her life onward through love affairs, periods of poverty and wealth, heartbreak, loss, and joy. It’s all told in the backdrop of extraordinary historical events like two world wars, the fight for women’s rights, the Great Depression, and two pandemics. Full of passion, fierceness, and emotion, your bookworm friends will adore this unforgettable story.
It Is Wood, It Is Stone by Gabriella Burnham
It Is Wood, It Is Stone is the debut novel of Brazilian American author Gabriella Burnham, set in São Paulo, Brazil over the course of a year. The story follows two women: Linda, an American who moves to the city with her husband who has accepted a new professor job, and Marta, Linda’s maid who has the ultimate say over the couple’s house. As Linda’s sense of reality and body begins to fall apart, Marta feels little sympathy, and soon Linda runs away with an artist, causing unforeseen consequences for everyone. This is a radical story about class, race, colorism, sexuality, and history, but still told with romance and love at its heart.
A Ballad of Love and Glory by Reyna Grande
A Ballad of Love and Glory by Reyna Grande is a moving, powerful love story based on true events that still resonates today. Taking place during the Mexican-American War in 1846, the historical fiction novel follows two people on opposite sides of a war. First, Ximena Salomé, a Mexican healer who loses her husband and ranch in one sweep, and joins the army as a nurse on the frontlines. Then on the other side of the battlefield, there’s John Riley, an Irish immigrant who deserts the American army, joins the Mexican forces, and forms a band of Irish soldiers with the same passion to protect the country. When the two finally meet, a fiery passion ignites between them, which is threatened as the war rages on around them. They not only begin fighting for their survival and home in Mexico, but also their newfound love.
Twice a Quinceañera by Yamile Saied Méndez
If your friend loved Yamile Saied Méndez’s book Furia, they’ll be sure to enjoy the author’s debut adult novel, Twice a Quinceañera! Both a love story about second chances and a tale of female power, the novel follows Nadia Palacio, who dumps her cheating fiancé one month before her wedding day and thirtieth birthday. But before she can gather the courage to break the news to her Argentinian family, she reads a magazine piece about a fellow 30-year-old Latina celebrating herself through a second quinceañera, or treintañera. In an effort to find her own happiness and bliss outside of a traditional happily ever after, she uses her pre-paid wedding venue to throw herself the ultimate party. But when she finds out that the venue director is a former fling from college, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to him, throwing into question everything she ever thought she knew about herself.
The Wedding Crasher by Mia Sosa
Looking for yet another juicy fake-dating story for your amiga? Pick up a copy of beloved romance author Mia Sosa’s most recent novel, The Wedding Crasher. In this saga, Solange Perreira is forced to help her cousin, a wedding planner, with her latest clients’ wedding day. But when she finds out something that makes her suspect the couple isn’t marriage material, she decides to crash the ceremony and warn the groom, Dean Chapman. The discovery affects Dean in his professional life, who will lose a promotion at work unless he’s in a romantic relationship. Suddenly, Solange is roped into pretending to be Dean’s girlfriend as payback for ruining his big day. As opposites as they are, the fake couple finds themselves falling for each other for real, upending their entire lives and what they thought they wanted.