Show Me, Love
One of our favourite holidays is coming up and for all our book lovers out there, don’t worry we’ve got you covered! When it comes to love nobody loves harder than Indigenous people do. That is why we hope to inspire you with some of these amazing romance stories written by some very talented Indigenous authors. So, ditch the flowers this Valentine’s Day, light your candles, grab a comfy blanket, relax in your reading nook, and warm up to some of these romantic titles:
Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith
When Louise Wolfe’s first real boyfriend mocks and disrespects Native people in front of her, she breaks things off immediately and dumps him.
It’s her senior year, anyway, and she’d rather spend her time on her family and friends and working on the school newspaper.
The editors’ pair her up with Joey Kairouz, the ambitious new photojournalist, and in no time the paper’s staff find themselves with a major story to cover: the school musical director’s inclusive approach to casting “The Wizard of Oz” has been provoking backlash in their mostly white, middle-class Kansas town.
From the newly formed “Parents Against Revisionist Theater” to anonymous threats, long-held prejudices are being laid bare and hostilities are spreading against teachers, parents, and students—especially the cast members at the center of the controversy, including Lou’s little brother, who’s playing the Tin Man.
As tensions heighten at school, so does a romance between Lou and Joey—but as she’s learned, “dating while Native” can be difficult. In trying to protect her own heart, will Lou break Joey’s?
Heartbeat Braves by Pamela Sanderson
There’s never a dull moment at the Crooked Rock Urban Indian Center.
Rayanne Larson knows firsthand the struggles of native people. Working at Crooked Rock gives her the chance to do good work for Indians living in the city. She has high hopes for the Center’s progress until its new leader hands her special project over to his underachieving—and distractingly sexy—nephew.
Henry Grant’s life is going just fine. Though he knows rez life, he’s always been an urban Indian. He has no interest in the Indian Center job his uncle pushes on him. That is until he meets Rayanne. She’s attractive and smart, and like no woman he has ever met.
Rayanne is determined to keep her distance but when the Center faces a crisis, the two of them are forced to work together and she can no longer ignore the sparks between them.
Not Meeting Mr. Right by Anita Heiss
Alice Aigner is successful, independent, and a confirmed serial dater, but at her 10-year school reunion she has a sudden change of heart. Bored rigid by her married, mortgaged, and motherly former classmates, Alice decides to prove that a woman can have it all: a man, marriage, career, kids, and a mind of her own. She sets herself a goal: meet the perfect man and marry him before her 30th birthday, just under two years away. Unfortunately for Alice, it's not quite as easy as she imagines.
Her Love, Her Land by Evangeline Parsons Yazzie
The first novel, in a sweeping epic of one determined Navajo family's efforts to persevere during the Long Walk, blends history, romance, conflict, culture, and family in a finely crafted story that is a true work of passion. The first authentic Navajo love story, with Navajo values of love, relationships, and community.
The story begins in Black Mesa, Arizona in 1865 at the start of the Navajo Long Walk. The woman at the heart of the story is Ninaanibaa' (The Woman Warrior Who Came Home Once Again) and her husband, Hashke Yil Naabaah (The Warrior Who Fights with Anger). When two of their daughters are kidnapped, they set out on a journey in search of their missing children.
Text is in English, dialogue in Navajo and translated into English. The second novel in this series is called Her Enemy, Her Love. (less)
Happy Valentine’s Day readers!