Alyssa Cole is a powerhouse. That’s really the only way I can describe her. She’s an amazing, brilliant writer. One that has written not only contemporary and historical romance novels but also science fiction/fantasy ones as well. A vocal advocate for change and better and more inclusive representation in the romance publishing industry Alyssa has helped push the industry forward to be reflective of the world we actually live in, by writing stories about marginalized individuals and championing other authors of colour and their work.
I discovered Alyssa’s work a few years ago, by way of Courtney Milan (who’s own Spotlight post you can read here), and I haven’t looked back since. I really haven’t, though I am a little behind because she’s written and published so many books in the past few years that I haven’t been able to keep up. By the end of April, she’ll have a whopping two books and two novellas debut, just in 2019. JUST IN 2019! I know that with the way publishing works that these books have been in the publishing process for a while, but it’s still jaw-dropping that she’ll have four new stories published before May.
Alyssa is an African-American author who splits her time between the U.S. and the Caribbean island of Martinique, where she lives with her husband and many animals including a cute cat named Tico. (Go check out her Twitter and Instagram for adorable pictures and videos of Tico.) She’s also a Hufflepuff sun and a Ravenclaw rising, which I totally get and see.
What I love most about Alyssa’s novels is that she doesn’t short-change her characters. Each and every one of the characters that her novels centre on has agency, their own unique personality and voice, and an indelible drive to move forward no matter the daunting, sometimes terrifying obstacles that stand in their way. She pushes her characters forward, even when the world seems to be against them, and not only do her characters come out on the other side, they also get their happily ever afters. And in the world of romance, that’s not often seen when it comes to marginalized characters and done so in such a respectable manner.
As a woman, as a woman of colour, that’s a really incredible message to receive when reading a story, especially in an industry and genre which I and many, many others rarely feel represented in.
Alyssa once mentioned in an interview that she feels that romance novels are magic, and I can’t help but agree with her on that because it’s true. Romance novels are magic. They are a source of wonderment, of wanderlust, of history, of stories about individuals who have faced and triumphed over obstacles. That one of the reasons why I love reading romances, and why I love reading the romances that Alyssa has written.
So let’s get to the favourite books that I’ve read by Alyssa Cole, so far. Like I said, I am woefully behind when it comes to Alyssa’s catalogue of works.
1. An Extraordinary Union
2. Agnes Moor’s Wild Knight
3. That Could Be Enough
Alyssa’s latest novel, A Prince on Paper debuts April 30, 2019. Be sure to check it out as well as the rest of the Reluctant Royal series and Alyssa’s other series The Loyal League.
Where you can find Alyssa:
I hoped you enjoyed this latest “Spotlight” post on one of my favourite romance authors. Look out for more “Spotlight” articles in the future. Thanks for reading!