As we begin this 2nd Pandemic #RomBkLove, we've all had to grapple how life-changing this experience have been. Some have left jobs, relationships, communities in order to do what they need to survive. Even from positions of comfort and privilege (able to work remotely, access to vaccines, etc.) I have witnessed the gaps communal safety net, how social isolation can leave people unprotected and how so many live on a razor's edge. In times like these romances that grapple these issues, which stark stakes, remind me of our human resilience and the power we have to help those arounds us, strangers or friends when they are in need. I find comfort in these exercises of hope that are happily ever afters even after trauma and disaster.
Beverly Jenkins writes survivors. So many of her MCs have survived traumatic pasts, including enslavement, abandonment & abuse, defiantly flourishing despite the many obstacles racism and bigotry place in their ways. Be it Hester & Galen in Indigo, Maggie & Preacher in Night Hawk, Rhine & Eddy in Forbidden or Spring & Garrett in Wild Rain her MCs, stand their ground, face down bullies and oppressors and do more than simply survive, they thrive, building families and communities. US Based Historical Romance, (CW: Racism, abductions, guns, violence, threats of bodily harm, grief, Past trauma: Enslavement, sexual assault, emotional & physical abuse) (Rep: cis BM/BW, Black author)
Rebekah Weatherspoon is another author I turn to when I want to read survivors in a contemporary setting. Her MCs face everything from financial insecurity (Sugar Baby Series), family rejection (Xeni's Angus) to attempted murder (Beards and Bondage series)! Her MC's creative solutions, devotion to found family and persistence in the midst of traumatic events are inspiring and comforting to me as a reader. I love how the rejected and abandoned find home in others, how trauma is overcome and fails to define them. IR Contemporary romances (CWs: attempted murder, betrayal, familial abandonment, secrets, kink, grief past trauma: biphobia.)( Rep: cis BW/WM, Queer Black author)
I started out 2020 by reading Anna Zabo's Reverb, little knowing how much it themes of authenticity and survival would come to mean to me. In Reverb, a when Mish, a certifiable Rock Goddess is being stalked and despite her desires to ignore it, she finds her life, band, and voice threatened, she must come to trust David not just with her safety but with her heart and David must figure out how protect and love Mish.
David and Mish are both survivors. Both have made many sacrifices and endured much to live authentically and are able to navigate power imbalances, career demands to find love in each other. Contemporary romance with RS tinge, bodyguard / rock queen, (CWs: stalking, grief, loss) (Rep: trans WM /WW bi, White Trans author)
In Olivia Waite's The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics, Lucy and Catherine have survived different kinds of intellectual stifling due to sexism and abuse at the hand of the men in their lives. In each other they find enthusiastic support, and unexpected attraction. They are able to reclaim their intellectual and social agency, and strike blows against sexism in science, reclaiming their confidence, art and work. Sexy and full of longing and pining. They are stronger for what they have endured and will strive to make room for others. UK-Based Queer Historical (CWs: betrayal, intellectual theft Past trauma: domestic abuse) (Rep: bi WW/WW, Queer White Author).
What kinds of survival stories draw you? What do you find compelling? Do these high stakes stories comfort you?
Archive: Day 1's Tweets
For a full list of prompts visit: https://www.anacoqui.com// /