Non-Denominational Romance Covers Temple of Worship: May 24th, 2021
Dearly beloved, welcome once again to the Non-Denominational Romance Covers Temple of Worship, more affectionally called the NDRCTW. I’m LaQuette, and as always, we’re gonna make a joyful noise unto some gorgeous book covers to celebrate their ability to inspire our desire to consume romance novels.
Beloved, today is a beautiful day in Romancelandia for me, and since I don’t believe in praising by myself, I’m coming to my favorite congregation to help me make a joyful noise until the blessed hands of the artists in the @Harlequinbooks art department.
My mama taught me that a closed mouth won’t get fed. That means is if you don’t ask for what you want, you will never receive what you need. So, if I had to bring a subject before you today it would be, “Ask so you can receive.” I want y’all to repeat that for me. Ask, so you can receive. Keep that in the forefront of your hearts and minds as I continue.
Beloved, my entryway into romance was this Harlequin Presents. I was sixteen, and I was hooked. But after two years of reading those books, I realized there was something missing: people that looked, lived, and loved like me. I knew then that if I wanted to read those stories about curvy Black chicks from Brooklyn, I’d have to write them. Fast-forward twenty-five years later and a gentleman from Harlequin called me up and asked, “Don’t you think it’s time to bring your curvy Black chick from Brooklyn to the pages of a Harlequin Desire?” Turn to your neighbor and say, “Be careful what you ask for. ‘Cause you just might get it.”
Now, the truth be told; I thought it was long overdue that Harlequin published a book featuring characters like mine. But in no way did I think it would actually happen, especially to me. In fact, my response to him was, “My voice is too Black and too Brooklyn for this to work.” But he convinced me to give them a chance, and Trey Devereaux and Jeremiah Benton were born.
They asked me for a story featuring a plus-size Black woman from Brooklyn. What they received, because I’m all about testing boundaries, ‘cause that’s what I do, was my greatest homage to the intersection of Black and Brooklyn culture that I’ve ever attempted. Somebody say, “Y’all ain’t ready!”
Beloved, here it is. The cover reveal for my debut Harlequin Desire, A Very Intimate Takeover! Gon’ and look at it. Let all that luscious fabulousness settle in your spirit and light fire to your soul. When it came time to for the cover, I asked for a beautiful, dark-skinned, full-figured woman in all her glory. As you can see, that’s exactly what I received. More that two decades in the making, my curvy Black chick from Brooklyn is on this gorgeous cover!!! Touch your neighbor and say, “Ask, so you can receive.”
Beloved, look at this dress. This gown shows off every curve, every deep hill and valley of her body in one elegant package. Do you see her?! My girl Trey is serving confident sexiness only in the way a woman secure in her power and curves can. You see that smirk on her face? She’s telling y’all, “He ain’t ready and neither are y’all.” And look at Jeremiah. Sexy, powerful, a man who’s not the least bit ashamed that his woman has his nose wide open. Do you see that hand on her hip, that tight grip? That fine-ass brotha is telling all the homies on the block, “She’s mine, playa. Back up.”
Y’all, come on and give these covers artists a handclap. Let’s worship in celebration of how glorious the image of this diverse representation is. Let’s praise in anticipation of a more inclusive future for romance. Somebody, anybody, everybody ought to say Amen.
The doors of the church are open…