Decades: A Journey of African American Romance

by Wayne Jordan

Years ago, Harlequin in its American Romance line published a 12-book series, A Century of American Romance. Each story was set in the 20th century and told a love story with a background that focused on events within each decade. In these stories there were no black heroes or heroines.

In response to Harlequin’s oversight, I wanted to publish a similar project, a love story in each decade that also looked at the black experience. I pitched my idea to a few publishers but none of them was interested.

During the 2016 Romance Slam Jam conference, I approached a few authors whose work I admired and asked them if they would be interested in participating in this historical romance series. Each author immediately said yes, and Decades: A Century of African American Romance was born. The series launched in January 2018.

The first book in the series is A Delicate Affair by Lindsay Evans and tells the story of Golden Worth and Leonie Harper. Here’s the blurb:

Golden Worth is a proud southerner. But when some “good” Georgia boys threaten to lynch him, he runs north to Washington, D.C., to make music and a new life for himself. He doesn’t count on falling for the untouchable Leonie Harper, an aristocratic beauty with a mind for sin. He knows better than to want her, but the Radcliffe-bound girl who’s supposed to be a blushing debutante is anything but. She captivates him, tempting him to want things he once thought were out of reach.

All too easily, Golden falls into Leonie’s scented embrace, even though he suspects she’s only playing with him until something richer comes along.

Can this country boy convince a big city girl to take a chance on real love, or will she leave him swinging in the wind?

When asked about her story and its inspiration, Lindsay had this to say:

The 1900s was a very dynamic decade and I felt lucky to get the chance to write about it. Among the time periods we explore in the DECADES series, it’s obviously the one with the closest links to the past. It’s a time that straddles the old ways of dress and behavior along with new, less restrictive ones. The NAACP was formed then. The first black sororities and fraternities came into existence.  Bert Williams and George Walker became the first African-American recording artists. All these things left the people of that time staring wide-eyed at the progress (social and otherwise) barreling toward them from the horizon.

The inspiration for A DELICATE AFFAIR came to me while chatting with a friend about the migration of southerners to the north in the early 20th century. The time I write about, 1902, was before the “official” start of The Great Migration but I’m sure my guy wasn’t the only one who crossed the Mason Dixon line for better during that time. Golden in A DELICATE AFFAIR leaves Georgia to literally save his own life, and when he arrives in Washington, D.C., things aren’t quite what he expected, including the women who come into his life.

The other books in the series are:

  • Kaia Danielle: 1910s, A Secret Desire, February 2018
  • Sheryl Lister: 1920s, Love’s Serenade, March 2018
  • Suzette Harrison: 1930s, The Art of Love, April 2018
  • Kianna Alexander: 1940s, Love’s Sweet Melody, May 2018
  • Carla Buchanan: 1950s, Pride and Passion, June 2018
  • Wayne Adrian Jordan: 1960s, Promise Me a Dream, July 2018
  • Keith Thomas Walker: 1970s, Election Day, August 2018
  • Elle Wright: 1980s, Made to Hold You, September 2018
  • Zuri Day: 1990s, Thug Love, October 2018
  • Denise Jeffries: 2000s, Inconsequential Consequences, November 2018
  • Patricia Sargeant: 2010s, Campaign for Her Heart, December 2018

Like our Facebook page, Decades: A Journey of African American Romance, to join our journey. We’ll be celebrating each book at AAR as well, each month. We hope you’ll join us!