Zane is an African-American author of erotic fiction, who, after starting in the obscurity of self-publishing, has managed to achieve tremendous success in the field of mainstream erotic romance publishing. Her greatest strengths as a writer are her straight-forward and frank treatments of sex — each and every one of her works features at least one (and often more than one) steamy sex scene. The relationships between her characters can be complicated, and her heroines range in age from their teens to middle-age. The characters are always well-defined, and memorable — usually black, urban professional women, frequently in the Washington D.C. area. They’re not always likeable, but they usually have a character growth arc to experience, in their (often raucous and bawdy) search for love. Zane’s novels deal almost exclusively with the African-American community, and usually have strong subtexts of black culture and history. You will often find social issues addressed in the context of the characters’ lives — abuse, unexpected pregnancy, infidelity, racism. However, Zane isn’t particularly preachy, and most of her novels feature upbeat or happy endings.
Zane’s success in both the self-publishing and maintream publishing fields has caused a literal explosion of African-American themed erotic romances. Mainstream publishers have launched regular series, such as the Arabesque and Kimani “series romance” lines, although these are generally less “steamy” than the average Zane tale. Zane’s success has also contributed to the proliferation of Urban Fiction, characterized by the works of E. Lynn Harris, Eric Jerome Dickey and Omar Tyree — all male authors with the male perspective on the same types of relationships that Zane explores from the female perspective.
Not all of the authors listed here will have the same erotic “steaminess” factor as Zane, however for readers seeking more of Zane’s style of writing, these are all worth trying. The author names (and titles) in the list below are hotlinked to their holdings in our catalog, so that you may check on the availability of their titles in print, audio or downloadable formats.
Brown Sugar 3: When Opposites Attract: A Collection of Erotic Black Fiction
or other titles edited by Carol Taylor
Succulent: Chocolate Flava II: An EroticNoir.com Anthology
or other titles edited by Zane