HerStory August 2022: Alisha Rai

We are so happy to be sharing this month’s HerStory recipient with y’all. Folks who haven’t yet encountered her, meet Alisha Rai, our internet bestie (in our own minds, heehee).

Rai is a fabulous writer: her Modern Romance trilogy is in almost-constant rotation in our earbuds and kindles. Her earlier books are very spicy, but in everything she writes, there is an inherent sweetness and kindness.

Her Instagram is a true joy to follow, and, if the videos she shares from there are anything to go by, her TikTok must be as well (we have resisted the siren song of that app so far!) She produced a cooking show throughout the pandemic on YouTube (link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyOL0ZfUCiN3BO4ffTwwyXg), and does regular reviews of new Trader Joe’s items on her Instagram. She makes the best crafts and tells the best stories. She really is someone who you follow for a while and think: she could be my bestie. She is also the co-host of one of the sweetest podcasts ever, Lovestruck Daily. It’s a daily dose of love stories, and the perfect thing to binge while crafting.

When she was getting started writing romance (while enjoying a successful career as an attorney), she was told by publishing house after publishing house that because her books centered non-white protagonists, they wouldn’t sell (doesn’t this sound familiar for so many of our HerStory authors this year? It seems like, instead of denying non-white authors places in the publishing schedule, the publishing industry needs to start promoting more non-white folks into executive positions, eh?). So, Rai explored the world of self-publishing, and her book Serving Pleasure was the first self-published book to appear on The Washington Post’s annual list of best books of the year, in 2015. As an outspoken woman on the internet, she has been the victim of the worst kind of trolling for things like speaking up against racism in the romance world and sharing her dating experiences. But she keeps being herself, and sharing herself, and we are so grateful to her for that, because herself is a pretty special person.

Alisha Rai is one of our favorite examples of the best of what modern romance is: inclusive, sex-positive, diverse in both race/culture/background and in sexuality of her characters. Consent is at the center of sexual relationships, and mutual trust and respect are givens. Plus her books are just so darned fun, it’s hard to put them down! 

Our Partners in Crime colorway ins inspired by her upcoming release of the same name (our calendars are marked for October, when it comes out!). 

Books by Alisha Rai:

  • Modern Love Trilogy (The Right Swipe, Girl Gone Viral, & First Comes Like)
  • Forbidden Hearts Trilogy (Hate to Want You, Wrong to Need You, & Hurts to Love You)
  • Hot as Hades
  • Upcoming Partners in Crime (publishing in October!)

Want more like this? Here are some other authors we suggest you read/listen to:

  • Rebekah Witherspoon
  • Tia Williams
  • Courtney Milan
  • Lucy Score
  • Alexis Hall
  • Mia Sosa
  • Jayci Lee