I grew up and still live in Southern California. We are blessed with a vibrant multicultural community. Pacific Islanders are important part of that mixture.
We need more diversity in our heores and heroines and I would love to see the communities I grew up in reflected more in Romance.
I leanred lots of cool facts when researching this list.
My first question was which people are considered Pacfic Islanders?
Here is the list!
Polynesian, Melanesian, and Micronesian descent: Hawaiian, Māori, Rapanui, Samoan, Cook Islanders, Tahitian, Demis, Hapas, Tokelauan, Marquesan, Austral Islanders, Norfolk Islanders, Tuamotuan, Mangarevan. Niuean, Tuvaluan, Tongan, Wallisian, Futunan, Pitcairners, Papuan, Lapita, Austronesian, Solomon Islanders, Kanak, Maghreban, New Caledonian, Caldoches, Ni-Vanuatu, Fijian, Rotuman, itaukei, I-Kiribati, Nauruan, Chamorros, Guamanians, Marshallese, Palauan, Chuukese, Pohnpeian, Kosraean, Yapese.
Other facts: Did you know that Fiji has had several coups in the last two decades? There is an island nation of less than 60 people. Pitcairn Islands are inhabited by desendants of the Muiteers from the Bounty and Tahitians.
Here is a list of Romances with Heroes and/or Heroines of Pacific Islander Heritage.
1. Non-Stop Till Tokyo by K J Charles Samoan
A man with a past is her only hope for the future. Kerry Ekdahl's mixed heritage and linguistics skills could have made her a corporate star. Instead, she's a hostess in a high-end Tokyo bar, catering to businessmen who want conversation, translation and flirtation. Easy money, no stress. Life is good-until she's framed for the murder of a yakuza boss. Trapped in rural Japan with the gangsters closing in, Kerry doesn't stand a chance. Then help arrives in the menacing form of Chanko, a Samoan-American ex-sumo wrestler with a bad attitude, a lot of secrets, and a mission she doesn't understand. Kerry doesn't get involved with dangerous men. Then again, she's never had one on her side before. And the big, taciturn fighter seems determined to save her life, even if they rub each other the wrong way. Then her friends are threatened, and Kerry has no choice but to return to Tokyo and face the yakuza. Where she learns, too late, that the muscle man who's got her back could be poised to stab it
2. Just Good Friends by Rosalind James Maori
Kate Lamonica isn't Koti James's type. Too small. Too dark. And heaps too much work. So it's an easy bet that he can be her friend for six weeks without making a move on her, no matter what his mates would have said.
Kate can't believe she's made the bet at all. New Zealand had seemed like the perfect escape from the stalker who'd threatened first her peace of mind, and then her life. She certainly doesn't need any more trouble. Why on earth has she agreed to spend time with a Maori rugby player who's far too handsome and charming for his own good--and knows it? But there's more than one game Koti's good at playing ..
3. Walking in Fire by Cathryn Cade Hawaiian
Nawea Bay, a remote Hawaiian paradise, is just the haven Melia Carson needs to escape the chill of heartache. Instead, she finds herself swept up in a tropical heat wave, fueled by her unexpected attraction to a handsome native she meets on a snorkel tour.
He’s big, powerful, hot enough to melt her defenses—and he’s not all he seems. How else could he survive an injury that should have killed him…and why does she dream of him garbed in ancient native dress and wreathed in flames?
David “Malu” Ho’omalu is on the Big Island to find and destroy a cache of dangerous designer drugs before they can be sold to his people. Fending off amorous female tourists is part of the job, but one look in Melia’s blue eyes, and his instincts scream that she is his.
As Melia surrenders to the desire burning between them, she discovers more than a fiery heritage that defies modern logic. She discovers a man who would descend into the molten heart of the volcano to protect his island. And her…if she can find the strength to trust her heart to him.
4. Telesa by Lani Wendt Young Samoan
When Leila Folger’s American father dies, the 18-year old insists on going to Samoa to learn something of her mother who, she believes, died when she was an infant. She is puzzled by her aunt’s cool welcome. At school she is drawn to head prefect Daniel but sparks fly. And a fiery response to a hostile youth at an interschool rugby match brawl leaves him with burns and her in confusion.
Then a beautiful woman introduces Leila to the fractious and ruthless sisterhood of telesā. Life itself is at stake. But Leila is strong, has loyal friends and elemental support, and gives a good account of herself.
5. The Real Thing by Cassie Mae Samoan
Eric Matua has one friend—his best friend and childhood sweetheart, who needs a place to stay for the summer. Mia Johnson has thousands of friends—who live in her computer. Along with her email chats and Facebook notifications, Mia also devours romance novels, spending countless hours with fictional characters, dreaming of her own Romeo to sweep her off her feet. When she starts receiving supersweet messages from a stranger who thinks she’s someone else, Mia begins to believe that real love is possible outside her virtual world.
When the two friends become roommates, Mia finds herself falling harder than she ever thought she could. But Eric keeps his desires locked away, unsure of himself and his ability to give his best friend what she deserves in a boyfriend. As her advances are continually spurned, Mia splits her time between Eric and her computer. But she soon realizes she’s about to lose the only real thing she’s ever had.
6. Daughter of the Reef by Clare Coleman Tahitian
epua, the daughter of a chief sails from her coral atoll home toward her planned, and ritually mandated, marriage. But she never reaches her destination because a violent storm damages her vessel and leaves her stranded on the shores of Tahiti, a land previously unknown to her. She is made unwelcome because of her foreignness and is victimized because of her weakness and innocence, but her spirit is strong and her will to survive and thrive is boundless.
The world of Tahiti is very different from the one she has known, beautiful, savage and mystical by turns. But she is determined to build herself a new life and, in the process, she will change the destiny of all for generations to come.
7. Glass Beach by Jill Marie Landis Hawaiian
Widowed Elizabeth Bennett believes her troubles are over. Her loveless marriage is at an end. The death of her husband leaves her free to raise their daughter, Hadley, alone on her beautiful Hawaiian ranch . . . until the handsome Spence Laamea, her husband's heir and illegitimate son from a liaison with a native woman, arrives. Spence takes the estate--and Elizabeth's fate--under his control.
Despite her distrust and against a backdrop of disapproval among the island's strict nineteenth-century white society, passions erupt between them. Elizabeth and Spence struggle to build a life for themselves and her daughter. When a deadly hurricane bears down on the island, it tests the bonds of love and loyalty they've tried to deny.
8. Gravity by Tracey Poueu-Guerrero Samoan
Eva Michaels has been groomed for greatness on the field and on the court. Her four brothers have trained her and molded her into one of the top female athletes in California. Oblivious to her beauty, she hides behind the tomboy persona. She’s happy with her routine. Until the day she meets the emerald-eyed Dream-Boy who saves her from a hazing at the hands of the neighborhood bully.
Colton Banks never looks back when his mother moves him across the states. He meets the Michaels, the family next door. He quickly becomes part of the family and the only friend that Eva Michaels has ever had. He is captivated by her. He's never met anyone like her. As kids, being friends was easy because Eva's brothers were always around as a buffer. As teenagers, they fight hard to suppress their attraction as they struggle to maintain, at times, an awkward friendship.
College changes everything. They both accept scholarships to Stanford and for the first time in her life, Eva is living life without the security blanket she grew up with. Her brothers. At first, they try to keep things simple and remain "just friends." But the temptation becomes too great. Their passion undeniable. The harder they try to fight it; the more powerful becomes the pull towards each other. Colton longs to take their relationship to the next level but fears he may push Eva away for good. Eva is besieged with longing and aches to be Colton's. She can’t quite come to grips with how strong her desire for him truly is. Unable to resist the pull any longer, they finally surrender to everything, the force being too great to keep them simply … friends. But how long can their happiness last?
Someone from the past surfaces and Eva is left with a choice, the outcome of which can affect both of their lives. Can the secret she keeps ruin their future together? While Colton is convinced Eva is the one for him, will his own fears be their undoing? Staying together becomes harder when tragedy hits and the strength of their love is put to the ultimate test. Can they withstand the outside influences that continually threaten to tear them apart? Can one of them sacrifice their own happiness so that the other can fulfill their dream?
9. A Little Harmless Obsession by Melissa Schroeder Hawaiian
May Aiona’s crush on sexy Evan Chambers is a bad habit that should be easy to break. It’s not like he’s ever noticed her. Looking for a safe place to release the reins of control and explore her curiosity about BDSM, May takes a friend up on an invitation to visit an exclusive bondage club—all she has to agree to is a public submission.
Evan can’t help but notice the exotically beautiful May. But despite his success, the dirty secrets of his past whisper that he’ll never be good enough for her. When Evan sees her standing in his club ready to submit to his best friend, he gives in to the thing he wants most—May as his sub. After their session, he knows one night will never be enough. But loving May isn’t easy for a man always ready to take charge. She might like to submit in the bedroom, but she doesn’t like anyone telling her what to do outside of it.
When May insists she’s not in any danger from the person seemingly obsessed with her, she ends up in the sights of a deranged stalker—with Evan possibly too far away to help.
10. Chains of Freedom by Jess Mountifield Maori
Kaihaitu has been trained for leadership since she was a small child but nothing quite prepared her for the arrival of the British Redcoats. When they build their new fort right by the Maori fishing grounds and refuse to allow access to the Maori people there are very few options for Kai to take.
With her father dead and other villagers sick she has to make a choice between her heart and her head.
Do you have more recs? Gimme! Vote on the best of the best on Goodreads list:
Pacific Islanders in Romance Novels