Yes, it's true, that technically more than half of all Harlequin romances are interracial. The men are typically dark skinned, Italian, Arabic, Greek, and most recently, Indian, while the heroine is usually the pale, English rose type. Not only do the hero and heroine have different skin colors, they are also typically from different cultures and backgrounds.
There is, however, only one from category romance that I know of where there was an interracial relationship between a white and African American hero and heroine. (Taking Care of Business, by Brenda Jackson) The focus of the book was largely on the heroine, who was black, dealing with dating a white man.
This is a point of interest to me because, for those of you who don't know, I myself am married to a very handsome African/Italian/Czech man. :-) And while I can, and do, enjoy a romance with people of any ethnic background at the center of it, sometimes I want to read one that 'represents' my relationship.
So here's the thing though, what I really want is to read a romance with an interracial relationship where the races of the hero and heroine aren't at the center of it. Why? Because it's not at the center of my relationship. My husband and I do not have the same skin color, but that's not the sum total of our marriage, or even any part of it at all.
Not that we've never experienced discrimination based on the fact that he's black and I'm white, but it's been very rare, and when we met and fell in love, race never came into it for the two of us.
I have written an MS, aimed at Presents, but not submitted yet, where the hero is based off of my husband and is half African American. It is not an issue in their relationship.
So here's a question: Are people ready for that? Can it really be presented as a non-issue in a book? What are your thoughts on an interracial couple in a romance?
(yes, that is a picture from my wedding)