Celebrate Pride Month with 12 Great LGBTQ+ Romances

Posted by Sharon on June 1, 2020
It's no secret that mainstream romances have traditionally skewed very straight. But the romance genre is slowly becoming more inclusive of LGBTQ love stories, as evidenced by Red, White & Royal Blue's breakout hit in 2019 and debut lesbian romance Something to Talk About's emergence as, well, the talk of the town this summer.

There is still plenty of room for so many more diverse stories in romance. More happily ever afters for trans, asexual, questioning, and nonbinary protagonists? Yes, please! But in the meantime, we can still celebrate the rising popularity of queer love stories.

To mark this year's Pride Month, we've gathered 11 titles published in the last year and a half (and one that's coming out next month) that have resonated with readers. Each of these books, from the blockbusters to the more under-the-radar titles, has been rated above 3.8 stars by your fellow Goodreads members. Don't forget to add the books that catch your eye to your Want to Read shelf!


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What's a list of great queer romances without this debut that won not one but two Goodreads Choice Awards last year? When the son of the first female president of the United States falls in love with a British prince, a scandal of international proportions threatens to upend both nations.

Read this book if you enjoy: epistolary romances, enemies to lovers, political side plots, crackling dialogue that will make you grin, trusting the opinions of your fellow Goodreads members.
 


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What romance subgenre has Alyssa Cole not written? From sci-fi to historical, Cole consistently delivers steamy, swoon-worthy love stories. Once Ghosted, Twice Shy (a novella from the Reluctant Royals series) is a contemporary second-chance romance between a prince's no-nonsense personal assistant and the woman who abruptly ghosted her eight months earlier.

Read this book if you enjoy: New York City, black women finding love, Fashion with a capital F, side characters getting their own happily ever afters.
 


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If queer people are underrepresented in romance, older protagonists are even more rare. This historical novella features a delightful romance between two women in their 60s and 70s, who set off to ruin the life of one particularly Terrible Nephew. If you're looking for more queer rep in Milan's backlist, don't miss her 2016 novel Hold Me, a romance with a You've Got Mail-esque premise and a trans heroine.

Read this book if you enjoy: silver-haired ladies falling in love as they stick it to the patriarchy.


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A widowed countess hires a brilliant young astronomer to translate a scientific text in this smart and sweet Regency historical from Olivia Waite. Waite's next F/F novel, The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows, comes out in July.

Read this book if you enjoy: lady scientists, learning more about the hidden figures of history, tender romance, Jane Austen (but with more lesbians).


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Warning: Don't read this M/M romance on an empty stomach, because the descriptions of chef Nesto Vasquez's Afro-Caribbean dishes will make your mouth water. Also delicious? The chemistry between Nesto and shy librarian Jude.

Read this book if you enjoy: food trucks, Latinx representation, confronting bigotry, opposites attract, debut novels.


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For paranormal fans, T.J. Klune's Green Creek werewolf shapeshifter tales are a subgenre staple. Heartsong, the third book in the series, presents unpredictable plot twists, high levels of suspense, and an asexual main character. Looking for slightly lighter fare from Klune? Then try his YA debut, The Extraordinaries, out in July.

Read this book if you enjoy: M/M paranormal romance, established-couple stories (with a twist), romances that get way dark before they end in happily ever after.


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"Bride with cold feet meets someone new" is a standard trope of a certain subgenre of romantic comedy. But what happens when that someone new is the professional bridesmaid hired by the bride's fiancé to help her through the final weeks of wedding planning? Well, that just might lead to someone blue.

Read this book if you enjoy: highly competent professional women, instant chemistry, weddings, when Mr. Wrong isn't a jerk.
 


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One of the most buzzed-about books this spring, Meryl Wilsner's debut tackles Hollywood rumor head-on. When the paparazzi misconstrue a red carpet photo between powerhouse showrunner Jo Jones and her assistant Emma, the two women must decide if a chance at love is worth risking their working relationship and attracting the scrutiny of celebrity gossip columnists.

Read this book if you enjoy: slow-burn romances, responsible examinations of consent and power, glamorous red carpets.
 


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If you love Golden Age pulp novels, but have always wished they were, well, more gay, then try this first installment of a new trilogy by K.J. Charles (A Charm of Magpies). War hero Will Darling finds the mysterious Kim Secretan almost irresistibly attractive, but secrets, spies, and criminal gangs abound to foil the course of true love.

Read this book if you enjoy: 1920s England, mysteries, morally ambiguous characters, will-they-or-won't-they relationships that make you want to mash the characters' faces together as you say, "Now kisssss."


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Conrad Stewart and Alden Roth really hate each other. Really. Total opposites, both are well-known members of the Odyssey gaming community, and both are offered the chance to compete at the biggest tournament of their lives. The only catch? First they have to drive across the country to attend said tournament. Together.

Read this book if you enjoy: the culture of fandom, enemies to lovers, tabletop games, boys with big dreams, the "oh, no, there's only one bed" trope. 
 


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New this month, Cat Sebastian continues her Seducing the Sedgwicks series with a gentle tale about two childhood best friends who find each other rather worse for the wear in adulthood. 

Read this book if you enjoy: friends to lovers, longing glances, fraught shaving scenes, romances that acknowledge demi- and bisexuality.
 


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Hitting shelves next month, Alexis Hall's Boyfriend Material takes the fake dating trope out for a spin. When Luc O'Donnell needs a public image revamp, he recruits the help of Oliver Blackwood. Luc knows he could never fall for the very, very correct Oliver (the man's a barrister and an ethical vegetarian, for heaven's sake!), so they'll just pretend and then go their separate ways. What could go wrong? 

Read this book if you enjoy: witty banter, English accents, fade-to-black love scenes, the city of London.
 


Which of these love stories are you looking forward to reading? And what other queer romances would you recommend to your fellow readers? Let's talk books in the comments!

Check out more recent articles, including:
Fall in Love with These June Romances
Interview: Debut Queer Romance Offers a Hollywood Happily-Ever-After
42 New Books to Read this Pride Month

Comments Showing 1-50 of 70 (70 new)


message 1: by nitya (new)

nitya The descriptions for Slippery Creatures and Two Rogues Make a Right 👀👀 YESSSSS gimme


message 2: by BW (new)

BW Any Alexis Hall or KJ Charles Book is a Win Win ❤️💜😃


message 3: by Michael (new)

Michael Hi All,

I am an as-yet-underdiscovered author of M/M romances and a Goodreads member. The selections listed above are all worthy; my only regret is that my new novel (with all feedback being positive) had not been anticipated or known enough to be included in the list. The title is Two For Tennis (it's a sequel), and it's not your typical HEA romance. Then again, I'm not your typical author... :-)


message 4: by Mela (new)

Mela For me (Although they aren't light romances):

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
We Are the Ants


message 5: by Sammi (new)

Sammi Yesss. Give me all the queer romance.
One bed trope, enemies to lovers? I'll take that.


message 6: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin Fasching-Gray This is a fascinating article about some creep who gives LGBTQ+ 1 star reviews without reading them... and how goodreads doesn't have a policy to stop it. https://bookriot.com/2020/06/16/goodr...


message 7: by Leona (new)

Leona  Petrovic Benjamin wrote: "This is a fascinating article about some creep who gives LGBTQ+ 1 star reviews without reading them... and how goodreads doesn't have a policy to stop it. https://bookriot.com/2020/06/16/goodr...-..."

Thanks for sharing the article, I found it very interesting. What a weird way to spend one's time lol. I'm just really confused by some people in this world. Like..why? It's so ridiculous, why would you just spend your precious time rating books you haven't read? Like, okay then. He can do what he wants but seriously that's just dumb.


message 8: by Monique (last edited Jun 17, 2020 04:35AM) (new)

Monique S. As an author of both, a queer (trans woman/ciswoman) romance and crime thriller and a transwoman myself I would have liked to see my two new books here, too.
The Princess of Lights by Monique S.
Foreign Influence by Monique S
I have already read two of the lesbian romances here mentioned and am looking forward to reading "Mrs. Martins Incomparable Adventure"


message 9: by Mela (new)

Mela An interesting article. Yes, it is a problem. The same would be potential with other 'topics'. E.g. racism, hating some nation, hating some authors (for whatever reason).

In my opinion, one shouldn't rate a book before reading (or at least without trying) but because there is no way to check it - there is no sense for such rule.

I have no idea how to solve the issue without throwing the baby out with the bathwater.


message 10: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin Fasching-Gray Mela wrote: "I have no idea how to solve the issue without throwing the baby out with the bathwater. ." My idea would be for goodreads to have a policy against 1 star reviews for homophobic, racist etc. reasons. The policy would have to be carefully worded and there would still be the review process but something where the outcome would be someone from goodreads contacts this Charles guy, maybe temporarily suspends the account while it's under review, and they figure out what's going on with that guy and if it's what it looks like, some homophobe trashing queer books, then the profile and all its reviews would be removed. That's what I'd like to see.


message 11: by Monique (new)

Monique S. Benjamin wrote: "Mela wrote: "I have no idea how to solve the issue without throwing the baby out with the bathwater. ." My idea would be for goodreads to have a policy against 1 star reviews for homophobic, racist..."

I could not agree more! There needs to be a show of interest from Goodreads in complaints like that. I now understand, why Amazon requires a certain number of purchases, before you are allowed to review/rate a book.


message 12: by Elena (new)

Elena May Mela wrote: "An interesting article. Yes, it is a problem. The same would be potential with other 'topics'. E.g. racism, hating some nation, hating some authors (for whatever reason).

In my opinion, one shoul..."


Couldn't agree more! Unfortunately, such a rule would be very difficult to implement. It's not just this one guy. Rating books without reading them is very prevalent. I'm a super obscure indie author that probably 5 people have heard about, and even my books are getting random ratings long before I've even written them, let alone shared them with anyone. And popular books have hundreds of ratings before any advanced copies are available.

But there is no easy way to stop that. Even if Goodreads bans ratings before publication (which wouldn't be ideal since some readers get ARCs), people can still put random ratings without reading the book once it's published. Maybe there could be a requirement to write a review with every rating (I think Amazon does something like that), but that would significantly decrease engagement as most readers wouldn't want to spend the time. And users could still rate the book without reading it and put some generic review.

Not all such ratings are malicious; some are high ratings to show excitement for an upcoming book. And others are neutral; some readers seem to be using the star system instead of shelves to classify books, e.g. 1-star = "want to read", 5-star = "read" etc. But in any case, they all distort the rating and become a real problem especially if someone is maliciously targeting LGBTQ+ books or anything else they decide to dislike on principle.


message 13: by Silvia (last edited Jun 17, 2020 07:37AM) (new)

Silvia m/m romance authors I've been reading and adoring: Lucy Lennox and Ella Frank; definitely a good start in the genre! ;)
Also a few personal favorites:
Bad Habit
Halo
Felix and the Prince
Without Reservations


message 14: by Danielle (new)

Danielle Time Was by Ian McDonald


message 15: by Maddie (new)

Maddie Moore ❤️


message 16: by Kragthang (new)

Kragthang Slippery Creatures was an awesome historical book. Loved it <3


message 17: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Thanks but no thanks, I'll pass on the books. Romances aren't quite up my alley.


message 18: by William (new)

William Any books with trans characters on this list? Would love to read a romance with a trans protagonist.


message 19: by Beth (new)

Beth Where is the T? Am I missing something or did Goodreads make a list of "LGBT romances" without any transgender characters?


message 20: by Monique (new)

Monique S. William wrote: "Any books with trans characters on this list? Would love to read a romance with a trans protagonist."

Not on the list, but see my comment above. My last two books have a trans MC each.


message 21: by Monique (new)

Monique S. Beth wrote: "Where is the T? Am I missing something or did Goodreads make a list of "LGBT romances" without any transgender characters?"

See my other comments.


Fathia A. Olatubosun such an amazing books i can't wait to finish them


message 23: by Monique (new)

Monique S. Beth wrote: "Where is the T? Am I missing something or did Goodreads make a list of "LGBT romances" without any transgender characters?"

There probably weren't any with the required number of high ratings :(


message 24: by Lindsical (new)

Lindsical Mela wrote: "For me (Although they aren't light romances):

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
We Are the Ants"


I am glad you included Gentleman's Guide because I don't understand why it's not on this list!! I love that book soooo so much!


message 25: by Elena (new)

Elena May Monique wrote: "There probably weren't any with the required number of high..."

That's the problem with looking only at the number of ratings. Less mainstream genres stand no change. It would be nice to have a bit of a human touch to these lists instead of just using an algorithm, to ensure all interests are covered. But that's what the comment sections are for :)


message 26: by Aubrey (new)

Aubrey Once again, "I Have No Life Other Than Trolling On Goodreads" Ryan sticks their nose in and no one cares. At this point, one begins to think they were being paid to do so.

Anyway, yes. Let's not have the LGBTQ/queer title turn into little more than an LG festival.


message 27: by AceJen (new)

AceJen I also recommend:
Autoboyography
(for those who like: angst, fluff, will they/won't they vibe, sexuality vs. religion conflict where there are no right or wrong answers)

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy
(for those who like: asexuality, women being awesome in the world of men, adventure, many wonderful quotes about what it means to be a woman)

Alex in Wonderland
(for those who like: awkward flirting, cute teenage romance, Scooby Doo-style mystery, gay disasters)


message 28: by Beth (new)

Beth Monique wrote: "Beth wrote: "Where is the T? Am I missing something or did Goodreads make a list of "LGBT romances" without any transgender characters?"

There probably weren't any with the required number of high..."

:( Well it doesn't help to exclude them from this list...so often people say LGBT and then really only have LGB, or just LG. I agree with Elena that a list like this should be curated by a person, specifically someone invested in highlighting LGBT+ romances.

Glad to see my criticisms reflected in other comments though, and also people adding their own recommendations.


message 29: by Ryan (last edited Jun 17, 2020 02:04PM) (new)

Ryan Aubrey wrote: "Once again, "I Have No Life Other Than Trolling On Goodreads" Ryan sticks their nose in and no one cares. At this point, one begins to think they were being paid to do so.

Anyway, yes. Let's not h..."


Why would I care if anyone else cared? All I noted was that romances aren't quite my thing, but thanked otherwise for the list. Really Aubrey, if all you ever do, is come in and act as if you were a child; doggedly following someone with differing views who merely expresses a disinterest in the titles of a certain list - I would recommend you begin thinking about which of us, is truly the one without a life but to troll. Of course, the likelihood of you ever even viewing this is low - God forbid one views the words of one's enemy - but if you do, and notice my advice; examine with care.


message 30: by Anna (last edited Jun 17, 2020 01:52PM) (new)

Anna Kļaviņa I would recommend

Widdershins (Whyborne & Griffin, #1) by Jordan L. Hawk Going Sasquatch (Finnegan & Morrow #1) by Jess Whitecroft Anhaga by Lisa Henry Proper English by K.J. Charles


message 31: by Leah (new)

Leah Shannon looking forward to all the lady lovin romances here!!!!


message 32: by Samuel (new)

Samuel Where are all the gay male authors? I see only one! Why not promote actual LGBT writers for Pride Month.


message 33: by Alex (new)

Alex A list of LGBTQ+ titles, where the majority of them were written by heterosexual cisgender authors. That pretty much sums up what Pride month has become; a celebration by corporations and heterosexual people, who have never actually experienced the oppression and discrimination of being LGBTQ+, yet they continue to profit off our struggles and silence us when we try to tell our stories.

Goodreads, if you're going to feature a list like this on your homepage, at least have the courtesy to research books written by LGBTQ+ authors. We deserve to have honest, authentic representation in a month that is mean to celebrate the freedoms we have fought for and continue to fight for.


message 34: by Monique (new)

Monique S. Elena wrote: "Monique wrote: "There probably weren't any with the required number of high..."

That's the problem with looking only at the number of ratings. Less mainstream genres stand no change. It would be n..."


That is today's general problem, people on IT forget the most basic law of using computers: "shit in =shit out". Corporations try to train their human employees to work like machines, while others try to create machines that actually "think like humans" instead of just calcuating. Can the world get more absurd?


message 35: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Samuel wrote: "Where are all the gay male authors? I see only one! Why not promote actual LGBT writers for Pride Month."

Because putting male authors would go against females? Honestly I don't know, other than that as a rough guess.


message 36: by Monique (last edited Jun 17, 2020 03:06PM) (new)

Monique S. Ryan wrote: "Samuel wrote: "Where are all the gay male authors? I see only one! Why not promote actual LGBT writers for Pride Month."

Because putting male authors would go against females? Honestly I don't kno..."

You may not have read how the list was established. It was a rating based algorithm. A "stupid" computer cannot distinguish between names and a person's sexual orientation other than by hash tags and, quite honestly, I have not come across a hash tag: gay male author or any other GLBTQA+ label anywhere yet.
The only conclusion that can sensibly be drawn from the list is, that whatever composed it had no idea of the concept.


message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

I wish "The Prom" was on this list.


message 38: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Monique wrote: "Ryan wrote: "Samuel wrote: "Where are all the gay male authors? I see only one! Why not promote actual LGBT writers for Pride Month."

Because putting male authors would go against females? Honestl..."


Well, either no idea or one of a very limited and truncated scope.


message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

Ryan wrote: "Samuel wrote: "Where are all the gay male authors? I see only one! Why not promote actual LGBT writers for Pride Month."

Because putting male authors would go against females? Honestly I don't kno..."


Dude, seriously?? wtf


message 40: by Ryan (new)

Ryan just a fellow lesbo [[ HAPPY PRIDE MONTH FELLOW QUEERS ]] wrote: "Ryan wrote: "Samuel wrote: "Where are all the gay male authors? I see only one! Why not promote actual LGBT writers for Pride Month."

Because putting male authors would go against females? Honestl..."


What?


message 41: by Dan (new)

Dan I thought it was Wrath month this year. last year was pride month. Come on ITS 2020! get with the times!


message 42: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Well...I sense some lively comments will be appearing now.


message 43: by [deleted user] (new)

Ryan wrote: "just a fellow lesbo [[ HAPPY PRIDE MONTH FELLOW QUEERS ]] wrote: "Ryan wrote: "Samuel wrote: "Where are all the gay male authors? I see only one! Why not promote actual LGBT writers for Pride Month..."

wait nvm I thought that you were saying "Oh just because females wanna be 'more empowered' and that BS" or something idk


Kate (Feathered Turtle Press) While I'm glad there are LGBT+ romance recs for Pride, I do wish they put more effort into it than an algorithm. It's not like hetero romance where there are tons and tons and you can just skim for that top percentage.


message 45: by Ryan (new)

Ryan just a fellow lesbo [[ HAPPY PRIDE MONTH FELLOW QUEERS ]] wrote: "Ryan wrote: "just a fellow lesbo [[ HAPPY PRIDE MONTH FELLOW QUEERS ]] wrote: "Ryan wrote: "Samuel wrote: "Where are all the gay male authors? I see only one! Why not promote actual LGBT writers fo..."

Ah, well never-mind then on my part also.


message 46: by [deleted user] (new)

Ryan wrote: "just a fellow lesbo [[ HAPPY PRIDE MONTH FELLOW QUEERS ]] wrote: "Ryan wrote: "just a fellow lesbo [[ HAPPY PRIDE MONTH FELLOW QUEERS ]] wrote: "Ryan wrote: "Samuel wrote: "Where are all the gay ma..."

Yep fellow gays stan together

(assuming ur a fellow gay)


message 47: by Ryan (new)

Ryan just a fellow lesbo [[ HAPPY PRIDE MONTH FELLOW QUEERS ]] wrote: "Ryan wrote: "just a fellow lesbo [[ HAPPY PRIDE MONTH FELLOW QUEERS ]] wrote: "Ryan wrote: "just a fellow lesbo [[ HAPPY PRIDE MONTH FELLOW QUEERS ]] wrote: "Ryan wrote: "Samuel wrote: "Where are a..."

You would be correct on that assumption.


message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

good


message 49: by Delores (new)

Delores Cooper-Greene A great read is “Athena’s Quest”. - A Lesbian Quest for Normality! True story about her life of ups and down in her quest to be normal.


message 50: by Delores (new)

Delores Cooper-Greene Athena’s Quest, is a short book but captivates your attention from beginning to end. A worth read. I loved it, as soon as I got it from Amazon, I began to read it and didn’t put it down until finished. I just thought I was going to pick it up read the introduction but it was so interesting I couldn’t put in down. It is less than a 100 pages but a great book for the unknowledgeable and knowledgeable about the LGBT Community.


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