Queer Romance New & Recent Releases: April Edition

If you love a vampire romance, you’re in for a treat with this month’s new release list. With this many books to choose from, though, you’re sure to find something delectable even if bloodsuckers aren’t your thing.


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As always, if you find any errors, please let me know so I can correct them.

New and Recent Releases

Blasted Research by Coffee Quills (Kobo Plus / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Post-apocalyptic polyam with a nonbinary ace MC! I read the Kindle sample and enjoyed it, though content warning for family member being yikes about aceness. Self-published.

“Dr. Jules considers xemself to be lucky. Even if there are venomous thoughts and stagnant governmental practices inside Dome, there are also warm beds, stable food supplies, and an interesting job studying radiation at the Science Center. Sure, xe might not be the happiest person there, but it’s a good life. Better than the wasteland of poisoned trees and mutated creatures xe could have been born into. Then comes xyr newest assignment: go to the nearby Bells River, gather fresh samples, and bring them back to Dome for radiation testing. Looking on the bright side, at least this will excuse xem from yet another blind date xyr mother set xem up on. And when they come back, xe’ll receive a raise!

Kirk and Li are the wasteland guides hired to keep Dr. Jules safe as xe gets water and mud from Bells River. Unfortunately, when it comes to Domies and the outside world, it’s easier said than done. Those inside people know nothing about spitting spiders, let alone how quickly the environment can turn against a person. And spotting thieves before supplies are stolen? Ha! For Li and Kirk, the payment is worth the aggravation. Educational and instructive books that’ll help make life easier for their family and future generations.

But the wasteland loves its little surprises and it’s going to take every ounce of determination, sacrifice, and friendship to stay alive… let alone find happiness.”

The Balance of Fates by Raquel Raelynn (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Black sapphic new adult romance by a Black author. Self-published.

“When her grandmother falls ill, Lucia Dol’Auclair has to leave her sheltered life and travel to Eirini Academy of Mystics to compete in the Triune. In three events, she will compete against vampires and werewolves to take her grandmother’s place as the guardian vessel of a destructive celestial of magic and prove her worth as heir to her royal coven. But, her heart is pulled in two directions when she falls for her rival, Adelaide, a troublesome vampire who doesn’t play by the rules. Lucia is forced to choose between the traditions that hold her coven together and the passion that could tear apart her world.”

The Demon Inside Me by Chace Verity (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Demon body-swap romance. Queer author. Self-published.

“Colby Lankford-Hall never worries about what he really wants in life. Dreams are a luxury for a retail worker who needs to worry about getting the bills paid, and his hectic life suits him just fine. One day, a woman will see past his short frame, low wages, and his tendency to be late for everything. Yeah, he wants a girlfriend! Doesn’t he…?

Everything he thought he knew about himself changes when he meets Zed. Tall and sparkly, Zed looks like he stepped out of a dream. His blunt invitation to sleep together is too tempting to pass, and kissing the sweet man makes Colby long to be someone more worthy of such affection.

His wish unexpectedly comes true when the pair wake up inside each other’s bodies, forcing Zed to reveal his identity as a dream eater demon. With no immediate way to swap back, Colby has to learn how to live as a dream eater and prevent the demon inside his body from getting him fired. But the more time Colby spends away from his usual chaotic life, the more he realizes he has dreams—and they involve a certain gorgeous demon.”

Teach Me by Jessica Laroux (Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Sapphic polyam! I’ve started reading this and I really like it so far. Self-published.

“When it comes to relationships, best friends Sam and Delaney couldn’t be more different. Serial monogamist Sam is desperate to settle down, get married, and start a family, but her string of cheating exes have left her heartbroken and insecure about her abilities in the bedroom. Delaney eschews monogamy, and enjoys having multiple partners, casual sex, and being sought after as a Domme.

On a drunken whim, Sam asks her best friend to teach her everything she knows about sex. What could go wrong? They already love each other but want completely different lives, so there’s no way a sexual relationship could be anything but a fun, casual experience. But when Delaney’s relationship with one of her girlfriends, Carla, begins to intensify, she finds herself prioritising Sam and Carla to the exclusion of any other partners, and her relationship dynamics begin to look anything but casual.

Three women, walking different paths, with different wants and desires. Will the experiment be a success, or will it tear all of their relationships apart?”

How Not To Date A Dragon by Lana Kole (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Nonbinary author. Self-published.

“Milo is no stranger to the fine things, so why in the world would he deny himself the finest thing he’s ever seen across the small bar in his even smaller home town?

Spoiler alert: he doesn’t, and his curiosity leaves him cuffed to one of the Hunters of Obscure Artifacts.

The HOA’s magic cuffs leave him unable to don his scales and his dragon itches for freedom. Trapped hand in hand with his supposed mortal enemy, that’s not the only itch Milo would mind scratching. Xander, however, has other plans. They need this dragon’s treasure, because that’s what hunters do. But ever since the Big Reveal, torturing dragons for their treasure is outlawed. A minor complication, and one that requires the kinds of creative solutions Xander excels at. They’ll do almost anything to secure this treasure, and get unchained from the all too charming dragon it belongs to.

Is there any line a desperate treasure hunter won’t cross?”

She Who Earned Her Wings by Vaela Denarr and Micah Iannandrea (Kobo Plus / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: DRAGONS. Trans MC. Self-published.

“Nomi is a young druid finally taking the chance to spread her wings and leave her home. To see the world and discover its magic, beauty… and maybe love. Calia is a dragon on the hunt for angels, trying to square an old debt. That, and to get Laura, her desired bondmate, to finally return to her side, where she belongs.

Nomi immediately catches the eye of the powerful dragons. Calia entices her with honeyed words and a skillful tongue. On the other hand, Laura, much smaller but equally intimidating, takes it upon herself to protect her.

Despite the warnings, Nomi can’t help being drawn to Calia’s charm, her power, her fangs… and the hidden gentleness in her eyes. She promises danger where Laura promises safety, and Nomi is torn between the two. Luckily there is a convenient cult out for the dragons’ heads, providing Nomi with ample distraction and at least one dragon egg to steal, hatch, and raise by herself. Perfectly normal things for a young transgender druid to get involved in!

In the clutches of dragons, battling dark forces from beyond the stars, Nomi faces the questions of who she is and who she wants to be. Whether she deserves the love offered to her, and what it truly takes to earn her wings…”

A Zookeeper’s Guide To Dating by Roan Rosser and Ian T. Keller (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Trans romance. Author Roan Rosser is a trans guy. Self-published.

“Wallflower janitor Emily has dreamed of being a zookeeper their entire life. But they’ve been passed over again and again for promotion. Asked out by a gay man who thinks they’re named ‘Emil,’ they feel happy for the first time in forever. Jeremi is outgoing, friendly, driven… and his forgetfulness has lost him more boyfriends than he can count. When he meets an adorable twink at the zoo, Jeremi vows: this time will be different. Their first date tanks. Jeremi tries to salvage things by offering to be Emil’s job coach, yet he can’t help but want to be more than just friends. As Emil’s egg cracks and their self-confidence grows, Emil yearns for more from Jeremi. Yet they worry they’re not what Jeremi is looking for… Is their relationship doomed to die in captivity?”

Night is For Hunting by Jules Kelley (Buy direct from City Owl Press / Kobo Plus / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Queer author who is an auto-buy for me. Small press.

Note: The first book in this paranormal / romance blend series is Haley and Leland’s story; they’re both bi. Diego and Val met in Book 1, and their slower-burn story continues here. Highly advise starting this series with Book 1.

“It’s been nearly six months since Diego Sanchez was turned into a werewolf against his will, joined a small-town werewolf pack, and almost started a war by befriending Val, a member of the nearby vampire colony. He’s not supposed to leave town, but when Val asks him for help to stop a vampire gone rogue, Diego decides to break the rules and the speed limit to get them to Las Vegas and back before the full moon turns him into a mindless animal in a week. Everything will be fine…as long as he doesn’t get caught in another turf war, get murdered, or ruin his friendship with Val by falling head over heels in love.

Back in Montana, Haley Fern has her hands full. The upcoming full moon falls on Halloween—which is great for Pine Grove’s werewolf-based tourism, and an absolute nightmare for an inexperienced alpha with no one to rely on. Her human boyfriend, Leland, is trying his best to help, but his past is coming back to haunt him in a big way, and it’s driving a wedge between them. Without much time, Haley might have to turn to the one person she never wanted to ask for help: her mother.

Lowering their defenses and learning to trust each other can save them, but can they do it before the clock runs out?”

Operation Escape by Landra Graf (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Queer M/F with a pansexual hero. Self-published.

A forced bond, an undeniable attraction, and a planet full of prisoners who want them dead.

Sera Kain has a mission, one she can’t complete with a pilot. Using her background as a logistics and data controller, she’s found the one man that might be willing to help her find her missing uncle with a little incentive.

Markus Engle resigned from military life to escape the destruction left by human expansion through the universe. He wants only a life of leisure and enjoyment on the pleasure planet of Kafgar. When Sera walks through the door of his business everything changes because he can’t tell her no. Not when her scent activates the military DNA modifications that make denying her impossible.

It’s a simple rescue mission on the prison planet, Earth, with Sera guiding the way. Only the snatch-n-save turns into an ambush and the pair find themselves trapped without a ship and no way out. To escape alliances will need to be formed and bargains made with the worst Space Force has encountered. For Markus and Sera, their future is fated, but making it off Earth alive to enjoy it will be damn near impossible.”

Summer at the Scottish Castle by Rachel Bowdler (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Queer M/F with bi and pan MCs. Indie press (as best I can tell).

A Scottish castle. A Summer escape. A love story that could change her life forever…

Jess – aka Jessamine Byron, Countess of Cheshire – has just watched her perfect life go up in flames. After a messy divorce, she packs her bags and flees to her family’s ancestral home, Rosemire Castle, in the remote Scottish Highlands.

When she runs into ruggedly handsome and surly gardener, Mac Douglas, in the castle grounds – accidentally messing up his flower beds, no less – Jess’s summer takes an unexpected turn. Because Mac doesn’t recognise her as the lady of the house. Meeting someone who has no idea who she is, or the mistakes she’s made, feels like a breath of fresh air. So while Jess doesn’t lie exactly, she isn’t completely truthful about who she is…

As the summer unfolds, and Jess and Mac grow closer, will Jess discover you really can start afresh? Or will the things she’s tried to escape finally catch up with her?”

The Modern Mythos Anomaly by Juniper Lake Fitzgerald (Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Queer vampires x accidental time travel. Self-published.

“Python is a drifter, a vampire living his eternal life on the road and liking it that way. Beholden to nothing and certainly to no one. But such a lifestyle doesn’t come without creating enemies. Most notably, a pesky vampire hunter he cant seem to shake. When he stumbles upon a seemingly abandoned cabin the woods, Python sees the perfect escape and a place to hide.

But what he didn’t expect was for someone to be home…

When recluse warlock Calysto’s peaceful life is upended by the arrival of a chaotic disaster in the form of a loudmouthed vampire, he and his teleporting house become the target of the hunter, too. Calysto knows it’s all Python’s fault that he’s in this mess. That is, until Calysto makes a mistake, and in his hurry to flee transports them over one hundred years into the past.

Confronted with lives they both had hoped to forget, not to mention the memories they most definitely did, Calysto and Python must try to put aside their many differences and increasingly complicated feelings to learn to work together. Or else they risk being stuck in the past — and with each other — forever.”

Volatile Reaction by Magnus Thorne (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: I read it and enjoyed it. Transmasc LI by a transmasc author. Self-published.

This is the entire blurb: “A hitman gets swept up protecting the younger man who lives next door. VOLATILE REACTION is an 18k MM erotic suspense thriller featuring a transmasc main character.”

So to give you more info, I think of it as an erotic romance-adjacent story with an HFN. The suspense didn’t strike me as that suspense-y, idk. It’s a little off the beaten path for what I usually read or include here, but I gave it a whirl since it was on KU. The aesthetic is more “two kinda messed up people clicking unexpectedly in gritty low-rent apartment building” than “sleek jetsetting assassin loses his heart” so if the former sounds like your jam, check it out. (And note, the neighbor guy is initially thought of by the assassin as “a kid” but he’s in his early 20s.)

Lyrical Symphony by Regina Ann Faith (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Sapphic romance by a Black author. Self-published.


Dance has been my life for as long as I could remember
I’ve been laser focused on advancing my professional dancing career
It’s the one thing I’ve always wanted
To be in control and live my dream on my own terms
But that all changed when I met her
She was the last person I expected to fall for
And now that I’ve fallen
Will she be open to reciprocate my feelings?


My career as a violinist has taken me all over the world
Even to my home country of China to perform
Going back there is a painful reminder that in a few years
I’d be forced into something every girl dreams of
But I’m hesitant to speak of
If only that wasn’t the case
Because when I met her, my love grew
It was something new to me, new to her
But how can I tell her that this may not last
My feelings for her, I’ve forced myself to deny
I can’t be the one to break her heart, it will eat me alive”

Falling For The Mark by Dominique Davis (Kobo Plus / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Sapphic romance by a Black author. Self-published.

“Maya is the daughter of Nicole, a cunning grifter who has been deceiving people since she was a teenager. Together, they have perfected the art of scamming people out of their money without guilt.

Their most successful con sees Nicole duping affluent men into wedding her. But when the time is right, Maya lures the mark into her bed, getting them to break their prenuptial agreement. The duo then disappear with an impressive divorce settlement. Never to be heard from again. What should be another routine con soon turns out to be anything but.

Kennedy, the daughter of their new mark, is skeptical of the pair upon their arrival. She suspects they are after her father’s money and she’s determined to find proof of it. Matters are further complicated when Maya and Kennedy begin to develop feelings for each other. Though both have their reasons for why they shouldn’t cross the line, their growing attraction is too strong to be denied.

But when the truth is revealed, both stand to lose more than they ever could have imagined.”

A Flame In The Night by Morgan Dante (Kobo Plus / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Queer vampires x polyam. Self-published.

Bloody decadence…

The definition of marriage: Two people and their silver-haired vampire.

In 1924, Paris is a bastion of sexual freedom, even for shell-shocked Leon Laflamme, the most dramatic blond this side of the Seine. After years of loneliness and secrecy, he’s married the clever and sumptuous burlesque dancer Claire. However, Leon truly finds liberation when he meets the stoic, intriguing, and silver-haired Count Matthias, who offers true freedom in his dark gift: immortality.”

A Song for Octaven by R.C. Ballad (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Polyam with trans characters. Self-published.

“Resenfeld Draper is a skilled violinist and knows it. As a second-year student at Octaven University, where musicians sing spells and perform enchantments, Resen’s talent is only matched by his vanity and ambition.

But Resen’s attempts to be top of the class are foiled at every turn by distractingly brilliant rival Eric Jameson – and so is his pursuit of friendship with the bold and passionate teacher’s daughter, Bravura Tempesta. Bravura is intrigued by Resen’s sweet-talk and vainglory, but Jameson knows a bully when he sees one. As Resen tries to connect with his classmates, he soon learns that forging real relationships is harder than writing concertos or currying favour.

When a mysterious quake shakes the University, Resen, Bravura and Jameson must put their personal issues aside. With more in common than they realise, the three of them might be able to make real magic and save their school – but only if Resen can swallow his pride.”

The Twelve Points of Caleb Canto by Sam Starbuck (Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Trans guy MC. I started reading it and I’m enjoying it so far. Self-published.

“Caleb Canto moved to Askazer-Shivadlakia to live a quiet life, teaching music at a local school and writing pop songs on the side. The Shivadh are friendly to trans people, and the school is understanding of his desire to be kinder to the “different” kids than his own teachers were to him.

What Caleb did not expect was that a song he sold to a prospective pop star would be entered into the Shivadh National Final for Eurovision, or that he’d be tapped to replace the original singer on short notice during the competition. When Caleb wins the National Final, he’s put on a new and perhaps overly-exciting path to fame, and drawn into the orbit of the Shivadh royal family — a collection of earnest politicians, oddballs, and charming rogues.

Caleb would like to walk away from Eurovision, but he never seems to manage it. Part of the draw might be the UK’s Eurovision representative, Buck Haverd, a teal-haired rocker who makes questionable life choices. When Buck arrives in Askazer-Shivadlakia, planning to hide out and work on his latest album, he and Caleb form a friendship based equally on a love of music and on trolling each other ruthlessly. Caleb wouldn’t mind more than friendship with Buck, but he isn’t interested in something casual, and Buck specializes in flings.

Soon both are headed to Turin, immersing themselves in the glamor of Eurovision. With a lot at stake for Buck’s career, they’re going to have to decide what they want, and face what might happen if either one of them wins: Caleb, the accidental cool kid from the small country with the funny name, or Buck, the insecure bad-boy who could beat the long odds.”

Between Two Worlds by Atlas Prieto (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Queer vampires x polyam. (AGAIN. No, I’m not kidding. Embarassment of riches in this month’s new releases!) Self-published.

“Half-vampire Fen splits his time between the parallel human and vampire realms, but a rising tension between species could threaten his comfortable lifestyle. When two humans disappear near a portal between worlds, he must work with his human crush Awl and vampire FWB Roman to uncover the answers before things escalate. Will they manage to uncover the truth and keep up the fragile peace? Or will Fen be forced to pick a side between the two worlds and two men he’s come to care about?”

Note: I thought this might be the non-polyam kind of love triangle, but a promo image on the author’s Tumblr says “Polyamory > love triangles” so I’m pretty sure we’re good. However it’s a Book 1 so I can’t guarantee polyam HFN/HEA immediately.

Howl at the Moon by Meredith Spies (Kobo Plus / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: The blurb is funny. Intersex bi demi non-binary author. Self-published.

Note: The author recommends starting with the first book in the series, Nearly Human. Shifter romance but not a/b/o or mpreg.

“So… my boyfriend’s a werewolf. Kind of makes socializing awkward.

Especially when we’re investigating the murder of a half-dozen shifters and being courted by a top secret organization aiming to bring order to the hidden world around us.

The only way it could be going any better is if we had a stowaway kid along for the ride.

Oh, wait…

Some days, I regret going into pathology.”

Go Truck Yourself by J.R. Hart (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Rivals-to-QPR story. Part of a multi-author queer romance series by queer authors with a wide variety of queer rep. Self-published.

“Between being a single parent and running a successful food truck, Myla Horan has no room for drama in her life. She’s got her nose to the grindstone to make Tasteful Noods a successful business year-round. But when her friend-turned-rival Zo comes back to town, they start to squeeze into her prime Clover Hill locations… and her memories of how things used to be.

After Zo moves home to care for their ailing uncle and starts a business of their own, they’re not surprised that Myla’s Tasteful Noods are faring better than their tiny food trailer, You’re My Jam. After all, driven Myla can do anything she sets her mind to. Unfortunately, it also means all of the animosity they ended things with has resurfaced.

When Myla and Zo agree there’s only room in Clover Hill for one of them, they make a deal: whoever loses the First Annual Clover Hill Food Truck Frenzy shuts down their truck. Forever.

But serious sabotage threatens to leave them both truckless for the competition and harm not only their chances at victory, but their very livelihoods. Working together as an unexpected dream team seems impossible. There’s no way they’re better as partners than rivals, are they?”

Carmilla ’86 by Avery Morstan (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Sapphic vampires, and I adore the cover. Self-published.

“Laura’s life is like, totally rad. Okay, maybe she would never have used that exact phrase, but for a small town girl growing up in the 1980s, she had it all. She was beloved by her single dad, she was raised on his super picturesque farm, and all the little old biddies at church just adored her. Honestly, the only bad thing anyone could really say about Laura English was that she’d gotten a great scholarship and chosen to leave the small town life behind, then she’d consider that a win.

Except, Laura isn’t in high school, or college, anymore. She’s almost thirty, unmarried and a crisis with her dad has pulled her back into the isolated world of the farm. Spring mists swirl around the hills and valleys as she adjusts to being a grown woman back home where she has to hide aspects of herself that no one else will understand. And she just can’t shake this dream- or was it a reality? Meeting a beautiful woman, dressed in all black, at a party, the memory of which is blurred just around the edges…

When Laura’s dream shows up in her real life via a fender bender, Laura has to confront all of the things she’d thought she’d locked deep inside. Will the blossoming love she feels for this mystery woman end in sweet dreams… or turn into a bloody nightmare?”

Bewitched: Being a history of affection, enchantment, and housecleaning by Juniper Butterworth (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Sapphic goblin romance Book 2! Can be read as a standalone but if you want to read this, my guess is you will want to read Book 1 first. Self-published.

“After their ship wrecked below the goblin village, not all the crew of the pirate vessel the Golden Apple have taken to life on land. The ship’s navigator, Haven, mother of a rare goblin baby, reluctantly trades the hazards of sea life for a new set of threats to her small daughter: mischievous goats, broken dishes, and unwise choice while pickling. But a new peril looms. In a moment of unexpected magic, the curse that brought their ship to ground transfers itself to her child, and no one knows what damage it might do.

The village’s mysterious sea-witch claims that she is the only one who can break the spell, and Haven and her daughter find themselves guests in the witch’s strange house on a tiny island. As the witch summons the other powerful magic-workers of the sea for their advice, Haven tries to make order in the chaotic dwelling, marshalling all her cleaning knowledge like a general. But these two strange, prickly goblins have far more in common than they realize. Can either of them let go of old habits long enough to explore a new love?”

Loki and his Master by Rhys Lawless (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Queer guys written by a queer guy. Self-published.

The trickster god is free and he’s under my command.
When I asked the old witch under Camden Lock for help with avenging my family’s murder I didn’t expect her solution would be to invoke a powerful god.

Loki is big, strong and pissed!
Thankfully he’s bound to me so he can’t hurt me. But the only way he’ll ever help me get my revenge is if I help him find someone really important first. The problem is the more time I spend with him, the less I’m able to resist him.

But I can’t let my guard down.
He might say all he wants from me is to punch my V-card and end the people that killed my family, but I know he wants something more. And I’m scared it has the potential to destroy everything.

How can a young, meek little witch like me tame a god like him?”

Our Time by Toby Wise (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: M/M romance with a trans MC by a trans guy author. Self-published.

Could a road trip change Ben and Ryder’s life forever?

Ryder has always known he was head over heels in love with Ben. Through the ups and downs of life, moving across the country, and finding jobs at Studio C, the two were inseparable but Ryder always longed for more.

After leaving his hometown, Ben was finally able to transition. Ben always worried that people wouldn’t be able to see him as the alpha he truly was, but finding the guys at Studio C made him realize that once he accepted himself, everyone else would follow suit.

On their way across the country for Ryder’s sister’s baby shower, these two best friends finally talk about things they’ve been holding back since they were teenagers. Will these confessions come too late? Or is it finally their time?”

The Widow’s Modiste by Renée Dahlia (Kobo Plus / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Part of a queer series with a mix of gender pairings. Self-published.

A bored widow, an incredible dress, and a modiste with a secret.

Jacinda Dexington wants to take her modiste shop to the haut ton, so when a client gives her tickets to the Soho Club’s Contrary Gods masquerade ball, she wears the outfit herself. It’s a sensation and everyone wants to know who created it. But only one person offers her refreshments… and a little bit more.
Lady Merryam, widowed and bored, only attends the Soho Club’s latest ball to help raise funds for her son’s orphanage. The last she expects is a one night stand with the mysterious woman wearing ‘that’ dress. Could spending more time with her be the answer to her ennui?”

My Recent Reads and Recommendations

At the end of each newsletter, I take the liberty of recommending a few of my recent favorite queer reads, from romance to SFF to graphic novels. Maybe you’ll find a new favorite book here! These may not always be self-published or small press; it just depends on what’s gotten to the top of my TBR lately.

City of a Thousand Feelings by Anya Johanna Deniro (Buy direct from Aqueduct Press / Amazon / Goodreads)

I’m not usually a great reader for allegorical fantasy, but I thought this was lovely. I’m excited for Deniro’s next book.

“The City doesn’t let certain people inside its walls. It’s a place where emotions can become visible, but it flees the approach of a makeshift army who want to enter. Two of the trans women in this army forge a deep, complicated, and at times contentious friendship spanning thirty years. They must deal with not only the City’s literal and figurative gatekeeping, but also other, even more sinister forces that use necromancy against them. As the narrator and her friend’s lives are sundered apart, they must come to terms with what it means to not have a home, and what it means to be queer and aching for such a home. A sword and sorcery tale with emotional resonance, City of a Thousand Feelings brims with both the visceral and the allegorical, allowing the two trans women at the center of the story to claim their own space.”

Note: The Aqueduct Press site is antiquated and doesn’t have a security certificate, but the processor they use for ordering does have security.

Proud Pink Sky by Redfern Jon Barrett (Buy direct from Bywater Books / Amazon / Goodreads)

Fantastic queer speculative fiction by a nobinary author.

“Berlin: a megacity of 24 million people, is the world’s first gay state. Its distant radio broadcasts are a lifeline for teenager William, so when his love affair with Gareth is discovered the two flee toward sanctuary. But is there a place for them in a city divided into districts for young twinks, trendy bears, and rich alpha gays?

Meanwhile, young mother Cissie loves Berlin’s towering highrises and chaotic multiculturalism, yet she’s never left her heterosexual district – not until she and her family are trapped in a queer riot. With her husband Howard plunging into religious paranoia, she discovers a walled-off slum of perpetual twilight, home to the city’s forbidden trans residents.

As William and Cissie dive deeper into a bustling world of pride parades, polyamorous trysts, and even an official gay language, they discover that all is not well in the gay state – each playing their part in a looming civil war…”

Future Fish by Conor Sneyd (Amazon / Goodreads)

Fun light entertainment with a big heart! I can’t even remember where I came across this but I’m glad I did.

“Sacked from his first job in Dublin, Mark McGuire arrives in the dismal town of Ashcross to take up a new role as customer service assistant for Ireland’s second-biggest pet food brand, WellCat. From his initial impressions, it’s a toss-up whether he’ll die of misery or boredom.

He couldn’t be more wrong. For starters, the improbably cute receptionist, Kevin, seems willing to audition as the man of Mark’s dreams. There’s also the launch of a hush-hush new product, Future Fish, on the horizon. Not to mention the ragtag band of exorcists, alien-hunters and animal rights warriors who are all convinced WellCat is up to no good.

Why are these crackpots so keen on getting close to Mark? And will their schemes ruin his career prospects?”

She Loves To Cook, and She Loves To Eat by Sakaomi Yuzaki, translated by Caleb David Cook (Amazon / Goodreads)

“Cooking is how Nomoto de-stresses, but one day, she finds herself making way more than she can eat by herself. And so, she invites her neighbor Kasuga, who also lives alone. What will come out of this impromptu dinner invitation…?”

I found this manga so calming. The title is basically the plot – one neighbor who loves to cook big meals finds someone who can appreciate them – but slowly and gently over the course of the book, these two characters start building a real connection. They’re starting to become each other’s refuge from the outside world and also partners in trying new things. The second volume is where Nomoto starts to realize her feelings for Kasuga are romantic.