Queer Romance New & Recent Releases: June PRIDE Edition

This is the sixth edition of this new queer romance roundup, and it has more books in it than any previous month. Happy Pride everyone!

I hope you’re finding out about new & intriguing books here, and please do let me know if you have any suggestions for this enterprise.


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New and Recent Releases

Can A Shark Swim in Gender Fluid by Fern V. Bedek (Buy direct from the author / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Trans shark girl MC, trans gal author. Self-published.

“In the distant future, nanotech allows for rather more interesting medical transitions than we have today. Maraĵa’s not only helped with her gender dysphoria, but also having turned her into a shark girl, as part of a deal with the resort she works for.

Her simple and nerdy life is turned sideways when the resort becomes the home of a politician in exile. Not from the politician, but from one of his tall and muscular bodyguards that gets poor Maraĵa’s lesbian heart a fluttering.

Only there’s more to the bodyguard than there seems at first.”

Cursed in Love by Bryony Rosehurst (Kobo Plus / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: This cover is so freakin’ adorable. Self-published.

“Ophelia is cursed. Ever since finding an old relic known as Eilidh’s ring in the Scottish Highlands three years ago, rumoured to have belonged to a woman once scorned by an unfaithful lover, her love life has been on a downward spiral. When the opportunity comes to return the ring back to its resting place with its namesake, Ophelia seizes it with both hands in the hopes the curse will be lifted. However, when nervy, short-tempered, workaholic Luce is accidentally dragged into her antics (as well as down a couple of waterfalls) during Ophelia’s attempt to commandeer her canoe, lifting the curse proves more difficult than planned — particularly with two con men trailing them in the hopes of getting their hands on a precious rare stone embedded within the relic.

With no way of getting Luce back to the campsite she’d been unwillingly holidaying in, where both her anxiety medication and comfort zone reside, she and Ophelia find themselves reluctant allies in their separate attempts to find peace. But hiking through the Hebrides in the middle of winter causes plenty of problems, and with the thieves closing in on Ophelia, tensions run high and feelings begin to develop. Will Luce and Ophelia find common ground and reveal themselves to one another as they work to get the ring back to the lake in which it was found, or will Ophelia be bound to the same tragic fate as Eilidh for the rest of her life?”

A Kind Voice In Hell by Ames Mulligan (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Disabled trans author. Trans guy MC. I’ve started reading this and I really like it. Self-published.

“What’s a few years of bloody gladiator matches and witchcraft-for-hire when your best friend’s life is on the line?

To cover the soaring costs of his best friend’s life-saving healthcare Lark signs away everything he’s got — his body, his freedom, even his witchcraft — to a billionaire who plays at philanthropy for entertainment. Although Lark may have the heart of a saint, he doesn’t have the patience of one. It isn’t long before he begins to rock the boat and ends up threatening the very people he wants to save in his reckless heroics.

A KIND VOICE IN HELL is a story about an occult-obsessed billionaire looking for away to bring gladiators into the twenty-first century, a trans man with a hero complex who has never known illness a day in his life, and the disabled people caught in the middle. It contains queer love, found family, and a hero who needs to sit down and shut up before he tries to help anyone.”

The Electrical Affairs of Dr. Victor Franklin by Catherine Stein (Kobo Plus / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Queer M/F (he’s bi). I’ve read the first few chapters and both the MCs are lovely. Self-published.

Sometimes all love needs is a spark.

Victor Franklin has two goals in life: finishing his mechanical man and hiding his feelings for his erstwhile—and sadly married—scientific collaborator, Mary Clay. After Victor inadvertently slights Mary, she shocks him by demanding a place in his laboratory. The charged atmosphere creates new opportunities for the Mecha-Man project, but every second spent with Mary tightens her hold on Victor’s heart.

Forced from her family’s copperworks by her odious, perpetually absent husband, Mary takes solace in her scientific pursuits and the kindness of friends. But days working alongside handsome, charming Victor ignite sensual feelings she dares not succumb to. Worse yet, Mr. Clay’s abrupt reappearance in her life threatens everything she holds dear.

When a murder at the copperworks makes Mecha-Man a suspect, it endangers Mary and Victor’s work, their reputations, and even their lives. As they hide from prying eyes, the crackling tension between them builds to an electric passion and the dream of a future together. Can they prove their innocence, evade the killer, and conquer old fears to bring their dream to life?”

Dionysus in Wisconsin by E.H. Lupton (Kobo Plus / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Historical paranormal/fantasy romance set in the late 60s, which is unusual and very cool. Self-published.

A graduate student and an archivist work together to fight a god.

Fall, 1969. Ulysses Lenkov should be working on his dissertation. Instead, he’s developing an unlucrative sideline in helping ghosts and hapless magic users. But when his clients start leaving town suddenly—or turning up dead—he starts to worry there’s something afoot that’s worse than an unavenged death or incipient insanity. His investigation begins with the last word on everyone’s lips before they vanish: the mysterious Dionysus.

Sam Sterling is an archivist who recently moved back to Madison to be closer to the family he’s not too sure he likes. But his peaceful days of teaching library students, creating finding aids, and community theater come to an end when the magnetic, mistrustful Ulysses turns up with a warning. There’s a god coming, and it looks like it’s coming for Sam.

Soon the two are helping each other through demon attacks, discovering the unsavory history of Sam’s family, and falling in love as they race to find a solution. But as the year draws to a close, they’ll face a deadly showdown as they try to save Sam — and the city itself.”

Midsummer by Alethea Faust (Kobo Plus / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Because I know some of y’all are going to see the subtitle “A Kinky Lesbian Bear-Shifter Romance” and be very excited. I read the Kindle sample and I liked the writing style! Self-published.

“Jenna had planned a trip of a lifetime for her and her boyfriend Travis. An opportunity to hike through northern Finland, witness the midnight sun during the summer solstice, f*ck like rabbits, and hopefully salvage their struggling relationship. But when Travis invites some of his friends without even telling her, the disappointments begin to pile on. Fed up and unsatisfied, Jenna turns to a midsummer ritual for guidance on finding her one true love. One that leads her away from the human midsummer festivities and into a fey celebration full of danger, magic, and just possibly, her one true love — a bearwoman?!”

Santa’s Sacking by Jaxon Knight (Kobo Plus / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: I respect any author for being ahead of the curve for the Christmas in July wave. Nonbinary MC, nonbinary author. Self-published.

“Darian knew from the moment Nole Ox took over BirdTalk that their ideal job writing code for a social media platform was done.

They packed up their things and went home to Snowfall, Oregon, tail between their legs for a quiet Christmas with their folks.

However, their folks want Darian to stay busy by contributing to the community so Darian finds themself signed up to help with the Christmas pageant. Thrown in at the deep end and with only days until Christmas, their only lifeline is handsome Connor, the handsome barista-turned-handyman.

Can Darian make the sound tech work so the kids have their musical cues?
Is Connor really the perfect hunk he appears to be?
And why can’t Darian just sleep in?”

Reuben’s Hot and Cold by M. Arbon (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Part of a multi-author queer romance series with a variety of pairings.

“The unlikely attraction between cafe owner and reluctant ice cream entrepreneur Reuben and bartender/tarot card reader/collector of paranormal kitsch Van reminds them that work isn’t everything. If only there were enough hours in the day to put their new understanding into practice…

Reuben Dragovich, owner of a premium coffee shop and accidental ice cream empire, should have known better than to bring a promotion idea to the Clover Hill Chamber of Commerce. For his sins, he gets roped into doing something about it. The assignment: an information-gathering day trip with pub proprietor Van, a gregarious bundle of excessive ear piercings and cheer.

Van Parsons enjoys pulling pints and giving tarot readings in The Mysterious, his pub and museum of supernatural oddities. Reuben’s got a taciturn appeal, but no way is he Van’s kind of casual hookup material. Anyway, Van has his hands full keeping his slightly chaotic staff in line and his pub afloat.

To the astonishment of both men, their afternoon together turns out to be more fun than they’ve had in a long time. Interest turns into attraction, then dating. Or a relationship. Or whatever it is that they’re doing.

But physical chemistry is no match for the busy tourist season, when to-do lists overflow and there’s always one more damn thing to do right-the-hell-now. As they juggle their other responsibilities, the initial connection between Reuben and Van is in danger of wilting from lack of attention. Can Reuben and Van find space to fit into each other’s lives, or will their spring fling melt away like a scoop of single-source Venezuelan cacao ice cream in the summer heat?”

Girl Gets Ghosted by Waverly Decker (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: I live in Texas, so reading fall-themed books in the summer helps me stay cool. Also, the cover is cute. I’ve started it and I’m enjoying it.

“When Charlize — Charlie — clicks the wrong link in a dating app, she gets more than she bargained for in this lesbian romance novella with a supernatural twist.

Charlie has been waiting for Ms. Right Now to find her while she sits at home on the couch. An app called Disaster Date appeals to her sense of irony—and fulfills half its promise when she matches with another woman who likes pizza on her first try. That might not be enough for a true connection, but Charlie is excited to meet up and see if there’s more to her than a dating profile. Unfortunately, Charlie’s date doesn’t show up, but she’s haunted by who does: a ghost named Noa.

Noa doesn’t remember her past, and Charlie knows they don’t have a present, yet it’s hard to deny their attraction. Is there a way to exorcise the distance between them? It turns out that getting ghosted can be pretty sweet…”

Slight Foxing Around The Edges by Melissa Polk (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

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

“Weston Grey is many things — a touch-starved fox-shifter, the fourth son of a viscount, a hopeless romantic, and a librarian in need of a job. He has been avoiding his home and his father’s expectations by traveling abroad for the past seven years, but now that he’s returned to Kestrel, the future he’s been dreading is closing in on him. Either he must find a job by the end of the month, or his father will find him a bride.

Cazimir Deimos, Duke of Keirn and centuries-old demon, has also recently returned to Kestrel. In his absence, the wards protecting his land and the people who live there have begun to fail. He and his brother, Luca, suspect a mage to be responsible – specifically, a female mage in want of a fortune and title.

Luca convinces Cazimir to play at seeking a wife to draw the mage out, thrusting him into society’s spotlight. Meanwhile, desperate for information regarding the ancient wards, Cazimir takes out an ad for a private librarian. Equally desperate, Weston jumps at the chance of employment. The opportunity seems too good to be true, and soon enough, complications arise as Cazimir begins to suspect there may be more to the pretty, well-mannered archivist than meets the eye.”

If She Could by Allie McDermid (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Sapphics over 35! And one MC has an aroace nonbinary BFF. Self-published.

“Hazel Paterson’s life is in tatters since her fiancée left. Alone and sleeping on her best friend’s couch, her business is as dead as her social life. After her mother has an accident, being forced to move back home feels like the final blow.

Louise King’s life is finally back on track. After a ropey start she’s starting to believe everything is going to plan, that’s until a childhood enemy comes back on the scene. Even worse, a crush she’d long forgotten is set to complicate things in ways she could never imagine.

Hazel is seeking stability. Louise is ready to rock the boat. Can they find a way to meet in the middle…and maybe have a little fun while they’re at it?”

It Will Hurt by Anya K. Jordan (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Set in the German underground death metal scene of the early 2010s, and I’m a sucker for unusual settings. Self-published.

‘Give me one night where you won’t run away.’

Nico and Jonas meet in the Zwo, the closed ward of a psychiatric hospital, which is probably the least romantic place in the world. Yet still, they are drawn to each other, and something happens. Nico doesn’t handle it well.

The thing is, Jonas is gay. Nico isn’t, of course. Or is he? Let’s say: It’s complicated.
Nico doesn’t like complicated. It’s fine, though. It’s okay. It’s not like they’ll ever see each other again, right?

After his release from the hospital, Nico goes back to his normal life of failing university, getting high with his friends, and listening to death metal. Nothing special. Until his grindcore band ‘This Will Hurt’ has a gig at a local youth center, and he spots a familiar face in the crowd.”

They Ain’t Proper by M.B. Guel (Buy direct from Bella Books / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Both the MC’s and the author’s pronouns are they/them. Small press.

“1880s, The Wild West.

An easy, solitary life on the outskirts of Ghosthallow is all Lou Ramirez wants. They want to buy their house plans and live their quiet life far from townsfolk’s prying eyes. That plan, however, hits a bump when instead of house plans, a house wife is delivered to their door instead.

Florence Castellanos desperately needs a way out from under her family debt, and it seems as though selling her services as a wife is the only way to do it. Expecting a rough, harsh man to be her new husband, Florence is pleasantly surprised to instead be dropped off at the ranch of an equally surprised Lou.

Lou would rather Florence leave them to their lonely existence, but Florence is too charmed by the quiet and mysterious rancher to give up. She may have come into Lou’s life easily, but she certainly isn’t planning to leave that way. Undeterred by Lou’s prickly demeanor, Florence is determined to get her reluctant spouse to open up to her.

When the past comes back to haunt the pair, the fight for their independence—and their love—may become more deadly than either of them ever expected.”

Ocean Bleeds Salty by Azalea Crowley (Kobo Plus / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Sapphic monster romance. Ace, neurodivergent, Asian author. Self-published.

“Can two monsters fall in love?

When Anastasya the Aweless had initially agreed to visit Myrtle Park Beach with her foolish roommate, she expected little. For starters, vampires and beaches rarely mixed well, let alone in the summer. But begrudgingly watching your friend fall for an unfavorable human was its own hell.

However, a chance encounter with an injured monster takes Ana by surprise. Mirla is smart, curious, and horrendously alluring with her rows of razor-sharp teeth and blackened eyes. Caught up in a summer romance, Ana never expected the depth of her feelings to grow so fast.

Can a vampire and a siren find common ground or are they destined to sink beneath the ocean?”

A Love So Dark by Rien Gray (Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Nonbinary assasin MC yesssss. Small press.

Note: You’ll want to jump in at the beginning of this series if you haven’t already.

The visceral conclusion to the Fatal Fidelity series.

After Justine and Campbell’s beachside vacation is interrupted by the FBI, Campbell is arrested for murder and arson. The evidence leaves them in an impossible position: either take the fall for an assassination they didn’t commit or confess to a killing they already got away with.

When an aggressive federal agent starts uncovering Campbell’s secrets, it’s only a matter of time before the other bodies they’ve buried come back to the surface. With Campbell behind bars, Justine can’t prove their innocence, but she can take matters into her own hands.

She just has to commit the perfect crime—before they both lose everything.”

Show Girl by Alyson Greaves (Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Trans self-discovery story + romance. Trans gal author. I’ve started reading this and I’m enjoying it very much! Self-published.

How far would you be willing to go for your best friend?

Alex is a young man in the employ of James McCain: founder of a small software company, old family friend, and the only person Alex sees with any regularity. And with a trade show coming that could make or break the company, Alex has been working harder than ever before to get everything ready, to make James proud.

But when the models they’ve booked fall ill just days before the event, someone has to step in and fill their shoes… and their outfits.

Now Alex has to decide just how far he’s willing to go — and what he’s willing to wear — for James.

A story of romance, self-discovery, and a truly embarrassing dress.

Keep Your Witches Close by Colette Rivera (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: I cannot get over how cute the covers for this series are. Part of a queer romance series with a mix of pairings. Self-published.

Can a Witch who trusts no one count on an old rival to keep her safe?

Paranormal Investigator, Juliet Herrera has a painful past. A secret. She doesn’t need anyone from before. Especially not a certain Witch who inspires as much lust as she does loathing.

Unfortunately, Juliet can’t seem to stay away from the woman.

Authority Witch, Mea Dubois swears Juliet used to like her. She’d give anything to get their friendship back, and more to follow the spark Juliet ignites… if only Juliet didn’t hate her.

When Witch disappearances bring Mea to town, Juliet resigns herself to working together. She didn’t expect to become the centre of the case.

A target.

Mea is tasked with keeping an eye on Juliet, who doesn’t like what being stuck with Mea is making her want…

Juliet has to decide, if she can’t face the threat alone, can she trust Mea with the truth? And what about with her heart?”

Love in the Safe House by Eve R. Hart (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: M/M/nonbinary polyam with one ace MC. Part of a series with two polyam books, and with this one, it’s now a queer romance series with a mix of gender combos. Self-published.

Note: This is the third book in a series, and it’s clear from the beginning of this one that Some Stuff Has Happened in Books 1-2. I read the beginning and I feel like Hart does a great job giving a summary so we can get moving, but I know some readers prefer to know allll the details, and I suspect y’all might not be as happy with that aspect. The first book in the series is M/M/M, and the second is M/M. I am probably going to start from the beginning.

“Hey, I’m Mimic. I may radiate color on the outside, but inside is another story. I’m reserved and private, so much so, that I never leave my house. That is until I turn over a list of names in order to help bring down the organization known as The Contract Exchange. Which is basically an underground network for contract killers. And I happen to be one of the many hackers that are a part of it.

So, here I am, hiding out with some big gym bro that doesn’t get me at all. Bernardo is loud and brash, and stares at me like he can’t figure out what I am. But he can protect me, and that is the only reason I stay.

However, the more time I’m forced to spend with Bernardo, the more I come to realize that he’s… actually not that bad at all.

To make matters worse, I’m lying to the one person that I care most about in this life. Felton is a baby hacker with a big heart. I know I’m doing the right thing by keeping him out of this whole mess, but I’m so scared of losing him.

The last thing I expected is for all the separate parts of my life to come crashing together. Or to end up stuck in a huge safe house with Bernardo and Felton.”

Best Worst Prize by Avery Morstan (Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: High school nemeses to lovers, yeah baby. Part of a queer romance series with a mix of cis women and nonbinary MCs, and at least one of them is ace. Self-published.

“Beau’s willingness to do anything for her best friend, Vane, is about to really bite her in the you-know-where. When Vane called her up at midnight and asked her to take in a stray non-binary person, Beau said absolutely when she should’ve asked more about the feral queer now living in her house. Tate is rude, sullen and constantly arguing with their girlfriend at all hours of the night. Hardly someone Beau would be friends with.

In an attempt to bond with Tate, Beau takes them to a local carnival where Tate gets the bright idea to enter Beau in a Win A Date style raffle being held by a group of local senior citizens. The Prize? A date with Beau’s high school nemesis, Molly. As Beau and Molly spend the afternoon eating cotton candy, and the evening eating other things, can they put the past behind them to make something work? Because something is scorching and it’s not just the summer sun.”

Every Single Note by Cyrus Adams (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Nonbinary MC. Author’s pronouns are they/them. Part of a multi-author queer romance series with a variety of pairings.

Kitt and Roslyn dreamed of becoming famous musicians together. Kitt made it. Roslyn didn’t. Now thanks to a media blowup, they’re both back where they started in the same small hometown. What will it take to make their old sad song play like new?

Roslyn wasted six years of her life studying music, all to end up back in the childhood home she tried so hard to escape. But her younger brother needed her, Clover Hill needed a new mechanic, and she was probably never suited for the industry anyway. Now, her biggest concern is getting through the day. At least it was…until the person who broke her heart to chase fame comes knocking on her door.

Kitt had everything they’d ever wanted: a record deal, adoring fans, and hit singles on the charts. Then a songwriting partner stabbed them in the back and their dream became a nightmare. With nowhere else to go, Kitt returns to their hometown. When they discover their old best friend and music partner is also back in Clover Hill, Kitt hatches a plan for getting their life back on track…with Roslyn in the mix again.

The last thing Roslyn wants is a music career, but Kitt is willing to pay the big bucks she needs to send her brother off to college. And since she never stopped writing songs, it should be easy to simply hand some over and be done with this business.

The problem is, she never stopped thinking about Kitt, and each song in her guitar case has memories of them written into every single note.”

Meeting Her Match by Liz Lincoln (Kobo Plus / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Queer M/F where they’re both bi. Part of a series with a variety of queer pairings. Self-published.

She loathes him. She wants him. And dammit, she just might love him.

Her body may still crave his, but US Soccer player Lauren Vorski knows better than to lust after Pete Kendrick. They may have had a smoking hot fling, but then he turned out to be her new head coach and had the nerve to cut her from the World Cup team. Now her only mission is to prove how wrong he was about her by making the roster for the upcoming Olympics. If only she could stop thinking about how hot their time together was…

Pete Kendrick never forgot about Lauren, but he had to walk away from their romance when he was offered his dream job coaching the US Women’s Soccer team. Now coaching the Canadian women’s team, he never expected to run into her again. But when a hot birthday hook-up leads to consequences with the potential to ruin Lauren’s Olympic dreams, the two must work together to fix things. As they work to fix the situation, they can’t deny the chemistry that still exists between them. And the more time they spend together, the more Lauren finds she might actually… like him?

But can she trust the man who once crushed her dreams? Can Pete be with someone who lives in another country, when distance is what killed his first marriage? As they face new challenges and old insecurities, Lauren and Pete must decide whether to take a chance on each other or let their past keep them apart.

Spoilerish but necessary content advisory: This story includes Lauren making the choice to have an abortion. This storyline is not for everyone.

Junker Seven by Olive J. Kelley (Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: More sapphic sci-fi, yes! Self-published.

A romantic, queer sci-fi epic about changing the galaxy, one girl at a time.

Castor Quasar is a junker – a bounty hunter making a living off of collecting and selling valuable scrap. They live a quiet life, bouncing from job to job and not worrying about the brewing galactic rebellion.

Except, when they get a job offer for an irresistible amount of money, they find themself embroiled much deeper than expected. Their task? To smuggle transgender activist Juno Marcus across the galaxy under the watchful eye of the Intergalactic Police Force and a propaganda-informed galaxy.

It’s too dangerous to accept, but too valuable to refuse, and it doesn’t help that Juno herself is charming and beautiful. Agreeing drags Cas into a whirlwind race against those who want Juno dead to make it across the galaxy to safety, risking it all for a cause they can’t – or won’t – believe in.”

Aether by Molly Bragg (Buy direct from Desert Palm Press / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Sapphic superheroes let’s go! Trans gal author. Small press.

“When Maggie Bennett agreed to take a break from her own research to be the test subject in an experiment, all she wanted to do was help her best friend Sierra secure grant funding for the new medical imaging machine she was developing. But when Sierra’s ex-boyfriend Garrett causes an explosion in the lab next door, Maggie finds herself gifted with Superpowers and in the custody of the High Guard, Sun City’s most prominent Superhero Team.

At first, it isn’t bad. The High Guard is helping her learn to use her powers while also working to keep her and Sierra from getting blamed for the explosion. And there’s Varsha, the cute speedster that keeps showing up at her room with homemade ice cream and staying for lesbian movie marathons. But when Maggie discovers that Garrett is alive, and part of a plot to steal dangerous alien technology with ties to Maggie’s past, she finds herself pushed into the role of a reluctant Superhero.

Caught in a race against time, Maggie must master her new abilities, and use her skills as a scientist to figure out why Garrett and his accomplices want the technology – and who they intend to sell it to.”

Love, Lies, and Cryptids by M.L. Nolan (Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Nonbinary MC. Author’s pronouns are they/them. Self-published.

“One minute, Nico Juárez is enjoying the stability of their job as senior editor at Unified Theory Press, a publishing house specializing in books about the paranormal. The next minute, they’re stuck with a terrible new boss and a clueless (yet uncomfortably cute) new assistant.

Jasper Milton just wanted healthcare and to keep his sexy side-hustle a secret. Now he’s faced with an adorable, yet prickly, supervisor and a company thrown into chaos. Nico and Jasper must team up to stay sane. Hopefully, they won’t fall in love — or be squashed by Bigfoot—in the process.”

Truly Enough by J.J. Hale (Buy direct from Bold Strokes Books / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Sapphic firefighter MC! Demisexual and ADHD rep. Small press.

“Robyn Moore is a firefighter by trade and a lesbian lothario by choice. After losing her father and witnessing her mother’s broken heart, Robyn learns that loving someone never ends well. Spending her days trying to honor her father’s legacy isn’t easy, and the best way to blow off steam is by falling into bed with whomever happens to be available.

Lexi Lynch is an artist with a passion for painting. That is, until real life kicked in and bills piled up. To prove to her overprotective father that her chosen profession isn’t a mistake, Lexi takes on commissions that pay well but bore her to tears. Missed deadline after deadline has her career in jeopardy with the only bright spot in her days being her gorgeous friend and roommate, Robyn.

As Lexi leans on Robyn for support, more than just a creative spark flares between them. Their close proximity may ignite a fiery romance or send their friendship up in flames.”

Romancing the Gorgon by Tallie Rose (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Everyone please keep writing sapphic monster romances, please and thank you. Self-published.

Two magical ex-lovers, one inn, and a second chance to capture a heart of stone.

Witch Lettie Katz’s life plans always included running the inn her grandmother co-owned in their hometown of Lilac Lake. But after her grandmother died, with no mention of bequeathing her half to anyone Lettie was left floundering. Months later, when she’s called to visit the town lawyer’s office she’s shocked to find her gorgon ex-girlfriend Chandler Hart waiting.

Lettie hasn’t seen Chandler in years and that’s just fine by both of them. In fact, Chandler is the reason Lettie no longer uses her magic. Their explosive teenage relationship broke Lettie’s heart, blew up town square — literally — and sent Chandler running. But Chandler is back, and worst of all her grandmother, the inn’s other owner, has left them both half, with one stipulation — neither woman can sell their portion for at least six months.

As old feelings resurface, can they find a way to work together or will the Stone and Sorcery Lodge be ruined before the next tourist season?”

The Honeymoon Mix-Up by Frankie Fyre (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

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

“The perfect storm. A fake marriage weathered to last.

When her fiancée leaves her at the altar, Basil Jones’s picture perfect life turns upside down, but nothing can stop her from enjoying her honeymoon—not even the luxurious island resort’s strict “couples only” policy. Basil’s vacation and her six-figure wine deal with the resort’s owners are riding on her finding a fake wife ASAP, and her sights are soon set on tall, dark, and gorgeous Caroline.

If only she knew Caroline had eyes on her first…

Caroline King never stays in one place—or in a woman’s bed—for too long. After risking her career in the past, the emotionally detached private investigator created two rules: always finish a job and never mix business with pleasure.

But when she gets roped into a false marriage with her breathtakingly beautiful target, she finds herself teetering the line of not just one but both rules.

Basil always gets what she wants—but Caroline’s professional reputation is on the line.

As Basil and Caroline’s attraction blazes like the island sun, both women struggle to fight delicious temptation while protecting their secrets—as well as their hearts—on the most romantic honeymoon island in the world.”

Dear Ripley by Jacqueline Ramsden (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: I love a romance with epistolary elements, and this cover is so striking. Genderqueer author. Self-published.

Eight years, one divorce, and a second chance to make it right—if only they can find the right words.

Alicia Burton hasn’t set foot in Jackson Point since her divorce. But when her pregnant best friend is going home, Alicia ends up heading back to the place she swore she’d never return.

Ripley Stone is happy running her flower shop in Jackson Point. After eight years alone, the last thing she’s expecting is the news that Alicia Burton is coming home—or the rush of feelings that come with it.

When small-town life throws them back together, Alicia and Ripley can’t face each other—but end up communicating in letters instead. As angry notes become honest confessions, the pair has to face what went wrong, and whether, after all this time, either of them has really moved on.”

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 and comics. 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.

Principles of Non-Euclidean Romance by Ela Bambust (Buy direct from author / Amazon / Goodreads)

Fan-fucking-tastic mix of wild events with very real emotions and time-loop-y sci-fi goodness. Ela is a trans author with so many books that I wasn’t sure where to jump into her catalog, yet it turned out I found the perfect one for me. Trans MC on a journey of self-knowledge with a sapphic romance subplot. I cannot praise this book highly enough.

“Sammaël, Accuser, Destroyer, an eldritch entity older than space and time itself, roams the universe, looking for a way to alleviate its boredom.

When down on earth, Abe Douglas dies alone, drunk and angry in an alleyway, Sammaël seizes the opportunity and takes his body, unaware of the strange and impossible journey it is about to undertake.

Principles of Non-Euclidean Romance is a Queer Science Fiction story told in 10 dimensions, unlike anything you’ve seen, read, or experienced before, going forward or backwards.”

The Map and the Territory by A.M. Tuomala (Buy direct from Candlemark & Gleam / Amazon / Goodreads)

I adored the worldbuilding in this fantasy series starter about a magical apocalypse, and I can’t wait for the next book. One MC is gay, and one is aroace. CW: Eshu, the gay MC, has an abusive ex, who does appear in page in the book.

“When the sky breaks apart and an earthquake shatters the seaside city of Sharis, cartographer Rukha Masreen is far from home. Caught in the city’s ruins with only her tools and her wits, she meets a traveling companion who will change her course forever: the wizard Eshu, who stumbles out of a mirror with hungry ghosts on his heels.

He’s everything that raises her hackles: high-strung, grandiloquent, stubborn as iron. But he needs to get home, too, and she doesn’t want him to have to make the journey alone.

As they cross the continent together, though, Rukha and Eshu soon realize that the disaster that’s befallen their world is much larger than they could have imagined. The once-vibrant pathways of the Mirrorlands are deserted. Entire cities lie entombed in crystal. And to make matters worse, a wild god is hunting them down. The further they travel from familiar territory, the more their fragile new friendship cracks under the strain.

To survive the end of their world, Rukha and Eshu will need more than magic and science—they’ll need each other.”

If I See You Again Tomorrow by Robbie Couch (Amazon / Goodreads)

Another time loop rec for y’all. I thought the author of this YA did a great job depicting how that kind of experience might affect someone emotionally, and also showing how teenage MC Clark is able to process and move forward as he tries to start unlocking himself from the loop. As a person who was convinced at age 15 that I had met the person I would marry (haha no), I found the depiction of teenagers being motivated by the belief that they have found their soulmates extremely realistic. And sweet.

“For some reason, Clark has woken up and relived the same monotonous Monday 309 times. Until Day 310 turns out to be… different. Suddenly, his usual torturous math class is interrupted by an anomaly — a boy he’s never seen before in all his previous Mondays.

When shy, reserved Clark decides to throw caution to the wind and join effusive and effervescent Beau on a series of ‘errands’ across the Windy City, he never imagines that anything will really change, because nothing has in such a long time. And he definitely doesn’t expect to fall this hard or this fast for someone in just one day.

There’s just one problem: how do you build a future with someone if you can never get to tomorrow?”

Signals by Nika (Read on Tapas / Amazon (paperback) / Goodreads)

I really enjoyed this graphic novel about a bi psychic private investigator, having gotten both books from a Kickstarter in PDF form a ways back. Book 2 isn’t out in print yet, and sadly you can’t (yet?) buy it digitally, but at least the webcomic is still up. It’s a lot of fun, and I’ll be exploring Nika’s other work ASAP now that I’ve finished this.

(I’m using the blurb from Kickstarter here, because when Dark Horse put this out for wide distribution, they didn’t bother to actually craft a blurb and instead used the very short one from the webcomic.)

“A mysterious new drug…

A woman in search of her friend…

…and a telepath about to discover she’s out of her depth.

When a new client calls on rookie detective Mel Song to find her missing friend, the case promises to be a simple one. After all, Mel has something most other people don’t: the ability to read minds. But there is something sinister brewing within New York City’s criminal world, and it poses a threat the likes of which Mel has never encountered before.

For the first time, Mel may no longer be the only telepath in town.”