Queer Romance New & Recent Releases: June PRIDE Edition

It’s Pride month, friends! I hope everyone gets a chance to celebrate in a way that’s meaningful to you… and if you need some new queer romances to help with that, read on, because there is so much here to choose from. So. Much.


If you find any errors, please let me know so I can correct them. If you ever spot an AI cover here, please reach out so I can yank that book down with a quickness.

New and Recent Releases

Bricks & Beans by Quentin Van Wynsberghe and Naya Alexis (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Queer M/F (he’s bi), and it’s a series starter for a series with a mix of queer pairings. It’s cute so far! If you’re into “dream queer business” stories take a look.

The first novel from the steamy Culture Café collection, in which three friends finally achieve their dream: manage a café in Montreux, Switzerland. The grumpy mixed-race barista expects the renovations to run smoothly and focus on coffee …. but that was before the arrival of a sweet, bi and sexy contractor.

All I wanted for this summer was to focus on the renovations of the café I was opening with my friends. Men were definitely the last thing on my mind.

But then, Edon Kostas walked in and decided that working shirtless was the way to do things. And now, I couldn’t keep my eyes, or my mind away from him.

I never expected to inherit my uncle’s company, yet he left it to me so he could go back home to Croatia.
So now, I’m working for a team of friends as we build their dream place. All was good, and I was keeping my eyes on the price.

But then, Marie Castella appeared, with her long legs and warm brown skin. Suddenly, I couldn’t keep my thoughts away from her.

This summer was going to be a interesting one.”

Space For More by Emily Antoinette (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Queer polyam in space, and I think this cover is really beautiful. So far I like both of the MCs I’ve met!

“All Dr. Eden Mori wanted was to expand her horizons on the galaxy’s largest space station, but when the only way to stop a black market sale of dangerous medical schematics is to get close to the data dealer, she’s tasked with stopping him.

Her partner on this mission? The dealer’s estranged, hot-tempered mate. Can she reunite the pair and stop the exchange without getting her heart crushed in the process?

Space for More is a FFM alien romance filled with seduction, subterfuge, and second chances. No love triangles here — all three get their HEA!”

Let It Rain by Ariella Monti (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: I’m a sucker for road trip romances, and this is queer M/F with middle-aged MCs. MC Cassie is bi and has ADHD. Bisexual author with ADHD.

“Grant writing wasn’t part of Cassie Jameson’s pro-bono marketing contract with the nonprofit JoCo Water Project. But they all but guaranteed her cooperation when tattooed science teacher Lucas Bailey made the ask.

A hookup with the nonprofit’s hottest volunteer would violate her professional ethics, but working closely with Lucas on the grant is tempting Cassie to mix business with pleasure.

After six months of collaboration, Cassie and Lucas road trip across North Carolina to a college town in the Blue Ridge Mountains to present their grant proposal. Coinciding with spring break, Lucas is ready to blow off some steam and have a little wholesome fun in Boone, finally getting to know his grant writing partner better.

Mother Nature is not on their side, however, forcing them to make the drive in a major rainstorm, and throwing plenty of obstacles in their way. Do Cassie and Lucas make it to Boone with their mutual attraction intact or does their burgeoning connection get washed away in the floodwaters?

Let it Rain is a 9,000-word contemporary romance novelette that makes public infrastructure sexy.”

Jagged Ends by Thom Collins (Pride Publishing / Kobo Plus / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: M/M romantic suspense. Collins is a new-to-me author. I have no idea how I missed him before now, and I really like his writing style so far, so I’m excited he has a backlist. Small press.

Jerico is about to meet two figures from his past — one filled with love, the other consumed with vengeance.

The coastal town of Nyemouth is the perfect location for celebrity chef Jerico Osman to fulfil a lifetime ambition. With its stunning harbour and brisk holiday trade, there’s no better place for him to open his first restaurant. It’ s a dream that has been a decade in the making. But there’ s another attraction in Nyemouth, one Jerico was completely unaware of.

Andy Quinn is content with his life. He has a great job managing Quay House, the popular waterfront hotel, and a peaceful home with a cat called Patches. Andy spent his twenties working in the cruise industry, exploring the world, and has finally settled in his hometown of Nyemouth. Those years at sea were a time of adventure and discovery, including a ship-board romance with a young Jerico. After fifteen years, Andy doubts the famous chef will even remember him, but from the moment they reconnect, the time they spent apart falls away.

Andy isn’ t the only figure from Jerico’ s past. A week before the restaurant is due to open, an act of reckless sabotage puts everything he cares about in danger, including Andy. Jerico has made an enemy, someone who will stop at nothing to see his long-realised dream become a nightmare. As a plan for vengeance is played out, who will survive until the end?”

Puck Money by Dani Galliaro (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Queer M/F, and this may sound unusual but honestly the thoughtfulness of the Author’s Note was what motivated me to try the book because it built trust with me as a reader.

“You can be at the top of your game and have no game.

Nick Oberbeck is the young star goalie for the Los Angeles Princes. With all the money and prestige, he should be able to get anyone he wants as a partner. So why can’t the golden boy seem to make the connections he craves?

Nick’s path collides with reliable, responsible golden girl Annie Markham when they’re both in their friends’ wedding. Lucky for him, Annie’s fresh off a heartbreak involving a coworker. Nick tries his best to bag Annie, and succeeds… kind of. They go their separate ways until Annie has a work opportunity in L.A.: an opportunity to be Nick’s sports agent.

Neither of them wants to repeat their past mistakes, but Nick asks Annie for a big favor.

The catch? No one can know.

In a story where no one’s perfect and love’s not the goal, can they save their connection?”

The Summer of Second Chances by Renée Dahlia (Kobo Plus / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Sapphic historical, part of a series with a variety of gender pairings.

“An addict and her nurse get a second chance at life and love.

Laudanum addicted Lady Hyacinth Walfingham is sent to the Soho Club to recover, but it’s not only the medicine that has harmed her. As she comes to terms with her old life, she slowly falls for her nurse.

Jane Bonklesford knows that life is tough, and she can only rely on herself. Her side hustle of making dentures forms a key part of her plan to get out of poverty. Working as a nurse at the Soho Club helps her keep her business costs low, and the last thing she needs is to fall in love with the beautiful aristocratic Lady Walfingham.

Can they overcome their assumptions and make a life together? Or will their class differences be too much of a hurdle?”

May Day Flowers by Feari Sami (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: This is very soft and gentle so far. It has little drawings of the MCs in it too, so that’s awesome. One MC I might call genderfluid, the other is a cis woman. Brazilian author.

A tree falls in the forest — listen.

Ainsley is a dryad — a spirit of the woods and leader for the local magical community — whose yearly hibernation is turning into decades-long periods of sleep. She fears the worst for her earth-walking body and dares not think of next winter.

Fate has different plans, and it waits for none.

Priscilla — human, chronic daydreamer, and eternal sunshine — leads a relatively peaceful life after leaving an abusive past behind. She battles the scars of that time still, fighting random episodes of maladaptive daydreaming — yet always choosing to face them with a smile.

A simple misunderstanding lands Priscilla being roped into working as Ainsley’s event decorator for her best (and perhaps last) May Day Festival — despite the magical and mundane being kept separate for their safety.

Two people, two stories, two scars kept close to their hearts, two kindred souls finding each other in this silent forest.”

When Summer Met Autumn by Rey Luca (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Sapphic ace celebrity romance. I’m enjoying this so far; it’s smoother than Luca’s last book & I always love to see an author growing.

“Autumn Blackwell is Hollywood’s new IT girl who is surviving the hustle and bustle by staying true to herself and not giving in to the pressure to sleep her way to the top. As an asexual, she’s always felt like an outcast, and that doubles with the pressures of stardom. With award season coming up, and her last breakup on everyone’s minds, she knows she needs a plus one who she won’t have to worry about falling for.

Summer Evans is an academic who enjoys her studies and would rather be working on her research than attending stuffy Hollywood events. When she loses a bet and is signed up for a seat-filling service to be a desperate actress or actor’s plus one, it puts her on a crash course to meet Autumn. One awards show turns into two, then three… Is she falling for Autumn? Or is this just an arrangement of convenience?”

Honey Pot by Katrina Jackson (Kobo Plus / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Bi M/F. Jackson describes this series as “an erotic/suspense/spy/comedy series that wonders what James Bond’s receptionist’s life might have been like if James Bond had a wife and they both wanted to shag the receptionist. But the queer, sexy, polyamorous American version of that.” So you can see why I would bring it to the newsletter! At least from what I’ve read in the beginning, I think this can be read as a standalone if you prefer.

“Asif preferred to work alone.

He hated worrying about protocol and safety precautions when skirting just around the edges of acceptable behavior allowed him to get the job done fast. But sometimes his lone wolf tendencies could backfire, and he needed a little backup to help him get the job done.

Chanté cared about four things: money, sparkly thongs, her friends, and Asif. Not always in that order.

In the middle of her own mission, she got word that Asif had disappeared in the field and dropped everything to go in search of the spy she loved. Asif was reckless in the field, but she had plans for him and his money, and refused to let anything – including him – get in the way of their future together.

Asif is a reckless, charming spy and Chanté is the stripper-hacker he loves enough to keep his distance.

This is Chanté and Asif’s HEA, but to see how they met, check out Bright Lights!

Until You Say My Name by Tatum Schroeder (Spectrum Books / Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Trans4Trans M/F new adult romance, and I always love to bring a debut by a trans author to the newsletter. Small press.

“Mia, a young, closeted trans woman, is ready to get a fresh start in life when she moves across the country for her freshmen year of college. Her life up until now has forced her to stay in the closet, and she is terrified of coming out and what that will mean for her life. So she keeps her identity a secret. That is, until she meets and befriends River, a trans man attending the same college as her. And who happens to help run an on-campus LGBT+ support group.

As Mia slowly assimilates into the group, she finds herself building a newfound courage to come out to River and her friends — and, at the same time, realizes she’s falling for River hard and fast. Try as she might, her crush on him will not go away anytime soon. Will River see her as more than a friend? Is she ready to show the world who she really is and live as her true self?”

One note, however: At the end of Chapter 3, the close 3rd POV narrative suddenly jumps into another character’s head and back in time. I don’t know if the head-hopping will persist throughout or a scene break simply got dropped in formatting by the press. I don’t normally point out things that y’all can see for yourselves in the Kindle sample, but this happened so late in the sample it seemed worth mentioning.

Take You Home by Tuesday Harper (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Black sapphic romance by a Black author. I really like Ivanna so far and I’m excited to keep going with this.

“In college, Iyanna was absolutely smitten with Skylar, the kind-hearted beauty queen that was way out of her league.

A decade later, Iyanna’s taking a break from her workaholic ways to reconnect with her the same crew she hung out with in college. She’s pleasantly surprised when a beautifully handsome woman with short hair and tattoos on her arm approaches her with a flirty smile.

It’s Skylar, not quite like she remembered. But that’s a good thing because Skylar is interested and looking too good to resist.

This is an erotic college friends-to-lovers, second-chance WLW romance with Black main characters.”

Blood Remains by Cathy Pegau (Bywater Books / Kobo Plus / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Sapphics and magic and gangsters! Small press.

Butcher and Blood Mage, Callie Payne, once left a city behind for a different life. But when she is forced to return to the streets of Seattle, the woman and the things she thought she left behind come to reclaim her.

Callie Payne once ran with the Jackson Street Roses, but she left Seattle — left the Roses — to marry a rancher. After his death, she returns to take over the family butcher shop; a fitting career for an out-of-practice blood mage. When the leader of the Roses, Eileen “EJ” Jordan, stops by, Callie knows it isn’t just to buy T-bone steaks. What does the suave gangster really want after all these years?

EJ needs Callie’s magic against rival gangster Paul Underwood, who is horning in on Rose territory. Callie refuses to get involved; she won’t risk violating the Laws of the Covenant forbidding intentional harm. Then EJ tells her Underwood was responsible for the death of one of the Roses years ago. Callie is compelled to get revenge however she can.

A three-day incantation to repel Underwood re-establishes and strengthens Callie’s connection to the Roses, particularly EJ. Old feelings return, but EJ worries a personal relationship will endanger Callie. Their desire, however, proves impossible to ignore.”

Love Punch by Matt Peters (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: In real life, I would want a squad of HR people to descend on boss Bradley after his first comment to his new employee. In fiction, it’s amusing because it’s not real, and the assistant does stand up for himself, so I didn’t have to run away. By the end of the sample I was hooked. I also think it’s a great twist on the boss-employee trope to structure it this way, though I know it won’t check the “taboo” box that a lot of people enjoy.

“Bradley Tyler might just be the most obnoxious, stubborn man I’ve ever met. And every day working for him is hell…is what I might have said three years ago, when we first met and I became his assistant. But in those three years I’ve fallen slowly in love with my employer. He’s the best boxer in his class, with muscles to match, and a soft side that not many see.

With his last fight approaching, I don’t know what the future holds. I like him, and I think he might like me too. But the world beyond boxing is a scary one for Bradley, and I don’t know if he’ll take me along for the ride. What use is an assistant to a man who isn’t even fighting any more?”

A Swift and Sudden Exit by Nico Vincenty (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: SAPPHIC TIME TRAVEL. POST-APOCALYPSE. DYSTOPIAN MILITARY GOVERNMENT. And y’all I had to tear myself away at the end of the sample so I didn’t stay up all night.

“An immortal, doomed to die. A time traveler, desperate to save her.

When Zera travels back in time to 2040, she aims to investigate the geomagnetic storm that scorched the earth. Instead, she finds the beautiful Katherine, who speaks of past storms and asks with her dying breath, ‘Is this the first time we meet?’

From WWII-era New York to early 2000s New Orleans and everywhere in between, Zera chases both storms and Katherine, thinking her immortality is the key to fixing the future. But as the immortal goes from a reluctant ally with a deadly hunter to a romantic complication, Zera wonders if the past is really set in stone, or if she can still save the world — and Katherine.”

Long Shot by Cara Porter (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Here is where I confess that tennis is the only sport I have ever played voluntarily, and I am weak for tennis romances. Nonbinary author. I tried reading Porter’s previous book and the copyediting was quite poor, but this one looks just fine and I’m delighted.

“Taylor Young was born a tennis prodigy, the daughter of one of the greatest players of all time. Her success was almost guaranteed. That is, until underdog Mackenzie Bennett started rising in the ranks and threatening her position as the number one player in Women’s Tennis.

Mackenzie Bennett worked for everything she’s ever had. Even the summer training camp she attended with prodigy Taylor Young. When their connection turned sour after being caught by Taylor’s mom, Mac swore to get her revenge on Taylor – on and off the court.

When these two former friends go head-to-head in the season’s biggest Grand Slams, will they be able to stay professional or will their resentments bubble and reignite a fire they denied for decades?

Long Shot is a sapphic (WLW), second chance, enemies-to-lovers, rivals romance with MCs who love the mile high club, members-only clubs, and hotel steam.”

Three Times Elspeth Harris Rode to Town by Becky Black (Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: This is a sapphic western historical which are thin on the ground, and I really enjoyed Black’s sapphics-get-married short Wedded To Calamity years ago. I really enjoyed the sample of this book as well!

“There had never been as much excitement in the town of Ghostbrook as there was the day Elspeth Harris faced trial for shooting a man. But it’s a clear case of self-defense, and she’s soon free to attend a wedding, where she meets Rose O’Sullivan, the town’s only seamstress, and engages her to make some unusual alterations.

Rose knows Elspeth has a secret she is protecting, one Rose has only seen hints of. As a lover of dime novels and tales of adventure, Rose’s imagination runs wild. Could Elspeth be a government agent? An undercover lady Pinkerton?

When they meet again at another wedding and share confidences about their lives and the difficulties of being a woman alone in the world, Rose grows ever more intrigued by the mysterious Elspeth. What secrets lie behind her beautiful, but aloof exterior?

Rose will finally learn those secrets when the third wedding of the summer comes around and with it, a bold proposal.”

Note: I am not recommending (m)any contemporary romances from JMS Books going forward because the publisher confirmed in correspondence that they will not prevent authors from making positive Harry Potter references in their books, AND they have used at least one AI cover unrepentantly. My exceptions will be idiosyncratic. I wish we had more robust and ethical queer small presses.

Forevermore by S. Jean (Buy from author / Kobo Plus / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: The worldbuilding in this one is quietly interesting so far, and I already want all the good things for Nezael. Author’s pronouns are she/they.

“Up-and-coming necromancer, Nezael, has lived a quiet, solitary life with his lord, the Great Sorcerer Carrow deep in the woods of thorns and brambles to hide from those seeking to hurt them.

For a time, Nezael was content, but now that he is ever closer to becoming a necromancer in his own right, he finds he wants more than this life. In that desire for more, he finds Yorick, a handsome woodsman from the nearby town…”

The Piano in the Tree by Jo Havens (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Sapphic romance with middle-aged MCs. I don’t like Toks from what I’ve seen in the sample, but I dislike her in ways I find interesting, so I’m definitely going to keep reading. The writing style is a bit more litfic than genre romance and I always find it refreshing to mix up my reading like that.

“Sixteen years ago, something terrible kept Polly from meeting her girlfriend at a train station in Berlin. Dreams were shattered. Hearts were broken. Two women continued through life alone.

Now, Ksenia Tokarycz is obliged to come back to Australia. Sure, she does it in triumph and she does it in style, but a tardy delivery sends her in search of her piano – back to her childhood home, back to the place where Polly Paterson is still just next door.

High on the escarpment where the summer storms beat their way up the coast and hurl their fury against the sandstone cliffs, a love that never truly died forces two women to come to terms with their scars.

But there is a curious sound on the breeze. There is music on the breath of the wind. And when Toks sees what has happened to her piano, she fears there is a very strong chance her darling Pearl might be utterly mad.

The Piano in the Tree is a contemporary, second chance sapphic romance set between Australia and Europe.”

Because You Rejected Me by Blake R. Wolfe (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: I did NOT expect this to be my jam. I sometimes do include books here that are not, if I recognize them as other people’s jam and I can tell they’re well executed. Y’all, I got sucked in by the writing and the emotion. I’m here for it. M/M romance by a queer guy.

Homeless and nursing a broken heart, I rejected my mate the first time he spoke to me. A hunky alpha werewolf in a cowboy hat is my fantasy come to life. But is it too late to reel him back in?


I was kicked out of my pack and my home after I told the alpha’s son I loved him. He broke my heart and told everyone my secret. Now I’m a rogue wolf with nowhere to go. That is, until I hear rumors of a rogue wolf hotel in a small town up north. It’s a place where wolves like me can go to get back on their feet, and I need all the help I can get.

However, the moment I arrive, some douchebag in a cowboy hat calls me his mate. I lay into him, calling him every name under the sun and telling him he was the last person I’d ever be with. When he stalks away with his tail between his legs, I’m sure I’ve seen the last of him.

But then I end up being forced to work on his farm to earn my keep.


I’ve been in the small town of Shifter Grove since I was seventeen, and despite a rocky start, it’s been a peaceful life thus far. However, the day Matt rolls into town, that peace is shattered. The moment I see him, my heart begins to pound, and I blurt out “mate” before I can stop myself.

He tears me a new one, and honestly, I don’t blame him. But I can’t stop thinking about those perfect lips of his or the way those shorts hug his body. For the first time in my life, I want to share my heart with someone and I’m pretty sure he hates me.

However, when Matt is sent to work on my farm by the hotel owner, I realize that this might be my second chance to prove myself.

Tropes: standalone, hurt/comfort, fated mate, rejected mate, forced proximity, small town, size difference, alpha wolf, found family, strict roles, and HEA.

Bleeding Mars by Asher J. Quazar (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Pride is obviously being nice to me because this is the SECOND sci-fi dystopian queer romance in this newsletter. The first one had time travel, this one has vampires. Dezi, the MC, already has my heart. Asher J. Quazar is a pen name for two boyfriends who co-write, Asher and J., and I also think that is wonderful. Asher is trans, and so is Dezi.

Enter Chryse, a city of gold and grime where every choice has a price.

For fans of Gideon the Ninth and Silver Under Nightfall, Bleeding Mars throws you into a future where the interplanetary elite literally drink blood. With a vivid world, complex characters, and jaw-dropping twists, Bleeding Mars is a queer sci-fi that offers an ingenious new take on classic vampire tropes.

When Dezi is framed for a malfunction at his home colony, he flees for the capital of Mars and ends up neck deep in a city teeming with gangs and space-age aristocracy. There, he lands a job at a luxury casino where a secretive guest selects him as his regular host. The VIP is a perennial, one of the few wealthy enough to extend their lives through a blood-based medical process, and he might be Dezi’s ticket to paying off the bounty hunters chasing him down, but the immortal is as eccentric as he is generous. He claims to be an authentic vampire, and his appetites have Dezi questioning whether he might just be telling the truth.”

Just Like Her by Fiona Zedde (Kobo Plus / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Black sapphic romance with middle-aged MCs, by a Black author. Zedde’s book Femme Like Her is one of my fave romances, and I have been waiting for this next installment in the series so very patiently. The sample does not disappoint and I’m excited to keep going.

Has this 40-year-old virgin finally found someone who makes her want to risk it all?

In this slow burn, friends to lovers romance, Delphine’s life is made up of secrets. About her passions, her sexual identity, and even her past.

She coasts along on a tide of half-truths until a familiar ‘straight’ woman splashes deeper into her world, threatening her tenuous peace of mind.

This woman wants to be everything Delphine has never had before – a confidant, a seductress, a trusted lover. But, by giving in to this siren, is Delphine setting herself up for heartbreak?”

Fake Dating A Witch by Brigid Hunt (Kobo Plus / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Bi4Bi Queer M/F, series starter, cute-as-heck cover! Brigid Hunt is friend of the newsletter & awesome gal Liz Lincoln writing paranormal rather than contemporary, and I can’t wait to start this series.

Fake dating my high school crush to break a family curse? What could possibly go wrong?

Years ago, my sisters and I cast a love spell. It went sideways, becoming a curse that prevents them from falling in love until I do first. But if I could just convince our grandma, a world-renowned and powerful witch, that I’m head-over-heels, it’ll break the curse. I’m positive.

Enter Grant Humphries, a surgical resident with a damaged hand and broken dreams. He needs a medical miracle to get back to Chicago and his beloved career.

So I show up on his doorstep with a tempting proposal: fake date me until he leaves town, convince my family we’re in love and, in return, I’ll do my best to find a spell powerful enough to fix his hand.

It’s the perfect arrangement. Until real, actual, panty-dropping feelings get involved.

Welcome to Owl Cove, Wisconsin. Where witches are welcome members of the community and magic is a part of everyday life.

One-click now for sizzling chemistry between bisexual main characters, heaps of spice, lighthearted humor, and plenty of cheese references.”

Forever In Flowers by Brenna Bailey (Kobo Plus / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Bailey is out here doing the good work with her series about queer folks in their 60s and 70s falling in love. I’d been hoping we’d get Loretta’s book since we met her in her brother’s book (which was very cute!) and I’m already loving seeing her again. I also want to find out what’s going on with Joyce’s queerplatonic family, oh no!

The cynical hobby farmer. The optimistic wedding planner. The wedding that makes them believe in love again.

After being burned by love, Loretta Vogel believes romance is only for other people. That won’t keep the septuagenarian from turning her rustic barn into the wedding venue of her florist friends’ dreams. But when her new business venture proves more than she bargained for, she reluctantly accepts the help of an annoyingly energetic wedding planner to bring her idea to life.

Joyce Grant wouldn’t miss the opportunity to plan one last wedding for her old friend in Juniper Creek. Besides, wedding preparations are the perfect distraction from the changes threatening to break up her queerplatonic family. And assisting the enigmatic venue host with her barn renovation project is the icing on a delicious, sunshiny wedding cake.

When a fixture-shopping road trip lands Loretta and Joyce in a one-bed B&B room, they discover more in common than they realized. But as Joyce’s departure draws closer, can the hobby farmer and the wedding planner move beyond a summer romance and find lasting happiness together?

Forever in Flowers is the fourth standalone volume in the queer contemporary small-town Juniper Creek Golden Years series. If you like grumpy-sunshine dynamics, cozy small towns, and low-angst love stories with characters you’ll want to make friends with, you’ll love this charming series wrap-up.”

Sweet Surrender by Viano Oniomoh (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Human-demon romance, Black author. I’m always pleased to see another book by Oniomoh, she’s doing really interesting work.

“Saint needs a contract with a demon to protect him from a stalker. Knight thinks a contract with the very human whose dreams he’s been visiting sounds pretty much perfect.

It’s a match seemingly made in heaven. Except, the longer Knight spends in the mortal realm with Saint, the more he wants to stay, and the longer Saint spends with Knight, the more he finds the courage to reach for all the things he believed he didn’t deserve.

When Saint’s past comes knocking, will their newly found bond be strong enough to keep them together?”

Note: book begins with a dreamed consensual chase/catch role-play sex scene, with multiple indications that there is consent including direct communication. I was a little “??” at first because this is a touchy area for me, but I felt like the narrative was set up to take my hand quickly and say “it’s cool, no worries, this is okay with everybody.” YMMV, obviously!

Novel Problems by Elizabeth Luly (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Butch/femme, small town, writer + bookstore owner. One MC (Hannah) has hearing loss. I’m already so invested in these two.

A feel-good sapphic small-town summer romance featuring a socially anxious fantasy author and a golden retriever cafe-bookstore owner, perfect for your next beach read!

Hannah Taylor has some novel problems. The best-selling fantasy author, who writes under a secret pen name, is suffering from writer’s block after her long-term relationship collapses. With the deadline for her next novel fast approaching, Hannah flees Manhattan for Sapphire Springs, New York, planning to hide away until she finishes her book. But when she’s forced to visit the local cafe-bookstore, she accidentally finds herself with a new job and one very attractive new boss. Distractions she definitely doesn’t need with her looming deadline… or does she?

George O’Grady worked hard to turn Novel Gossip into the cafe-bookstore of her dreams, but staff shortages are putting the normally unflappable lesbian under pressure. Hannah’s appearance is a godsend. Although it would be easier if her new employee was less distractingly lovely, because George has a strict rule against dating employees.

Over the course of the summer, Hannah and George grow closer. But can the two book lovers overcome their novel problems, rules, and relationship baggage to write their own happy ending?”

The Sword’s Secret by Chris Cole (Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Second month in a row for a King Arthur related M/M romance, what a world we are living in. I think this one’s going to be HEA at series end. If you’re looking for something zany, cute, and adventure-y (is that a word?) definitely take a look. Author’s pronouns are they/he.

“This new urban fantasy adventure intertwined with a slow burning queer romance sets our adventurer on the quest of a lifetime. Closeted mythologist and museum curator Dr. Rhys Wilder has just been offered the adventure of a lifetime: a grant to recover Excalibur, sword of the fabled King Arthur, whose existence has yet to be proven. However, Rhys soon discovers he’s signed up for more than he realizes after meeting the man behind the grant, a Southern oil tycoon and antiquities dealer, D’Arcy Duchesne III.

Luckily, Rhys finds help in unlikely places and some diverse voices, including a rainbow-haired frenemy, the grandson of a wealthy tight-lipped British dame, and a dashing, muscular man Rhys finds terribly sexy and extremely irritating.

In book one of the Ancient Wonders series, Rhys not only navigates the mysteries of the Arthurian Legend and the mysteries surrounding the sword, but also the current political intrigue to complete his goal – all the while wrapping himself deeper into dangerous waters from which there may be no escape.”

Rum, Whisky, Faeries & Other Spirits by T.A. Hall (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: The feel of the sample was exactly what I expected from the blurb, in the best way. I felt like I was in the tavern and I liked Myra a lot. Nonbinary MC. Author’s pronouns are they/them.

“Magic and alcohol come together in this spellbinding tale of identity and romance.

A disillusioned bartender, Myra Jennings, is given a once in a life time chance to work alongside the quirky and sultry alchemist, Adelaide Hawthorne. The Bloom Witch, as she is better known, is the top brewer in New Albion.

Now the two must come together to create a new drink fit for the king himself.

Myra must enter a new world of magic and high-class society where they must put their unique skills and love life on the line, all for the sake of their job.

Potions, Cocktails & Lesbians… working a nine to five has never been so rewarding or so dangerous.

‘Rum, Whisky, Faeries & Other Spirits’ is a queer cosy story of identity, depression & fighting your own demons while finding love in a world where work comes first.”

Only Fan Service by Cat Giraldo (Amazon/KU / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Giraldo comes out of the gate absolutely nailing the tone and characters for this setup. Latinx FilAm author.

When my best friend drags me out of my house to take my mind off of my failing marriage, the last thing I expect is to stumble onto the dance floor and into the arms of a charming Filipino stranger recording for his popular dance account.

Accepting Michael’s offer to become social media dance partners might be exactly what I need to break me out of this rut I’ve been in, even if our followers start speculating on a potential romance between us faster than I can suggest that we lean into our on-screen chemistry–only for the fans, of course. As our friendship builds over intimate dance practices and late nights in Michael’s kitchen, I struggle to name emotions I’ve never felt around anyone.

Between the degree I’ve been earning in secret and the late-night take-out program I’m managing to prove to my parents that I can take over the family restaurant, I have more than enough on my plate without worrying about pretty boys with nervous smiles and complicated situations. Dancing is supposed to be fun and easy–my only outlet to blow off steam, at least since my FansOnly account went from sexy hobby to the way I pay tuition.

But no matter how many times I insist that Chen and I are just friends, my crush isn’t only for the fans, and I can’t turn it off once recording stops.

Only Fan Service is an adult MM romance with a guaranteed HEA. It is the first book in a series spin-off from the Dominating the Diamond series, with overlapping side characters but no plot spoilers. Only Fan Service can be read as a standalone but is best read after Outfield Assist.”

Note: I have not managed to read Outfield Assist, so I was starting this as a standalone, and I didn’t feel confused about anything.

My Personal Trainer Cracked My Egg by Fern V. Bedek (Buy from the author / Amazon / Goodreads)

Why I’m excited to list it: Bedek comes up with the most entertaining concepts, I swear. The beginning of this is equal parts hilarious and touching, and I am here for more. Trans lesbian romance, trans woman author.

“After a deeply embarrassing mishap leads to Johnathan J. Preston IV revealing to his family his weakness for tall and muscular women, his father makes a surprise move: hiring the woman of his dreams as his personal trainer.

His father’s hope that she’ll make a man out of Johnathan will very much not be coming true, however.”

My Recent Reads and Recommendations

At the end of each newsletter, I recommend a few of my recent favorite queer reads, from romance to SFF to graphic novels, comics, and kids’ books. 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.

Small Gods of Calamity by Sam Kyung Yoo (Interstellar Flight Press – paperback / Kobo Plus / Amazon / Goodreads)

This urban fantasy with a bi ace guy paranormal investigator is spooky and sad and sweet by turns, in perfect balance. If it was a series starter I’d have pre-ordered the next book already.

“Ghosts that speak in smoke. Spirits with teeth like glass. A parasitic, soul-eating spirit worm has gone into a feeding frenzy, but all the Jong-ro Police Department’s violent crimes unit sees is a string of suicides. Except for Kim Han-gil, Seoul’s only spirit detective. He’s seen this before. He’ll do anything to stop another tragedy from happening, even if that means teaming up with Shin Yoonhae, the man Han-gil believes is responsible for the horrifying aftermath of his mother’s last exorcism.”

My only cautionary note is that near the end, in Chapter 21-ish, the narration suddenly head-hops multiple times, which had never happened before in the book. I can see why the author wanted both the characters’ POVs, but scene breaks would have been fine & I wouldn’t have been hella confused several times.

Fire at Her Fingertips by Rebecca Crunden (Amazon / Goodreads)

“You don’t have a name. You don’t have a home. You have only the fire at your fingertips – until the day you meet her.”

A journey from abuse and neglect to sapphic love and found family that absolutely tugged at my heartstrings.

This is one of several works I’ve read in the past few years that are making me start to love second person narration. It’s not right for every story but when it’s a good match, it’s amazing.

Grand Slam Romance: Major League Hotties by Ollie Hicks and Emma Oosterhous (Kobo Plus / Amazon / Goodreads)

This sapphic graphic novel series continues to be the funniest and GAYEST thing I have ever read in my damn life. If you haven’t started reading Grand Slam Romance yet, get Book 1 ASAP. Both books are in Kobo Plus or libraries can get them for the Libby app.

No real spoilers for Book 1 in this blurb:

“The second graphic novel in the Grand Slam Romance series, Major League Hotties brings Mickey, Astra, and Wolfgang together again, but now they’re in a different league — the magical kind!

Astra and Mickey are celebrating the Belle City Broads’s epic victory over their archrivals the Gaiety Gals, but the party is cut short when their nemesis Jasmine Von Schitz reveals the shocking truth: now that Mickey’s magical girl powers have been revealed, they can’t play softball until they obtain a Magical Girl license! Too bad there’s only one place to get it: the Magical Girl DMV in Switzerland!

Mickey and Astra are in for the Euro-trip of their lives, navigating the Magical Girl League, their own steamy situationship, and a prickly reunion with the hottie whose heart they both broke: Wolfgang Konigin. A delightfully madcap romp filled with spellbinding softball, shady exes, and sexy shenanigans.”

Marley’s Pride by Joëlle Retener, illustrated by DeAnn Wiley (Amazon / Goodreads)

I didn’t predict that I was going to bring y’all another Pride picture book after last month, but then this new book showed up at my library, and what a lovely way to close out the June neweletter. If a grandparent and a neurodivergent grandchild who BOTH use they/them pronouns would warm your heart, please check this out, it’s lovely!

“Marley is a little nonbinary kid with big anxieties. Crowds? Pass. Loud noises? No, thanks. When their Zaza is up for an award at Pride, they want to go to the parade for the first time with their beloved grandparent. But can Marley overcome their fears? Highlighting the joyful experiences of a queer family of color finding community at Pride, this story features endmatter about the history of Pride, a glossary of LGBTQ+ terms, and a list of resources.”

And that’s this month’s list! Happy Pride and Happy Reading!