So much more than your typical happily ever after.
Romance novels are so much more than thick paperbacks painted with images of shirtless men and fainting women. They are also so much more than your typical steamy partnering of men and women. Romance is so much bigger than that.
little infinite loves romance novels! We stan rom-coms, fun flirty reads, historical romps, and passionate happily ever afters. We also love it when the characters of those novels are just as diverse as we are.
So, we’ve put together a great list of a few of our favorite LGBTQ romance novels. Every love story deserves to be represented.
When Katie Met Cassidy, by Camille Perri
This adorable romance novel follows Kentucky-born Katie after she finds herself recently dumped by her fiance. Katie then finds herself sitting across a negotiating table from the power-suit wearing, self-assured, sexy Cassidy.
Completely enthralled, Katie soon finds herself at the lesbian bar Cassidy calls home. Soon Katie begins to find belonging in the close-knit community Cassidy is a part of, where friends become family. Cassidy, on the other hand, starts to question whether she wants to continue living the wild life she has come accustomed to, or if she might just be ready to settle down.
Not only is this an adorable lesbian romance, but it is also a perfect book for anyone looking to dip their toe into the romance genre. If you love rom-com, beach reads, or really enjoyed Red, White, and Royal Blue, then you need to pick this one up.
Call Me by Your Name, by André Aciman
If you are looking for a passionate romance novel that will hit you right in the feels, then this is the book for you. Call Me by Your Name does away with the fanciful feelings of fantasy romances and shows readers the real intense and messy emotions that come with falling in love. Aciman is unsentimental and it makes the story unforgettable.
One summer in the Italian riviera, 17-year-old Elio finds himself sharing his home with his parents and one of his father’s postdoc students. Oliver is 24-years-old and planned on spending six weeks at the house revising his manuscript before publication. Elio considers himself to be heterosexual until he finds himself completely swooning over the handsome Oliver. He becomes an unabashed romantic.
Eventually, the two find themselves in a passionate relationship. However, it isn’t quite as romantic as Elio had hoped as he and Oliver deal with their very real feelings for each other. Their rocky relationship echoes throughout the rest of their lives. This is not your typical romance novel and was turned into a film in 2017.
Let’s Talk about Love
Alice is a college student who is ready to have the perfect summer. She plans to relax, work a little, and spend time with her girlfriend, Margot. Only one problem, after she confesses to her Margot that she is, in fact, asexual, Margot breaks it off, claiming that Alice is “unnatural.”
So, Alice decides that she is done. She is done dating women and men. She is over it and doesn’t want dating or love to ruin her summer. She certainly doesn’t need people insulting her sexuality. Enter Takumi, Alice’s new co-worker.
Suddenly Alice finds herself in a bit of a rom-com situation. Does she express her possible feelings for Takumi and risk ruining her friendship? Or does she risk it all? Will he accept her? As one of the few romance novels out there that feature an asexual protagonist, you have to add this one to your reading list.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, by Mackenzie Lee
You can’t have a romance roundup without at least one historical fiction novel. This novel is fun and full of adventure. When a bisexual British aristocrat decides to make his yearlong tour of Europe his last great hurrah before he has to become a “proper” gentleman, things don’t exactly go according to plan.
Henry “Monty” Montague has quite the taste for vice and pleasure that is unfitting for a gentleman of his stature. So, he decides to have one last romp. He and his best friend – and secret crush – Percy decide to have one last romp around Europe. However, the two make a dire mistake one evening and their trip soon devolves into a crazy manhunt. Before he knows it, Monty is questioning everything he knows, including his feelings for Percy. There is a fine line between friendship and love and Monty is likely to find it.
If you find that this book is right up your alley, then you’ll be happy to hear that Mackenzie Lee is working on a sequel – The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy.
If I Was Your Girl, by Meredith Russo
Amanda is the new kid at her small-town Tennessee high school. Normally that wouldn’t bother her, but she is keeping a secret. All she wants to do is make new friends, but she isn’t certain she would be accepted if people knew the truth. At her last school, Amanda was Andrew. She is transgender. If I Was Your Girl, isn’t only a love story, but also a brilliant coming of age story for transgender young adults.
At her new school, Amanda meets the easy-going and ever so sweet Grant and she can’t help but fall in love. Soon she finds herself torn between sharing her past with Grant and keeping her secret safe. How will he react to the truth? Will he still love her, or will her past be too much.
While this book is certainly a love story, it is also a story about Amanda’s experiences as a transgender woman. There are parts of this story that are truly heartbreaking as Amanda describes the months leading to her transition. However, overall this is a love story that is well worth adding to your TBR pile.
Marriage of Unconvenience, by Chelsea Cameron
Broke and out of luck Lo Bowman is without a car, a job, and, soon, an apartment. However, she hopes the tables are about to turn as she recently found our her grandmother left her an inheritance. The only problem, granny was a bit old fashioned. She has stipulated that Lo must be married before she can inherit.
Lo is very single. So, without any marriage prospects on hand and rent coming up, she isn’t quite sure what to do. Enter her recently reconnected childhood best friend Cara. As it turns out Cara is also in a bit of a pickle. She needs about twenty grand for grad school. When the two meet for brunch, Lo jokingly suggests that they get married and split the inheritance money. Next thing you know, the two are totally getting married.
While it might seem like an easy plan – get married, get money, get divorced – that last step is becoming harder and harder for Lo to imagine. She might just be falling for her BFF. A HEA might be a cliche, but Cameron – who happens to be non-binary and queer herself – has crafted a super sweet LGBTQ romance that will keep you hooked on every page.
This is only a small collection of LGBTQ romance novels out there. So, after you’ve added these to your TBR, make sure to find more. Remember to support LGBTQ authors.
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