There are plenty of romance novels out there. From stories about the Renaissance to romance among the stars in a futuristic sci-fi book, light-hearted rom coms, and thoughtfully deep love affairs, there is no shortage of “happily ever after.”
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But until recent years, there was a shortage of romantic stories starring LGBTQ+ characters.
Luckily, that is quickly changing. Representation matters in every genre, and queer literature has gone more mainstream than ever. This includes the romance department! Queer romance novels are illuminating the love between people of diverse gender and sexual identities.
So without further ado, Let’s Talk About Love with these top LGBTQ romance novels!
Alice had her whole summer planned, but all those plans went out the window when she came out as asexual and her girlfriend left her. She decides to swear off dating and throws herself into her job at the library. That is until she meets Takumi and can’t stop thinking about him and the butterflies in her stomach. She has to decide if she’s willing to risk the friendship for the chance of love that might not be reciprocated or understood.
Delilah Green swore she would never go back to her hometown Bright Falls, but she finds herself convinced to return after her step-sister hires her to photograph her wedding. Delilah finds her old nemesis, Claire, is still in town, so she decides to have a little fun before leaving town. However, the two find themselves forced together during wedding preparations, and now Claire is betting she can convince Delilah to stay.
Queer romance stories don’t have to be limited by genre. So This Is Ever After is a whimsical YA fantasy romance about Arek after he managed to complete a prophecy to save the kingdom from its evil ruler. Now, he and his rag-tag group of quest companions are at a loss for what to do next. Arek must embark on a desperate bid to find a spouse before he turns 18 in three months. Otherwise, he is cursed not only to lose the throne but his life, too. After his attempts go hilariously wrong, he might find that true love was closer than he thought all along.
Ben is forced to move in with their estranged older sister after their parents kicked them out for coming out as nonbinary. They are trying to keep a low profile in a new school in an attempt to survive the last half of senior year, but all that is thwarted when Ben meets Nathan, a funny and charismatic student. As their friendship grows into something more, it is starting to look like a chance to begin a happier new life.
Kaylee is an up-and-coming fanfic writer attending a con, and they are also in the middle of figuring out their gender identity. Teagan is a secretly gay pageant queen trying to win a title and the college scholarship that comes with it. When a hotel hosts the con and the pageant at the same time, they cross paths, and sparks fly. Do they risk all their secrets following them home? Is embracing their true selves worth it?
Yadriel’s traditional Latinx family is having problems accepting his gender identity. To prove himself a true brujo, he sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free. However, he accidentally summons Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, who is determined to find out what happened. Unable to get rid of him, Yadriel agrees to help him so that they can both get what they want. But the longer they spend time together, the less Yadriel wants Julian to leave.
Something Fabulous is a historical romance about a straight-laced duke that gets caught in a romantic tangle after his arranged marriage doesn’t go as planned. After Valentine Layton proposes, Miss Arabella Tarleton flees because she is too romantic for a convenient, arranged marriage. When her twin brother helps Valentine chase after her in a sweeping romantic gesture, Valentine finds himself falling in love with the wrong Tarleton.
Nishat comes out to her parents, only for them to say that Muslim girls aren’t lesbians. She doesn’t want to lose her family, but she also doesn’t want to hide who she is – and it gets harder when Flávia walks back into her life. Things get heated when a school competition invites them to create businesses, and both Flávia and Nishat decide to showcase their talents as henna artists. They are in a fight to prove who is the best, while their lives become more tangled.
Being the president’s son is kind of like being the stateside version of a young royal, and Alex Claremont-Diaz is handsome and charismatic enough for the job. He also has beef with a real young royal, Prince Henry of Wales from across the pond. When a royal cake-related event gave the tabloids some incriminating altercation photos, U.S. and British relations take a turn for the worse. Alex and Prince Henry are forced to fake a friendship for damage control, but the bromance starts turning into a secret romance.
London Parker just came out as nonbinary on national television, so now they need to prove trolls wrong by winning the reality cooking show Chef’s Special. Love was never part of the plan until meeting the recently divorced and hilariously klutzy competitor Dahlia Woodson. They are feeling the heat both in and out of the kitchen, but do they have the right ingredients for a happily ever after?
Liz Lightly has plans to get out of her small midwestern town. She’s going to attend Pennington College just as soon as that financial aid comes through. But when it doesn’t, she forces herself to endure running for prom queen in order to snag the associated scholarship. She’s willing to suffer anything to get her scholarship for college. At least until she begins to fall for the new girl, who also happens to be running for prom queen. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams, or make them come true?
Nate is an ultimate film buff, and he also doesn’t believe in real happy endings. He’d rather play it safe and avoid a broken heart. However, his best-friend-turned-girlfriend-turned-best-friend-again Florence has other plans. She’s set on making sure Nate finds someone. And in a rom-com-worthy twist, someone does appear: Oliver James Hernández, his childhood best friend. Nate finally has the chance to tell Ollie the truth about his feelings, but will he muster the courage to pursue his own happily ever after?
College freshman Mickey has a legacy to uphold as he vies for a spot in the NHL. That’s because his father and grandfather have gone down in NHL history. The only thing standing in his way is his devilishly handsome teammate Jaysen, who is also competing to be the top draft pick. As their rivalry starts turning into something more, Mickey will have to decide what he really wants and what he is willing to risk for it.
Last Night at the Telegraph Club is a historical romance that takes place in San Francisco’s Chinatown during the 1950s. This was during the Red Scare, a time when widespread paranoia and fear of communism threatened the Chinese American community. The threat of deportation looms over her father, but 17-year-old Lily Hu can’t deny the relationship blooming between her and Kath as they find sanctuary in a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club.
There are stories about a world underneath the lake, but two non-binary teens – Bastián Silvano and Lore Garcia – are the only ones who have been there. As the lines between air and water begin to blur, the otherworldly space under the lake drifts above the surface. If Bastián and Lore don’t want it bringing their secrets to the surface with it, they must work together to stop it. They haven’t spoken in years, but they have to face their secrets and learn to trust again.
As a producer on the top reality dating show, Dev Deshpande specializes in crafting a story of true love, despite his own love life crashing and burning. Disgraced tech genius Charlie Winshaw becomes Dev’s greatest challenge yet when he is cast as the new star. Unfortunately, Charlie doesn’t believe in true love, and he’s a stiff, anxious mess on camera. Dev and Charlie start going on practical dates to help Charlie through his anxiety, but they start to find the connection between them is greater than what’s happening on the show.