Friday Fun: Ooh La La! Queer Summer Romance Reads
Hello Readers! We did it, we made it through another week to Friday. To cap off the end of Pride month and the slow roll into summer, today we are flying fun and fancy free with some LGBTQI+ Beach Read recommendations. We have included a mix of full length novels to while away the summer hours and novellas to plow through in the course of a long afternoon. So find a patch of sunlight, soak up that vitamin D and sink into one of these excellent books!
The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics
by Olivia Waite
This one is a lesbian historical romance between a widowed countess and an ambitious astronomer, and hell to the yeah.
When Lucy’s secret lover marries a man, the heartbroken intellectual finds refuge in translating a French astronomy text that could change the entire field. She does it in the arms of her benefactor, the wealthy Catherine, who believes that Lucy has the mind of a genius. Out June 26th, Olivia Waite’s 18th-century girl-girl love story has it all: feminism, science, allies in the unlikeliest of places, and fighting the patriarchy through studying the stars.
A Gentleman's Position
by KJ Charles
This is the third book in the Society Gentlemen's series if you are completionist like me.
Among his eccentric though strictly principled group of friends, Lord Richard Vane is the confidant on whom everyone depends for advice, moral rectitude, and discreet assistance. Yet when Richard has a problem, he turns to his valet, a fixer of unparalleled genius—and the object of Richard’s deepest desires. If there is one rule a gentleman must follow, it is never to dally with servants. But when David is close enough to touch, the rules of class collide with the basest sort of animal instinct: overpowering lust.
For David Cyprian, burglary and blackmail are as much in a day’s work as bootblacking—anything for the man he’s devoted to. But the one thing he wants for himself is the one thing Richard refuses to give: his heart. With the tension between them growing to be unbearable, David’s seemingly incorruptible master has left him no choice. Putting his finely honed skills of seduction and manipulation to good use, he will convince Richard to forget all about his well-meaning objections and give in to sweet, sinful temptation.
The Doctor's Discretion
by EE Ottoman
This whole premise is just gimme gimme gimme!
New York City, 1831.
Passion, medicine and a plan to break the law ...
When Doctor William Blackwood, a proper gentleman who prefers books to actual patients, meets retired Navy surgeon Doctor Augustus Hill, they find in each other not just companionship but the chance of pleasure—and perhaps even more. The desire between them is undeniable but their budding relationship is disrupted by the arrival of a mysterious patient at New York Hospital.
Mr. Moss has been accused of being born a woman but living his life as a man, an act that will see him committed to an asylum for the rest of his life. William and Augustus are determined to mount a rescue even if it means kidnapping him instead.
Their desperate plan sets William and Augustus against the hospital authorities and the law. Soon they find themselves embroiled in New York’s seedy underworld, mixed up with prostitutes, spies, and more than a lifetime’s worth of secrets. When nothing is as it seems can they find something real in each other?
Her Every Wish
by Courtney Milan
Love me that bisexual rep. And the banter in this novella is top notch. A perfect fit for a lazy afternoon.
Crash has never let the circumstances of his birth, or his lack of a last name, bother him. His associations may be unsavory, but money, friends, and infamy open far more interesting doors than respect ever could. His sole regret? Once lovely, sweet Daisy Whitlaw learned the truth about how he made his fortune, she cut him off.
Daisy’s father is dead, her mother is in ill health, and her available funds have dwindled to a memory. When the local parish announces a charity bequest to help young people start a trade, it’s her last chance. So what if the grants are intended for men? If she’s good enough, she might bluff her way into a future.
When Crash offers to show her how to swagger with confidence, she knows he is up to no good. But with her life in the balance, she’s desperate enough to risk the one thing she hasn’t yet lost: her heart.
Steamy & Sweet Contemporary
by Robin Covington
This is set at a comics convention. Be still my geeky heart. Also a novella to make a short, delicious read!
Oliver Burns knew sneaking out on the most delicious one-night-stand he ever had would come back and bite him in the ass. Caught up in his own swagger when he was named to the “30 under 30” list, he publicly bragged that his next goal was to sign the reclusive artist “G” to his talent roster at his comic publishing company and now he’s got to make it happen.
by Alexis Hall
This one is a complicated love story but well worth your time for two disparate individuals who manage to make a perfect fit. Also: Full Steam Ahead
Laurence Dalziel is worn down and washed up, and for him, the BDSM scene is all played out. Six years on from his last relationship, he’s pushing forty and tired of going through the motions of submission.
Then he meets Toby Finch. Nineteen years old. Fearless, fierce, and vulnerable. Everything Laurie can’t remember being.
Toby doesn’t know who he wants to be or what he wants to do. But he knows, with all the certainty of youth, that he wants Laurie. He wants him on his knees. He wants to make him hurt, he wants to make him beg, he wants to make him fall in love.
The problem is, while Laurie will surrender his body, he won’t surrender his heart. Because Toby is too young, too intense, too easy to hurt. And what they have—no matter how right it feels—can’t last. It can’t mean anything.
It can’t be real.
by Jude Sierra
Here we have a story that deals with grief, healing, and sweetness, mixed with one of my favorite things; sexy cookery.
In a last ditch effort to bring the downtown Detroit gastro pub he started with his late husband back to life, Asher Schenck fires everyone and hires a completely new staff. Among them is Tyler Heyward, a 23-year-old recent college graduate in need of funds to pay for med school. As their relationship shifts from business to friendship, Tyler falls for Asher and finds himself caught between the things he thought he wanted and the things he hasn't allowed himself to dream about. Working together, they get to know each other's dreams. Set in the backdrop of Detroit's revival, Idlewild is a story about love and healing.
Whip, Stir, and Serve
by Caitlyn Frost & Henry Drake
This one has bi and demi rep! Another quick and spicy novella!
Maggie Jensen has one goal: make cinnamon buns, from scratch, for her father's retirement party. She’ll do whatever it takes to finish the job and prove she isn't a klutz in the kitchen, family stories about her burned hard boiled eggs be damned. She’s more comfortable in the wood shop, but how hard can this possibly be?
Romancing the Inventor
by Gail Carriger
Listen, A Supernatural Society story was going to make it on this list. This is a quick fun read and you don't need the full context of the other novels to enjoy this romp!
Parlormaid seeks scientist!
Imogene Hale is a lowly parlormaid with a soul-crushing secret. Desperate to understand her own desires, she takes work at a local vampire hive, only to fall in love with the amazing lady inventor the vampires have imprisoned in their potting shed.
Genevieve Lefoux is lonely, brilliant, and French. Obsessed with her cogs and devices she refuses to risk her heart. With culture, class, and the scientist herself set against the match, can Imogene and her duster win Genevieve’s love, or will the vampires suck both of them dry?
From the Ashes
by Xen Sanders
Supervillian romance! Political intrigue with superpowers! YES!
Sociopath. Killer. Deviant.
Monster, devoid of morals, incapable of human emotion. The villain known as Spark has been called this and more, and as a super-powered aberrant has masterminded countless crimes to build his father's inhuman empire. Yet to professor Sean Archer, this fearsome creature is only Tobias Rutherford--antisocial graduate researcher, quiet underachiever, and a fascinating puzzle Sean is determined to solve.
But one kiss leads to an entanglement that challenges everything Tobias knows about himself, aberrants, and his own capacity to love. When his father orders him to assassinate a senator, one misstep unravels a knot of political intrigue that places the fate of humans and aberrants alike in Tobias's hands. As danger mounts and bodies pile higher, will Tobias succumb to his dark nature and sacrifice Sean--or will he defy his father and rise from the ashes to become a hero in a world of villains?
Witches of London: Lars
Gay Witches. That's it. That's the tweet. Let's read.
Some problems you can’t solve with magick—and some you can.
After a homophobic pagan group rejected him, Lars Kendall is a solitary heathen on the Northern Path, loyal to the gods of the Norse pantheon. But being on his own sucks. So when he finally meets a mixed group of other queer witches and magick-users, it’s like finding family. If family involved exploring past lives and casting spells.
Rhys Turner quit a stressful job in the City after his high-strung boyfriend of six years walked out. He sold the expensive flat in central London and bought a run-down house out in the suburbs. Never mind that it needs walls knocked down, its garden landscaped, and what the hell is up with that carpet?
With his health failing, Rhys is desperate for a clean slate and a new start. He isn’t ready to fall in love with anybody, least of all the hunky builder who looks like he’s stepped out of a TV show about Vikings—tattoos, long hair, and all. But as strong and loyal as Lars is, he also has a very soft heart, which might be the hardest thing for Rhys to resist.
by Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese
M/M/M rep. A short and satisfying bitey read
When Elliot Iverson, a municipal employee responsible for paperwork pertaining to New York City's vampire population, knocks on the door of the Gramercy warren, he wants only to resolve a clerical error. But a sudden snowstorm, a new friendship, and an ill-advised threesome force Elliot to make some big choices about his own life and death.
Resources & Further Reading