It's Valentine's Day and love is in the air, so why not curl up with a sweet, swoony queer romance? Whether they're out now or releasing soon, these queer romances will keep you happy till Pride Month - and we'll have a whole 'nother list of queer romances for you to savor come June!
THE BONE SPINDLE by Leslie Vedder
Penguin/Razorbill - Now Available
A genderflipped Sleeping Beauty starring two girl partners: Fi, a bookish treasure hunter destined to wake the sleeping prince, and Shane, a queer ax-wielding mercenary falling for a mysterious witch. Traps, ruins, riddles, curses, a little bit of true love and a whole lot of snark!
LOVE AND OTHER DISASTERS by Anita Kelly
Hachette/Forever - Now Available
Dahlia Woodson's culinary dreams are coming true. Sure, her marriage ended in a hideous explosion of misery, and she’s quit her job for the gamble of a lifetime, but she's finally a contestant on the cooking show Chef's Special. Now all Dahlia has to do is not fall on her face more than once, make the best food of her life, and try not to get distracted by her hot, incredibly dishy competition... London Parker is fighting for more than just a cooking title. Not only did they just come out as nonbinary on national television, but this is an opportunity for London to raise some support—and a ton of cash—for the queer community. No pressure. Getting distracted by a tiny and adorable tornado like Dahlia could be disastrous. Still, somewhere among the flying fish tacos, rampant egos, and culinary chaos is something that looks a lot like deliciously spicy chemistry.
ICEBREAKERS by A.L. Graziadei
Macmillan/Henry Holt - Now Available
Seventeen-year-old Mickey James III is a college freshman, a brother to five sisters, and a hockey legacy. With a father and a grandfather who have gone down in NHL history, Mickey is almost guaranteed the league's top draft spot. The only person standing in his way is Jaysen Caulfield, a contender for the #1 spot and Mickey's infuriating (and infuriatingly attractive) teammate. When rivalry turns to something more, Mickey will have to decide what he really wants, and what he's willing to risk for it.
FORWARD MARCH by Skye Quinlan
Page Street Kids - Now Available
“Band Geek” McKinley just wants to make it through her senior year of marching band―and her Republican father’s presidential campaign (which she’s not sure she even wants him to win). That was a tall order to start, but everything was going well enough until someone made a fake gay dating profile posing as Harper. The real Harper can’t afford for anyone to find out about the Tinder profile. But upon meeting Margot Blanchard, the drumline leader who swiped right, Harper thinks it might be worth the trouble to let Margot get to know the real her. With her dad’s campaign on the line, Harper’s relationship with her family at stake, and no idea who made that fake dating profile, Harper has to decide what’s more important to her: living her truth or becoming the First Daughter of America.
ALL THAT'S LEFT IN THE WORLD by Erik J. Brown
When Andrew stumbles upon Jamie’s house, he’s injured, starved, and has nothing left to lose. A deadly pathogen has killed off most of the world’s population, including everyone both boys have ever loved. And if this new world has taught them anything, it’s to be scared of what other desperate people will do . . . so why does it seem so easy for them to trust each other? After danger breaches their shelter, they flee south in search of civilization. But something isn’t adding up about Andrew’s story, and it could cost them everything. And Jamie has a secret, too. He’s starting to feel something more than friendship for Andrew, adding another layer of fear and confusion to an already tumultuous journey. The road ahead of them is long, and to survive, they’ll have to shed their secrets, face the consequences of their actions, and find the courage to fight for the future they desire, together. Only one thing feels certain: all that’s left in their world is the undeniable pull they have toward each other.
LOVE, HATE & CLICKBAIT by Liz Bowery
MIRA (Harlequin) 4/26/2022
Cutthroat political consultant Thom Morgan is thriving, working on the governor of California’s presidential campaign. If only he didn’t have to deal with Clay Parker, the infuriatingly smug data analyst who gets under Thom’s skin like it’s his job. In the midst of one of their heated and very public arguments, a journalist snaps a photo, but the image makes it look like they’re kissing. As if that weren’t already worst-nightmare territory, the photo goes viral—and in a bid to secure the liberal vote, the governor asks them to lean into it. Hard. Thom knows all about damage control—he practically invented it. Ever the professional, he’ll grin and bear this challenge as he does all others. But as the loyal staffers push the boundaries of “giving the people what they want,” the animosity between them blooms into something deeper and far more dangerous: desire. Soon their fake relationship is hurtling toward something very real, which could derail the campaign and cost them both their jobs…and their hearts. https://www.22debuts.com/liz-bowery.html
CHEF'S KISS by TJ Alexander
S&S/Atria/Emily Bestler 5/3/2022
Simone Larkspur is a perfectionist pastry expert with a dream job at TheDiscerning Chef, a venerable cookbook publisher in New York City. All she wants to do is create the perfect loaf of sourdough and develop recipes, but when The Discerning Chef decides to bring their brand into the 21st century by pivoting to video, Simone is thrust into the spotlight and finds herself failing at something for the first time in her life. To make matters worse, Simone has to deal with Ray Lyton, the new test kitchen manager, whose obnoxious cheer and outgoing personality are like oil to Simone’s water. When Ray accidentally becomes a viral YouTube sensation with a series of homebrewing videos, their eccentric editor in chief forces Simone to work alongside the chipper upstart or else risk her beloved job. But the more they work together, the more Simone realizes her heart may be softening like butter for Ray. Things get even more complicated when Ray comes out at work as nonbinary to mixed reactions—and Simone must choose between the career she fought so hard for and the person who just might take the cake (and her heart).
NEVER BEEN KISSED by Timothy Janovsky
Sourcebooks Casablanca 5/3/22
Wren Roland has never been kissed, let alone been in love, but he wants that movie-perfect ending more than anything. Feeling nostalgic on the eve of his birthday, he sends emails to all the boys he (ahem) loved before he came out. He didn't expect a response from Derick Haverford, Wren’s #1 pre-coming-out-crush...but now that they’re working together at their hometown’s vintage drive-in theater, maybe that perfect-kiss-before-the-credits is finally within reach.
QUEERLY BELOVED by Susie Dumond
The Dial Press 5/3/2022
At her day job in a Christian bakery and with her conservative family, Amy plays the role of a straight, church-going young woman—exactly what’s expected in mid-2010s Tulsa, Oklahoma, the “Buckle of the Bible Belt.” But at night, she tends bar at the only place in town that truly feels like home: Ruby Red’s, a lovably grungy queer bar with a group of regulars who have become her chosen family. Amy’s spent a lifetime learning how to walk this fine line, placing others before herself so effortlessly that she doesn’t even realize she’s lost touch with her own needs and desires. Still, everything seems fine, especially when Amy falls into a whirlwind romance with Charley, a charming newcomer to Tulsa. But then Amy is suddenly outed and subsequently fired from her bakery job. When a new friend begs her to fill in for one of the bridesmaids at her wedding—and offers to pay Amy more than she makes in a single night at Ruby Red’s—she can’t afford to turn it down. As her relationship with Charley heats up, this one-off opportunity turns into a full-time business, thanks to Amy’s baking talents, crafting skills, and expert ability to become whatever other people need her to be. When Amy’s precarious balancing act strains her relationships to a breaking point, she must decide what it looks like to be true to herself—and if she has the courage to try.
A LITTLE BIT OF COUNTRY by Brian D. Kennedy
Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins 5/31/2022
Emmett Maguire wants to be country music’s biggest gay superstar – a far reach when you’re seventeen and living in Illinois. But for now, he’s happy to do the next best thing: Stay with his aunt in Jackson Hollow, Tennessee, for the summer and perform at the amusement park owned by his idol, country legend Wanda Jean Stubbs. Luke Barnes hates country music. As the grandson of Verna Rose, the disgraced singer who had a famous falling out with Wanda Jean, Luke knows how much pain country music has brought his family. But when his mom’s medical bills start piling up, he takes a job at the last place he wants: a restaurant at Wanda World. Neither boy is looking for romance, but sparks fly when they meet – and soon they’re inseparable. Until a long-lost secret about Verna and Wanda comes to light, threatening to unravel everything. Will Emmett and Luke be able get past the truths they discover…or will their relationship go down in history as just another Sad Country Love Song?
THE LESBIANA'S GUIDE TO CATHOLIC SCHOOL
by Sonora Reyes
Seventeen-year-old Yamilet Flores prefers drawing attention for her killer eyeliner, not for being the new kid at a mostly white, very rich, Catholic school. But at least here no one knows she's gay, and Yami intends to keep it that way. After being outed by her crush and ex-best friend, she could use the fresh start. At Slayton Catholic, Yami has new priorities: make her mom proud, keep her brother out of trouble, and most importantly, don't fall in love. Granted, she's never been great at any of those things, but that’s a problem for Future Yami. The thing is, it’s hard to fake being straight when Bo, the only openly queer girl at school, is so annoyingly perfect. And talented. And confident. And cute. So cute. Yami isn't sure if she likes Bo or if she's just jealous of her unapologetic nature. Either way, she isn't ready to make the same mistake again. If word got to her mom, she could face a lot worse than rejection.
SPEECH AND DEBACLES by Heather DiAngelis
Finch Books 5/31/2022
Drama class is nothing like Taryn Platt’s favorite TV show—no one has broken out into song yet, and there isn’t nearly as much kissing. But when her Drama teacher recruits her for the school’s powerhouse Speech and Debate team, she can’t believe her luck: the guy catching her eye, Riker, is one of the team’s strongest competitors—and hopefully he got the hint she likes boys as well as girls. But when painful, amped-up cramps invade her pelvis, performing on demand and getting close to Riker become increasingly less feasible. Up until junior year, Riker Lucas had one life goal—break into the world of voice acting to perform videogame voiceovers. Then one look from the green-eyed new girl from Speech brings on a second goal—getting himself over the hurdle of actually talking to her. The task proves impossible when a nagging inner voice constantly reminds him how worthless he is, how he doesn’t stand a chance. As Riker and Taryn float closer together and then farther apart, they both must work to find solutions for coping—or they’ll miss out on each other as well as their performance goals.
Curator: Liz Bowry
Blogger: Susan Azim Boyer