A people-pleasing bridesmaid-for-hire meets her polar opposite in this delightfully heartwarming debut. Will she find her happily ever after?
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 more than 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.
Between weddings, bachelorette parties, bridal showers, and dress fittings, Amy’s in her element, her years of watching rom-coms and Say Yes to the Dress finally paying off. But at what cost? Gay marriage is not legal, yet she’s playing the role of a straight girl, working hard to facilitate strangers’ special days even while she’s secretly dreaming of her own potential wedding day with Charley. 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.
Publisher: The Dial Press (Random House)
Publication Date: May 3, 2022
“Susie Dumond's Queerly Beloved is like a great cake: warm, light but still richly layered, and bursting with sweetness.”—Casey McQuiston, bestselling author of Red, White & Royal Blue and One Last Stop
“Heartwarming and sparkling with originality.”—Sophie Cousens, bestselling author of This Time Next Year
“Heartfelt and inviting, Queerly Beloved is a joyful celebration of queer love and finding strength in vulnerability. . . . Impossible to put down!”—Alexandria Bellefleur, author of Written in the Stars and Hang the Moon
“A love letter to Tulsa and the beauty and resilience of queer communities everywhere.”—Alison Cochrun, author of The Charm Offensive
“Dumond uses the inner and interpersonal conflicts of her heroine to meaningfully prod queer rights issues in her funny and moving debut rom-com. . . . [A] seamless blend of serious issues, humor, and love.”—Publishers Weekly
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Susie Dumond is a queer writer from Little Rock, Arkansas. She is a senior contributor at Book Riot, where she writes a monthly Horoscopes and Book Recommendations column, as well as various quizzes, book lists, and bookish news pieces. Susie received a bachelor of arts from the University of Tulsa and a master of arts in public policy and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies from the George Washington University. Currently, she’s probably making cupcakes at her home in Washington, D.C., with her partner, Mary, her dog, Waffles, and her cat, Maple.
Tags: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, Romance, Rom-com, Sapphic, Women's Fiction