Queer Romance Novels You Need to Add To Your Reading List

written by BETH GILLETTE

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When I came out last year, I was doing anything I could to immerse myself in queer culture. I’d spent so much of my life identifying as a straight person and was sick of seeing heteronormative ideals of love in every single form of media I consumed. And as a steamy novel enthusiast, the first order of business was finding queer romance novels. Although there are definitely more mainstream straight romance stories out there, there is LGBTQ+ representation all throughout the romance genre if you know where to look for it.

These queer romance books give you a look into LGBTQ+ love, mostly through the eyes of queer-identifying authors themselves. Whether you’re hoping to read more stories about couples you identify with or just want a different perspective in your romance novels, these stories contain lesbian, gay, transgender, asexual, bisexual, and queer representation through and through.

Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Two loners, Aristotle and Dante, establish an unlikely friendship after meeting at a swimming pool, but their friendship might turn into something more as they learn more about each other and themselves.

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Alyssa Cole
How to Find a Princess

In this queer Anastasia retelling, Makeda Hicks loses her job and her girlfriend all at once, feeling a little annoyed when she's forced to revisit her grandmother's infamous summer fling with a runaway prince. When Beznaria Chetchevaliere is tasked with investigating the prince's whereabouts, Makeda is smitten, and the two embark on a royal adventure. The book includes some of the best romance tropes like one-bed scenarios and fake dating.

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Leah Johnson
Rise to the Sun

After getting dumped and being totally over relationships, Olivia attends the Farmland Music and Arts Festival with her BFF. There, she meets Toni, who's about to move to college while dealing with the death of her father. By the end of the festival, Olivia and Toni realize they need each other, regardless of the reasons they decided to attend the festival in the first place.

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Casey McQuiston
One Last Stop

When August moves to New York, she has no interest in falling in love (or really anything other than getting her college degree) until she meets Jane on the Q. She discovers Jane is actually from the '70s and is stuck in 2020. The two embark on a journey to figure out what happened, establishing a friendship that turns into something more along the way.

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Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Jamie and Ryan were best friends until a bet turned into a one-night fling four years ago. When their college hockey teams play each other in a tournament, it only takes one look to make them wonder what could have happened. They sign up to coach the camp they went to all those years ago, and of course, shenanigans ensue.

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Tanya Boteju
Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens

Nima Kumara-Clark is bored of her community, but a local festival immerses her in the drag scene across town. Throughout the story, Nima learns more about her true self, how to express and accept love, and what it will take to achieve it.

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Alice Oseman

Georgia's never fallen in love, never been kissed, and never even had a crush—but she's sure there's a romance out there for her. When she goes to college, she begins to question why love is so easy for everyone except her and starts learning more about asexuality and aromance. Is she meant to be loveless or is there more to her story?

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Casey McQuiston
Red, White & Royal Blue

Alex and Henry hate each other, but what else would you expect from the son of the President of the United States and the Prince of England? When they're forced to spend a little time together for PR, they realize they might actually have more in common than they thought. Expect lots of steam and some of the funniest one-liners in this book.

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Karelia Stetz-Waters
Satisfaction Guaranteed

When Cade inherits a sex shop, she has no interest in pleasure—until she's surrounded by every means possible to have a great orgasm, including her new coworker Selena.

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Kacen Callender
Felix Ever After

After being cyberbullied by a classmate, Felix—Black, queer, and transgender—embarks on a scheme to catfish the assailant, ultimately landing in a love triangle. This story gives an honest, incredible look at what it means to find yourself and fall in love as a queer teen.

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Camille Perri
When Katie Met Cassidy

Katie's life feels perfect—until her fiancé dumps her, leaving her alone and confused. She decides to have a drink with her fun, promiscuous coworker, which ultimately completely changes her ideas of what sex and love can look like.

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Jennifer Dugan
Some Girls Do

Morgan, an openly gay track star, is forced to move schools because being gay is against her Catholic school's code of conduct. When she joins her new school, she meets Ruby, a closeted bisexual pageant girl with a love for restoring old cars.

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Morgan Rogers
Honey Girl

When two girls from opposite sides of the country get married after a drunk night out in Vegas, they spend the summer together to see if maybe all it does take is one night to meet the love of your life.

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Alice Oseman
Heartstopper Volume One

When Charlie, fresh off a year of being outed and bullied, meets Nick, a rugby player, the two spark a friendship. Charlie soon falls for Nick, even though he thinks he has no chance, but there might be more in store for the pair.

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Dani Alexander
Shattered Glass

Austin has everything: a good job, a trust fund, and a loving fiancé. But he's still not happy, and Peter can see right through it, making him realize more about himself than he ever knew.

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Claire Kann
Let's Talk About Love

After her girlfriend leaves her when she finds out Alice is asexual, Alice plans a summer of marathoning her favorite Netflix shows and working at her local library—with absolutely no love life. But then she meets Takumi, and her summer might just include a little romance after all.

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Aiden Thomas
Cemetery Boys

After his traditional Latinx family has trouble accepting Yadriel's gender identity, he'll do anything to prove he's a real man, including summoning the ghost of his murdered cousin and setting him free. The ritual goes wrong, and he actually summons the ghost of the high school bad boy—and he can't get rid of him.

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Brit Bennett
The Vanishing Half

Although this isn't technically a romance, it involves one of the most beautiful queer romances we've ever read that actually feels realistic. The Vignes twins embark on totally different journeys: One lives with her Black daughter in the same town they once tried to escape, and the other is white-passing and lives with her white family. No matter how many miles separate them, their lives are inexplicably intertwined.

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Yoon Ha Lee
Phoenix Extravagant

In this fantasy following an unemployed non-binary painter, Gyen Jebi, they are tasked with painting mystical sigils for the Ministry of Armor. When they learn of the organization's corruption, they vow to find Arazi, a mighty dragon automaton, and fight.

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Dean Atta
The Black Flamingo

When a mixed-race gay teen begins a drag performance called the Black Flamingo, he discovers his marginalizations make him better. It's an LGBTQ+ coming-of-age story that shows how important it is to immerse yourself in queer communities.

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