The best month of the year has finally arrived. June means the beginning of summer, the end of school, an invitation to a new adventure, and, most important of all, it’s Pride month. Pride month brings the LGBTQIA community together to celebrate who they truly are while taking no prejudice from society. Despite how far the LGBTQIA community has come, the cruelty of society is still a harsh reality. However, don’t let society dictate what you should be and focus on what you thrive to become. To those who are unable to attend Pride parades, to those who are scared of coming out, to those who are unsure of their sexuality or gender, and to everyone who loves reading, this article will recommend you some of the best queer romance novels to warm up your heart.
1. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
For Harry Potter lovers, this book is a must. The story is set in a wizarding world hidden within our own, in which certain people have distinguished abilities. Our main character, Simon Snow, has been labeled the ‘chosen one’, however, Simon can barely even hold his wand properly. With the help of his friends, Simon thrives to grow, while he carries on with his mission to discover the Humdrum. Magic is not his strongest suit, and learning is not that easy when your roommate is a vampire who probably wants to eat you while you’re asleep. Mix a big of magic, unexpected roommates, and the beloved enemies to lovers trope. Who doesn’t love a mean, rich vampire and a clumsy, ginger mage?
2. Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
Now, who doesn’t love a heartwarming, coming-of-age story? This comic book delivers just that. Follow Charlie, an openly gay high-school boy who struggles to find love. Being out of the closet is hard, especially around kids who will bully you for what you are, despite having no concept or actual opinion on the matter. After a harsh encounter with the boy he was seeing, Charlie ends up being saved by Nick Nelson, the famous rugby star of their school.
As they grow closer, there’s a shift in their dynamic as well as their feelings. However, Nick Nelson isn’t gay. This novel follows the ups and downs of homosexuality and coming out, as well as the harsh reality of what it means to be your true self within society. Don’t let my writing fool you though, this is the sweetest book I have ever read, and I wish I could have a Neuralyzer so I could read it again for the first time.
3. Something To Talk About by Meryl Wilsner
This rom-com offers you insight into a Hollywood romance. A showrunner and her assistant? Sign me up! Our lovely Jo is caught making her assistant, Emma, laugh on the red carpet. Seems innocent enough. However, someone isn’t having it. After that night, rumors about the two of them being together storm Hollywood and hit the charts. The tabloids claim Jo and Emma are a couple, while they’re actually not. However, it’s very hard to turn down rumors when there’s an anonymous source fueling them behind your back. This slow-burn romance is perfect for people who love to witness character development and characters who actually take time to get to know each other thoroughly. A sweet, loving, and entertaining story to read on a beautiful summer afternoon.
4. Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
Morgan Rogers rocked this debut novel. It hit the right spots and left me completely speechless with the introspective I went through while reading. The story focuses on astronomer Grace Porter, who has worked her entire life to become someone she could be proud of, but just like any other twenty-year-old, she struggles with not knowing who she truly wants to become. On a trip to Vegas, the once so cautious Grace ends up marrying a strange woman. This debut novel highlights self-discovery, self-acceptance and allows the reader to have a moment of self-reflection. ‘Honey Girl’ is perfect for readers who want something beyond a simple romance.
5. A Lady For A Duke by Alexis Hall
A trans-heroine? I’m sold! Viola was once presumed dead at Waterloo, and with her supposed death, she grasped the opportunity to live her life the way she wanted to, to actually be honest with herself about who she wanted to be. Therefore, she left her old life behind without knowing what sorrow her death brought upon someone else. The Duke of Gracewood, an old friend of Viola’s, turned his grieving into alcohol while spiraling down into a depression due to the news of his friend passing away. However, as both reunite upon odd circumstances, something more begins to flow in every sentence, and every page. A real page-turner, Alexis Hall never disappoints!
6. Finding Your Feet by Cass Lennox
For lovers of Dirty Dancing, I present you with this lovely book. ‘Finding Your Feet‘ follows the story of Evie Whitmore, who plans to meet a Tumblr friend during her holidays in Toronto, but stumbles upon a dance competition instead. Evie is a free-spirited person, being out as bisexual but not so much as asexual to her closest friends, not thinking about telling her family due to how they would react. However, dancing in a competition during Pride sounds like coming out to her. She is partnered up with Tyler Davis, a grumpy man that annoys Evie to the moon and back.
Tyler, a transgender and biracial dancer, has had a rough year, recovering from an abusive past relationship with his ex-partner, but while getting to know Evie and teaching her the routine, he begins to feel something oddly different, but surely warm. Add some nervous giggles, difficult situations, and an annoying dance partner and you get the receipt for a sweet romance.
May the LGBTQIA community continue to thrive and flourish!