Something about Nick Nelson saying, “I love liking you!” makes me emotional. I can’t explain it but I hope you can understand the meaning behind it as well. The things unsaid in that one simple phrase.
As an ace author and reader, I'm all for more examples of rep to read and authors to support. Below are just a few of my favs, but I have a larger list here: Gwen's Ace Book Recs and you're always welcome to hit me up for recs!
1) The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee. Felicity is aro/ace and I love how up in your face her aceness is. A true integral part of the character. You know right away she'd rather pursue science than marriage & then whoops! She's tangled with pirates. While it's the second in a series, they're world series so there's no need to read book 1 to understand this one. (I think this one is better anyway.) https://bookshop.org/books/the-lady-s-guide-to-petticoats-and-piracy/9780062795335
2) Common Bonds. While actually an anthology with an aro focus, there's also ace rep and I love how varied this collection is. So many aro and ace stories all bundled up neatly is still such a dream. https://bookshop.org/books/common-bonds-a-speculative-aromantic-anthology/9781775312970
3) Making Love by Aidan Wayne. Thinking about this, it might be the first book I've read where the ace character wasn't also aro. It's about an ace cupid trying to help someone find love, and missing a fair amount of cues. It's a fluff dream. https://www.amazon.com/Making-Love-Aidan-Wayne-ebook/dp/B01MRA15MR
4) Returning to You by Gwen Tolios. A friends-to-lovers romance between two women, both of whom are bi, where one is ace and one is aro. Be prepared for a fair amount of family drama from both sides (including fake dating!) https://www.amazon.com/Returning-You-Gwen-Tolios-ebook/dp/B0B4FDYNP6/
5) How to Be Ace by Rebeca Burgess. Memoir graphic novel full of experiences that I could relate to that's good to share with local aces or allos. My local ace community has 100% passed around a copy of this. https://bookshop.org/a/55449/9781787752153
6) Tarnished are the Stars by Rossie Thor. This book got a lot of support from the ace community, it's own voices and has quite a bit of queer rep. If you like steampunk, but want it in space, this is for you. https://bookshop.org/books/tarnished-are-the-stars/9781338312270
7) Hazel's Theory of Evolution by Lisa Jenn Bigelow. Aro/ace MC, but it's so casually queer w/ other identities and disabled rep. I love it. Noteworthy for being an MG read. I'm so glad to see ace rep hitting middle schoolers. https://bookshop.org/books/hazel-s-theory-of-evolution/9780062791177
8) Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire. This is the first time I saw 'asexual' in a book, and for that it will always be dear to me. This launches a great series about children who have returned from portal-fantasy adventures and the trade versions all have amazing illustrations. https://bookshop.org/a/55449/9780765385505
9) Simply an Enigma by Brittany Evans and Chelsea Lauren. I'll admit I have a love-hate relationship with this book, but it's such an accurate portrayal of the journey to identifying as ace it has a permanent place on my shelf. https://bookshop.org/a/55449/9781732464315
10) Three Stupid Weddings by Ann G. Cute, short romance about bringing a friend to weddings as your date and oh! You're now a couple by summer's end. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41070264-three-stupid-weddings
It's a queer contemporary fantasy novel about a wizard-in-training named Rosemary who is cursed to be forgotten. In order to break the spell, he must regain the trust of his partner, Rowan—but in losing their memories of his existence, they've also forgotten that they are capable of using magic at all.
Reviewers have described it as "great character-driven fantasy," "thoughtful, artistic, contemplative," and "not at all reminiscent of H*rry P*tter" :)
Available now from Amazon and a wide variety of other retailers in both e-book and paperback form, & in e-book only on my website 🖤
Hi there! To make a long story short, I’m writing a fantasy book series called Heroes of MidAria! Help support me as a young lgbt author by sharing the news or by purchasing yourself a copy of book 1, Heaven’s Demons.
Join Dacitrynn, a half-demon half-angel hybrid, on a thrilling journey through the magical world of the Middle Realms as he seeks to discover his purpose and what use his existence could possible serve.
One Night in Hartswood is a queer medieval romance novel about why making out with a mysterious guy in the woods the night before your wedding (and then running away with him) might not be a very good idea, especially when you’re both lying about who you really are (and he’s the brother of the woman you’re supposed to be marrying.)
Mostly, it's about Raff and Penn.
One Night in Hartswood contains...
🗡️ "Run away with me" (and actually doing it)
🗡️ Hidden identities
🗡️ Huddling for warmth
🗡️ Bone-deep yearning
🗡️ Hands-on training
🗡️ Winter road trips
🗡️ Healing from the trauma of your terrible dad
PRE-ORDER | GOODREADS | NETGALLEY
✨ Pre-order with free worldwide delivery for those in the US! ✨
(Full blurb, more info & CWs under the cut)
William de Foucart - known as Penn - is betrothed to a stranger. When he flees his father’s keep on the eve of his wedding, he’s looking only for a final night of freedom in Hartswood Forest, but what he finds is a mysterious man named Raff… and a desperate kiss beneath the trees. As dawn breaks, and Penn sneaks back, he decides that he will not be forced to bend to his father’s will. He’s going to escape both the keep and the marriage, and this time he won’t return.
Raff Barden, the son of an Earl, has been roped into searching for his reluctant sister’s missing groom. Instead, he stumbles across Penn once more, and assuming he’s a servant running from his cruel master he offers his help - hoping he can give Penn the freedom they both crave.
Unaware of their real identities, they begin to travel north, trying to ignore the attraction that still burns between them. But when they finally give in and grow closer, their continued concealment threatens everything they know and trust in each other. When their secrets are finally revealed, and the consequences of their relationship become clear, both must decide what they will risk for the man they love.
Past physical abuse, including in childhood, and the trauma related to that
Animal death (wild animals, no beloved pets)
One Night in Hartswood is being released in hardback, paperback, e-book and audiobook.
It's available for pre-order everywhere books are sold in the UK and from some international retailers (sorry, I don't have a specific list!)
Hello and welcome to asexual awareness week. Let me introduce Quentin, the demisexual psychokinetic earl who is simultaneously a soft cinnamon roll and also an absolute beast.
If you like The Tarot Sequence, White Trash Warlock, Widdershins, or Soulbound, why not give Inheritance a try? Start with Jack of Thorns.
HEY YOU do you like fantasy books that are PRETTY HECKIN' GAY? Do you like it when CHAOTIC DISASTERS have BARELY-CONTROLLED SUPERPOWERS and EVEN LESS CONTROLLED PERSONAL LIVES? Do you have a yearning for HORRIBLE TRAUMA interwoven with KINDNESS AND COMPASSION?
CWs include: On-page intimacy, addiction, drug use, overdose, sexual assault, childhood sexual abuse, incest, gaslighting, bullying, coercive control, kidnapping, domestic abuse, bigotry, torture, post-traumatic stress, therapy, violence, peril, and death.
Guys. Guys. Look at this cover. Can you FEEEEL the amount of Queer Yearning radiating off this cover? The cover makes a lot of promises, and I solemnly fucking swear that the book itself backs up every single one of those promises.
TorDotCom is giving away FIFTY advance copies!!! You can enter the giveaway here (US & Canada only, alas): https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/340440-a-taste-of-gold-and-iron
The AO3 tags for this book are:
exquisitely beautiful prince/hot stoic bodyguard
oaths of fealty
washing each other’s hair and talking about ethics
“all queer media is one dimensional, tropey, mass market, and made for teenagers-” not true. look harder
Memorial: Mike and Benson have been together for a few years and are in the middle of determining if they're going to stay together when Mike learns that his estranged father is terminally ill, and goes to Japan to reconcile with him before his death. meanwhile Mike’s mother stays with Benson in the US. my favorite part of the novel was the part in Japan, exploring the relationship between Mike and his father (TW for racism and abuse)
the luminous dead: w/w romance between a spelunker on a mission on an alien planet and the women who hired her for unknown reasons, who’s stationed on the surface and communicates with the mc through her high-tech caving suit. toxic but intriguing romance, killing eve and TMA fans you will enjoy this (TW for graphic descriptions of injury)
The Vanished Birds: explores a society that was created after the Earth has been environmentally destroyed and humanity has moved onto space stations, and all space travel and commerce is controlled by corporations. queerness isn’t the focus of this book but many of the main characters are queer. beautiful writing, will make you super depressed in the best way (TW for child abuse)
The Color Purple: Celie is separated from her sister in childhood when she’s forced into an abusive marriage by her father, but she continues to write to her over the years. an important part of the novel is the relationship that develops between Celie and her husband’s lover Shug. what I love about this book is that its an important look at misogynoir and abuse of vulnerable people, but Celie ultimately gets her happy ending. (TW for abuse, racism, sexual assault, incest)
The Miseducation of Cameron Post: the first half chronicles the early life of Cameron, a closeted lesbian growing up in rural Montana in the 90′s. the second half is about Cameron’s experience in a conversion camp. I love the writing of this book, it’s very atmospheric. I felt like I could picture Cameron’s town in my sleep. (TW for conversion therapy, homophobia, self-harm)
boys run the riot: manga, a trans boy who wants to work in men’s fashion one day works with two of his classmates to design and create a clothing line. I’ve only read the first volume so I cant speak on the series as a whole. the MC is only out to some people, so he gets misgendered and still wears the girls’ uniform in school. this might be difficult for some people to read, although there isn’t too much overt transphobia if I remember correctly (at least in the first volume)
The 57 bus: nonfiction, follows the stories of an agender teen who experienced a hate crime, and the boy who attacked them. A tough read, but a really important look at the justice system, racism, transphobia, and restorative justice (TW for transphobia and homophobia, violence, depictions of police and the justice system)
our dreams at dusk: manga series about an LGBT+ center in Japan. follows gay, trans, and asexual characters. an interesting look at queer issues in Japan. also the art is gorgeous (TW for homophobia and transphobia)
in the dream house: memoire about the author’s experience in an abusive sapphic relationship. super important, as abuse in queer relationships is so seldom talked about. hard to read but the writing is very lyrical and poetic, and beautiful (TW for abuse)
ask the passengers: mc is a girl who’s falling in love with another girl, while staying closeted from her gay friends because she’s not sure how to identify. the gimmick of the book is that the mc talks about her problems to airplanes in the sky, and this magically touches the lives of the people in the planes. I felt this part of the book was goofy and honestly I think it would be better without it, but I remember that the journey the mc goes through regarding her sexuality made me feel very seen (TW for homophobia)
king and the dragonflies: written by the author of Felix Ever After. the rest of his books deserve an equal amount of attention. middlegrade, about a boy dealing with the death of his brother and coming to terms with his sexuality. I liked the relationship between King and his family. they weren’t super homophobic but they also weren’t completely accepting at first either, it felt like a very realistic and healthy depiction of a family (TW for homophobia, racism, child abuse)
haven’t personally read, on my tbr: Giovanni’s Room, Nevada, Stone Butch Blues, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, My Cat Yugoslavia, My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness
“queer media is all boring period pieces and people getting divorced and experiencing horrible homophobia and tragedy-” not true. look harder
The Magic Fish: graphic novel, a young Vietnamese-American boy reads fairy tales with his mother to help her practice her english, and searches for a way to come out to her. some of my favorite art in a graphic novel, look it up its stunning
Honeygirl: going through quarter life crises and unsure of what to do after earning her PhD, the mc goes to vegas and ends up getting drunkenly married to a woman she doesnt know. the mc’s relationship with academia was very relatable to me
whatever: basically just about the mc fucking around with his friends, being in a band, and discovering that hes gay. a lot of fun, love the characters
anything by Alice oseman: Alice Oseman is the only person I trust to write about the fandom experience in YA fiction. my personal fave is iwbft. disclaimer: I haven’t read solitaire, cant say whether its good or gay
Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World: middlegrade, Ivy’s family’s home is destroyed by a tornado, and shes also dealing with the fact that she’s realizing she’s a lesbian. some internalized homophobia, but everyone in Ivy’s life is really accepting and its very sweet
my love mix-up: manga, mc has a crush on a girl in his class and asks to borrow her eraser, and sees the name of a different boy written on it (this is a popular love charm in Japan). boy #2 sees the mc holding the eraser, and thinks HE has a crush on HIM. very wholesome and funny, and one of the few times I’ve read a manga that actually allows a character to have crushes on people of multiple genders. it deals with homophobia in some cases, which makes it feel grounded in reality, but all of the mc’s friends are very accepting, and its very cute.
The Tarot Sequence: urban fantasy set in a modern magical society, mc is the heir to a family of the magical aristocracy, but since his family was killed he’s fallen from grace, is broke, and works as a mercenary for other powerful families. he tries to unravel the mystery of his family’s death on the side. m/m romance and found family. love the characters and the world building, and the author is planning for this to be a NINE book series. next book is coming out May 2022!! (TW for sexual assault)
In Other Lands: mc gets recruited to go to magical summer camp, except he’s genre-savvy, hates fighting, and misses technology. super funny satire of portal fantasy books, but will also have you aching for the mc? elliot schafer my beloved
havent personally read, on my tbr: a hero at the end of the world, the poster children, tell me how you really feel, heavy vinyl
we absolutely do have a long way to go in regards to queer representation, but it frustrates me to no end when I see post claiming that queer fiction is all one specific type of story. there are lots of queer creators out there writing unique, thoughtful, beautiful stories who deserve our support! if theres a particular type of queer fiction you would like to see, do a little digging because its likely that SOMETHING similar exists. it just doesnt exist on like disney+
also @lgbtqreads is an incredible resource, if you want to read something gay and have a specific genre or type of story in mind I highly recommend looking around on their blog