It’s not always easy to find out which books have queer representation, or what kind of representation they have. That’s why every month, I make a big list of bi and lesbian books out this month, sorted by genre. I’ve highlighted a few of the books I’m most interested in, but click through to see the other titles’ blurbs!
As always, if you can get these through an indie bookstore, that is ideal, but if you can’t, the titles and covers are linked to my Amazon affiliate link. If you click through and buy something, I’ll get a small percentage. On to the books!
Parallel Hells by Leon Craig (Queer Short Stories)
In this deliciously strange debut collection, Leon Craig draws on folklore and gothic horror in refreshingly inventive ways to explore queer identity, love, power and the complicated nature of being human.
Some say that hell is other people and some say hell is loneliness . . .
In the thirteen darkly audacious stories of Parallel Hells we meet a golem, made of clay, learning that its powers far exceed its Creator’s expectations; a ruined mansion which grants the secret wishes of a group of revellers and a notorious murderer who discovers her Viking husband is not what he seems.
Asta is an ancient being who feasts on the shame of contemporary Londoners, who now, beyond anything, wishes only to fit in with a group of friends they will long outlive. An Oxford historian, in bitter competition with the rest of her faculty members, discovers an ancient tome whose sinister contents might solve her problems. Livia orchestrates a Satanic mass to distract herself from a recently remembered trauma and two lovers must resolve their differences in order to defy a lethal curse.
Tripping Arcadia by Kit Mayquist (Bisexual F/F Gothic)
From debut author Kit Mayquist, a propulsive and atmospheric modern Gothic with all the splendor of The Great Gatsby . . . and all the secrets, lies, and darkness that opulence can hide.
Med school dropout Lena is desperate for a job, any job, to help her parents, who are approaching bankruptcy after her father was injured and laid off nearly simultaneously. So when she is offered a position, against all odds, working for one of Boston’s most elite families, the illustrious and secretive Verdeaus, she knows she must accept it—no matter how bizarre the interview or how vague the job description.
By day, she is assistant to the family doctor and his charge, Jonathan, the sickly, poetic, drunken heir to the family empire, who is as difficult as his illness is mysterious. By night, Lena discovers the more sinister side of the family, as she works overtime at their lavish parties, helping to hide their self-destructive tendencies . . . and trying not to fall for Jonathan’s alluring sister, Audrey. But when she stumbles upon the knowledge that the Verdeau patriarch is the one responsible for the ruin of her own family, Lena vows to get revenge—a poison-filled quest that leads her further into this hedonistic world than she ever bargained for, forcing her to decide how much—and who—she’s willing to sacrifice for payback.
The perfect next read for fans of Mexican Gothic, Tripping Arcadia is a page-turning and shocking tale with an unforgettable protagonist that explores family legacy and inheritance, the sacrifices we must make to get by in today’s world, and the intoxicating, dangerous power of wealth.
- Getting Clean with Stevie Green by Swan Huntley (Questioning/Lesbian Fiction)
Count Your Lucky Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur (F/F Romance)
Margot Cooper doesn’t do relationships. She tried and it blew up in her face, so she’ll stick with casual hookups, thank you very much. But now her entire crew has found “the one” and she’s beginning to feel like a fifth wheel. And then fate (the heartless bitch) intervenes. While touring a wedding venue with her engaged friends, Margot comes face-to-face with Olivia Grant—her childhood friend, her first love, her first… well, everything. It’s been ten years, but the moment they lock eyes, Margot’s cold, dead heart thumps in her chest.
Olivia must be hallucinating. In the decade since she last saw Margot, her life hasn’t gone exactly as planned. At almost thirty, she’s been married… and divorced. However, a wedding planner job in Seattle means a fresh start and a chance to follow her dreams. Never in a million years did she expect her important new client’s Best Woman would be the one that got away.
When a series of unfortunate events leaves Olivia without a place to stay, Margot offers up her spare room because she’s a Very Good Person. Obviously. It has nothing to do with the fact that Olivia is as beautiful as ever and the sparks between them still make Margot tingle. As they spend time in close quarters, Margot starts to question her no-strings stance. Olivia is everything she’s ever wanted, but Margot let her in once and it ended in disaster. Will history repeat itself or should she count her lucky stars that she gets a second chance with her first love?
Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake (Bisexual and Lesbian Romance)
Delilah Green swore she would never go back to Bright Falls—nothing is there for her but memories of a lonely childhood where she was little more than a burden to her cold and distant stepfamily. Her life is in New York, with her photography career finally gaining steam and her bed never empty. Sure, it’s a different woman every night, but that’s just fine with her.
When Delilah’s estranged stepsister, Astrid, pressures her into photographing her wedding with a guilt trip and a five-figure check, Delilah finds herself back in the godforsaken town that she used to call home. She plans to breeze in and out, but then she sees Claire Sutherland, one of Astrid’s stuck-up besties, and decides that maybe there’s some fun (and a little retribution) to be had in Bright Falls, after all.
Having raised her eleven-year-old daughter mostly on her own while dealing with her unreliable ex and running a bookstore, Claire Sutherland depends upon a life without surprises. And Delilah Green is an unwelcome surprise…at first. Though they’ve known each other for years, they don’t really know each other—so Claire is unsettled when Delilah figures out exactly what buttons to push. When they’re forced together during a gauntlet of wedding preparations—including a plot to save Astrid from her horrible fiancé—Claire isn’t sure she has the strength to resist Delilah’s charms. Even worse, she’s starting to think she doesn’t want to…
- My Secret Valentine by Julie Cannon, Erin Dutton and Anne Shade (F/F Romance Anthology)
- Her Royal Happiness by Lola Keeley (F/F Romance)
- Love Lessons in Starcross Valley by Lucy Knott (F/F Romance)
- Beyond the Blue by TJ O’Shea (F/F Romance)
- Reading Her by Amanda Radley (F/F Romance)
- What’s Mine Is Yours by Willow Renee (F/F/M Romance)
- Radiant by Judy Sapphire (F/F Romance)
- Her Heart’s Desire by Anne Shade (F/F Romance)
- Stud Like Her by Fiona Zedde (F/F Romance)
- The Raven and the Banshee by Carolyn Elizabeth (F/F Historical Adventure Romance)
- Enchanted Autumn by Ursula Klein (F/F Fantasy Romance)
- Luck Lines by Quinn Tollens (F/F Fantasy Romance)
- Escorted by Renee Roman (F/F Erotica)
The Verifiers by Jane Pek (Sapphic Mystery)
Introducing Claudia Lin: a sharp-witted amateur sleuth for the 21st century. This debut novel follows Claudia as she verifies people’s online lives, and lies, for a dating detective agency in New York City. Until a client with an unusual request goes missing…
Claudia is used to disregarding her fractious family’s model-minority expectations: she has no interest in finding either a conventional career or a nice Chinese boy. She’s also used to keeping secrets from them, such as that she prefers girls—and that she’s just been stealth-recruited by Veracity, a referrals-only online-dating detective agency.
A lifelong mystery reader who wrote her senior thesis on Jane Austen, Claudia believes she’s landed her ideal job. But when a client vanishes, Claudia breaks protocol to investigate—and uncovers a maelstrom of personal and corporate deceit. Part literary mystery, part family story, The Verifiers is a clever and incisive examination of how technology shapes our choices, and the nature of romantic love in the digital age.
Watching Over Her by Ronica Black (F/F Romantic Thriller)
All Riley Robinson wants is peace and serenity. She can’t wait to spend the winter at her new cabin in snowy, remote Northern Arizona. On the way Riley meets Zoe Mitchell, a secretive woman whose barely hidden vulnerability captures her curiosity and sparks her interest.
Zoe was doing just fine until without warning she becomes the focus of a stalker. With no idea who is following her and desperate to shrug off the sense of being watched, Zoe takes off to her grandfather’s old cabin. Unfortunately, the cabin hasn’t been used in years, and the snowstorm of the century is moving in. Zoe has no intention of taking chances with a beautiful woman she’s just met, but she can’t turn down Riley’s offer of help and a warm place to take refuge.
As they face the storm and the looming threat of a stalker, Riley and Zoey just might find love in the most unexpected of places.
- Legacy in the Blood by Catherine Maiorisi (F/F Mystery)
- Deadly Secrets by VK Powell (F/F Romantic Thriller)
- Perilous Obsession by Carsen Taite (F/F Romantic Thriller)
- Two Knights Tango (Queen of Humboldt #2) by Tagan Shepard (F/F Thriller)
Errant by L. K. Fleet (F/F Bisexual/Lesbian Fantasy)
Aspen Silverglade used to be a force for good, but now she’s just a sword for hire. On the run from the people she once trusted most, she needs to keep her head down and keep moving.
But old habits are hard to quit. One night in a tavern, Aspen tries to save a woman from some unwanted attention. The woman, Charm Linville, is in the middle of a subtle and delicate act of thievery, and she does not appreciate Aspen blundering in.
The disastrous and public rescue-gone-wrong makes the townspeople think Aspen and Charm are a couple. This mistake sets Aspen’s bloodthirsty betrayers on Charm’s trail, tying the two of them together.
Even if Aspen can’t run from her past any longer, Charm shouldn’t have to suffer. Despite Aspen’s determination to work alone, Charm insists on helping—and she has a past of her own. The two of them don’t care for each other’s methods, but as they journey through the villages and wildernesses of Falland, solving problems and meeting magical friends and foes, Aspen and Charm grudgingly come to care for each other. Can these two guarded, stubborn women admit their feelings, or will Aspen’s enemies kill them first?
Scorpica (The Five Queendoms #1) by G.R. Macallister (Sapphic Fantasy)
A centuries-long peace is shattered in a matriarchal society when a decade passes without a single girl being born in this sweeping epic fantasy that’s perfect for fans of Robin Hobb and Circe.
Five hundred years of peace between queendoms shatters when girls inexplicably stop being born. As the Drought of Girls stretches across a generation, it sets off a cascade of political and personal consequences across all five queendoms of the known world, throwing long-standing alliances into disarray as each queendom begins to turn on each other—and new threats to each nation rise from within.
Uniting the stories of women from across the queendoms, this propulsive, gripping epic fantasy follows a warrior queen who must rise from childbirth bed to fight for her life and her throne, a healer in hiding desperate to protect the secret of her daughter’s explosive power, a queen whose desperation to retain control leads her to risk using the darkest magic, a near-immortal sorcerer demigod powerful enough to remake the world for her own ends—and the generation of lastborn girls, the ones born just before the Drought, who must bear the hopes and traditions of their nations if the queendoms are to survive.
- Tracking Trouble by Aldrea Alien (Pansexual Dark Fantasy)
- The Willing by Lyn Hemphill (F/F Fantasy)
- The Thousand Eyes (The Serpent Gates #2) by A. K. Larkwood (Sapphic Fantasy)
- The Wall by Sarah Jane Singer (Bisexual Fantasy)
Bluebird by Ciel Pierlot (Lesbian Sci Fi)
Lesbian gunslinger fights spies in space!
Three factions vie for control of the galaxy. Rig, a gunslinging, thieving, rebel with a cause, doesn’t give a damn about them and she hasn’t looked back since abandoning her faction three years ago.
That is, until her former faction sends her a message: return what she stole from them, or they’ll kill her twin sister.
Rig embarks on a journey across the galaxy to save her sister – but for once she’s not alone. She has help from her network of resistance contacts, her taser-wielding librarian girlfriend, and a mysterious bounty hunter.
If Rig fails and her former faction finds what she stole from them, trillions of lives will be lost–including her sister’s. But if she succeeds, she might just pull the whole damn faction system down around their ears. Either way, she’s going to do it with panache and pizzazz.
- Sisters of the Forsaken Stars (Our Lady of Endless Worlds #2) by Lina Rather (Queer Science Fiction)
Comics, Graphic Novels, and Manga
Crema by by Johnnie Christmas and Dante Luiz (F/F Fantasy Graphic Novel)
#1 New York Times Bestselling cartoonist Johnnie Christmas and Prism Award Nominee Dante Luiz bring you a haunted tale of love, ghosts, and coffee beans.
Esme, a barista, feels invisible, like a ghost… also, when Esme drinks too much coffee she actually sees ghosts.
Yara, the elegant heir to a coffee plantation, is always seen, but only has eyes for Esme.
Their world is turned upside down when the strange ghost of an old-world nobleman begs Esme to take his letter from New York City to a haunted coffee farm in Brazil, to reunite him with his lost love of a century ago. Bringing sinister tidings of unrequited love.
Collects the ComiXology original digital graohic novel Crema in print for the first time.
5 Seconds Before a Witch Falls in Love by Zeniko Sumiya (F/F Fantasy Manga)
A magical enemies-to-lovers yuri romcom!
Solitary witch Meg likes to be mischievous and make trouble in the forest for her nemesis, Lilith the Witch Hunter. But when an altercation goes sideways and Meg turns Lilith into a cat, a cascade of unfortunate events means witch is now responsible for saving witch-hunter! Sparks were flying between these antagonistic ladies before–what will their relationship be like after this cat-astrophe?…
- I’m in Love with the Villainess Vol. 2 by Inori and Aonoshimo (Yuri Manga)
- Hello, Melancholic! Vol. 1 by Yayoi Ohsawa (Yuri Manga)
- How Do We Relationship? Vol. 5 by Tamifull (F/F Manga)
No Filter and Other Lies by Crystal Maldonado (F/F YA Contemporary)
You should know, right now, that I’m a liar.
They’re usually little lies. Tiny lies. Baby lies. Not so much lies as lie adjacent.
But they’re still lies.
Twenty one-year-old Max Monroe has it all: beauty, friends, and a glittering life filled with adventure. With tons of followers on Instagram, her picture-perfect existence seems eminently enviable.
Except it’s all fake.
Max is actually 17-year-old Kat Sanchez, a quiet and sarcastic teenager living in drab Bakersfield, California. Nothing glamorous in her existence—just sprawl, bad house parties, a crap school year, and the awkwardness of dealing with her best friend Hari’s unrequited love.
But while Kat’s life is far from perfect, she thrives as Max: doling out advice, sharing beautiful photos, networking with famous influencers, even making a real friend in a follower named Elena. The closer Elena and “Max” get—texting, Snapping, and even calling—the more Kat feels she has to keep up the façade.
But when one of Max’s posts goes ultra-viral and gets back to the very person she’s been stealing photos from, her entire world – real and fake — comes crashing down around her. She has to figure out a way to get herself out of the huge web of lies she’s created without hurting the people she loves.
But it might already be too late.
Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie (Sapphic YA Contemporary)
A teen girl navigates friendship drama, the end of high school, and discovering her queerness in Ophelia After All, a hilarious and heartfelt contemporary YA debut by author Racquel Marie.
Ophelia Rojas knows what she likes: her best friends, Cuban food, rose-gardening, and boys – way too many boys. Her friends and parents make fun of her endless stream of crushes, but Ophelia is a romantic at heart. She couldn’t change, even if she wanted to.
So when she finds herself thinking more about cute, quiet Talia Sanchez than the loss of a perfect prom with her ex-boyfriend, seeds of doubt take root in Ophelia’s firm image of herself. Add to that the impending end of high school and the fracturing of her once-solid friend group, and things are spiraling a little out of control. But the course of love―and sexuality―never did run smooth. As her secrets begin to unravel, Ophelia must make a choice between clinging to the fantasy version of herself she’s always imagined or upending everyone’s expectations to rediscover who she really is, after all.
Cold by Mariko Tamaki (Bisexual YA Contemporary)
Who was Todd Mayer, and why don’t any of his fellow students at Albright Academy seem to know, or want to say, anything about him?
Todd Mayer is dead. Now a ghost, hovering over his body, recently discovered in a snow covered park, naked and frozen. As detectives investigate Todd’s homicide, talking to the very people linked to the events leading to his death, Todd replays the choice that led him to his end.
Georgia didn’t know Todd. But ever since she heard about his death, she can’t stop thinking about him. Maybe because they’re both outcasts at their school, or because they’re both queer. Maybe because the story of Todd people keep telling feels like a lot of fake stories Georgia has heard people tell. Plus Georgia has a feeling she’s seen Todd somewhere before, somewhere he wasn’t supposed to be.
Told through the voices of Todd in his afterlife and Georgia as she uncovers the truth behind his death, Cold is an immersive, emotional, and provocative read.
- Murder of Crows by K. Ancrum (Queer YA Mystery)
Extasia by Claire Legrand (Sapphic YA Horror)
Her name is unimportant.
All you must know is that today she will become one of the four saints of Haven. The elders will mark her and place the red hood on her head. With her sisters, she will stand against the evil power that lives beneath the black mountain–an evil which has already killed nine of her village’s men.
She will tell no one of the white-eyed beasts that follow her. Or the faceless gray women tall as houses. Or the girls she saw kissing in the elm grove.
Today she will be a saint of Haven. She will rid her family of her mother’s shame at last and save her people from destruction. She is not afraid. Are you?
This searing and lyrically written novel by the critically acclaimed author of Sawkill Girls beckons readers to follow its fierce heroine into a world filled with secrets and blood–where the truth is buried in lies and a devastating power waits, seething, for someone brave enough to use it.
From Dust, a Flame by Rebecca Podos (Sapphic YA Fantasy)
Rebecca Podos, Lambda Award-winning author of Like Water, returns with a contemporary Jewish fantasy of enduring love, unfathomable loss, and the power of stories to hold us together when it seems that nothing else can.
Hannah’s whole life has been spent in motion. Her mother has kept her and her brother, Gabe, on the road for as long as she can remember, leaving a trail of rental homes and faded relationships behind them. No roots, no family but one another, and no explanations.
All that changes on Hannah’s seventeenth birthday when she wakes up transformed, a pair of golden eyes with knife-slit pupils blinking back at her from the mirror—the first of many such impossible mutations. Promising that she knows someone who can help, her mother leaves Hannah and Gabe behind to find a cure. But as the days turn to weeks and their mother doesn’t return, they realize it’s up to them to find the truth.
What they discover is a family they never knew and a history more tragic and fantastical than Hannah could have dreamed—one that stretches back to her grandmother’s childhood in Prague under the Nazi occupation, and beyond, into the realm of Jewish mysticism and legend. As the past comes crashing into the present, Hannah must hurry to unearth their family’s secrets in order to break the curse and save the people she loves most, as well as herself.
Fire Becomes Her by Rosiee Thor (Demiromantic Bisexual YA Fantasy)
In Rosiee Thor’s lavish fantasy novel with a Jazz Age spark, a politically savvy teen must weigh her desire to climb the social ladder against her heart in a world where magic buys votes.
Flare is power.
With only a drop of flare, one can light the night sky with fireworks . . . or burn a building to the ground — and seventeen-year-old Ingrid Ellis wants her fair share.
Ingrid doesn’t have a family fortune, monetary or magical, but at least she has a plan: Rise to the top on the arm of Linden Holt, heir to a hefty political legacy and the largest fortune of flare in all of Candesce. Her only obstacle is Linden’s father who refuses to acknowledge her.
So when Senator Holt announces his run for president, Ingrid uses the situation to her advantage. She strikes a deal to spy on the senator’s opposition in exchange for his approval and the status she so desperately craves. But the longer Ingrid wears two masks, the more she questions where her true allegiances lie.
Will she stand with the Holts, or will she forge her own path?
YA Comics, Graphic Novels, and Manga
The Greatest Thing by Sarah Winifred Searle (Sapphic YA Graphic Novel)
This tender YA comic is perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier’s Drama and Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham’s Real Friends who are ready to graduate to their first teen graphic novel.
It’s the first day of sophomore year, and now that Winifred’s two best (and only) friends have transferred to a private school, she must navigate high school on her own.
But she isn’t alone for long. In art class, she meets two offbeat students, Oscar and April. The three bond through clandestine sleepovers, thrift store shopping, and zine publishing. Winifred is finally breaking out of her shell, but there’s one secret she can’t bear to admit to April and Oscar, or even to herself―and this lie is threatening to destroy her newfound friendships.
With breathtaking art and honest storytelling, rising star Sarah Winifred Searle delivers a heartfelt story about love, friendship, and self-acceptance.
Pixels of You by Ananth Hirsh, Yuko Ota, and J.R. Doyle (Sapphic YA Sci Fi Graphic Novel)
A human and human-presenting AI slowly become friends—and maybe more—in this moving YA graphic novel
In a near future, augmentation and AI changed everything and nothing. Indira is a human girl who has been cybernetically augmented after a tragic accident, and Fawn is one of the first human-presenting AI. They have the same internship at a gallery, but neither thinks much of the other’s photography. But after a huge public blowout, their mentor gives them an ultimatum: work together on a project or leave her gallery forever. Grudgingly, the two begin to collaborate, and what comes out of it is astounding and revealing for both of them.
Pixels of You is about the slow transformation of a rivalry to a friendship to something more as Indira and Fawn navigate each other, the world around them—and what it means to be an artist and a person.
Woodsqueer: Crafting a Sustainable Rural Life by Gretchen Legler (Nonfiction)
“Woodsqueer” is sometimes used to describe the mindset of a person who has taken to the wild for an extended period of time. Gretchen Legler is no stranger to life away from the rapid-fire pace of the twenty-first century, which can often lead to a kind of stir-craziness. Woodsqueer chronicles her experiences intentionally focusing on not just making a living but making a life―in this case, an agrarian one more in tune with the earth on eighty acres in backwoods Maine.
Building a home with her partner, Ruth, on their farm means learning to live with solitude, endless trees, and the wild animals the couple come to welcome as family. Whether trying to outsmart their goats, calculating how much firewood they need for the winter, or bartering with neighbors for goods and services, they hone life skills brought with them (carpentry, tracking and hunting wild game) and other skills they learn along the way (animal husbandry, vegetable gardening, woodcutting).
Legler’s story is at times humbling and grueling, but it is also amusing. A homage to agrarian American life echoing the back-to-the-land movement popularized in the mid-twentieth century, Woodsqueer reminds us of the benefits of living close to the land. Legler unapologetically considers what we have lost in America, in less than a century―individually and collectively―as a result of our urban, mass-produced, technology-driven lifestyles.
Illustrated with rustic pen-and-ink illustrations, Woodsqueer shows the value of a solitary sojourn and both the pathway to and possibilities for making a sustainable, meaningful life on the land. The result, for Legler and her partner, is an evolution of their humanity as they become more physically, emotionally, and even spiritually connected to their land and each other in a complex ecosystem ruled by the changing seasons.
- A Funny Thing Happened on the Way by Nancy Spain (Lesbian Memoir)