Another month means another round of amazing books, and we're even getting in the festive spirit with a few this month! Without further ado, here are some of our most anticipated queer reads coming this November.
On the first, you can grab a new favourite for us sapphics: Lillian Barry's The Santa Pageant! A festive romance featuring a lesbian main character and a bisexual non-binary love interest, you don't want to miss this hilariously heartwarming read.
Effie is going to win the Santa of the Year Pageant.
Her family are adamant that Santa isn’t a lesbian, but Effie has a pink Santa suit and a pocketful of festive puns. She’s definitely going to win. All that’s standing in her way is Tove, the grumpiest Santa in the grotto…who also happens to be Effie’s estranged best friend (who she scared off ten years ago with a really poorly timed kiss).
Too bad Tove wants nothing to do with her. Or do they, considering they keep asking for Effie’s help in the week leading up to Christmas, as they confront all that’s happened in the years since they parted?
And if that isn't enough, sapphic rom-com A Holly Jolly Christmas by Emily Wright is also releasing on the 1st!
Is it too late for a second chance at Christmas?
Holly hasn’t been home for two years. Ever since her brother died, Mistleberry has become a haunting ground of history she’s tried to escape. Her family are upset, her ex won’t stop calling, and bumping into Vicky Castleton puts the cherry on the crumbling Christmas cake. Because Holly’s first love and biggest regret looks better than ever.
Holly’s trying to heal the holes in her heart, as her family—and persistent best friend—keep pushing her to confront her past. But the more time she spends with her old flame, she’s hit with the undeniable truth: her heart never let go of Vicky. Time’s running out, and years of hiding away and shielding herself have left her questioning: can she conquer her ghosts this Christmas, and risk it all for love?
On the 2nd, read Al Hess's cosy sci-fi romance, Yours Celestially.
After divorce, death, and having his reformatted soul uploaded into a new body, Sasha expected resurrection to be a fresh start. His time spent in digital Limbo with the program’s cheeky AI guardian angel, Metatron, was cathartic, but what good is a second life when he only sees his daughter on the weekends, he has all the same problems he had before he died, and he can’t seem to shake the ache for the married life he lost?
If that weren’t frustrating enough, a glitch in the program has given Sasha the ability to sense Metatron even outside of Limbo. And Metatron is in love. The angel’s sickly-sweet yearning for one of the souls still in Limbo has turned Sasha’s stomach into caramelized lead. It’s hard enough to move on without someone else’s feelings making the emptiness in his own life even more acute. He didn’t have playing wingman to an actual winged being on his bingo card, but he’s determined to help Metatron make a move on their crush so he can get love off of his mind.
Sasha takes a job with the resurrection company in order to covertly contact Metatron. Except Sasha’s new coworker, Mr. C, keeps showing up at the worst moments. The man is annoying, he’s pushy… and he’s incredibly hot. Sasha can’t decide whether Mr. C wants to blackmail him or be his new BFF, but he seems to know things about Metatron and the resurrection program that Sasha doesn’t. Getting close to him might be the key to solving Sasha’s problem, but if he isn’t careful, he’s going to end up catching feelings of his own.
We cannot wait to read historical romance One Night in Hartswood by Emma Denny on the 7th!
When his sister’s betrothed vanishes the night before her politically arranged marriage, Raff Barden must track and return the elusive groom to restore his family’s honour.
William de Foucart — known to his friends as Penn — had no choice but to abandon his intended, and with it his own earldom, when he fled the night before his enforced marriage. But ill-equipped to survive on the run he must trust the kindness of a stranger, Raff, to help him escape.
Unaware their fates are already entwined, the men journey north. But amidst the snow-capped forests an unexpected bond deepens into a far more precious relationship, one that will test all that they hold dear. And when secrets are finally revealed, both men must decide what they will risk for the one they love…
Another firm favourite here at Swords & Sapphics is Gwenhyver's sapphic space opera, Jasyn and the Astronauts, whose sequel, The Sea of Stars, releases on the 7th. Read our interview with Gwenhyver here.
A sapphic swords & sorcery space adventure!
Venturing to the skies was meant to be perfect…
Adventurer JASYN has dreamed of taking to the skies her whole life. But it’s difficult to thrive on a sky ship when no-one trusts you to not blow a hole in the hull with your inconsistent ice-powers.
Meanwhile, engineering-savvy ATALANTA fits in like a well-oiled cog in a machine, even though being contained within a faulting sky ship with a bunch of strangers is the last place she wants to be.
But never mind navigating the skies, what about navigating this crew?
What is Captain Herakles’s problem? Her mood is as changeable as the weather, and she struts about like she owns the place (because, okay, maybe she does own the place!), but would it end all the worlds under the Seven Suns to let Jasyn and Atalanta spend time together?
When an unexpected detour lands them on an unknown world, they get everything they want, and more: Jasyn gets her chance at adventure, and Atalanta’s distrust for the skies are about to be allayed or realised.
The Sea of Stars is the second book in the Jasyn and The Astronauts series — a sapphic, swords & sorcery in space reimagining of Jason and the Golden Fleece — an adventure fuelled by wonder and good intentions, while navigating weather fronts formed of emotions along the way.
On the 12th, pick up Away With a Stranger by Melanie Greene for another contemporary/holiday romance featuring transmasc and non-binary main characters.
Cole Dunway’s got everything under control.
Well, not everything. But the things he can control?
Those are locked down.
Until he’s wheeling through the airport, heading back to the Gulf Coast for Christmas with his family, and smacks into distressed friend-of-a-friend Andi Ennis.
Andi’s at a loss.
Bag packed, they/them badge pinned to their chest, flight on time … but abruptly uninvited to their family home.
Which is fine. They’ll figure something out.
Especially if know-it-all Cole gets his way and drags Andi home with him.
Sharing a cozy beach cottage, and the warmth of family, Andi and Cole find unexpected connections and plenty of heat to draw them together. But is it only holiday magic, or can the romance endure once they’ve left the sand and Santa behind?
Urban fantasy, anyone? On the 14th, Mariah Stillbrook's In the Pines releases, featuring a pansexual MC.
Two witches, two secrets, and a curse that could tear a family apart—Olivia and Ellie have lived their lives knowing a dark entity is stalking their family, determined to kill them all. After the death of Olivia’s son, she abandons her magic and her family, leaving Ellie in a nightmare of heartbreak, her marriage crumbling and her sister gone. Determined to save their mother Arianna from a spell that left her comatose, the two sisters must come together to unravel the riddle of the curse that has haunted their family for generations. But as they delve into the past, the truth they uncover is more twisted and treacherous than they ever could have imagined. Will they be able to break the curse, or will it consume them all?
Also on the 14th, we're super excited for Jenna Jarvis's Ride With Me, a sapphic road trip romance. Read more about what inspired this story with Jenna's article!
Returning home after years of living as far from her wealthy family as she can, Lucy wants her great American road trip before she settles down. The vintage VW bus her arrogant older brother Jordan is selling off seems like the perfect vehicle for it.
But the bus in question is fiercely beloved by its real owner, Emma, Jordan's wife. She's not ready to let the bus go, but she is ready to get out of her marriage--and isn't above hijacking her own bus to make that happen.
When Lucy's vacation to find herself becomes Emma's chance to remember herself, they realize that everything they're looking for might already be sitting right next to them--if they're willing to reach for it.
Terry Bartley's young adult fantasy, I'm a Princess That Ran Way to a Magical World, also releases on the 14th.
An Elven princess runs away from her arranged marriage to a parallel world. Will she be able to find the adventure she seeks? While she is in search of battles with dragons and quests to obtain sacred artifacts, she finds that what she was looking for may have been a true connection with someone that understands her.
For those who prefer a little horror, add the 15th of November to your calendars, because that's when you can read Vicarious by Chloe Spencer!
After suffering a savage assault in a bathroom as a girl, Gertie meets the man of her dreams. Her trauma soon vanishes as they begin to build a life together. However, with the sudden death of her beloved Jack, and the return of her school bully--Bea--years later, Gertie's long-buried trauma bubbles to the surface. All she can think about is one thing: revenge.
Inserting herself deep into Bea's life, nobody is safe--not her parents, not her children. Hell, not even the PTA members of her daughter's high school. Starting a sordid romance with Bea in a bid to destroy her life from the inside out, Gertie soon learns revenge is messier than she thought.
But a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.
On the 21st, Rose Black releases Til Death Do Us Bard, an adult fantasy with an MM relationship and bi rep.
Marriage isn't always sunshine and unicorns... sometimes it's monsters and necromancy.
It's been almost a year since Logan 'The Bear' Theaker hung up his axe and settled down with his sunshiny bard husband, Pie. But when Pie disappears, Logan is forced back into a world he thought he'd left behind.
Logan quickly discovers that Pie has been blackmailed into stealing a powerful artifact capable of creating an undead army. With the help of an old adversary and a ghost from his past, Logan sets out to rescue his husband.
But the further the quest takes him, the more secrets Logan uncovers. He'll need all his strength to rescue his husband - but can he save their marriage?
Eule Grey releases more lesfic on the 21st with Sugar and Ice!
Sugar, ice, and bumps in the night…
After a thrilling year spent ghost-whispering and monster-chasing, Mave Kitten is keen to abandon her witchy hat for a well-earned break. Snowflakes are drifting in; the office is stuffed with fruit cake. How to win the pub karaoke without cheating (too much) is all that’s left to worry about.
Once she’s fiddled with the office accounts and chosen a suitable karaoke costume, Lisa Blonde is also ready for the party season, not forgetting a crate of beer. As long as Mave’s happy, Lisa’s happy.
But best-laid plans can come unstuck for witches and their leather-clad familiars. The ghost of Jacky Frost blows in with the snow, demanding a playmate. How can Mave and Lisa say no to the dancing queen of ice? Even ghosts deserve a Christmas.
The playful ice queen goes viral, and the Echo unexpectedly gains hundreds of readers. Only a few gremlins remain: What of the Echo’s overdraft? Who’ll win the karaoke? Where’s Lisa’s motorcycle?
Kitten and Blonde: Holiday Baking Hijinx. Mostly Paranormal. Sometimes alien. Always gentle.
On the 28th of November, someone gets murdered in Kitty Murphy's Death in the Holidays.
It’s Christmas in Dublin - the festive lights are on, shops are stacked with shiny things, it’s pouring with rain, and there are three furious drag queens and one divinely handsome drag king storming the gates of TRASH, the city’s third-rate drag club.
When Carol Singer, the visiting Welsh performer, is brutally murdered in the middle of the stage, Fi and her friends, Mae B, Del, Miss Merkin, Thora Point and Stan the Man, must stop feuding and work together to unmask the pantomime villain before another queen falls. The tinsel lines have been drawn but as Fi’s own world crashes around her, time is running out for everyone.
Camp, dark, and brutally murdery, DEATH IN THE HOLIDAYS goes to places other mysteries just wouldn’t backstage!
Finally, take a bite out of CEON's thrilling vampire romance, Allure on the 30th.
Hannah has an open relationship with her boyfriend, and it's never been a problem.
Until she hooks up with the mysterious Morana via a phone app and wakes up the next morning with an insatiable taste for blood.
Araceli enters Hannah's life and helps her come to terms with her new status. She has become a vampire, and there is nothing she can do to change that.
However, as long as she does not take a life, she will get to keep her soul.
But how long can Hannah resist her urges, living on tastes from blood-bags, the odd stolen bite from a willing arm?
When Morana comes back into her life, Hannah finds it harder and harder to resist her allure.
Also on our radar...
Trick Shot by Kayla Grosse, out on the 1st | MMF romance
In Search of Channel Void by Daniel Aegan, out on the 7th |
Outdrawn by Deanna Grey, out on the 17th | sapphic romance
Kiss of Death by Bryony Rosehurst, out on the 17th | sapphic paranormal Norse-inspired romance