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LGBTQ+ Releases Coming this May

How wonderful it is to live in a world where our piles of queer books keep growing. This month, there are tonnes of exciting new LGBTQ+ titles releasing, so get ready for lots of reading in the sunshine!


 


On the 1st of May, enjoy Garner for Gold by Catherine Labadie, a gothic fantasy featuring bisexual and lesbian main characters.


Bettina has wealth, freedom, and power as Goddess Marzanna’s favored Saint. Divine influence has grown over the years as Goddess and Her consorts rebuild what Silver’s vanquished order destroyed with each of their fertile joys. The early years of Bettina’s immortality should be equally exalted, but there is a fly in the ointment: her daughter Cosima has been granted Godling status and eternal life. Her firstborn son Cristoval has not.


As the Bright Age luxuriates in its golden afternoon, unhallowed forces conspire to challenge Marzanna’s audacious regime. Bettina returns from self-imposed exile to find Aebbenary more perilous than she remembered and her children grown almost beyond recognition. Old wonders and interest in a curiously constructed Grand Archivist both help and hinder Bettina in her plan to ensure neither of her beloved, wayward children will be lost to the grim march of time…or Goddess’s gluttony.



On the 7th, grab sapphic YA romcom The Summer Love Strategy by Ray Stoeve!


A sweet and swoony YA rom-com about two friends making a pact to find summer romance like they’ve seen in the movies—and finding love where they least expect it along the way!


Hayley always has a crush. The problem is, her crushes never like her back. After her latest unrequited love—a girl from her basketball team—gets a boyfriend, she decides she’s done falling for girls who are unavailable. Her best friend, Talia, wants romance too, but rarely gets crushes on anyone, and she’s tired of watching Hayley get her heart stomped on over and over. So the two girls make a they’ll help each other find summer love by putting themselves in situations that always lead to romance in movies.


To help carry out their summer love strategy, they make a list of all the places they could find their real-life the beach, the Pride parade, the pool, a MUNA concert, and a party. But as they go to each place and try to find the one , it seems like they just can’t catch a break—they don’t know how to talk to cute strangers, someone mistakes Hayley as straight, and Hayley does a truly unfortunate DIY haircut (that she cannot be held responsible for––it was a crisis!). But when Talia and Hayley finally manage to score dates, will they be able to get out of their own way and really dive into the romances they deserve? Or is summer love not as far off as Hayley thought?





Christina Li's True Love and Other Impossible Odds releases on the 14th, a YA novel including bi rep.


College freshman Grace Tang never meant to rewrite the rules of love. She came to college to move on from a grief-stricken senior year and to start anew. So she follows a predictable routine: Attend class, study, go home and visit her dad every weekend. She doesn’t leave any room in her life for outliers or anomalies.

Then, Grace comes up with an algorithm for her statistics class to pair students with their perfect romantic partners. Though some people are skeptical, like Julia, Grace’s prickly coworker, Grace is confident that her program will take all the drama out of relationships. That’s why she keeps trying to make things work with her match, a guy named Jamie. But as the semester goes on and she grows closer to Julia, Grace starts to question who she’s really attracted to.




Also on the 14th, dive into some more gothic horror with My Darling Dreadful Thing by Johanna van Veen. This psychological thriller represents lesbian and bisexual women!


In a world where the dead can wake and walk among us, what is truly real?


Roos Beckman has a spirit companion only she can see. Ruth—strange, corpse-like, and dead for centuries—is the only good thing in Roos’ life, which is filled with sordid backroom séances organized by her mother. That is, until wealthy young widow Agnes Knoop attends one of these séances and asks Roos to come live with her at the crumbling estate she inherited upon the death of her husband. The manor is unsettling, but the attraction between Roos and Agnes is palpable. So how does someone end up dead?


Roos is caught red-handed, but she claims a spirit is the culprit. Doctor Montague, a psychologist tasked with finding out whether Roos can be considered mentally fit to stand trial, suspects she’s created an elaborate fantasy to protect her from what really happened. But Roos knows spirits are real; she's loved one of them. She'll have to prove her innocence and her sanity, or lose everything.



We can't wait to read The Honey Witch by Sidney J. Shields, a sapphic fantasy novel releasing on the 14th!


The Honey Witch of Innisfree can never find true love. That is her curse to bear. But when a young woman who doesn’t believe in magic arrives on her island, sparks fly in this deliciously sweet debut novel of magic, hope, and love overcoming all.

Twenty-one-year-old Marigold Claude has always preferred the company of the spirits of the meadow to any of the suitors who’ve tried to woo her. So when her grandmother whisks her away to the family cottage on the tiny Isle of Innisfree with an offer to train her as the next Honey Witch, she accepts immediately. But her newfound magic and independence come with a No one can fall in love with the Honey Witch.

When Lottie Burke, a notoriously grumpy skeptic who doesn’t believe in magic, shows up on her doorstep, Marigold can’t resist the challenge to prove to her that magic is real. But soon, Marigold begins to care for Lottie in ways she never expected. And when darker magic awakens and threatens to destroy her home, she must fight for much more than her new home—at the risk of losing her magic and her heart.




On the 16th, sapphic fantasy romance Daughter of The Darkened City by Willow Quinn releases.


A disgraced academic.

A rogue demon warrior.

An enchanted forest.

And a city lost to fables.


Avenay would do anything to save her sister from the same fate that claimed their mother years ago. Avenay’s last hope rests in the tales of a cure that exists in the fabled city of Cirro. Her peers whisper behind her back that’s she’s gone mad, chasing children’s tales and bedtime stories. But she knows what she’s uncovered, and nothing will distract her from her goal. Not even the devilishly beautiful demon that is tasked with protecting her on the quest.


Enid enjoys living a life of freedom, unwilling to let anything tie her down or force her to face the fears that lurk deep within. But her carefree ways are interrupted when a meeting with the Elf King makes her encounter the breathtaking Avenay. Now she’s questioning every wall she’s put up and letting herself dream in ways she’s never dared before.


But nothing is as it seems. An adventure that’s starts as an archeological expedition turns into so much more and the danger and wonder they encounter will alter their lives.



The Not/Coming Out: Anthology also releases on the 16th, edited by Kenzie Millar, Lou Willingham, Amanda Shortman, and Dewi Hargreaves and including short fiction, poetry, memoirs, and essays by LGBTQ+ authors.


It's true that coming out doesn't just happen it is a constant process that is different for everyone.


This celebration of diverse voices from across the LGBTQ+ community has been brought together to raise money for Akt. Akt is a UK charity which gives support to young LGBTQ+ people at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness or a hostile living environment.


The anthology contains poetry, short fiction, memoir and essay pieces - all around the theme of Not/Coming Out. Each piece reflects the variety of experience within the community and that wherever you are in your journey you are welcome.


CW: this anthology contains references to homophobia, transphobia, coming out, and mental health. Some individual pieces are introduced with their additional content warnings.


Contributors:

Nil Digante, Colin Brooks, Katherine Shaw, Priscilla Kint, Breanna Guinta, Airic Fenn, Samantha Maich, Robyn Hill, Emily Bryars-Williams, Sarah Fletchins, Sky DuVall, A. Lynn Rosefinch, Hannah Rose, Brandon Shane, Daniel Skentelbery, Kate Foot, Florence-Susanne Reppert, Felix Graves




On the 20th, MM fantasy The Switchboard by Christina K. Glover comes to readers.


FOR MAGIC. FOR MEMORY. FOR EACH OTHER.


Mortal mage Henley Yu has enough to worry about between the storms caused by broken magic and his strained relationship with his father. He’s trying to keep his head above water, but when he finds a stranger hiding in his kitchen cabinets he’s forced to reconsider his priorities.


Chief Operator Kittinger has overseen the flow of magic for centuries, but he’s no fighter. Betrayed by his protectors in their quest to gain control of the magic, he’s running for his life when he makes Henley his accomplice. Kit might lose his new ally if Henley finds out that Kit’s secrets go deeper than the magic itself.


Together they’ll venture into the Between, where magic connects worlds, to fight an army of officers ready to finish what they started when Kit fled the scene. For Kit, failure means death. For Henley, it means losing the memory of the only person who gives him purpose. Henley won’t let anyone interfere before he finds out what that means for their future together.


He’ll save Kit. He'll save the magic—or he won’t be the only one who dies trying.



Second Night Stand by Kerila Stetz-Waters & Fay Stetz-Waters releases on the 21st.

Izzy Wells—aka burlesque superstar Blue Lenox—doesn’t have time for anything more than a hookup. She has a theater to renovate, and turning it into a safe space for queer performers costs money. Money she doesn’t have. With the mortgage overdue, the only way she’ll save the theater is to win the prize money from the Great American Talent show. And if that means forgetting about the beautiful Black ballerina she spent one night with in order to focus on the competition, so be it. 


Lillian Jackson has sacrificed everything for ballet, including a personal life. She has one goal win the ridiculous Great American Talent show or have the all-Black ballet company she heads shut down forever. It should be easy to focus, except Blue, the first woman to leave Lillian wanting more, is on the show too. 


The chemistry between them is hot, and they agree that after the show, they’ll enjoy one more night together. A second-night stand. But that promise only lasts three challenges. Even more distracting than sleeping together again, are the feelings they’re starting to develop. There’s no way Lillian can fit Izzy into her life, and Izzy knows better than to fall for another star. But if they can make it through the show with their hearts and dreams intact, will winning take on a whole new meaning?




Also on the 21st comes lesbian romcom Here for the Wrong Reasons by Annabel Paulsen & Lydia Wang.


In this swoon-filled lesbian romcom, two dating show contestants vying for the affection of the leading man fall head over heels—for each other.


Fans of Ashley Herring Blake and Alexandria Bellefleur, and readers who love The Bachelor, will adore this steamy, laugh-out-loud debut romance.


Krystin knows exactly what she a husband, a horse, and a place to hang all her competitive rodeo blue ribbons. But when none of the eligible bachelors in Montana end up being right for her, she turns to reality TV. On Hopelessly Devoted, Krystin will compete against dozens of other women for the heart of this season’s Hopeless Romantic, Josh Rosen. She’s determined to win the perfect life she came here for—if she can just ignore the glossy brunette whose crimson smile gives her goosebumps.


Lauren has never done anything for the right reasons—and she’s definitely not on Hopelessly Devoted to win Josh’s heart. Lauren’s plan is simple: stay on the show long enough to build her social media following, and then gracefully leave when it's her turn to be eliminated. With enough followers, she’ll finally have enough influencer clout to do whatever she wants—including come out of the proverbial walk-in closet. But the longer she stays on the show, the more she finds herself tangled up in a certain blonde’s lasso.


But neither contestant expects a heteronormative dating show to challenge their own deeply-ingrained ideas of who they are—and what they want. Fans of The Charm Offensive and Love Island will swoon for this sparkling debut romcom.



The Shabti by Megaera C. Lorenz is a great book to tick off your Achillean Book Bingo list! This historical fantasy includes a MM romance, with a disabled MC and a Jewish love interest and releases on the 21st.


Can you flimflam a ghost?


It’s 1934. Former medium Dashiel Quicke travels the country debunking spiritualism and false mediums while struggling to stay ahead of his ex-business partner and lover who wants him back at any cost. During a demonstration at a college campus, Dashiel meets Hermann Goschalk, an Egyptologist who’s convinced that he has a genuine haunted artifact on his hands. Certain there is a rational explanation for whatever is going on with Hermann’s relics, Dashiel would rather skip town, but soon finds himself falling for Hermann. He agrees to take a look after all and learns that something is haunting Hermann’s office indeed.


Faced with a real ghost Dashiel is terrified, but when the haunting takes a dangerous turn, he must use the tools of the shady trade he left behind to communicate with this otherworldly spirit before his past closes in.




Sapphic sports romance The 7-10 Split by Karmen Lee releases on the 21st.


This is how love rolls…


For teacher Ava Williams, some subjects are not up for debate. Like history—specifically, the one she has with Grace Jones, bowling pro and local celeb. Who is now, for no identifiable reason, teaching at the same small-town Georgia high school as Ava. Once upon a time, they were thick as thieves, best friends, rivals who pushed each other, and total bowling nerds. Then they shared a kiss, sweet and confusing…and after that, they split and nothing was ever the same.


Ava is pretty sure she has every reason to hate Grace. Especially when the school’s soggy potato of a principal announces—finally—that the students can have the bowling team Ava has been pushing for, for years…only to hand it to Grace.


Now they’re expected to be partners and lead their new bowling team to victory in six months. And with that, their rivalry is back. Fierce, ultracompetitive…and with an undeniable attraction that pushes, pulls and crashes together. It’s history. It’s chemistry. And it’s just a matter of time before it explodes…one way or the other.



How It Works Out by Myriam LaCroix hits shelves on the 21st!


What if you had the chance to rewrite the course of your relationship, again and again, in the hopes that it would work out?


When Myriam and Allison fall in love at a show in a run-down punk house, their relationship begins to unfold through a series of hypotheticals. What if they became mothers by finding a baby in an alley? What if the only cure for Myriam’s depression was Allison’s flesh? What if they were B-list celebrities, famous for writing a book about building healthy lesbian relationships? How much darker—or sexier—would their dynamic be if one were a power-hungry CEO, and the other her lowly employee? From the fantasies of early romance to the slow encroaching of violence that unravels the fantasy, each reality builds to complete a brilliant, painfully funny portrait of love’s many promises and perils.




On the 24th, The Last Dance by J. Mackenzie releases, promising a contemporary MM romance with pan and gay MCs, and bi, lesbian, and nonbinary side characters.


Achilles has had a long and celebrated career as a professional ballet dancer, and when his final role—as the lead in Romeo and Juliet—brings him back to New York for the first time in ten years, he expects to spend his time reconnecting with his former mentor and figuring out what he’s doing with the rest of his life. What he doesn’t expect is to see Patroclus again.


Patroclus is thriving, a well-respected stage manager for one of the city’s premier ballet companies, secure and confident, and absolutely not still hung up on Achilles after a decade apart. Suddenly, a job that Achilles thought was going to be the perfect way to bow out becomes a constant reminder of the person he used to be and all the ways he hurt the people around him.


Can Achilles survive a month of seeing Patroclus every day and being consummately ignored? Or will he finally have to face the ghosts of his past and right the wrongs he thought he’d left behind?



On the 24th, read Tempered in Ash by Willo Glenn, a dark fantasy that includes lesbian/sapphic, demisexual, bisexual, gay, and queer platonic rep.


On the eastern edge of the continent of Eolis sits a small town named Eldryss, where life is intentionally slow and simple. When Eldryss is wracked by a plague that crept slowly over the horizon, its people are completely annihilated, except for one—the fifteen-year-old daughter of the town’s only tavernkeeper.


Forced to flee north on her own for survival, Ilde arrives in the city of Isonwood battered, tired, and barely suppressing the trauma she endured at the hands of unknown forces. She finds solace in the repurposed temple of the forgotten god, Mersari, and seeks shelter with the city’s most notorious mercenary. With a faith founded through scorn and strength earned through years of practice, Ilde grows up and leaves Eldryss and its darkness behind.


Seven years later, Ilde has learned how to swing a blade, but the need for vengeance still sits in the back of her mind. With the help of an unexpected ally, Ilde begins searching for answers. But when word reaches Isonwood about another city being annihilated, Ilde digs deep into her faith and sets out on a quest to discover what happened to Mersari, who is responsible for the death of her people, and why she is the only one left.




Enjoy The Ride of Her Life by Jennifer Dugan on the 28th...


Molly has always loved weddings, ever since she was a little girl, and for nearly as long she’s dreamed of starting her own wedding planning company. But that dream has remained stubbornly out of reach, and between Molly’s first job as a barista, her second at a call center, and her crushing student loans, it seems farther away than ever. The absolute last thing she needs is to inherit a run-down, struggling horse barn, courtesy of her estranged late aunt.


Molly is so ill-equipped to run the barn, it’s laughable. She certainly doesn’t know how to save it, no matter how much faith everyone who loved her aunt has that she will. But maybe her aunt left Molly a blessing in disguise—if she can sell the land, the profits could be the small-business seed money miracle she’s been waiting for. Doesn’t matter if she’s starting to love the mismatched family this barn brought together, and feeling closer to the aunt she never got a chance to know.


The real snag in her plan is the woman who took care of Molly’s aunt in her last days, and still lives and works on the property as a farrier: Shani. Judgmental, grouchy Shani, who thinks she’s so morally superior because she hasn’t given up on the crumbling barn while Molly wants to “destroy” everything her aunt built; who’s really good with the horses, and always comes whenever Molly calls her in a panic; and is actually kind of thoughtful, and obnoxiously hot, and unfailingly loyal…and oh no, has Shani become an entirely different kind of problem? One Molly can’t possibly solve, no matter how much her heart wants to?


... And A Little Kissing Between Friends by Chencia C. Higgins, also releasing on the 28th.


Music producer on the rise Cyn Tha Starr knows what she likes, from her sickening beats in the studio to the flirty femmes she fools around with. Her ever-rotating roster has never been a problem until her latest fling clashes with Jucee, her best friend and the most popular dancer at strip club Sanity.


It makes Cyn see Jucee in a different light. One with far fewer boundaries and a lot more kissing.


Juleesa Jones makes great money dancing the early shift and spends most evenings with her son, her Sanity family or at Cyn’s house. Relationships are not high on the priority list—until she’s forced to admit that maybe friendship isn’t the only thing she wants from her bestie.


But hooking up with your ride-or-die is risky. Jucee isn’t just Cyn’s best friend—Jucee is her muse. When Cyn lays down her beats, it’s Jucee she imagines in the club throwing it back to every note. If they aren’t careful, this could crash and burn…but isn’t real love worth it?




Don't Be a Drag by Skye Quinlan also comes out on the 28th.

Two rival drag kings competing for a crown might just win each other's hearts.

When eighteen-year-old Briar Vincent's mental health takes a turn for the worst, her parents send her to spend the summer in New York City with her older brother, Beau, also known as the drag queen Bow Regard.


Backstage at the gay bar where Beau performs, Briar just wants to be a fly on the wall, but she can't stand by when the cute but conceited drag king Spencer Read tries to put down another up-and-coming performer. To prove to him that even a brand-new performer could knock him off his pedestal, Briar signs up for the annual drag king competition.


There's just one flaw in her plan: Briar has never done drag before.


With the help of her brother and a few new friends, Briar becomes Edgar Allan Foe, a drag king hellbent on taking Spencer down. But unless she can learn how to shake her anxiety and perform, she doesn't stand a chance of winning Drag King of the Year, overcoming her depression and inner demons, or avoiding falling for her enemy, who might not be so bad after all.



Finally, Sentence for Life by Maxime Jaz releases on the 29th and features a dark romance set in prison with gay rep.


“Sometimes, we are in a place where we don’t want to be. And maybe, that place is the only place we should be after all.”


Theo knows he will become a star lawyer, like the one his Dad paid to keep him out of prison... he's wrong on both counts. He thinks the first day of jail is brutal; meeting his new cellmate redefines the word. Theo's world not only falls apart; it shrinks to the size smaller than a dorm bathroom he has to share with a man who doesn’t belong in his world.


Ryker is as strong as a fortress, one that he had to rebuild from the ruins of his own self. Serving the last year of his long sentence, he is terrified of having his freedom at arm's reach.

Ryker is everything Theo fears; Theo is everything Ryker loathes. But being locked up together in a tiny space is a powerful force sparking the fires of love, and neither of the men are prepared for the turmoil this raging inferno will unleash.


Are Ryker and Theo who they think they are? Or will new lives be born, like the phoenix etched in Ryker's skin, out of the fire of their love?

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