Pride Month Special: Lesser Known Queer Reads

Hi all!

Its Pride Montand everyone has been sharing some amazing queer books, which just makes me so happy! And I thought it would be a good time to shed some light and love onto lesser known queer books.

“Lesser known” to me is a mix of underrated books and books that don’t have many ratings on Goodreads. So if you see a favourite book on this list it’s here because it either has less than 2,000 ratings on Goodreads, or it’s a book I don’t see many people talk about online.

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Hollow Folk series by Gregory Ashe 

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 7.38.38 pm“I don’t think you could be a good influence if you tried,” she said, and her smile flashed genuine. “You’re carrying a pack of trouble and you think it’s all for yourself.”

Pairing: m/m
Gender: cis
Sexuality: gay MC, gay love interest, bisexual love interest
Genre: contemporary, crime, paranormal, romance
Age group: young adult
Trigger warnings for all books: attempted suicide, suicidal ideation, self-harm, homophobia, internal homophobia, violence against women, murder, murder of teenagers, sexual abuse of minors, torture, physical abuse, drug use.
Goodreads ratings: book 1 – 244; book 2 – 166; book 3 – 156; book 4 – 53
Average rating: book 1 – 4.3 stars; book 2 – 4.42 stars; book 3 – 4.51 stars; book 4 – 4.45 stars
My rating: book 1 ★★★★★; book 2 ★★★★★; book 3 ★★★★★

Synopsis:

Vie Eliot arrives in the small town of Vehpese, Wyoming with little more than the clothes–and scars–on his back. Determined to make a new life for himself after escaping his abusive mother, he finds that living with his estranged father brings its own problems.

Then Samantha Oates, the girl with blue hair, goes missing, and Vie might be the only one who can find her. His ability to read emotions and gain insight into other people’s darkest secrets makes him the perfect investigator, with only one small problem: he wants nothing to do with his gift.

When the killer begins contacting Vie through a series of strange cards, though, Vie is forced to hone his ability, because Samantha was not the killer’s only target.

And, as Vie learns, he is not the only psychic in town.


Proper English by KJ Charles

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Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 7.38.38 pm“It’s just, if they aren’t going to see me anyway, I’d rather they ignored me for an act than for the real thing.”
“I don’t understand how anyone could not see you,” Pat said again. “I don’t see how they couldn’t look. I don’t see how they could stop.”

Pairing: f/f
Gender: cis
Sexuality: lesbian MC, lesbian love interest, gay side characters
Representation: Indian side character
Genre: historical, murder mystery, romance
Age group: adult
Goodreads ratings: 500
Average rating: 4.33 stars
My rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis:

A shooting party at the Earl of Witton’s remote country house is a high treat for champion shot Patricia Merton—until unexpected guests turn the social atmosphere dangerously sour.

That’s not Pat’s biggest problem. She’s visiting her old friend, the Earl’s heir Jimmy Yoxall—but she wants to spend a lot more time with Jimmy’s fiancée. The irrepressible Miss Fenella Carruth, with her laughing eyes and lush curves, is the most glorious woman Pat’s ever met, and it quickly becomes impossible to remember why she needs to stay at arm’s length.

But while the women’s attraction grows, the tensions at Rodington Court get worse. Affairs, secrets, betrayals, and blackmail come to light. And when a body is discovered with a knife between the shoulderblades, it’s going to take Pat and Fen’s combined talents to prevent the murderer destroying all their lives.


Peter Darling by Austin Chant 

peterdarling

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 7.38.38 pm“Imagine having a well-cultivated pirate crew and established career as the terror of the seas, only to have some bloody ten-year-old show up claiming he’s the spirit of youth and joy and your unholy nemesis, Oh, and he’s rallied a bunch of other little boys to come and kill you.”

Pairing: m/m
Gender: trans/cis
Sexuality: gay MC, gay love interest
Genre: fantasy, retellings, romance
Age group: adult
Goodreads ratings: 3,423
Average rating: 4.05 stars
My rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis: 

Ten years ago, Peter Pan left Neverland to grow up, leaving behind his adolescent dreams of boyhood and resigning himself to life as Wendy Darling. Growing up, however, has only made him realize how inescapable his identity as a man is.

But when he returns to Neverland, everything has changed: the Lost Boys have become men, and the war games they once played are now real and deadly. Even more shocking is the attraction Peter never knew he could feel for his old rival, Captain Hook—and the realization that he no longer knows which of them is the real villain.


Abroad duology by Liz Jacobs

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 7.38.38 pm“He trembled in place, but Dex had hold of him and Nick felt, for the first time, like he could fall apart and not hit the ground on impact.”

Pairing: m/m & briefly f/f
Gender: cis MC, trans side character
Sexuality: gay MC, gay MC, bisexual MC
Representation: Jewish-Russian MC, Black MC, Indian side character
Genre: contemporary, romance
Age group: new adult
Trigger warnings: anxiety, panic attack on page
Goodreads ratings: book 1 – 358; book 2 – 136
Average rating: book 1 – 4.16 stars; book 2 – 4.39 stars
My rating: book 1 ★★★★★; book 2 ★★★★★

Synopsis:

Nick Melnikov doesn’t know where he belongs. He was just a kid when his Russian-Jewish family immigrated to Michigan. Now he’s in London for university, overwhelmed by unexpected memories. Socially anxious, intensely private, and closeted, Nick doesn’t expect to fall in so quickly with a tight-knit group of students from his college, and it’s both exhilarating and scary. Hanging out with them is a roller coaster of serious awkward and incredible longing, especially when the most intimidating of the group, Dex, looks his way.

Dex Cartwell knows exactly who he is: a black queer guy who doesn’t give a toss what anybody thinks of him. He is absolutely, one-hundred-percent, totally in control of his life. Apart, maybe, from the stress of his family’s abrupt move to an affluent, largely white town. And worrying about his younger brother feeling increasingly isolated as a result. And the persistent broken heart he’s been nursing for a while . . .

When Nick and Dex meet, both find themselves intrigued. Countless late-night conversations only sharpen their attraction. But the last thing Nick wants is to face his deepest secret, and the last thing Dex needs is another heartache. Dex has had to fight too hard for his right to be where he is. Nick isn’t even sure where he’s from. So how can either of them tell where this is going?


Team Phison duology by Chace Verity

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 7.38.38 pmHow can anybody fall in love with someone they meet online?

 

Pairing: m/m
Gender: cis
Sexuality: gay MC, bisexual love interest
Representation: fat love interest, trans side character, non-binary character in book 2 who uses neo-pronouns
Genre: contemporary, romance
Age group: adult
Goodreads ratings: book 1 – 449; book 2 – 47
Average rating: book 1 – 4.09 stars; book 2 – 4.11 stars
My rating: book 1 ★★★★★; book 2 ★★★★★

Synopsis: 

For 55-year-old Phil Hutton, finding a new boyfriend is tough, especially since he’s still hurting from his ex leaving him for a younger man. Online dating has been a soul-crushing experience for the restaurant owner. Too many meat-haters interested in microbreweries or something called geocaching. His matches in the multiplayer for his favorite video game have been equally sucky too.

One night, he encounters a newbie who is so helpless, Phil can’t help showing him the ropes. It doesn’t take long for Phil to become interested in his enthusiastic teammate. 28-year-old Tyson Falls from Georgia loves working as a server in a rinky pizza joint and sees the best in everything. As Phil’s online dating matches get worse and his in-game matches with Tyson get better, he finds himself wanting to pursue the easygoing chatterbox with a thick, sexy drawl.

But Phil can’t get past the fear that Tyson couldn’t possibly want a fossil like him. If his brain doesn’t stop being so damn insecure, it might be game over for his heart.


In the Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette De Bodard

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Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 7.38.38 pmAnd then she’d wake up, gasping, trying to breathe, raising her hands to her face, remembering Vu Côn’s touch on her skin, as wet and as cold as the oily river.

Pairing: f/f
Gender: cis
Sexuality: lesbian MC, bi love interest
Representation: all Vietnamese characters
Genre: fantasy, retellings, romance
Age group: adult
Goodreads ratings: 765
Average rating: 3.94 stars
My rating: ★★★★

Synopsis:

In a ruined, devastated world, where the earth is poisoned and beings of nightmares roam the land…

A woman, betrayed, terrified, sold into indenture to pay her village’s debts and struggling to survive in a spirit world.

A dragon, among the last of her kind, cold and aloof but desperately trying to make a difference.

When failed scholar Yên is sold to Vu Côn, one of the last dragons walking the earth, she expects to be tortured or killed for Vu Côn’s amusement.

But Vu Côn, it turns out, has a use for Yên: she needs a scholar to tutor her two unruly children. She takes Yên back to her home, a vast, vertiginous palace-prison where every door can lead to death. Vu Côn seems stern and unbending, but as the days pass Yên comes to see her kinder and caring side. She finds herself dangerously attracted to the dragon who is her master and jailer. In the end, Yên will have to decide where her own happiness lies—and whether it will survive the revelation of Vu Côn’s dark, unspeakable secrets…


Over and Over Again by Cole McCade

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Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 7.38.38 pmHe’d had massive hands, hands that could crush granite to dust, this great dark earthen god with the strength of stone, but he’d handled everything—from his tiny, bleating goat kids to the smallest clover flower to Luca himself—with a gentleness that flowed from his hands like water, imbued with a living warmth. And Luca had been in love with him, the way only little boys could be.

Pairing: m/m
Gender: cis
Sexuality: gay MC, demisexual gay MC
Representation: Romani MC
Genre: contemporary, romance
Age group: adult
Goodreads ratings: 613
Average rating: 4.26 stars
My rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis: 

A ring of braided grass. A promise. Ten years of separation.

And memories of an innocent love with the power to last through time.

When Luca Ward was five years old, he swore he would love Imre Claybourne forever. Years later, that promise holds true—and when Luca finds himself shipped off to Imre’s North Yorkshire goat farm in disgrace, long-buried feelings flare back to life when he finds, in Imre, the same patiently stoic gentle giant he’d loved as a boy. The lines around Imre’s eyes may be deeper, the once-black night of his hair silvered to steel and stone…but he’s still the same slow-moving mountain of a man whose quiet-spoken warmth, gentle hands, and deep ties to his Roma heritage have always, to Luca, meant home.

The problem?

Imre is more than twice Luca’s age.

And Luca’s father’s best friend.

Yet if Imre is everything Luca remembered, for Imre this hot-eyed, fey young man is nothing of the boy he knew. Gone is the child, replaced by a vivid man whose fettered spirit is spinning, searching for north, his heart a thing of wild sweet pure emotion that draws Imre into the compelling fire of Luca’s frustrated passions. That fragile heart means everything to Imre—and he’ll do anything to protect it.

Even if it means distancing himself, when the years between them are a chasm Imre doesn’t know how to cross.

But can he resist the allure in cat-green eyes when Luca places his trembling heart in Imre’s hands…and begs for his love, over and over again?


Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 7.38.38 pmBut my heart felt swollen, and I finally just knew. It was as obvious as if I’d known it my whole life. I was in love with a mermaid.

Pairing: f/f
Gender: cis
Sexuality: lesbian MC, lesbian love interest
Representation: unspecified characters of colour
Genre: fantasy, paranormal, horror
Age group: young adult
Goodreads ratings: book 1 – 1,287; book 2 – 571; book 3 – 245
Average rating: book 1 – 4.18 stars; book 2 – 4.36; book 3 – 4.1
My rating: book 1 ★★★★

Synopsis: 

A mermaid’s supernatural beauty serves one purpose: to lure a sailor to his death.

The Massacre is supposed to bring peace to Eriana Kwai. Every year, the island sends its warriors to battle these hostile sea demons. Every year, the warriors fail to return. Desperate for survival, the island must decide on a new strategy. Now, the fate of Eriana Kwai lies in the hands of twenty battle-trained girls and their resistance to a mermaid’s allure.

Eighteen-year-old Meela has already lost her brother to the Massacre, and she has lived with a secret that’s haunted her since childhood. For any hope of survival, she must overcome the demons of her past and become a ruthless mermaid killer.

For the first time, Eriana Kwai’s Massacre warriors are female, and Meela must fight for her people’s freedom on the Pacific Ocean’s deadliest battleground.


The Bones Beneath My Skin by TJ Klune

41452130

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 7.38.38 pm“Maybe I’m a space princess.”
Nate groaned. “Star Wars.”
Her smile was luminous. “I do love those movies.”
“Then why are you Artemis Darth Vader and not Princess Leia?”
“Eh. That’s a little on the nose.”

Pairing: m/m
Gender: cis
Sexuality: gay MC, bisexual love interest
Genre: contemporary, sci-fi, romance
Age group: adult
Goodreads ratings: 1,107
Average rating: 4.45 stars
My rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis: 

In the spring of 1995, Nate Cartwright has lost everything: his parents are dead, his older brother wants nothing to do with him, and he’s been fired from his job as a journalist in Washington DC. With nothing left to lose, he returns to his family’s summer cabin outside the small mountain town of Roseland, Oregon to try and find some sense of direction.

The cabin should be empty.

It’s not.

Inside is a man named Alex. And with him is an extraordinary little girl who calls herself Artemis Darth Vader.

Artemis, who isn’t exactly as she appears.

Soon it becomes clear that Nate must make a choice: let himself drown in the memories of his past, or fight for a future he never thought possible.

Because the girl is special. And forces are descending upon them who want nothing more than to control her.


The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum

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Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 7.38.38 pm“All that I am is a terribly brave small thing, with a terribly brave small life, and a terribly brave love that spans eons.”

Pairing: f/f
Gender: cis
Sexuality: lesbian MC, lesbian love interest
Representation: Black love interest
Genre: contemporary, sci-fi
Age group: young adult
Goodreads ratings: 405
Average rating: 4.11 stars
My rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis: 

Ryann Bird dreams of traveling across the stars. But a career in space isn’t an option for a girl who lives in a trailer park on the wrong side of town. So Ryann becomes her circumstances and settles for acting out and skipping school to hang out with her delinquent friends.

One day she meets Alexandria: a furious loner who spurns Ryann’s offer of friendship. After a horrific accident leaves Alexandria with a broken arm, the two misfits are brought together despite themselves—and Ryann learns her secret: Alexandria’s mother is an astronaut who volunteered for a one-way trip to the edge of the solar system.

Every night without fail, Alexandria waits to catch radio signals from her mother. And its up to Ryann to lift her onto the roof day after day until the silence between them grows into friendship, and eventually something more . . .


Darkling by Brooklyn Ray

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 7.38.38 pm“How are you today? Are things…better?”
“I’m not going to kill anyone,” Ryder said. “And even if I did, I could bring them back if I tried hard enough.”

Pairing: m/m
Gender: trans MC, cis love interest
Sexuality: gay MC, gay love interest
Genre: fantasy, paranormal, erotica
Age group: adult
Trigger warnings: bloodletting, consuming blood, death and resurrection, anxiety
Goodreads ratings: book 1 – 308; book 2 – 108; book 2.5 – 69; book 3 – to be released
Average rating: book 1 – 3.76 stars; book 2 – 3.94; book 2.5 – 4.14; book 3 – to be released
My rating: book 1 ★★★★

Synopsis: 

Port Lewis, a coastal town perched on the Washington cliffs, is surrounded by dense woods, and is home to quaint coffee shops, a movie theater, a few bars, two churches, the local college, and witches, of course.

Ryder is a witch with two secrets—one about his blood and the other about his heart. Keeping the secrets hasn’t been a problem, until a tarot reading with his best friend, Liam Montgomery, who happens to be one of his secrets, starts a chain of events that can’t be undone.

Dark magic runs through Ryder’s veins. The cards have prophesized a magical catastrophe that could shake the foundation of Ryder’s life, and a vicious partnership with the one person he doesn’t want to risk.

Magic and secrets both come at a cost, and Ryder must figure out what he’s willing to pay to become who he truly is.


Criminal Intentions by Cole McCade

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Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 7.38.38 pmWhat are you running from, old wolf? Are you afraid Little Red Riding Hood will catch you?

Pairing: m/m
Gender: cis MCs, non-binary side character
Sexuality: demi-gray asexual gay MC, bi MC, aromantic side character
Genre: Korean MC, Persian-Mizrahi-Jewish American MC, Latinx side character, Native American side character, Black side character
Age group: adult
Trigger warnings: each book has a detailed list of content warnings
Goodreads ratings: book 1 – 743; book 2 – 540; book 3 – 471; book 4 – 429; book 5 – 409; book 6 – 404; book 7 – 358; book 8 – 302; book 9 – 271; book 10 – 210; book 11 – 167, book 12 – 145; book 13 – 144
Average rating: book 1 – 4.15 stars; book 2 – 4.24 stars; book 3 – 4.32 stars; book 4 – 4.25 stars; book 5 – 4.43 stars; book 6 – 4.59 stars; book 7 – 4.53 stars; book 8 – 4.43 stars; book 9 – 4.45 stars; book 10 – 4.58 stars; book 11 – 4.5 stars, book 12 – 4.63 stars; book 13 – 4.76 stars
My rating: book 1 ★★★★; book 2 ★★★★★; book 3 ★★★★★; book 4 ★★★; book 5 ★★★★; book 6 ★★★★★; book 7 ★★★★★; book 8 ★★★★; book 9 ★★★★★; book 10 ★★★★; book 1 ★★★★; book 12 ★★★★; book 13 ★★★★

Synopsis:

Baltimore homicide detective Malcolm Khalaji has his own way of doing things: quiet, methodical, logical, effective, not always particularly legal. He’s used to working alone—and the last thing he needs is a new partner ten years his junior.

Especially one like Seong-Jae Yoon.

Icy. Willful. Detached. Stubborn. Seong-Jae is all that and more, impossible to work with and headstrong enough to get them both killed…if they don’t kill each other first. Foxlike and sullen, Seong-Jae’s disdainful beauty conceals a smoldering and ferocious temper, and as he and Malcolm clash the sparks between them build until neither can tell the difference between loathing and desire.

But as bodies pile up at their feet a string of strange, seemingly unrelated murders takes a bizarre turn, leading them deeper and deeper into Baltimore’s criminal underworld. Every death carries a dangerous message, another in a trail of breadcrumbs that can only end in blood.

Malcolm and Seong-Jae must combine their wits against an unseen killer and trace the unsettling murders to their source. Together, they’ll descend the darkest pathways of a twisted mind—and discover just how deep the rabbit hole goes. And if they can’t learn to trust each other?

Neither will make it out alive.

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What are some of your favourite lesser known queer books? Have you read any on my list? Let me know!

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11 thoughts on “Pride Month Special: Lesser Known Queer Reads

  1. writingbookishnotes says:

    I’ve read so many of these, but I also really need to finish all the books that are part of a series. lol

    Ice Massacre sounds interesting! I haven’t heard of that one before and sounds right up my alley after I finish reading Into the Drowning Deep. 😬😅

    Liked by 1 person

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