There are literally thousands of queer books to choose from, and more are coming out every month. These six are just a small selection. They’re books that uplift queer voices, celebrate LGBTQIA+ romance, and are generally upbeat and happy. In other words: these six novels are great Pride books, stories to pick up when you’re in the mood for a big celebration.
Satisfaction Guaranteed is a charming opposites-attract romcom in which two women become unexpected business partners—and fall in love along the way. Cade is eager to get back to her career in New York after attending her aunt’s funeral in Portland. She’s not expecting to suddenly inherit her aunt’s sex toy shop, Share the Love, or to have to save it from foreclosure. To make matters worse, her business partner, Selena, is about as quirky as the store itself—and annoyingly attractive. As the two women work together to save the store, they realize that they’re both clinging to old ideas about how their lives should go, and that it’s time to write themselves a new story.
In The Perks of Loving a Wallflower, Regency intrigue and romance collide. Thomasina Wynchester excels at disguising herself, a talent that comes in handy in her job helping people uncover secrets. Miss Philippa York is a proper Society lady who’s never been in love, and doesn’t really believe it exists. All she cares about is finding a secret manuscript that will help her get revenge on a villain. When Tommy offers to help her out, and the two start spending a lot of time together, Philippa discovers that maybe love is real after all.
In this moving and lyrical novel, two young women revisit their pasts in order to find themselves in the wake of heartbreak. Willa & Hesper follows the titular characters through their whirlwind romance and breakup. Grieving and unsteady, they each run away from New York and the memories of their time together. Hesper returns to her grandfather’s hometown in Georgia, and Willa travels with a group of Jewish twenty-somethings to visit Holocaust sites in Europe. This is a beautiful book about the connections between the past and present, and the often unexpected roads that lead to healing.
When You Get the Chance is an exuberant YA novel about queer friendship, family, and second chances. Cousins Mark and Talia were close as kids, when they spent summers together at their grandfather’s Ontario cottage. But since a rift developed between their parents, they’ve hardly seen each other. When their grandfather dies, they’re reunited for the first time in years to help their families clear out the cabin. They realize that, while they’re both queer, they don’t have much in common anymore. But neither of them is thrilled to be at the cabin, so they decide to take a road trip to Toronto Pride. It turns out to be one of the most eventful road trips of their lives.
In Rush, a new adult second-chance romance, two men spend a summer together, and old feelings resurface. Brandon has devoted his life to football; being a college football player is is whole identity. Devastated when an injury puts him on the sidelines, he turns to an old friend to help him recover. Alec still hasn’t forgiven Brandon for disappearing on him when their friendship turned romantic. But Brandon is desperate for help, and Alec doesn’t have the heart to deny an old friend. They both face challenges ahead, however, and they’re going to have to trust each other to get their happy ever after.
Fence: Striking Distance is an original YA novel based off the popular comic series by C.S. Pacat and Johanna The Mad. It follows a group of boys on the elite fencing team at Kings Row, a private boys’ high school. Characters include Nicholas, the new kid desperate to prove himself; his rival Seiji; and older boys and best friends Harvard and Aiden, who are realizing that maybe it’s not friendship they want from each other after all. The boys train as hard as they can for fencing competitions while also navigating love, friendship, family, and all the ups and downs of growing up. It’s a warm, charming, romantic story, full of humor and heart.
What to Read Next
Liberty Hardy is a Book Riot senior contributing editor, co-host of All the Books, and above all else, a ravenous reader. She resides in Maine with her cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon, who hate to read.