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The best LGBTQIA+ romance novels

Looking for an LGBTQIA+ romantic read? We’ve got an array of luscious titles here, to make your heart just beat a little bit faster.

This is our selection of super-favourite romantic LGBTQIA+ reads, with settings ranging from remotest seventeenth-century Norway to a fantasy Ottoman court to misleadingly bland small-town American. The love in these stories is sometimes forbidden, often heart-wrenching and always glorious. With a rainbow cast of queer characters, these romantic LGBTQIA+ novels will have you turning pages late into the night.

Looking for more inspiration? Discover our edit of the best LGBTQ books of all time


Young Mungo

by Douglas Stuart

Book cover for Young Mungo

The extraordinary, powerful second novel from the Booker prize-winning author of Shuggie BainYoung Mungo is both a vivid portrayal of working-class life and the deeply moving story of the dangerous first love of two young men: Mungo and James. Young Mungo is a gripping and revealing story about the meaning of masculinity, the push and pull of family, the violence faced by so many queer people, and the dangers of loving someone too much.

A Marvellous Light

by Freya Marske

Book cover for A Marvellous Light

For fans of Bridgerton who'd like to welcome magic into their lives. . .

Set in an alternative Edwardian England, this is a comedy of manners, manor houses, and hedge mazes: including a magic-infused murder mystery and a delightful queer romance from debut author Freya Marske. 

Young baronet Robin Blyth thought he was taking up a minor governmental post. However, he's actually been appointed parliamentary liaison to a secret magical society. If it weren’t for this administrative error, he’d never have discovered the incredible magic underlying his world. 

But he’ll need the help of Edwin Courcey, his adversarial magical-society counterpart. Thrown together, Robin and Edwin will discover a plot that threatens every magician in the British Isles.

A Little Life

by Hanya Yanagihara

Book cover for A Little Life

Four young graduates from a Massachusetts college make their way to New York, with no money or contacts, just their ambition and their friendship with each other. Kind and attractive Willem is trying to make it as an actor, sharp and edgy JB wants to enter the art world, Malcolm is a struggling architect, and reclusive brilliant Jude is their centre of gravity. Over the coming years, their relationships shift, with addiction, achievement and pride playing their part. And the others come to realise that Jude, who has a brilliant career as a litigator, is in crisis, as unspeakable childhood trauma threatens to break him.

I Kissed Shara Wheeler

by Casey McQuiston

Book cover for I Kissed Shara Wheeler

Just before she graduates from Willowgrove Christian Academy, perfect prom queen Shara Wheeler kisses Chloe Green, and disappears . . . Desperate to track her down, Chloe is looking for answers, and she finds that she is not the only recipient of Shara's kisses. There's long-time sweetheart Smith and bad-boy neighbour Rory, with whom Chloe forms an awkward alliance. She begins to follow Shara's crytpic clues, and starts to think there is more to her – and to the small town – than she ever imagined.

Devotion

by Hannah Kent

Book cover for Devotion

It's Prussia, in 1836. Fourteen year old Hanne is longing for nature and the outdoors, as the world of womanhood begins to close around her. Then she meets Thea, and discovers what it is to have a kindred spirit. Her family are Old Lutherans who have to worship in secret, their community under threat. So when they are given safe passage to Australia, it seems seems prayers have been answered. But the journey will have huge consequences for Hanne and Thea, who form a bond too strong for even nature to shatter.

The Mercies

by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Book cover for The Mercies

It's 1617, and a storm breaks onto the remote Norwegian island of Vardø. A young woman called Maren watches as the island's men, who are out fishing, all drown. Eighteen months later, and Vardø is an island of women. Absalom Cornet arrives with his young wife Ursa, intent on bringing the women into line and quashing what he perceives as an evil threat. But in her new home, and in Maren, Ursa sees independent women, and a love that is both perilous and powerful. Based on real life events, this is a radiant, gripping love story.

Carry On

by Rainbow Rowell

Book cover for Carry On

Featuring Simon and Baz from Rainbow Rowell's bestselling FangirlCarry On is a mysterious, melodramatic love story with a dash of mystery. Simon Snow wants to chill and enjoy his last year at Watford School of Magicks, but it's not that easy. His girlfriend has split up with him, his best friend is annoying and his mentor wants to hide him away in the mountains. And Simon can't help but be worried that his roommate and nemesis has gone missing . . . Plus there are vampires and ghosts around. It's not easy being the world's most powerful magician.

Let's Talk About Love

by Claire Kann

Book cover for Let's Talk About Love

Alice thought she had her whole summer laid out ahead of her: all-you-can-eat buffets, TV show marathons and working in the library to pay the rent. The only thing missing from the perfect picture is Alice's girlfriend, who left Alice when she confessed to being bisexual. Alice decides she is done with dating, but then Takumi comes along, bringing butterflies and uncertainty. She is left with a choice – to stick with friendship, or to risk it for a love that may not be understood. A classic young adult read, about the tangles and troubles of love.

A Taste of Gold and Iron

by Alexandra Rowland

Book cover for A Taste of Gold and Iron

Kadou, the modest prince of Arasht, has no plans to wrestle for imperial control with his sister, the queen. Yet he is in conflict with the father of queen's new child, who is a powerful ambassador at the court. Then a hunting expedition goes badly wrong, and Kadou finds himself accused of murder. The Ottoman-inspired setting is the perfect backdrop to this sensual tale of courtly intrigue, backstabbing politics and romance.

Bearly A Lady

by Cassandra Khaw

Book cover for Bearly A Lady

Fashionista Zelda McCartney has it all: an incredible vampire roommate and a dream job at a glossy magazine. There's only one issue: she needs to turn into a werebear every now and then. When Zelda lands a sizzling date with high school crush and alpha werewolf Jake, things get complicated. She is thrown together with her boss's charming nephew Benedict. And she's also wondering if true love might already have arrived, in the form of colleague Janine.


To help you revel in even more amazing LGBTQIA+ reads, here Emma shares her favourite uplifting LGBTQIA+ books: