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Happy Pride Month! Of course, we celebrate queer love year round, but this is the season publishing goes extra hard, and we get to reap the benefits, so let’s get to it!

  • Triple Sec

    Triple Sec by TJ Alexander

    A jaded bartender is wooed by a charmingly quirky couple in this fresh and sizzling polyamorous rom-com, set in the exclusive world of high-end cocktail bars.

    As a bartender at Terror & Virtue, a swanky New York City cocktail lounge known for its romantic atmosphere and Insta-worthy drinks, Mel has witnessed plenty of disastrous dates. That, coupled with her own romantic life being in shambles, has Mel convinced love doesn’t exist.

    Everything changes when Bebe walks into the bar. She’s beautiful, funny, knows her whiskeys—and is happily married to her partner, Kade. Mel’s resigned to forget the whole thing, but Bebe makes her a unique since she and Kade have an open marriage, she’s interested in taking Mel on a date.

    What starts as a fun romp turns into a burgeoning relationship, and soon Mel is trying all sorts of things she’d been avoiding, from grand romantic gestures to steamy exploits. Mel even gets the self-confidence to enter a cocktail competition that would make her dream of opening her own bar a reality. In the chaotic whirl of all these new experiences, Mel realizes there might be a spark between her and Kade, too. As Bebe, Kade, and Mel explore their connections, Mel begins to think that real love might be more expansive than she ever thought possible.

    Simply put, if TJ Alexander has no fans, that means I’m dead. I live for the way each of their books has a new pairing/grouping, and I think this may actually have been my first traditionally published adult polyam capital-R Romance, so I’m glad it was in their hands! I love bartender Mel and her passion for mixology, I loved watching her gently and cluelessly wade into polyamorous waters, and I loved the sexy turn the book took with some, er, forced proximity. Definitely a winner for me, and probably best enjoyed with a cocktail at hand!

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  • We Could Be Heroes

    We Could Be Heroes by Philip Ellis

    Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear high heels and a wig.

    Patrick’s acting career is on the rise, and the superhero movie he’s currently filming is the key to putting him on the map… if the endless reshoots ever stop. Will is a secondhand bookseller and part-time drag queen extraordinaire who’s just trying to live his best life—and maybe find love along the way.

    They come from different worlds, but after a chance encounter on a particularly chaotic night out, a curious friendship forms between the two men. At least, that’s what they tell each other it is. Sure, Patrick finds Will captivatingly hilarious, and Will can’t help but keep thinking about who is really behind the perfect mask Patrick shows the rest of the world, but nothing could ever really happen, right? Superheroes don’t date drag queens, after all.

    When reality comes crashing into the fantasy world they’ve built together, Will has to make a choice between the man of his dreams and being true to himself. Can Patrick be the hero Will’s been waiting for, or will Will be the one to save Patrick, after all? Uproarious and touching, We Could Be Heroes is an ode to queer joy and a romance that just might save the world.

    There are shockingly few romance novels involving queer men and drag, so while I was drawn in by the cover and celeb/normie relationship, that was a really refreshing element I was happy to see in this one! It also does interesting things with timelines, jumping from the present day to the era of the original creation of the comic in question (and the lavender pairing at the heart of it), which gave me the vibe of one of my all-time favorite TV episodes. (If you’ve watched Mythic Quest, you know the one I mean!) This is all to say, it’s definitely a more inventive romance than it looks on the tin, and I say that as someone who thinks it’s an extremely cute tin!

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  • Lady Eve’s Last Con

    Lady Eve’s Last Con by Rebecca Fraimow

    Ruth Johnson and her sister Jules have been small-time hustlers on the interstellar cruise lines for years. But then Jules fell in love with one of their targets, Esteban Mendez-Yuki, sole heir to the family insurance fortune. Esteban seemed to love her too, until she told him who she really was, at which point he fled without a word.

    Now Ruth is set on disguised as provincial debutante Evelyn Ojukwu and set for the swanky satellite New Monte, she’s going to make Esteban fall in love with her, then break his heart and take half his fortune. At least, that’s the plan. But Ruth hadn’t accounted for his older sister, Sol, a brilliant mind in a dashing suit… and much harder to fool.

    Sol is hot on Ruth’s tail, and as the two women learn each other’s tricks, Ruth must decide between going after the money and going after her heart.

    I’ll admit I don’t read much sci-fi, even in romance, but if I were gonna read some, it’d sure as hell be a sci-fi rom-com about a hustler on a revenge mission after the guy who broke her heart who ends up falling in love with his sister instead. I mean!! And it definitely does not hurt that it’s blurbed by a host of amazing authors in the queer SFF space.

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  • Everyone I Kissed Since You Got Famous

    Everyone I Kissed Since You Got Famous by Mae Marvel

    An actress home for the holidays makes a bet with her former best friend-turned-online sensation.

    Katie Price is known in every living room in America. A small-town Wisconsin girl who became an A-list star, she rarely makes it home, but this year is different… Little does she know it will lead her straight into the piercing blue-eyed gaze of Wil Greene.

    A lot has happened in the decade since those cold Wisconsin nights when Wil and Katie drove around in Wil’s Bronco senior year. Since then, Wil’s law career hasn’t taken off. Her father passed away. And what started as a personal challenge―kissing a new person twice a week, every week―has made her a growing sensation, but her life is still stuck in phase one. Through the years, the two have never left each other’s thoughts and desires, but now suddenly, they are back in each others’ lives. Their reconnection is instantaneous and the passion is palpable… but can it stand the test of time?

    Witty, emotional, and steamy, Everyone I Kissed Since You Got Famous is an unforgettable romantic read for everyone who almost kissed their best friend. And then finally did.

    Magnificent title? Check. Couple writing together, and they also happen to have the cutest author photo of all time? Check. One of the most achy, angsty, “just run away together to a desert island and do not invite your moms” novels you’ll read all year? Absolutely check. There’s something really lovely and different about the writing that I couldn’t put my finger on, a heartfelt nature to it I most strongly associate with my strongly beloved Trish Doller romances, and if you’ve ever wondered whether you could care deeply about a TikTok concept as schtick-y as “I kiss someone new each time,” let Marvel (aka Annie Mare and Ruthie Knox) convince you.

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  • A Shore Thing

    A Shore Thing by Joanna Lowell

    A delightful queer Victorian love story, featuring a boldly brash trans hero, the beguiling botanist who captures his heart, and a buoyant bicycle race by the British seaside — from the author of The Duke Undone.

    Former painter and unreformed rake Kit Griffith is forging a new life in Cornwall, choosing freedom over an identity that didn’t fit. He knew that leaving his Sisterhood of women artists might mean forfeiting artistic community forever. He didn’t realize he would lose his ability to paint altogether. Luckily, he has other talents. Why not devote himself to selling bicycles and trysting with the holidaymakers?

    Enter Muriel Pendrake, the feisty New-York-bound botanist who has come to St. Ives to commission Kit for illustrations of British seaweeds. Kit shouldn’t accept Muriel’s offer, but he must enlist her help to prove to an all-male cycling club that women can ride as well as men. And she won’t agree unless he gives her what she wants. Maybe that’s exactly the challenge he needs.

    As Kit and Muriel spend their days cycling together, their desire begins to burn with the heat of the summer sun. But are they pedaling toward something impossible? The past is bound to catch up to them, and at the season’s end, their paths will diverge. With only their hearts as guides, Kit and Muriel must decide if they’re willing to race into the unknown for the adventure of a lifetime.

    “I’ll just read three chapters right now,” she said. And then she looked up, and was on chapter six. And then she just kept going, because the book was so freaking sweet and funny and compelling and quirky and the protagonists so ridiculously enjoyable and how could she not?? Which is my roundabout way of telling you that even if you are not a big Victorian romance reader, as I am not, snatch this one up anyway. (A great bonus surprise for me on the queer front was that not only is Kit trans, but Muriel is on the ace-spectrum, so there’s some great surprise rep for you!)

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