LGBTQ+ Fiction: My Favorites

My name is Anna, and I am one of the Reader Services Librarians at the Central Library in Copley Square. For the next year or so I will be reviewing LGBTQ+ Fiction in this space, so I thought it would be great to start off with a little bit about me and by talking about some of my favorite books.

Fast facts about me:

  • I enjoy recommending good books and facilitating Learning Circles on creative writing here at the BPL.
  • I have been one of the Boston co-Municipal Liaisons for National Novel Writing Month since 2006.
  • When I was five, I wanted to be Rainbow Brite when I grew up. I still would like to be Rainbow Brite when I grow up. 
  • A retired racing greyhound adopted me about two years ago, though she'd probably tell you I adopted her. 
  • I identify as agender and asexual on the LGBTQ+ spectrum of things, and while I don't have any preferred pronouns, I also go by Jordan, instead of Anna. 

Admittedly, within the broad range of LGBTQ Fiction, my favorite thing to read is M/M Romance with heavy doses of other subgenres like fantasy and mystery, so you will likely see a lot of those books here. That said, I am also trying to broaden my own reading range, so genres other than romance will show up here, as well as a more diverse cast of characters.

Because it’s difficult to choose just one book to talk about, I have included two in depth book reviews below followed by a list of other books I’ve loved and read many times. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do, and I hope you also enjoy exploring new books with me in the future.

Two Book Reviews

The Shattered Gates by Ginn Hale

Summary: When John opens a letter addressed to his missing roommate, Kyle, he expects to find a house key, but instead he is swept into a strange realm of magic, mysticism, revolutionaries and assassins. And while he lands in the world of Basawar many years in the past, Kyle, hoping to save him from harm, lands years in the future. Though John struggles to escape, he is drawn steadily closer to the fate he shares with Kyle—to wake the destroyer god, known as the Rifter, shatter a world, and possibly even fall in love.
Series/Standalone: The Rifter series #1 of 3
Genre/sub-genre: Fantasy/MM Romance
Book Format: Paper
LGBTQ+ Orientation: Gay.
HEA/HFN: Yes, at the end of the trilogy.
Abuse/Rape: None
Violence: Yes.
Ratio of sex/plot: All plot with minimal off-screen sex
Well written/editor needed: Well written
Would I re-read?: Yes!
Personal thoughts: This trilogy gets better and better every time I read it. Ginn Hale’s world building comes alive like no other. You feel as if you can reach out and touch her world, even step into it and interact with it. Her characters are realistic and relatable, people you want to root for all the way through the book. The plot is wonderful, complex, and so interesting I get lost in my mind just thinking about it. There is a romance thread here, but as the two protagonists are far apart from each other for most of the story, this is more about everything else happening than the romance.

Fatal Shadows by Josh Lanyon

Summary: Adrien English, mystery writer and bookstore owner, finds out his friend and employee was murdered. While Detective Jake Riordan thinks he had something to do with it, Adrien knows he’s next on the killer’s list.
Series/Standalone: Adrien English series #1 of 6
Genre/sub-genre: Mystery/MM Romance
Book Format: Paper
LGBTQ+ Orientation: Gay.
HEA/HFN: Yes. The romance arc covers the whole series, but really picks up in book two.
Abuse/Rape: There is one scene that is borderline non-consensual. Otherwise, no.
Violence: Minor.
Ratio of sex/plot: Mostly plot.
Well written/editor needed: Well written.
Would I re-read?: Yes!
Personal thoughts: This is first, and foremost, a murder mystery novel with very little romance in the first book. I love the fact that Adrien is not a perfect guy. He has a heart condition and he’s very much human. And so is Detective Jake Riordan, the man with whom he has a romantic arc over the course of the series. Jake spends most of the series struggling with coming out of the closet. I did not like Jake at first, but every time I reread this series, I love him more and more because his actions speak louder than his words, and I see new things I missed with each reading. The mysteries are very good, sometimes a bit creepy, and will keep you reading, even if you think you know whodunit, because you come to care about the characters and their well-being. 

 

Other favorites of mine include:

Among the Living by Jordan Castillo Price

Series/Standalone: Psycop series – ongoing
Genre/Sub-Genre: Paranormal mystery.
LGBTQ+ Orientation: Gay.

Wraeththu by Storm Constantine

Series/Standalone: Trilogy
Genre/Sub-Genre: Fantasy
LGBTQ+ Orientation: Intersex/Androgynous (These characters are hard to define.)

Fadeout by Joseph Hansen

Series/Standalone: Brandstetter #1 of 12.
Genre/Sub-Genre: Mystery
LGBTQ+ Orientation: Gay

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg

Series/Standalone: Standalone
Genre/Sub-Genre: Historical Fiction
LGBTQ+ Orientation: Unstated lesbians

Dark Edge of Honor by Aleksandr Voinov

Series/Standalone: Standalone
Genre/Sub-Genre: Military Science Fiction/MM Romance
LGBTQ+ Orientation: Gay

His Quiet Agent by Ada Maria Soto

Series/Standalone: Standalone
Genre/Sub-Genre: MM Romance
LGBTQ+ Orientation: Gay Romantic/Asexual/Demisexual

Mahu by Neil Plakcy

Series/Standalone: Mahu series - ongoing
Genre/Sub-Genre: Mystery
LGBTQ+ Orientation: Gay

 

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