The Publishing Post
Joyful LGBTQ+ Fiction: Spotlighting Queer Happy Ever Afters
By Emily Myhill, Carly Bennett and Becca Binnie
LGBTQ+ fiction has developed quite the reputation for heartbreakingly tragic stories, so this week we thought it’d be lovely to spotlight some joyful LGBTQ+ stories. Read on for fluff, romance and genuine LGBTQ+ joy to cosy up with this autumn!
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
Looking for a warm, fresh story about a transgender teen falling in love for the first time? Well, look no further than Felix Ever After – the truly gorgeous, heart-warming and funny story of Felix Love; ironically, a loveless teen anxious about never finding his person. A genuine story of queer self-love, forgiveness, growth and the universal coming of age search for identity – Felix Love will work his way into your heart, never to be forgotten!
Worried he has “too many” marginalised categorisations – transgender, queer and Black – Felix takes destiny into his own hands after suffering a cyber-bullying attack from a fellow student. What he doesn’t count on is finding himself in a love triangle during his intense revenge plan… what a mess! I can’t guarantee you’ll shed no tears during this book; it is wholesome and a tiny bit heart-breaking, but what I can promise is that the story will wrap you up and heal you by its conclusion, leaving you with a truly warmed heart.
Whilst this story is specifically aimed at a young adult audience, its lovely messages and honest cast of characters you can’t help but root for will resonate with readers of all ages. It's truly an unmissable queer story that teaches the importance of falling in love with ourselves and our identities above all else!
Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
Who doesn’t love a sapphic enemies-to-lovers story? If you’re looking for a sweet sapphic YA romance set in a Scottish boarding school then look no further, Her Royal Highness is for you.
Protagonist Millie has always wanted to visit Scotland, (ever so slightly inspired by her little obsession with the film Brave) and her wish comes true when she earns a place at a private boarding school in the Scottish highlands. It seems like everything is falling into place until she discovers her roommate is Flora, who has a sour attitude, takes an instant disliking to her and just happens to be Scottish royalty.
This is one of those fun, fluffy romances that’s all soft edges and smiles, making it the perfect book to fall in love with on cosy evenings with a blanket on your lap and a big mug of tea…and shortbread, of course. It is set in Scotland, after all.
Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman
Set in South Florida, this cute romance tells of two women who are inspired by art, culture and each other. Clara Ziegler, a yarn dyer, is searching for new colour combinations, something different to what she’s already done… Enter Danielle Solomon and her beautiful paintings of Florida wildlife on display in the neighbourhood gallery.
With a common love for their favourite show, pretty soon it is not just the paintings drawing Clara’s attention to Danielle. Clara’s sweet meets Danielle’s feisty in Glassman’s adorable novel with beautiful Jewish lesbian representation. Knit One, Girl Two is the perfect feel-good read to add to your bookshelves!
Knit One, Girl Two was published just last year and written by Shira Glassman whose other LGBTQ+ novels include a fantasy series called Mangoverse. The novels The Second Mango and Climbing the Date Palm are included in the series and follow royal characters who must fight for their LGBTQ+ relationships.
Love & Other Disasters by Anita Kelly
Published at the beginning of this year, Anita Kelly’s Love & Other Disasters is the perfect LGBTQ+ adult romance to bring some warmth and comfort in the colder fall weather.
The novel follows recently divorced Dahlia Woodson as she enters the world of popular reality competition show Chef’s Special. Dahlia is looking for a much needed reset and hoping to win the prize money, which would go a long way to ease impending bankruptcy. With an early embarrassing fall, Dahlia’s plan doesn’t quite go the way she intended. However, it’s not long before she meets someone she sees a future with even more than the prize money.
Enter London Parker. After announcing their pronouns on national television, London’s mind is a little preoccupied with proving haters (including their dad) wrong. A romance with a fellow clumsy contestant was not on the cards.
Figuring out a relationship is not always smooth sailing. But, with characters you love to root for and highlighting some important LGBTQ+ topics such as pronouns and transphobia, Kelly’s novel is honest and a beautiful read full of adventure, hope and the perfect, engaging female/non-binary romance for the autumn.