I’ve gotten a couple requests recently for romances that are fluffy comfort reads with little to no sex on the page, so I thought I’d put together a quick recommendation post for this.
Comfort reads are an individual thing, so I went with gathering things that I consider fluffy, which I loosely define as: not much angst, little to no violence, lower intensity, feel-good romances on the cozy and cute end of things. That said, this is something where I know mileage varies considerably in how we describe books, especially when it comes to queer books.
I’m listing rep at the end of my descriptions. If you spot something incorrect, please do feel free to let me know. Also, I am not intending to out anyone; I get author info from the web and the book bio. If an author would like me to remove any info listed, please do let me know. I want to note that I use the word fat as a neutral descriptor when listing rep, and use the word queer when a character or author identify that way or when I am unclear about their identity but know they fall under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella.
Fluffy romances with no sex on the page
- Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman (f/f) I adore this fun fluffy contemporary romance between two Jewish queer girl artists. Wonderful fat rep, rugelach, geekiness, and a mischievous kitty. (Rep: Lesbian Jewish MC. Bisexual Jewish MC. Bisexual Jewish woman author.)
- Looking for Group by Alexis Hall (m/m) This adorable geeky romance is one of my favorite comfort reads. Hall built a game world that I wanted to hang out and flirt in, and I am not a gaming person. (Rep: Questioning man MC. Queer man MC. Pansexual secondary character. Queer man author.)
Magical Holiday Romance
- Hearts Alight by Elliott Cooper (m/m): Sweet geeky romance between a gay man and his long time crush, who turns out to be a golem. Loved the scene where they play D&D, and the Chanukah family gathering. (Rep: Jewish bi hero. Older queer love interest. Jewish trans man secondary character. Bi trans man author)
- An Offering to St Valentine by Nicole Field. (m/m/enby) This free polyamorous romance story centers a pagan queer man, his queer man partner, and his new non-binary partner working out a way to celebrate Valentines Day in a way that suits each of their needs. (Rep: Polyamorous pagan queer man MC. Polyamorous queer non-binary MC. Polyamorous queer man MC. Polyamorous queer multigender author.)
- A Night at the Mall by M. Hollis (f/f) Adorable fluffy meet-cute femme/femme romance short that’s all about fashion. (Rep: Lesbian heroine, bisexual Latinx woman love interest. Brazilian sapphic author.)
- All the Wrong Places by Ann Gallagher (m/m) This is an ace/ace romance with a coming out as ace arc, between a skater and a single dad who works in a sex shop. It’s not angst free, because of the coming out aspect, but its rather low angst. (Rep: Muslim Lebanese American biromantic asexual man. Biromantic asexual man. Lebanese American secondary character.)
- Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee (f/f) This superhero YA romance is wonderful. Full of crushes and awesome friendships and mysteries to solve and characters I adored. (Rep: Chinese-Vietnamese biracial bisexual girl MC. Queer girl MC. Black trans boy secondary character. Chinese-Vietnamese biracial bisexual woman author.)
Ready for My Close Up
- Stars in Their Eyes by Pema Donyo (m/f) Historical second chance romance between a writer and an actress, with a love triangle. It’s got this lovely mix of expat culture in Paris and early Hollywood. We even get to meet Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas! Note: contains fade to black sex. (Chinese American woman MC. Asian American woman author.)
- Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee (f/f) This MG novel centers a girl having her first crush on a girl, realizing that she is bi, and starring opposite her crush in the school play. (Rep: Bisexual girl MC.)
- Green Toes by Avery Flinders (f/enby) Queer collective housing. Gardening. Baking. Magical boots. Bisexual country girl moves to the city and falls for an awesome genderqueer person. (Rep: Bisexual woman MC. Queer non-binary love interest. Queer non-binary author.)
- A Special Delivery by Laura Bailo (m/m) A meet-cute romance short full of sweet holiday stuff, with lovely food-related moments. A mistaken package leads a sweetheart with an awesome dog to walk it over to the right address, and he gets caught in a blizzard, and is forced to stay the night with the handsome bookish man at the correct address. (Rep: Gay MCs. Aroace author.)
- North to You by Tif Marcelo (m/f) This has everything I would want from a food-themed romance, plus an emphasis on familial relationships. And it made me hungry. Note: contains fade to black sex. (Rep: Filipinx hero and heroine. Filipinx author.)
Fluffy romances with very little sex on the page
- Coffee Boy by Austin Chant (m/m with a trans lead) I didn’t even know how much I needed to read a non-passing trans character story centered in the workplace til I read this adorable romance. (Rep: Gay trans man MC. Bisexual man MC. Queer trans man author.)
- Level Up by Cathy Yardley (m/f) This sweet geeky romance has an introverted heroine aching to get recognized for her high quality work at a tech company that I fell so damn hard for. (Rep: Latinx woman MC. Biracial Asian American woman author.)
- Smoke Signals by Meredith Katz. (m/m) I really enjoyed this geeky romance, centering a knitter gay MC who works at a gaming company and a grumpy awkward dragon love interest customer whose hoard is all games. It was cute, sweet, and fluffy, had a lovely satisfying romance arc. Plus there was a kitty I adored! (Rep: Gay MC. Bisexual MC. Lesbian author.)
Long Term Pining
- A Little Familiar by R Cooper (m/enby) Gorgeously written witch/familiar romance complete with long term pining, pagan community, a ghost, and so much cooking it made me ravenous. I fell hard for the genderfluid familiar, and had so many feels for the witch hero who thought he’d always be alone. (Rep: Gay MC. Genderfluid love interest.)
- Opening Act by Suleikha Snyder: Lovely friends to lovers m/f contemporary rock star romance. Spot-on depiction of the frustration of being only seen as the good girl, and the ache to break out of that. (Rep: Desi woman MC. Queer desi woman author.)
- A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole (m/f) I love Cole’s writing style, and this modern royalty romance was beautifully done. I fell for both the MCs so hard, and was rooting for them even as I couldn’t see how they could possibly figure things out til the very end. (Rep: African diaspora heroine. African hero. Black woman author.)
- Looking for a Complication by Tamsen Parker (f/f ) Meet-cute swoony butch/femme contemporary romance. One character is bisexual and just coming out. This meet cute is classic queer. (Rep: Asian American lesbian MC. Bisexual woman MC.)
- Double Exposure by Chelsea M. Cameron (f/f with trans lead) Adorable meet-cute romance between a photographer and a barista, set in the context of a queer coffee shop. (Rep: Pansexual woman MC. Bisexual trans woman MC. Queer demigirl author.)
- No Rulebook for Flirting by Laura Bailo (m/m with a trans lead) A fun, light, fluffy age gap m/m romance with a trans lead, set at a board game convention in Spain. It begins with a meet cute, where one guy steals the other’s parking space, but that conflict dissipates quickly, and it becomes more of a sweet flirty geeky thing where they game together throughout the convention. (Rep: Basque queer trans man MC. Queer man MC. Trans teen girl secondary character. Aroace author.)
- New Game, Start by C.S. Poe (m/m): Adorable fluffy and very geeky romance short between a medieval scholar and a famous gamer who meet online. (Rep: Gay MCs.)
- Star Dust by Emma Barry and Genevieve Turner (m/f ) Quietly lovely historical romance centering an astronaut and a divorced mom. I find this series especially soothing to read. I liked them all, but this is my fave.
- Talk Sweetly to Me by Courtney Milan (m/f ) Historical romance between a rake and a woman who’s serious about astronomy. Yay for women characters in STEM! (Milan has written several.) I really enjoyed the pace of this one. (Rep: Black woman MC. Bisexual hapa woman author.)
- Miss Dominguez’s Christmas Kiss by Lydia San Andres (f/f) Sweet historical free romance short about two women who share a room at a boarding house (and a secret attraction to one another). (Rep: Latinx lesbian MCs. Latinx author.)