I thought I’d do a recommendation list for day 2, which focuses on pink covers. All the books on this list are queer; I tried to have a bit of a cross-section, identity-wise. This list definitely shows my bias towards contemporary romance, but also includes fantasy, children’s literature, YA romance, romsusp, and poetry. I link to reviews where I have written them; and also where I have only posted trigger warnings, so you can easily find those. If I have not yet reviewed, I am using affiliate links to Amazon. If you buy through those links, I will make a small amount of money on that sale (which I plan to use to buy more books to review), but it will not add any to the cost of your product. It comes out of the company’s profits.
I’m listing marginalized representation 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.
For folks looking for stories with no on-the-page sex, I am putting three asterisks*** .
- Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul by Ryka Aoki (poetry book) This amazing book of poetry by one of my most favorite writers just blew me away. It’s gorgeous, intense & heartbreaking, like most of Aoki’s work. I especially love the poem A Song of Someplace Yet To Fall. (Queer Asian American trans woman poet.)
- A Night at the Mall by M. Hollis (2017 contemporary f/f romance novelette)*** Adorable fluffy meet cute forced proximity femme/femme romance that’s all about fashion. They get stuck in the mall overnight! (Rep: Lesbian heroine. Bisexual Latinx woman love interest. Brazilian sapphic author.)
- Natural Enemies by Roan Parrish (2018 contemporary m/m romance novella) As always with Parrish’s work, the language is gorgeous, the details are lush and engaging, the characters are complex, and there’s a large helping of angst that reaches inside me as a reader. I adored them both as characters, and enjoyed the romance arc quite a lot. Their chemistry was glorious, and the sex scenes are full of heat and complexity and just a touch of kink. (Rep: Black queer MC who I read as autistic. Latinx queer MC)
- Can You Say My Name Again by Nadia Nova (2018 contemporary f/f romance story with two trans women MCs) This was a gut punch of a story that felt very new adult in a lot of ways, as it was all about coping with being an adult and identity. The romance arc was a big part of the story, but this has a bit of a litfic feel, in the intensity and voice of the story, and it’s structure. The MCs anxiety was very visceral and resonated a lot for me, felt extremely immediate in the story, and the trans representation felt very resonant to me as a trans reader. This is clearly written for a trans audience and it felt like it let itself be raw and real and messy in ways that were deeply compelling and gave me so many feelings. (Queer trans women MCs. Latinx trans woman author.)
- Reverb by Anna Zabo (2019 contemporary m/f romantic suspense novel with a trans man hero) I loved so much about this bodyguard/protectee rock star romance, found it completely riveting, could not put it down. I fell really hard for both MCs, loved their dynamic, their chemistry, their flirtation. The sex scenes were gorgeous and had stellar trans rep and were hot as hell and had this wonderful femdom dynamic. It’s got so much joy and care in the romantic relationship and in the chosen family aspects, which makes the spectre of ongoing risk from the stalker feel more intense by contrast. I struggled some with the way things wrapped up in the story, they felt like they needed more attention and care, but I still would recommend this, despite that, if you are up for the trauma aspects of the content. (Rep: Queer cis woman trauma survivor MC. Trans man combat veteran and trauma survivor MC. Bi/pan non-binary author.)
- Climbing the Date Palm by Shira Glassman (2016 fantasy novel) This is the second book in a Jewish secondary world queer fantasy series about a lesbian queen, her bisexual chef girlfriend, her demisexual guard and the guard’s wizard dragon husband, In this book we meet two new MCs, a gay prince and his labor organizer boyfriend, who is in jail for his activism. I adore this series to pieces. (Rep: Lesbian MC. Chubby bisexual MC. Demisexual MC. Fat gay man MC. Gay man MC. Everyone is Jewish! Bisexual Jewish woman author.)
- It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Suguira (2017 contemporary YA f/f romance)*** I really liked this book. I felt so much for Sana, who is scared and angry and hurting and confused and silenced and ashamed and strong and flawed and makes really bad mistakes, and feels so deeply and hides so much of how she feels and who she is. She feels real to me, in all of her complexities and bad decisions and feelings. She reminds me of what it was like to be a teenager. (Rep: Japanese American biracial lesbian teen girl MC. Mexican American lesbian teen girl love interest. Japanese American author.)
- Candy Pink by Adela Turin, illustrated by Nella Bosnia (2016 picture book)*** This is the rerelease of an old favorite picture book from my childhood, under a new title. (The old title was Sugar Pink Rose.) It’s about a young trans boy elephant living in a misogynist gender-segregated society and how he eventually is able to join the boy elephants. (Rep: Trans boy MC)
- The Art of Three by Racheline Maltese and Erin McRae (2017 contemporary m/m/f romance novel) A beautiful polyamorous romance, and such a lovely story; so full of heart. I cannot measure how much I appreciate getting to read polyamorous romance that’s not erotic romance. I am incredibly glad that it exists in the world, and not only because it felt like a quiet cup of tea while cuddling on the couch with a loved one on a day I deeply needed that. (Bisexual man MC. Bisexual Jewish man MC. Jewish woman MC. Queer non-binary author. Queer woman author)
- So Right by Rebekah Weatherspoon (2016 contemporary m/f romance novella) I adore Kayla so much and want to be friends with her. This book is a lovely example of incidental fat rep and the whole series of books are comfort rereads for me. I especially love the found family feels in this one so much. (Rep: Fat Black bisexual heroine. Trans woman secondary character. Black queer woman author.)
- Defying Convention by Cecil Wilde (2015 contemp m/enby romance novella with a trans man MC) This queer NA BFFs to lovers romance novella is such a comfort to me. It’s set at a sci fi con, and has a lovely sweetness to it; the MCs are so kind to each other. I really appreciated the anxiety rep this reread. (Rep: Sri Lankan-American bisexual non-binary MC. Bisexual trans man MC. Non-binary trans author.)
- Marriage of Unconvenience by Chelsea M. Cameron (2018 contemporary f/f romance novel) I really liked this friends to marriage of convenience to lovers book, it was exactly the kind of comfort read I needed. I appreciated that the MCs love interest set the boundaries she needed to figure stuff out, and got help sorting through things. (Questioning woman MC. Lesbian woman MC. Queer non-binary demigirl author.)