Fave Disability Rep I Read in 2018-2019

At the beginning of 2018, I made a list of my favorite romances with queer disabled MCs. Given that post doesn’t have most of the awesome books I read in the last two years, I thought I’d start a new tradition, much like my lists of favorite fat representation (2017, 2018, 2019). This is the list of my favorite disability representation that I read in 2018-2019. After this, I intend to do yearly posts.

This post lists my favorite books with disability representation that I read in 2018-2019, organized by trope. (Not all of them were published in 2018-2019, of course.) It definitely shows my bias towards contemporary romance, but there is a smattering of paranormal romance, young adult fiction and speculative fiction as well. I’m including rereads as well as new reads.

I’m unabashedly listing multiple titles by the same author, when they were my fave for disability rep. I link to reviews where I have written them; and also where I have only posted trigger warnings, so you can easily find those.

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.

For folks looking for books with no on-the-page sex, I am putting three asterisks*** at the end of the description. For ones I listened to on audiobook, I’m including the narrator’s names.

Note: All links to Amazon will be affiliate ones. 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.

Activist Romance

  • Teach Me by Olivia Dade (2019 contemporary m/f romance novel) I adored this so much and highly recommend it! It’s so full of heart, has lovely complex characters who I fell hard for, & unfolds in this beautiful way that was such a joy to read. This is one of my favorite romances I’ve read so far this year; the characterization is beautiful, it’s unputdownable, the fat rep is lovely, and I loved the way the hero really saw and respected the heroine’s emotional armor. It has an extremely satisfying resolution and it resonated so much with my own experiences as a teacher. The relationships with secondary characters are just wonderful, and I really appreciated the way it approached the trauma histories of the MCs. (Rep: Older fat white woman MC with trauma. Older white man with trauma. Fat white woman author.)
  • Rend by Roan Parrish, read by Greg Boudreaux (2018 contemporary m/m romance novel) Rend was a particularly intense read for me, it wrecked me big time, and the audio performance was brilliant. I fell so hard for the MC, he really resonated. The trauma rep cut so close to bone for me, and I liked that it mostly focused on what it was like to be a survivor, years after the trauma, how it can shape you. I liked that it was a couple on the rocks story, because that was the only way to get an arc that felt real with these particular characters, where I would believe in the happy ending. This is one of those books I know I will return to, again and again. (Rep: Gay white MC with PTSD. Gay white man MC. Jewish white woman author.)

Angst, Angst and More Angst

  • Untouchable by Talia Hibbert (contemporary m/f romance novel) I fell so hard for the heroine of this single dad/nanny romance. Fell for her and felt for her, and loved watching their romance unfold. Untouchable is one of my most favorite books of Hibbert’s, and the depression representation is wonderful. (Rep: Fat Black autistic bi heroine with depression. White hero with depression. Autistic Black Anglo-Romani disabled queer author.)
  • A Tiny Piece of Something Greater by Jude Sierra (contemporary m/m romance) I fell hard for Reid, felt so much with him in this story, which centers a young man in recovery from mental health crisis, and the way he finds love amidst the turmoil of trying to find solid ground again. (Rep: Latinx queer man MC. White queer man MC with cyclothymia. Latinx Bi-ro, demi/ace author.)
  • Raze by Roan Parrish (2019 contemporary m/m romance novel) So I just want to say that yet again Roan Parrish wrote a book that grabs my heart & gives me so many feelings. I feel all tender and protective of this book, which has more quiet angst, a slower pace, and is less action oriented, but grabbed hold of me hard and felt like a super intense story to read. I don’t really have words yet for this one, but I loved it. This kind of addiction representation–where the addict has many years of sobriety–is unusual, and I was really grateful for it. (Rep: Bi white man MC with addiction. Queer white man MC with trauma. Queer white secondary characters. White woman author.)

Artist MC

  • Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert (2019 contemporary m/f romance novel) This is in my top three favorite 2019 romance novels. I adore everything about it, from the slow evolution of the romance arc to the characters to the wonderful fat rep, spoonie rep, and chronic pain rep. It’s full of humor, heat, and heart and is gorgeously written, perfectly paced, and extremely satisfying. In fact, this isn’t just a 2019 fave, it is an all time top ten favorite romance for me. (Rep: Fat Black heroine with fibromyalgia. White hero with PTSD. Black Anglo-Romani autistic queer disabled woman author.)
  • Ghost by Robin Covington (contemporary m/m romance novella) is a tropetastic whirlwind that is tightly plotted and a whole lot of fun to read. I cared about the MCs, and wanted them to figure out how to be together. It was deliciously geeky (focused on comics), and the characterization was fairly complex. I liked the “one night stand in the past, now you have blown your shot” trope, it worked well, as did the workaholic daddy issues angst. I was uncomfortable a couple moments in the story, with regard to the way the characters were racialized, as a white reader. The disability rep resonated for me.  (Rep: Native American trauma survivor disabled (has essential tremor) gay man MC. Biracial Korean American-Irish American bisexual man MC. Native American woman author.)

Bringing the Heat

  • Adonis Line by Dakota Gray (2019 contemporary m/f erotic romance novel) This book is one of my most favorite romances with a trauma survivor MC, ever. It holds the reality of survivorship beautifully, and actively refuses the kind of trauma porn, rescue dynamics and hurt/comfort dynamics that are rampant in the romance genre when it comes to survivor characters. It’s also just…a really stellar romance. Gorgeously complex characters, great use of forced proximity and road trip tropes, a romance arc that unfolded in these really lovely spirals that were so satisfying. The pacing in this story was so damn good, I could not put it down. This book contains some really fucking brilliant use of sex scenes to explore character and move plot. A master class at doing that, truly. I had some concerns about the disability representation regarding the hero, but I think it’s worth reading for the trauma rep alone. (Rep: Black woman MC with PTSD. Disabled Black man MC with depression. Black woman author.)
  • Undone by the Ex Con by Talia Hibbert (contemporary m/f romance novel) I love Talia Hibbert’s writing, the way she does incidental fat rep, the way she engages with the complexities of class and trauma, the swooniness in her romances, and of course, the gorgeous heat and chemistry. This is one of my faves, & they were hard to pare down. The heroine’s arc is all about coming to terms w/accepting her diabetes, and as a diabetic reader, I really appreciated this kind of rep. (Rep: Fat Black woman MC with diabetes. Bisexual white man MC with PTSD. Black, Anglo-Romani, disabled autistic queer woman author.)

Enemies to Lovers

  • Clean Breaks by Ruby Lang (contemporary m/f romance novel) Tough guarded heroine who is feeling her way into the life she wants after her cancer goes into remission reconnects with her brothers best friend from childhood who treated her badly as a kid, and romance sparks. I liked how he lets her be where she’s at, even if that means she’s angry or breaks social expectations, how he appreciates her armor. (Rep: Chinese American heroine with cancer. Taiwanese American hero. Asian American author.)
  • Making Up by Lucy Parker (contemporary m/f romance novel) It was just lovely to read a romance that had such a nuanced portrayal of trauma recovery and gave a trauma survivor a love interest that really held and respected Trix where she was, supported her autonomy, saw her strength while also being gentle with her vulnerability. It made me feel hopeful, as a trauma survivor reader. (Rep: Black British hero with a knee injury and anxiety. White heroine with PTSD. White woman author.)
  • The Art of French Kissing by Brianna R Shrum (contemporary m/f YA romance novel) I loved this YA hate to love romance centered around a cooking competition for a scholarship to culinary school. It was engaging, complex, and funny. It had characters I fell hard for, and it made me feel so many things. (Rep: Japanese American queer boy MC with anxiety. Jewish white girl MC. Queer Jewish white woman author.)
  • Work for It by Talia Hibbert (2019 contemporary m/m romance novel) I loved this angsty romance so so much. I fell really hard for both of the MCs and their arcs gave me so many feels. The depression representation is really resonant for me. (Rep: Black man MC with depression. Fat white man MC that I read as autistic. Black Anglo-Romani autistic queer disabled woman author.)

Established Relationship:

  • Team Phison Forever by Chace Verity (2019 contemporary m/m romance novella) This story spoke to my estranged-from-family queer heart. It was substantially more angsty than book 1, and a romance about staying together instead of getting together. One that’s told from the POV of a sunshine character who is not feeling so sunny, because he’s dealing with complex familial dynamics and depression. Tyson grabbed hold of my heart, hard. I felt so deeply for him, connected with him. (Rep: Fat bisexual white man MC with depression and trauma. Older white gay man MC. Non-binary white queer author.)
  • Merrily Ever After by Jenny Holiday (contemp m/f romance novella) This was my favorite book so far in the Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series. I loved the way the central couple work to resolve the conflict in the story, and really appreciated the endometriosis representation. (Rep: White heroine with endometriosis. White trauma survivor hero. White woman author.)

Foodie Books

  • Soft on Soft by Mina Waheed (contemporary f/f romance novella)*** A lovely, lighthearted swoony low-heat fluffy romance that was comforting to read. This is a romance between two fat queer women of color, and it has fat representation that made me happy. I appreciated the demisexual rep and the anxiety rep as well, and loved the way they were both so gone for each other, and kind to each other. (Rep: Middle Eastern Muslim anxious fat pansexual woman MC. Black extroverted fat demisexual woman MC. Middle Eastern Muslim queer author.)
  • Baker Thief by Claudie Arseneault (fantasy novel) This novel takes the classic romance trope of enemies to lovers and reframes it for a non-romantic relationship, and it does that superbly. I loved it so much, so many aspects of the representation resonated for me, and it left me feeling so hopeful! I appreciated the asthma rep in particular. (Rep: Demisexual biromantic white woman MC with asthma. Fat genderfluid bigender allosexual aromantic white MC. White arospec asexual demigirl author.)***
  • Counterpoint by Anna Zabo (contemporary m/m romance novel) I absolutely loved this meet-cute BDSM romance between a programmer and a rock star who is really also a geek too. The BDSM was gorgeous, their arcs were so compelling, and I fell really hard for both heroes, was so grateful to see a careful, caring, vulnerable dominant character in particular. And of course, it begins with lemon pie. The anxiety rep was really resonant. (Rep: Pansexual white man MC. Gay white man MC with anxiety. Bi/pan non-binary white author.)

Geeky MCs

  • Trade Me by Courtney Milan (contemporary m/f romance novel) I loved the audio for this, the performances were wonderful. I always appreciate Sean Crisden and Xe Sands blew me away. It was also just really lovely to get to immerse myself in one of my most favorite romances ever in audio. Many of my fave indie romances have not had audio, so I’m not even used to searching to see if it’s available. It was lovely to see this one in the Audible romance package. This book was just as wonderful the fourth time around. I love Tina so much, and it has this lovely humor, a huge heart, and is incredibly gripping. (Rep: White man MC with an ED. Chinese American immigrant woman MC with trauma. Secondary character with addiction. Chinese American immigrant secondary characters. Bisexual hapa woman author.)
  • Play It Again by Aidan Wayne, read by Sean Crisden (2019 contemporary m/m romance novel)*** This hit the mark for me with the online relationship and online content creator aspect, and was pretty satisfying on the long distance relationship piece as well. It’s not a completely light story, I wouldn’t exactly call it fluff, as Sam’s arc has trauma elements woven into it pretty strongly, but it’s got a fairly light adorableness to the romantic relationship aspect that was exactly what I needed on a rough day. I especially appreciated the way Dovid and Sam negotiated around sex. Sam is not sex repulsed; he’s also not really interested in sex, and Dovid carefully draws him out when he gets a soft yes for sex, in a way that I really liked. (Bisexual Jewish white blind man MC. Homoromantic white ace man trauma survivor MC with social anxiety. Non-binary white author.)
  • Can’t Escape Love by Alyssa Cole (2019 contemporary m/f romance novella) This has wonderful disability representation, is delightfully geeky, and I fell really hard for both of the MCs. The cover is wonderful, the book was funny and heartwarming and deeply engaging. I’m glad to have read this, twice, in March. (Rep: Black disabled woman MC. Vietnamese American autistic man MC. Black woman author.)

Holiday Stories

  • Learning Curves by Ceillie Simkiss (contemporary f/f novella)*** This is an NA college-set holiday romance and it has incidental disability rep. I really enjoyed the way the characters moved from meet cute to best friends to dating. It was a lovely arc, and this is definitely a satisfying Christmas romance, with family gathering, a mistletoe moment, and lots of foodie moments. (Rep: Fat Puerto Rican lesbian woman MC with anxiety. Panromantic asexual white woman MC with ADHD. Panromantic asexual white woman author with ADHD and anxiety.)
  • The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish, read by Chris Chambers (2017 contemporary fantasy m/m romance novel) A beautiful rather angsty retelling of Practical Magic, with so much baking, a lovely Chanukah feast, a light touch of magic, and characters that stole my heart and gave me so many feels. The heat is a deliciously slow burn in this story. I especially appreciated the autistic artist MC, and the kink, and also the dogs. I highly recommend the audio. (Rep: Queer autistic white man MC. Queer white man MC. White woman author.)
  • Christmas at the Wellands by Liz Jacobs (contemporary m/m romance novella) This is a beautifully rendered rather intense and angsty romance between two BFFs/college roommates, one of whom is in recovery from psych crisis and dealing with grief, who goes home with his BFF for Christmas. This made me decide to read the author’s backlist. (Rep: Black gay man MC with depression. Bisexual white man MC. White woman author.)

Kink Fiction

  • His Cocky Cellist by Cole McCade (contemporary m/m romance novel) This D/s romance blew me away. It’s easily one of my most favorite kink romances ever, with beautifully complex characterization, a deeply compelling arc, and gorgeous language. I highly recommend it. (Rep: Bisexual white man with chronic illness. Moroccan-American femme gay man with chronic pain. Native AmeriBlAsian POC demibisexual queer man author.)
  • Tactical Submission by Ada Maria Soto (contemporary polyamorous m/m romance novel) Wow this was just as good to reread. The pacing of this story really works well for me, as do the deep characterization and the dual POVs. The writing is just so damn good. It made me feel less alone, in so many ways it just quietly held so much of who I am, and that’s exactly what I went into this reread looking for. (Rep: Bisexual white man MC. Gay white man MC with PTSD. Mexican American author with dysgraphia and phonological dyslexia.)
  • Whip, Stir and Serve by Caitlyn Frost and Henry Drake (contemporary m/enby romance novelette) Amazing short contemporary kink meet-cute romance centering an autistic bisexual demigirl submissive MC with anxiety and a careful, sweet, very hot dominant man MC who makes cinnamon rolls. Hot realistic BDSM scene full of consent. (Rep: Autistic bisexual white demi-girl MC with anxiety. Chubby white man love interest. Autistic white bisexual non-binary demi-girl author with anxiety. Autistic white man author.)

Meet Cute

  • Relationship Goals by Christina C. Jones (contemporary m/f romance novella) One of the best examples of chronic illness rep I have read in a romance. I fell really hard for both the MCs, & for the author’s writing. I have been checking out her backlist and will continue to do so for a while, as it’s very long! (Rep: Black trauma survivor heroine. Black hero with sickle cell disease. Black woman author.)
  • A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole (contemporary m/f romance novel) I loved this book so much. I think it’s my favorite by Cole, and I love so much of her work, so that is really saying something. Such a gorgeous romance arc, and Portia has my heart. I especially love her self acceptance arc around her ADHD. (Rep: Black heroine with ADHD. Chilean-Scottish biracial hero. Black woman author with ADHD.)
  • The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas (contemporary YA novel) This book feels like it does something different from the other books I’ve read with autistic MCs, like its a deeper POV and feels very real and also like the book lets Grace be as autistic as she is, in a way that feels new to me, without making it about her autism. The romance has a light presence, and a lovely arc. (Rep: Autistic white girl MC. Autistic white woman author.)***
  • A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert (contemporary m/f romance) This is a gorgeous, complex, tightly plotted, deeply characterized, super swoony, neighbors-to-lovers romance. It has a tremendous heart, and is both full of angst and full of humor in a way that feels very balanced. I loved the fat rep in this, like I have all of Hibbert’s books. But what blew me away was the autism rep, which resonated so deep for me. And the depiction of trauma (the heroine is a survivor of intimate partner violence and stalking) felt spot-on accurate. (Rep: Fat Black British trauma survivor autistic heroine. White man hero. Autistic Black Anglo-Romani disabled queer author.)

Musician MC

  • Three-Part Harmony by Holley Trent (2019 contemporary m/m/f romance novel) I loved this so much, really enjoyed watching the complexity of these relationships unfold, and the ways each character was a catalyst for the others. This is a beautiful, unforgettable, polyamorous romance, and I’m already rereading it on audio. (Rep: Autistic queer white man MC. Bi white man MC. White woman MC. Black woman author.)
  • Syncopation by Anna Zabo (contemporary m/m novel) Intensely riveting, complex characterization, so well written! This is one of my most favorite musician romances because of how central music was in the story, and because the writing about the music was incredibly gorgeous and resonant. This book has one of my favorite depictions of a D/s relationship that I’ve ever read; it gets at the ways D/s can build you up and create intimacy and be a positive force in your life, a source of strength as you deal with chaos. I had trouble with some bits of the aromantic representation, but really liked other aspects of it; I discuss this in my review. (Rep: Gay white man trauma survivor MC with synesthesia, former sex worker. Pansexual aromantic white man MC, former sex worker. Bi/pan white non-binary author.)
  • Riven by Roan Parrish (contemporary m/m romance novel) One of the most striking things about Riven is how much it’s about music, and how composing, performing, and collaborating on music is deeply central and gorgeously, compellingly portrayed. Riven is hands down one of my favorite romances I read in 2018 (and 2019), and an m/m romance I will return to again and again. I loved it on audio in particular, the performances were spectacular. (Rep: Gay white MC with addiction. Gay white MC who I read as neuroatypical. White woman author.)

Roadtrip Romance

  • Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai (2020 contemporary m/f romance novel) This bodyguard/protectee romance has the twist of her not actually being in danger, but feeling scared and triggered by going viral and running away with her bodyguard to try to find a way to deal with the situation. I appreciated the trauma rep, the very slow burn, the friendships and complex family dynamics, and fell really hard for the heroine and the hero both. (Rep: Biracial Thai American heroine with PTSD. Biracial Desi-Mexican American hero with PTSD. Desi woman author.)
  • The Demon Prince by Ann Aguirre. (paranormal m/f romance novel) I was blown away by this intense, lovely, angsty romance with MCs that try to keep things casual but just really can’t, in a fraught warlike situation. They have such chemistry, and I loved the femdom D/s dynamic and the menage scene. (Rep: Bi white man MC with chronic illness and PTSD, Demisexual biromantic autistic white woman MC. White woman author.)

Romantic Suspense

  • Human Enough by ES Yu (2019 paranormal m/m romance novella) I appreciated the ownvoices autism representation in this vampire hunter/vampire romance, especially when it came to facing ableism in the workplace. This jumped back and forth through time in a way that I had a bit of trouble following, and emphasized the suspense plot over the romance, but I did really like this couple together, and appreciated the gray ace vampire love interest. (Rep: Chinese American autistic pansexual man MC. Homoromantic gray ace white man love interest. Chinese American neurodivergent ace spec aro spec queer author.)
  • The Witness by Nora Roberts (contemporary m/f romantic suspense) This is one of my go to longish comfort rereads, but I fell in love with the audiobook. For me the heart of this is a strong, complex, flawed autistic heroine that I adore, and her amazing relationship with her dog. It’s never named on the page, but the heroine resonates so deeply for me as an autistic reader, and I love that she is unabashedly herself and doesn’t even try to pass as NT. That said, there are definitely issues with this book, especially in how it represents trauma, intimate partner violence and addiction. (Rep: White heroine that I read as autistic, who also has PTSD. White hero. White woman author.)

Shifter Romance

  • The Coyote’s Cowboy by Holley Trent (paranormal m/f romance novella) This shifter romance packs an intense punch. Witnessing these two neuroatypical MCs (one with ADHD, one with PTSD) who both feel alienated from other people connecting and being sweet to each other as they try to extricate themselves from folks who were trying to control them gave me so many feelings. This is an intense whirlwind ride of a romance that I could not put down. (Rep: Black heroine with PTSD. Hero with ADHD. Black woman author.)
  • Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu (2019 paranormal f/enby romance graphic novel)*** I adored this cozy second chance romance between childhood friends who reunite as older teens. I loved the feel of the art, so cozy with muted colors. All this glorious witchiness and magic school and magical experimentation. (Rep: Chinese-American, Deaf, queer Jewish MC. Chinese-American non-binary survivor MC. Lebanese American woman author. Asian American illustrator.)

Speculative Fiction

  • Four-Point Affective Calibration by Bogi Takács (SF short story) This short story about immigration and emotions and talking to aliens blew me away. (Autistic non-binary white immigrant MC. Neutrally gendered Hungarian Jewish white autistic author.)***
  • Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi (2013 space opera) I really enjoyed this reread. I especially appreciate the representation of chronic pain in this story, and the way the MC has a romance with the ship. I also really liked how complex and fraught her relationship with her sister was, and the way she endeavored to find a way to be herself while grappling with deeply imbalanced power dynamics. I didn’t really like her other romance arc, even moreso than on first read. (Rep: Black queer woman MC with a chronic pain condition. Queer white woman love interest. Japanese American autistic polyamorous ace-spec bi queer woman author with fibromyalgia and PTSD.)
  • An Unexpected Invitation by Ceillie Simkiss (2019 fantasy novelette)*** This is a magical quest kind of tale, that centers an aroace witch who is trying to find an accessible way to get to the wedding of chosen family, despite her motion sickness. It centers a range of platonic relationships, and has some fun moments of magical problem solving. My favorite bit was when the witch’s bisexual fae BFF gives her a beautiful present; it really held the way friendships can be deeply emotional and important, and I loved that. (Rep: Aroace white woman MC with motion sickness. Panromantic asexual white woman author with ADHD and anxiety.)

Tattoo Artist MC

  • Invitation to the Blues by Roan Parrish (contemporary m/m romance novel) Still not sure I have words to adequately describe this gorgeously rendered, deeply characterized, utterly heart-wrenching, deliciously queer, simply beautiful romance. Except to say its one of the best books I read in 2018, and my new fave by this author. (Rep: Queer white man MC with depression and PTSD who I read as autistic. Gay Black man love interest. White woman author.)
  • New Ink On Life by Jennie Davids (2019 contemporary f/f romance novel) This romance between a tattoo show owner and her new apprentice (who she inherited from her own mentor) was really compelling; I could not put it down. The MCs communicate so much through tattoos, build their relationship and trust that way; it’s lovely to witness. I enjoyed Cassie’s personal arc around being less focused on pleasing people. (Rep: Queer femme white woman MC cancer survivor. Queer butch white woman MC. White woman author.)

Workplace Relationship

  • Beginner’s Luck by Kate Clayborn, read by Carly Robins and Will Damron (2018 contemporary m/f romance novel) This has so much in it that I enjoyed! I liked all the disabled characters in it, really resonated with the neurodivergent hero, loved all the stuff about fixing up the house, and felt the representation of ACOA issues was just spot-on. The heroine is delightfully geeky about her job in the lab. I really enjoyed rereading this on audiobook; it was just as lovely the second time around and the performances were great. (Rep: Trauma survivor white heroine. White hero with ADHD. White woman author.)
  • His Quiet Agent by Ada Maria Soto (contemporary m/m romance novella) This contemporary romance between two ace spec spies has this wonderful measured pace to it that soothes me, perhaps because its told from the POV of a demisexual MC, and centers a new relationship. (Rep: Biromantic demisexual white man MC. Asexual white man MC who I read as autistic. Mexican American woman author with dysgraphia and phonological dyslexia.)***
  • Love on My Mind by Tracey Livesay (contemporary m/f romance novel) This is a very well paced, deeply characterized compelling romance. It has a rained in trope, and it manages the idea of preparing an autistic character to do a public presentation in a way that I found pretty respectful; I’ve read versions of that kind of plot that are intensely ableist and this doesn’t read that way. The autistic MC faces ableism, but is mostly moving from a place of self acceptance, and I like the depiction of his friendships. I struggled with the way this leaned towards autism voice in his POV, but it was subtle enough that I was pretty okay with it. This has an Aspie hero (named on the page) who didn’t resonate much with my own experience of being Aspie. (Rep: Autistic white hero. Black woman heroine. Black woman author.)

YA Romance

  • Sick Kids in Love by Hannah Moskowitz, read by Amy Melissa Bentley (2019 YA contemporary m/f romance novel) Some of the best chronic illness & chronic pain rep I’ve ever read. So resonant with my own experience in so many ways, for the spoonie stuff & also just in its NY Jewishness. Also, a really lovely swoony m/f YA romance with a bisexual hero! I especially love the audio & highly recommend you read it that way. The performance is great & the feels are more inescapable that way, I think. (Rep: Jewish bisexual white heroine with arthritis. Jewish bisexual white hero with chronic illness. Jewish lesbian white woman author with chronic illness.)
  • This is Kind of An Epic Love Story by Kacen Callender (2018 contemporary YA m/m romance) I really liked the bi representation in this story, so much. It was full of angst and push pull and so much was fraught and the MC was supremely frustrating in his inertia and not communicating or taking action, but all of that felt so real, and resonant. As a friends to lovers romance, it doesn’t follow a traditional arc, but I didn’t mind that. (Rep: Bisexual Black teen boy MC. Latinx Hard of Hearing queer teen boy love interest. Queer secondary characters. Black queer trans author.)

Disability Rep I Published in 2018-2019:

  • Nine of Swords, Reversed by Xan West (CWs here) (genderfluid/genderfluid romance novelette) This contemporary fantasy romance novelette centers two Jewish fat disabled genderfluid mages sorting out the issues in their D/s relationship. It is very much about the intersections of disability, gender, trauma and D/s, and while it definitely has some angst, it’s also rather cozy and heartwarming, in the ways the central characters treat each other and work to mend their relationship. (Rep: Fat autistic Jewish white disabled queer genderfluid MC with arthritis and PTSD.  Fat Jewish white queer genderfluid love interest with chronic migraines, chronic back pain, PTSD and depression. Jewish white fat autistic disabled queer demiromantic demigraysexual stone butch genderqueer author with arthritis, chronic migraines, chronic back pain and PTSD.)
  • Their Troublesome Crush by Xan West (CWs here) (contemporary m/f romance novella with a trans man hero)** This cute foodie kinky polyamorous metamours to lovers romance centers a demiromantic autistic fat Jewish trans man named Ernest. Ernest is bouncy, caring, careful, and, well…earnest. Out of all my autistic characters so far, he masks the least. Ernest loves cooking, showtunes and service based submission and he’s writing a musical with his autistic BFF Judith. He spends much of the book trying to figure out if he has a crush on Nora and isn’t quite sure what that would mean, as he’s never been into a cis person before. The fat rep is mostly incidental, but you get glimpses of the way the characters fatness impacts their lives and perspectives woven through the book. (Rep: Fat autistic demiromantic pansexual queer Jewish white trans man MC with PTSD. Older queer fat disabled femme Jewish white cis woman love interest with PTSD and diabetes. Jewish white fat autistic disabled queer demiromantic demigraysexual stone butch genderqueer author with arthritis and PTSD.)
  • Eight Kinky Nights by Xan West (me! CWs here) (2019 contemporary polyamorous Chanukah f/f erotic romance novel) Angsty foodie best friends/roommates to lovers romance with kink lessons and a sex pact around keeping things casual. The fat representation is integrated into the story, and part of one of the MCs arcs is around setting boundaries in and recovering from her relationship with her fatphobic mother. (Rep: Jewish white autistic older gray ace queer fat femme woman MC with depression and PTSD. Jewish white autistic older pansexual fat stone butch woman MC with arthritis and PTSD. Jewish white autistic disabled fat queer demiromantic demigraysexual stone butch genderqueer author with arthritis and PTSD.)
  • Trying Submission by Xan West (printed in Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year Vol 3  CWs here) (2019 contemporary f/f erotica short story with a trans woman MC) This erotica story centers a fat autistic femme trans lesbian woman trying out submission for the first time with another fat femme lesbian, a member of her leather family who she trusts. It’s D/s focused, and sex is off the table from the start. It also shows her going non-verbal during both negotiations and play, and them finding ways to continue to communicate and ensure consent. (Rep: Latinx autistic queer fat femme trans woman MC with fibro and PTSD. Black queer fat femme sex worker MC. Jewish white autistic disabled fat queer stone butch genderqueer author with chronic pain and PTSD.)
  • Crave by Xan West (printed in Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year Vol 4. CWs here) (2019 contemporary f/f erotica short story) This short erotica story centers an older fat butch/butch couple in a D/s relationship, where the submissive character is tall and supersize, and the dominant MC is midsize and shorter. It depicts SM as an act of service, and mostly centers rough body play and trampling, and does not include sex. The fat representation is mostly incidental, but there is some discussion of the joy the dominant character takes in dominating someone taller and fatter and more physically strong. (Rep: Older fat stone butch autistic white woman MC. Older fat disabled butch white woman love interest. Jewish white fat autistic disabled queer stone butch genderqueer author.)
  • An excerpt from Shocking Violet, my queer kinky polyamorous romance novel WIP, free on my website. This erotica excerpt shows Jax and Violet’s first D/s scene. It also shows some things I rarely see in BDSM romance: beginning with BDSM play where sex is off the table, a dominant checking in with himself before play to be sure he is up for it, a survivor making it clear she doesn’t want her partner to try to fix her trauma, survivors talking openly about the risk of being triggered by play, an autistic submissive going non-verbal during play. (Rep: Jewish white autistic queer fat femme woman MC with endometriosis and PTSD. Jewish white autistic queer fat stone butch genderqueer MC with chronic migraines and PTSD. Jewish white autistic disabled fat queer demiromantic demigraysexual stone butch genderqueer author with chronic migraines, endometriosis and PTSD.)

On my TBR for 2020

Young Adult & Middle Grade

Adult Romance

Speculative Fiction

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