Genre: Paranormal Romance
Queer Rep: Bisexuality
It takes a lot of commitment to make a marriage between a modern ceremonial magician and a chaos witch work, but when a malevolent entity takes up residence in Rhys and Moira’s home, their love will be pushed to the limits.
Brewing up a solution is easier said than done when your magical styles are polar opposites; throw a psychic ex and a secret society in the mix, and things are bound to get messy.
I will start out by saying that I found out about this book via an LGBT+ twitter thread, where the author was advertising it. This definitely warped my view of the novella, as I was expecting some witchy lesbians, gay men, enbies, etc. NOW DON’T PANIC–I KNOW BI AND PAN PEOPLE ARE EQUALLY QUEER… I am pan. We are valid. The issue wasn’t that one of the characters was bi, the issue was that I was over halfway through the novella before we are given any evidence that he is. And then, when that evidence does arrive… well.
It left a lot to be desired. But more on that later.
After getting 30% or so through the book with no queer rep, I looked into it and realized I’d made an error of judgement. My mistake. I was perfectly happy reading an M/F, I just wished I had gone in knowing they would be the stars of the show. I want more bi and pan characters in the world, so this suited me just fine.
Until it didn’t.
Genre: Historical Fiction, YA, Romance
Queer Rep: Bi and Gay (I think)
Warnings: Memories of abuse and trauma, homophobia, racism, sexism (all from outside characters and not condoned by the MCs. Still sucks), some violence
Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.
But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.
Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue took me by surprise. Where I was expecting a mostly romcom slice of life during the 1700s, I was instead given a breathless adventure with humor and heart. This book made my heart soar, squeeze, and shriek (or maybe that was just me), and I would recommend it to anyone interested in the many subgenres it encompasses.
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance
Queer Rep: Gay, Pansexual
Warnings: Depictions of blood play, references to self-harm and date rape within an abusive relationship
[Note: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.]
Despite the rumors about Port Lewis, Michael Gates doesn’t expect the house he rents with his sister on Foxglove Lane to be haunted. An eerie meeting with Victor Lewellyn, the resident witch-turned-demon who is bound to the property by dark magic, changes his mind.
Michael isn’t looking to start a relationship with anyone, let alone someone like Victor, but the intense attraction between them can’t be ignored. As he dives into the world of magical drug rings, demons, witches, and necromancers, Michael also grapples with the complicated past he left behind in Arizona.
A relationship might not be what he wants, but it sparks something in him he didn’t realize he needs—the chance to heal.
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Queer Rep: Lesbian
Warnings: Violence, some gore
In the late 19th century, Laura lives a lonely life in a schloss by the forest, Styria, with only her doting father and two governesses for company. A chance accident brings a new companion, however – the eccentric and beautiful Carmilla.
With charm unparalleled and habits as mysterious as her history, Carmilla’s allure is undeniable, drawing Laura closer with every affectionate touch and word. Attraction blossoms into a temptation Laura fears to name, a tantalizing passion burning brighter than the fires of hell. But when a mysterious plague begins stealing the lives of young women in her home and the village beyond, Laura wrestles to reconcile the truth – that the gentle, fragile woman she loves may be a monster cast out of heaven.
“Carmilla and Laura” is a retelling of the classic vampire novella “Carmilla” written by J Sheridan LeFanu. If one thing is certain, it is the love S. D. Simper feels for the original. This story was crafted dearly and devoutly, the essence of the original sewn between lines and pages while casting light on the queer relationship we all want to see. The prose is gorgeous—perfectly fitting and a joy to read—and the story and pacing are a sight for a sore heart. Anyone interested in vampires, sapphic tales, or just plain pretty writing should be giving this novella their attention.