November’s got a little something for everyone, as we head deeper into autumn and closer to the holidays, and we’re all looking for the perfect read to cuddle up with in front of a fire. (Real or otherwise.)
From Austen-inspired YA to Medieval mlm, this month’s got it all.
A modern-day gay YA Emma , with the spikey social critique of Austen plus the lush over-the-top romance of Bridgerton.
Emmett Woodhouse, handsome, clever and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence and had lived nearly eighteen years in the world with very little to distress or vex him.
Emmett knows he’s blessed. And because of that, he tries to give from charity work to letting the often irritating Georgia sit at his table at lunch, he knows it’s important to be nice. And recently, he’s found a new way of giving matchmaking. He set up his best friend Taylor with her new boyfriend and it’s gone perfectly. So when his occasional friend-with-benefits Harrison starts saying he wants a boyfriend (something Emmett definitely does NOT want to be), he decides to try and find Harrison the perfect man at Highbury Academy, the candy-colored private school they attend just outside Los Angeles.
Emmett’s childhood friend, Miles, thinks finding a boyfriend for a guy you sleep with is a bad idea. But Miles is straight, and Emmett says this is gay life – your friends, your lovers, your boyfriends – they all come from the same very small pool. That’s why Emmett doesn’t date – to keep things clean. He knows the human brain isn’t done developing until twenty-five, so any relationship he enters into before then would inevitably end in a breakup, in loss. And he’s seen what loss can do. His mother died four years ago and his Dad hasn’t been the same since.
But the lines Emmett tries to draw are more porous than he thinks, and as he tries to find Harrison the perfect match, he learns that gifted as he may be, maybe he has no idea what he’s doing when it comes to love.
Modern and very gay, with a charmingly conceited lead who is convinced he knows it all, and the occasional reference to the classic movie Clueless, Emmett brings you lush romance all while exploring the complexities of queer culture—where your lovers and friends are sometimes the same person, but the person you fall in love with might be a total surprise.
If there’s one author who wildly mixes it up and yet always delivers for me, it’s L.C. Rosen, aka Lev A.C. Rosen, author of the fantastic historical mystery Lavender House. From sex ed YA to Indiana Jones-inspired adventure to gay life in the 1950s, he nails everything he touches, so when he brings Austen into queer contemporary with a gay YA retelling, yeah, that’s gonna shoot to the top of my TBR.
One Night in Hartswood
’A soul-satisfying love story that is both sublimely romantic and splendidly sexy.’ Booklist (starred review)
‘Road trips and secret identities…a beautifully thoughtful and deliciously sweet romance about getting lost in order to find oneself. I loved every moment spent with Penn and Raff.’ – Freya Marske, International bestselling author of A Marvellous Light
When his sister’s betrothed vanishes the night before her politically arranged marriage, Raff Barden must track and return the elusive groom to restore his family’s honour.
William de Foucart — known to his friends as Penn — had no choice but to abandon his fiancé, and with it his own earldom, when he fled the night before his enforced marriage. But ill-equipped to survive on the run he must trust the kindness of a stranger, Raff, to help him escape.
Unaware their fates are already entwined, their unexpected bond deepens into a far more precious relationship, one that will test all that they hold dear. And when secrets are finally revealed, both men must decide what they will risk for the one they love…
Denny’s m/m debut is the perfect combo of cozy and high-stakes for the chilly season, bringing sweet instalust into Medieval England with a woodsy setting and a charming pair you can’t help rooting for, no matter how messy their meet-cute.
Hunt on Dark Waters
Evelyn is a witch with a perfect storm of impulses: terrible taste in bed partners, sticky fingers, and a lust for danger. After she steals from her vampire ex and falls through a portal to another realm, she’s fished out of the waters by a band of seafarers and their telekinetic captain. She’s immediately given a choice—join their ship’s crew or die.
Bowen has no memory of his life before he became one of the Cŵn Annwn. He and his band of pirates are bound by vow to patrol through Threshold, the magical sea in between realms, keeping the portals to other worlds safe. When he rescues Evelyn, he doesn’t expect to be attracted to the unflappably brassy pickpocket. The longer he spends in her presence, the more he begins to question if his heart is the next thing she’ll steal.
But as tension heats up between Bowen and Evelyn, the danger at sea escalates as well. Because Evelyn has no intention of keeping her vows to the Cŵn Annwn, and if she betrays the crew, both she and Bowen will pay the ultimate price…
Robert is always reliable for steam in any setting, and if the idea of fanning yourself on the high seas floats your boat, you need to meet this sexy pair of a bisexual witch and the gruff captain totally beguiled by her when she inadvertently joins his crew. (Bonus queer note: There’s also a nonbinary pirate in the crew who uses neopronouns.) Let’s just say the captain knows how to use his hands, but his telekinesis means he’s got moves to spare without them…
For Never & Always
One surprise inheritance, two best friends (now bitter exes), and three months to prove he loves her, forever and always, in this swoony second-chance romance for fans of Alexandria Bellefleur and Ashley Herring Blake.
Hannah Rosenstein should be after a lonely childhood of traipsing all over the world, she finally has a home as the co-owner of destination inn Carrigan’s All Year. But her thoughts keep coming back to Levi “Blue” her first love, worst heartbreak, and now, thanks to her great-aunt’s meddling will, absentee business partner.
When Levi left Carrigan’s, he had good intentions. As the queer son of the inn’s cook and groundskeeper, he never quite fit in their small town and desperately wanted to prove himself. Now that he’s a celebrity chef, he’s ready to come home and make amends. Only his return goes nothing like he his family’s angry with him, his best friend is dating his nemesis, and Hannah just wants him to leave. Again .
Levi sees his chance when a VIP bride agrees to book Carrigan’s—if he’s the chef. He’ll happily cook for the wedding, and in exchange, Hannah will give him five dates to win her back. Only Hannah doesn’t trust this new Levi, and Levi’s coming to realize Hannah’s grown too. But if they find the courage to learn from the past . . . they just might discover the love of your life is worth waiting for.
Season of Love author Greer brings readers back to Carrigan’s for a pansexual and demisexual Jewish second-chance m/f romance begging to be read during the holiday season. There’s just nothing like a hard-won Happily Ever After between people who’ve been planning one since they were kids, especially when it’s filled with food, fun, flashbacks, and a little bit ‘o feistiness.
Consort of Fire
From cult-favorite writing duo Kit Rocha comes a fiery novel set in a lush fantasy world brimming with ancient magic, dangerous secrets, and erotic connections.
For three thousand years, an ancient dragon god has protected the borders of the Sheltered Lands. In return, he makes only one demand: every one hundred years, the mortal ruler must send their heir to serve as his consort…for as long as they can survive.
Sachielle of House Roquebarre is the thirty-first consort to be sacrificed to the monster who guards the mountain passes. She is young, beautiful—and she has three secrets.
First: she’s a disposable orphan trained in seduction.
Second: her handmaid, Zanya, is an assassin and the only person she has ever loved.
Third—and most dangerous: she’s cursed. Sachi and Zanya have five weeks to murder the Dragon in his bed. If they fail, the mortal king’s curse will steal not just Sachi’s life, but her very soul.
The Dragon has only one secret: he is nothing like what they have been told. And he will do whatever it takes to possess them both.
Even if you weren’t already planning to read the first book in Kit Rocha’s new Bound to Fire and Steel series, with its gloriously bi-colored cover, a Katee Robert blurb calling it “A primal scream of queer joy” should probably do it, no? I mean, it’s literally a triad between a consort trained in seduction, an assassin in disguise, and a dragon god, so yes, I will be devouring this, and not in public.