Book of the Month: Blackheart Knights

For May’s book of the month, I badgered Anna into letting me choose a book that’s out in the month, rather than the next month, because I read it and loved it, so now I have to force it all on you.

(Just kidding.)

But if you’re looking for gay Arthuriana (and aren’t we all on some level), then this is the start of an upcoming mini-boom, and one you really won’t want to miss out on!

Related: Don’t forget all releases can be found in our monthly lists here.
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Book Releases: May 2021

There are over 100 LGBT releases in May. And that’s just those we currently know about. So, aiming to keep this intro short and sweet, let’s dive straight in!

As ever, you can find all our previous releases posts here and the rainbow emoji indicates an author who id’s as LGBT.

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Book Recs: Lesbian Adult Fantasy

In keeping with the fact it’s Lesbian Visibility Week this week, today’s rec list is going to be one of solely lesbian adult fantasy recs (as requested by Anna). And I mean specifically lesbian, rather than sapphic in general (of which I have an old list here), so we’re talking characters who are attracted to women, but also are completely not attracted to men (simplistically put).

A couple of disclaimers: firstly, I’m fairly sure I’m right in reading these characters as lesbians. But obviously, since it’s fantasy, you don’t tend to get the word itself used, or even hedged around like in contemporary. As such, these are to-the-best-of-my-knowledge recs. Secondly, yeah, a lot of these are upcoming ones. Turns out I haven’t read all that many sapphic adult fantasies that you can pinpoint as lesbian. Something to work on.

All that aside, though, here are ten books you absolutely need to read. Call it lesbian canon, if you will.

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Book Recs: Lesbian Lit

This is a rec list I keep promising and then never coming through on, but finally, finally, I’ve got my act together. If you’ve followed me on twitter, you’ll know I regularly complain about lesbians in (generally YA) lit never using the word lesbian about themselves. I even wrote a whole post about just that.

But I never offered you the books I know that do use the word lesbian (of which, I’m finding, I know depressingly few). So, these are they (with the exception of one, which I had to get Anna to tell me how to rec). If you’re looking for more, there are some in this thread.

Before we start, I just need to make clear how I’m deciding on these books. First and foremost, each book has to feature a lesbian character who claims the word lesbian for themselves. Not someone else calling them a lesbian, not random mentions of lesbianism but the mc never says “I’m a lesbian”. Yes, I’m being a bit strict in cases, but I want to offer you ten books where the mc claims the label in a positive context.

I have also tried to keep only to YA books, but I had to sneak one adult in there to make up numbers.

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ARC Review: These Feathered Flames

A young adult fantasy book both of us have enjoyed? If you know anything about us (and especially about Charlotte), you realise it must be a miracle! Or just a really good book! Read our reviews to find out what is the truth.

But seriously, if you haven’t pre-ordered These Feathered Flames yet, this is your sign that you absolutely should. And follow Alexandra on twitter, for more info about her upcoming projects!

When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are decided at a young age. While Izaveta remained at court to learn the skills she’d need as the future queen, Asya was taken away to train with her aunt, the mysterious Firebird, who ensured magic remained balanced in the realm.

But before Asya’s training is completed, the ancient power blooms inside her, which can mean only one thing: the queen is dead, and a new ruler must be crowned.

As the princesses come to understand everything their roles entail, they’ll discover who they can trust, who they can love—and who killed their mother.

These Feathered Flames

Alexandra Overy

Goodreads

Rep: lesbian mc & li
Release: 20th April 2021

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Book Releases: Ownvoices M/M books of January-June 2021

Well, actually… the term ownvoices here is used very liberally. By that I mean you will find below books with gay main characters written by gay authors but sometimes it will be for example books with gay characters written by bi authors.

Generally, though, novels with mlm characters by mlm authors. Achillean books by achillean authors, if you will. So while the label might not always 100% match between the author and the character, those are still books written by people who understand the experience.

This is also why I opted out of using the rainbow emoji – everyone would get one anyways.

Part two of this, for the rest of the year, will probably be up in June. Meanwhile, you can check out the ownvoices m/m books of 2020: first half & second half of the year.

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ARC Review: In Deeper Waters

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say we were both very excited about this next book. And it’s no little help that the cover for it is absolutely gorgeous. And you can get your hands on it in just under a week! So, without further ado, have a read of why we think you want this book!

A young prince must rely on a mysterious stranger to save him when he is kidnapped during his coming-of-age tour in this swoony adventure that is The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Pirates of the Caribbean.

Prince Tal has long awaited his coming-of-age tour. After spending most of his life cloistered behind palace walls as he learns to keep his forbidden magic secret, he can finally see his family’s kingdom for the first time. His first taste of adventure comes just two days into the journey, when their crew discovers a mysterious prisoner on a burning derelict vessel.

Tasked with watching over the prisoner, Tal is surprised to feel an intense connection with the roguish Athlen. So when Athlen leaps overboard and disappears, Tal feels responsible and heartbroken, knowing Athlen could not have survived in the open ocean.

That is, until Tal runs into Athlen days later on dry land, very much alive, and as charming—and secretive—as ever. But before they can pursue anything further, Tal is kidnapped by pirates and held ransom in a plot to reveal his rumored powers and instigate a war. Tal must escape if he hopes to save his family and the kingdom. And Athlen might just be his only hope…

In Deeper Waters

F. T. Lukens

Goodreads

Rep: bi/pan mc, mlm li
Release: 20th April 2021

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ARC Review + Blog Tour: Malice

“Once upon a time, there was a villain” is frankly the only kind of a fairy tale opening I want to read from now on. But only if the fairy tale in question is as good as what Malice offers. Because it truly has it all: great characters, magic, betrayals, and a lesbian romance. I assure you, it is the fairy tale retelling of your dreams.

So yes, we’re very excited that we’re part of the blog tour that Del Rey runs for Malice! And hey, you can actually grab yourself a signed copy of Malice right here!

Also follow Heather Walter on twitter!

Once upon a time, there was a wicked fairy who cursed a line of princesses to die, and could only be broken by true love’s kiss. You’ve heard this before, haven’t you? The handsome prince. The happily-ever-after.

Utter nonsense.

Let me tell you, no one actually cares about what happens to our princesses. I thought I didn’t care, either. Until I met her.

Princess Aurora. The last heir to the throne. The future queen her realm needs. One who isn’t bothered that I am the Dark Grace, abhorred and feared for the mysterious dark magic that runs in my veins. Aurora says I should be proud of my gifts. That she . . . cares for me. Even though it was a power like mine that was responsible for her curse.

But with less than a year until that curse will kill her, any future I might see with Aurora is swiftly disintegrating – and she can’t stand to kiss yet another insipid prince. I want to help her. If my power began her curse, perhaps it’s what can lift it. Perhaps, together, we could forge a new world.

Nonsense again. Because we all know how this story ends, don’t we? Aurora is the beautiful princess. And I-

I am the
villain.

Malice

Heather Walter

Goodreads

Rep: lesbian mcs
CWs: past torture, lesbophobia, past suicides, blood, drug use
Release: 13th April 2021

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Book of the Month: Meet Cute Diary

This month’s book of the month is one you have (hopefully) heard of, but there’s never any harm in just making sure, is there? Anyway, if you’re looking for a sweet summery romance, then Meet Cute Diary will be the book for you, trust me! It’s the fake-dating romcom you’ve always been craving, only it’s even better because it’s overflowing with trans joy.

So sit yourself down in a comfy chair, and check out why we think you should be excited about this one!

Related: Don’t forget all releases can be found in our monthly lists here.
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ARC Review: The Sky Blues

If you follow either of us on twitter (and were following us back in December), you probably already know how much we love The Sky Blues. Personally I would have probably chosen it as my most anticipated April release, of it wasn’t for the fact that I’ve read it last year… (But I did sneak it onto our list of fav reads of 2020!) It’s a one that will make you laugh and cry, and feel absolutely loved.

But let’s not get into details now, when you can just read our reviews below. And listen to the mix we made for the book!

Also follow Robbie Couch on twitter! He has more exciting things for us in the store!

Sky’s small town turns absolutely claustrophobic when his secret promposal plans get leaked to the entire school in this witty, heartfelt, and ultimately hopeful debut novel for fans of What if it’s Us? and I Wish You All the Best.

Sky Baker may be openly gay, but in his small, insular town, making sure he was invisible has always been easier than being himself. Determined not to let anything ruin his senior year, Sky decides to make a splash at his high school’s annual beach bum party by asking his crush, Ali, to prom—and he has thirty days to do it.

What better way to start living loud and proud than by pulling off the gayest promposal Rock Ledge, Michigan, has ever seen?

Then, Sky’s plans are leaked by an anonymous hacker in a deeply homophobic e-blast that quickly goes viral. He’s fully prepared to drop out and skip town altogether—until his classmates give him a reason to fight back by turning his thirty-day promposal countdown into a school-wide hunt to expose the e-blast perpetrator.

But what happens at the end of the thirty days? Will Sky get to keep his hard-won visibility? Or will his small-town blues stop him from being his true self?

The Sky Blues

Robbie Couch

Goodreads

Rep: gay mc, mlm li, trans & gay characters
TWs: homophobia, racism, f-slur, past car accident, past death of a parent, vomiting
Release: 6th April 2021

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