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Be inspired, must read LGBTQAI+ titles

In honour of Pride month we have put together a list of titles that will inspire, entertain and thrill anyone looking for must-read queer books. From polyamorous historical fiction, to contemporary literary debuts and from quirky queer guides to great lost “gay” novels, this list of titles offers a diverse contribution to LGBTQIA reading.

Can a Mail Order bride find love with two husbands?


It doesn’t take long for Julie Baptiste to realize she yearns for more than the non-stop engagements and niceties dictated by New York high society. So, she decides to do something bold and answers an advertisement for a mail-order bride in Gold Sky, Montana.

Ex-Union soldiers Forrest Wickes and William Barnes have been inseparable since the War. They share everything, including the desire to find a wife. A woman who is willing to marry them both and provide the isolated town with a much needed teacher.

When Julie arrives in Montana the three of them must figure out how to navigate the boundaries of their new lives. Can Forrest and Will come together to provide what Julie needs and protect the heart of the woman who’s made her way intimately into theirs?

And how will a debutante-turned-teacher manage frontier life with two husbands?

Heart and Hand is a romantic and passionate MFM romance and Book 1 in the Gold Sky Series.

Cruelly beautiful, utterly authentic – introducing a searingly talented new Queer writer.

“‘The Whale Tattoo’ is a stunning achievement – one of the most impressive and assured debuts I’ve ever read” – Matt Cain

A novel for fans of ‘A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing’ by Eimear McBride, ‘Peach’ by Emma Glass and ‘Box Hill’ by Adam Mars-Jones.

When a giant sperm whale washes up on the local beach and tells Joe Gunner that death will follow him wherever he goes. Joe knows that the place he needs to go is home.

Having stormed out two years ago, it won’t be easy. Nor will returning to the river alongside the house where words ripple beneath the muddy black water washing up all sorts of memories and disturbing prophecies.

Joe turns to his sister, Birdee, the only person who has ever listened and to Tim Fysh, a local fisherman and longtime lover – but reviving their bond leads to trouble.

Joe tells himself that the whale’s predictions are wrong but the river is relentless. As the waters settle, Joe learns the truth and finds that all of us can hate, but we can make a choice not to.

Ransom’s fractured, distinctive prose highlights the beauty and brutality of his story. His extraordinarily vivid sense of place saturates the reader with the wet of the river, and the salty tang of the heaving sea.

This novel contains adult themes, strong language, and some scenes that might be upsetting to listeners.

A sexy, slow-burn, enemies to lovers historical romance.

1333. Edward III is at war with Scotland. Nineteen-year-old Sir Harry de Lyon yearns to prove himself and jumps at the chance when a powerful English baron, William Montagu, invites him on a secret mission with a dozen elite knights.

They ride north, to a crumbling Scottish keep, capturing a feral, half-starved boy within and putting the other inhabitants to the sword.

But nobody knows why the flower of English knighthood snuck over the border to capture a savage, dirty teenage boy. Montagu gives the boy to Harry as his squire, with only two rules: don’t let him escape, and convert him to the English cause.

At first, it’s hopeless. The Scottish boy is surly and violent and eats anything that isn’t nailed down. Then Harry begins to notice things: that, as well as Gaelic, the boy speaks flawless French, with an accent much different from Harry’s Norman one. That he can read Latin too. And when Harry finally convinces the boy – Iain mac Maíl Coluim – to cut his filthy curtain of hair, the face revealed is the most beautiful thing Harry has ever seen.

With Iain as his squire, Harry wins tournament after tournament and becomes a favourite of the King. But underneath the pageantry smoulder twin secrets: Harry and Iain’s growing passion for each other, and Iain’s mysterious heritage. As England hurtles towards war once again, these secrets will destroy everything Harry holds dear.

Alex De Campi delivers a steamy but tender love story. “Brokeback Mountain” meets “50 Shades of Grey” set again the vivid backdrop of Medieval Britain. Perfect for fans of Madeleine Miller’s “Song of Achilles”, the novels of C. S. Pascat, and K.J. Charles.

This novel contains explicit sexual content and adult themes.

Even wedding planners struggle to get it right…

Jason is the best wedding planner around, known as the Fairy Godfather to the couples whose special days he plans. But coming up against workplace prejudice is taking a toll on his love for his job.

His mother-in-law, Mel, has just discovered her husband has been cheating on her with a younger woman. Nearing fifty, jobless and struggling, she needs to work out who she is aside from a mum and a wife, and get her life back on track.

Meanwhile, up-tight wedding planner Harriet is struggling to find her own true love – if such a thing even exists. Between liars, married men, and disaster dates, she thinks she may never find the one. And her outdated attitude toward LGBT marriages make her even more bitter.

When Jason starts Extra Weddings – helping people marry whoever they like, in whatever way they want – he, Mel and Harriet find themselves coming together to help couples make memories to last a lifetime. But can they bridge their gaps, and be a unit when others need them most?

With some serious 2021 Strictly vibes, this is perfect for fans of Casey McQuiston’s Red, White and Royal Blue.

Address Book is the new work of fiction by the Costa-shortlisted author of “Skin Lane”.

Neil Bartlett’s cycle of stories takes us to seven very different times and situations: from a new millennium civil partnership celebration to erotic obsession in a Victorian tenement, from a council-flat bedroom at the height of the AIDS crisis to a doctor’s living-room in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, they lead us through decades of change to discover hope in the strangest of places.

Neil says, ‘Every place I’ve ever slept in, I’ve always wondered about what went on at that address before I moved in. To write this book, I went back to some significant places in my own life and let the walls talk to me. The result of that listening is this new cycle of stories.’

‘Bartlett is a pioneer on and off the page and we are lucky to have him telling our stories’

Damion Barr

A work of great imaginative sympathy and range

1970: Fourteen-year-old Tony becomes seduced by the skinhead movement, sucked into a world of brutal racist violence and bizarre ritual. It’s a milieu in which he must hide his homosexuality, in which every encounter is explosively risky.

2003: James is a young TV researcher, living with his boyfriend. At a loose end, he begins to research the far right in Britain and its secret gay membership. He becomes particularly fascinated by Nicky Crane, the leader of the movement who came out as gay before dying of Aids in 1993.

The two narrative threads of this extraordinarily assured and ambitious first novel follow Tony through the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, as the skinhead movement splinters and weakens, and James through a year in which he becomes dangerously immersed in his research, making contact with individuals on far-right websites and receiving threatening phone calls. And then the lives of these two very different heroes unforgettably intersect…

Children of the Sun is a novel of unblinking honesty but also of deep feeling, which illuminates the surprisingly thin line that separates aggression from tenderness and offers us a picture of a Britain that is strange and yet utterly convincing.

How do you find the perfect man? Like most people Titania aka Thomas Schwartz is desperately trying to find out!

Set in New Orleans and featuring a colourful cast of louche but loveable characters, the story follows Titania through the backstreets, bars and club of the French Quarter in search of the perfect lover – the Gaudy Image.

Originally published in Europe in the 50s to avoid prosecution for obscenity, The Gaudy Image is one of the most important ‘lost’ gay novels.

A beautifully written story that is both elegant and caustically humorous, erotic and sympathetic.

For fans of Dorothy Baker, Bryan Washington and Zak Salih.

William Talsman was the pseudonym of James M Smith a US writer and poet, who is considered to be one of the founders of modern gay literature.

It is the mid eighties and successful theatrical agent Clive Spoke embarks on a quest to find the truth about his ex-lover’s early death.

Travelling to the US he uncovers a devastating and destructive conspiracy aimed at the burgeoning gay community.

Could the government really be involved?

Stuart Hopps is an eminent, award-winning choreographer. He has worked on many major feature films, including The Wicker Man with Robin Hardy, Sense and Sensibility with Ang Lee, and Much Ado About Nothing with Kenneth Branagh.

He has produced work for Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera, the Royal Opera and has worked for both the RSC and the National Theatre.

Stories that argue for nuance in a world that wants to make things black and white.

Set mostly in Iran, but making forays to London, Germany, and the transit area of a Ukrainian airport, the stories are brilliantly deft in summoning up the dilemmas of their protagonists, be they characters who are kicking against the confines of the society into which they are born, or characters wanting to embrace those confines.

Nour is a brave and acute observer of how the human spirit fights free of social repression in all its guises.

”Golnoosh Nour’s unflinching writing explores sex and religion, love and cruelty, and rebellion and identity, with energy, precision and poise’’

Nell Stevens.

A facsimile guide to the Gents Loos of London published originally in 1937 by Routledge.

Hailed as the first queer city guide, For Your Convenience was first published in 1937. Ostensibly a guide to where a gentleman may find ‘relief’ in the metropolis after ‘three cups of tea’, for those ‘in-the-know’ the information held between its pages offers a much more tantalizing prospect.

Now faithfully reproduced for the first time in over eighty years, this fascinating book works as both a wry and playful slice of social history as well as a fascinating insight into the perils and pleasures of a most specific activity for men who loved men.

The book could be enjoyed as an entertaining guide to London’s public conveniences but yet to our more sceptical eye it is patently a guide to where men could meet like-minded men in an era when homosexuality was illegal. It remains a classic whether taken at face value or not.

Shocking and controversial, The Lure has become a classic of gay fiction with its candid description of New York’s gay subculture.

The works of Felice Picano need little introduction. As one of the founding members of The Violet Quill, the foremost post-Stonewall gay writing movement, (other members included Edmund White and Andrew Holleran), Picano has published many acclaimed works of both fiction and non-fiction.

First published in 1979, The Lure rocketed Picano to commercial literary fame. The book tells the story of Noel Cummings whose life changes irrevocable after witnessing a brutal murder. Noel is recruited to assist the police by acting as the lure for a killer who has been targeting gay men. Undercover, Noel moves deeper and deeper into the dark side of Manhattan’s gay life that stirs his own secret desires—until he forgets he is only playing a role

With its nail-biting plot, and masterful suspense this gay thriller has lost none of its razor’s edge today and its depiction of the underground New York scene has never been more timely as TV series’ such as The Deuce, and Pose re-visit the 1970’s and 80’s.