Love and Lotus Blossoms

By Anne Shade

Bisexual
People of Color

Janesse Crawford spends her teenage and young adult years trying to balance her tomboy, girl-loving side with being the picture-perfect daughter her mother wants. It’s difficult, and Janesse is full of self-doubt, but she manages to find a way to make it work. Then Janesse meets sexy, confident Maya Lawson, who is everything she didn’t realize she wanted, and her world is turned upside down. But Janesse makes a choice and doesn’t look back.

Thirty years later, Janesse is married to a man who loves her, has raised two wonderful children, and has a successful career doing what she loves. But when a chance meeting with Maya brings her past rushing back, the lie Janesse has been living comes crashing in on her. She let Maya get away once, but her second chance at true love could cost her the picture-perfect world she’s spent a lifetime building. It’s not too late for Janesse to blossom into the woman she’s always wished to be. But on her path to self-acceptance, she will risk everything—and possibly everyone—she loves.

 

Starred review from Publishers Weekly: "Shade imbues this optimistic story of lifelong self-discovery with a refreshing amount of emotional complexity, delivering a queer romance that leans into affection as much as drama, and values friendship and familial love as deeply as romantic connection...Shade’s well-drawn Black cast and sophistication in presenting a variety of relationship styles—including open relationships and connections that shift between romance and friendship—creates a rich, affirming, and love-filled setting..."

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Two Winters

By Lauren Emily Whalen

Young Adult
People of Color
Friends & Community
Holidays |
Homecoming
Children / Families

The winter of 1997 is a tragedy waiting to happen. Small-town life isn't easy for seventeen-year-old bisexual and closeted Paulina, especially when her best friend Mia becomes pregnant and doesn’t want to tell the baby's father, Paulina's other best friend, Tesla. Meanwhile, Paulina's secret relationship with volleyball star Ani is about to go public. One fateful night, everything changes forever.

In the winter of 2014, Perdita, bi and proud in Chicago, is weeks away from turning seventeen. She loves her two moms, but why won’t they talk about her adoption? When Perdita meets improv performer Fenton, she discovers both a kindred soul and a willing accomplice in her search for the truth. Will Perdita find what she's looking for? 

Two Winters is a contemporary YA retelling of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale about birth, death, Catholic school, improv comedy, and the healing nature of time.

 

"This retelling of The Winter's Tale follows parallel stories of family and forgiveness in two very different times...Finding the original play’s resonance in the complicated kingdoms of high school while still appealingly down-to-earth, the specificity of place and slow build toward complication and tragedy work well in Paulina’s section but less successfully in Perdita’s. Readers need not be familiar with Shakespeare’s original to appreciate this skillful adaptation. Unabashedly queer, moving, and sincere."—Kirkus Reviews, 08/15/2021

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Her Countess to Cherish

By Jane Walsh

International Setting

Miss Beatrice Everson has managed to marry the Earl of Sinclair, solving her family’s disastrous financial problems for good. She should be the happiest woman in London, but a less than satisfactory wedding night has Beatrice fleeing her husband and planning an affair with the dashing Mr. George Smith.

Lady Georgina Smith has a secret she must keep at all costs: she divides her time running a bluestocking salon as Gina, and carousing across London as George. Captivated by Beatrice’s wit and charm, Georgina realizes that her secret is in danger—along with her heart.

When Beatrice discovers that her wedding night has resulted in an unexpected pregnancy, she sees an opportunity to have it all by divorcing Sinclair and marrying George. However, Georgina isn’t sure that a lifetime spent as a man is staying true to herself. Beatrice and Georgina must risk giving up their secrets to finally have their heart’s desire. But is the risk too great to take?

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Never Be the Same

By MA Binfield

Celebrity

They say opposites attract. They aren’t kidding.

When Casey meets Olivia—the actress she’s driving around for two weeks—she figures it’s going to be all business. Sure, Olivia’s hot and has women throwing themselves at her feet, but Casey is only interested in making the money she needs before going back to Portland. London is full of painful memories, and anyway, perfectly put together celebrities are not really her thing.

Olivia loves being “Susie,” her TV alter ego. She’s sassy, sexy, and never short of admirers, but living her life in the public eye is taking its toll. When her new driver turns out to be tall, dark, and undeniably handsome, Olivia is intrigued. But Casey seems like she has something to hide, and the last thing Olivia needs is someone she can’t trust.

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The Fiend in the Fog

By Jess Faraday

International Setting
Magic

1885, East London

Abigail and Gideon are under siege. Noxious fogs have been bringing their clinic waves of indigent patients with inexplicable symptoms, telling wild tales of a demonic presence in the fog. If that’s not enough, someone wants the clinic for themselves, and they’re using the force of law to get it.

On the other side of town, heiress Meg Eisenstadt and her brother Nat live a life of well-intentioned aimless luxury. She dabbles in social justice causes and he pursues alchemy. And in a secret lab in the depths of Whitechapel, disgraced physician Jin Wylie attempts to rebuild his shattered life by performing dubious research for a shadowy cabal.

They live in separate worlds on different trajectories until the mysterious fiend in the fog brings them together.

Abigail and Meg discover a shared passion for social justice, and for one another. But where does that leave her plans with Gideon? And what of the future of the clinic? Gideon has his own monster. Can he keep it in check without Abigail’s constant presence? Does Dr. Wylie’s research hold the solution to Gideon’s problems, or is it the cause of them? And could Nat’s own dabblings be the key to defeating the vicious killer in the fog?

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Detour to Love

By Amanda Radley

International Setting
Coming Out
Age Gap
Financial gap/Class disparity

Romance is in the air on this detour to love.

High-flying executive Celia Scott is on her way to Tokyo to accept a prestigious award heavy with emotional baggage. She’ll make the trip, but she doesn’t have to like it, and she certainly doesn’t have to make nice with a stranger on a plane.

Artist Lily Andersen is excited to finally meet her online crush, the only person in the world who truly gets her. She just needs to survive the eleven-hour flight from London to Japan with a testy seatmate who by turns annoys and fascinates her.

Fate, upgrades, and a troupe of travelling clowns bring them together for a journey memorable for all the wrong reasons. Not only do they have nothing in common, they really can’t stand each other. But people are not always as they seem, and Celia and Lily are about to realise, there’s more than one path to love.

 

Praise from Publishers Weekly: "This charming, low-heat lesbian romance from Radley brings together an unlikely pair of women, both at dark points in their lives, on an eventful plane ride...As their unexpected relationship grows through misadventure and mutual support, readers will grow to care about both characters, too. The result is a sweet love story that’s sure to please."

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Ice Queen

By Gun Brooke

Age Gap
Children / Families
Celebrity

High school counselor Aislin Kennedy’s charisma and exuberance mask deep scars that prevent her from letting anyone too close. Instead, she throws herself into helping her students. CEO of a fashion conglomerate, Susanna Garry has been through three painfully public divorces, and to say she’s given up on love would be an understatement.

When Aislin agrees to help Susanna connect with her daughter, Cynt, surprising feelings awaken for both of them. But Aislin isn’t ready to trust again and Susanna’s track record is intimidating. If the past were to repeat itself, it could break Aislin for good.

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His Brother's Viscount

By Stephanie Lake

Virgins/First Love
Reunion Romance
Friends to Lovers Romance
International Setting
Vacation
Age Gap
Military
Disability
Royalty

As a baron’s youngest son, Hector Somerville has no real prospects. He will not inherit, and he’s overshadowed by two perfect brothers. While searching for ways to improve his situation, Hector finds respite in an invitation to a country estate—and has a second chance at rekindling his illicit affair with Viscount Wentworth, captain of HBMS Dragon. The upcoming fortnight could be everything Hector dreamed of since their disastrous parting.

Wentworth has forsaken love, and yet, memories of guilt and heartache resurface. He loved a boyhood friend once, Hector’s older brother William, until the man left him, trampling his heart in the process. Years later, he wonders if he ever fell out of love. Is his heart bound by William, or can he create a life with Hector?

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Shadows of Steel

By Suzie Clarke

Las Vegas
The Moon Shadow Series | Book 2
Amnesia
Bisexual
Weddings
People of Color
Private Investigator

All Rachel and Claire want is a peaceful life together, but danger strikes, threatening to shatter their hopes and dreams, putting their hearts, and their lives in jeopardy. Eshee Yumiko, head of SeaBridge, seeks revenge for the damage Rachel’s computer program trigger has caused, vowing to get even, no matter what it takes. Derrick refuses to accept Claire’s relationship with Rachel and her continued rejection of his advances. His escalating fixation on her slowly turns into a deadly obsession no one sees coming.

As their worlds collide, and choices come back to haunt them, Rachel and Claire realize that a strong love demands a strong heart.

The sequel to Moon Shadow

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16 Steps to Forever

By Georgia Beers

If there’s one thing Brooke Sullivan knows for sure it’s that people let you down, but that hasn’t stopped her from going after the life she wants. In a new city, with a new job and a new start as a high-end real estate agent, she’s finally back on her feet. The last thing she needs is a distraction. Not her volatile neighbors, not a damn stray cat, and certainly not the flaky, infuriatingly adorkable girl-next-door property stager she has to work with.

Macy Carr believes in soul mates and true love. She knows because she had it all until a freak accident took the love of her life. She’s doing okay though, surrounded by her family, her animals, and her BFFs. Home staging gives her a sense of control, and she’s made her job her happy place. If only the super sexy, super cold new agent working for Macy’s biggest client wasn’t determined to ruin that.

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From the Woods

By Charlotte Greene

Psychological Thriller

When Fiona’s friends drag her along on a two-week backpacking trip in the remote Colorado mountains, she’s pleasantly surprised to learn that she’ll be spending that entire trip with their attractive trail guide, Roz.

Once in the woods, however, far from anything resembling civilization, something or someone comes for them.

With their lives in danger, Fiona and Roz are forced to set off on their own to look for help, drawing the threat from the woods and away from their friends but directly toward them.

 

Praise from Publishers Weekly: "[N]onstop action and vivid depictions of the wilderness keeps the pages turning...[A] satisfying diversion."

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Heart of the Storm

By Nicole Stiling

Juliet Mitchell is doing just fine. Her career with the Shell Creek Police Department is on track, her son, Declan, is amazing, and for the first time in a long time, life is simple, if unremarkable. Until a dead body is found outside the Shell Creek Library.

Sienna Bennett doesn’t know how she ended up here. She’s overwhelmed as a big city victim advocate, her soon-to-be-ex-husband is living in their pool house, and she feels like her stepson, Declan, blames her for the state of their family. She needs something else to focus on.

Juliet and Sienna might share a history with Declan’s dad, but they’re nothing more than friendly acquaintances. When they’re thrown together in the midst of the biggest investigation Shell Creek has ever seen, neither anticipates a forbidden attraction. It definitely isn’t worth upending the life they’ve worked so hard for. Is it?

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Not This Time

By MA Binfield

Celebrity

Sofia is tired: of touring, of her record company, of her fake boyfriend. After collapsing on stage, she’s forced to recuperate at her beach house.

Madison feels settled for the first time in a long while. She’s back home in Miami and her interior design business is thriving. So what if she’s a little lonely, the universe will send her someone when she’s ready. But Madison soon discovers the universe has a sick sense of humor when Sofia turns out to be her new client. Once upon a time, they were bandmates in America’s hottest girl band. Their biggest secret? They were in love—the forever and ever kind—until Sofia told Madison she was going solo.

Flung back into each other’s lives, each is forced to face the hurt they caused the other. But maybe, just maybe, Sofia’s new single, “Not This Time,” is the universe playing matchmaker again.

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Waiting for You

By Elle Spencer

Reunion Romance
Big City
Bisexual
Second Chance at Love

Have you ever met someone and felt like you’ve known them in a thousand different lifetimes?

Lindsay Hall was a high school senior when she and her friend Patty discovered peach schnapps, listened to a past-life hypnosis CD, and got an up-close look at who she once was. And who she used to love. The knowledge of her past life has always haunted Lindsay. As her ex is happy to point out, it’s gotten in the way of her relationships too. Even her teenage daughter has politely suggested that she “get the eff over it.” Except she didn’t say eff.

Ren Christopher just wants a quick break before she starts a new job in Paris. She’s just extracted herself from a not-brief-enough, drama-filled relationship. A few weeks relaxing and hanging with her old college friend Deb is just what the doctor ordered. No pressure, no expectations, and absolutely no drama.

Everything is perfect until Lindsay faints at the sight of Ren.

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Tokyo Love

By Diana Jean

International Setting
Bisexual
Big City
Multicultural 
Workplace Romance

Far from her Midwestern roots, Kathleen Schmitt is living in Tokyo as the project head for Personal Love Companion, a synthetic love robot made to match a customer's preference in personality and appearance. When Kathleen receives her own beta model for testing, she’s shocked to find her personalized robot is the exact replica of her neighbor, Yuriko Vellucci.

American-born engineer for the PLC project, Yuriko is sympathetic to Kathleen’s difficulties adjusting to Tokyo’s culture, but quickly realizes Kathleen will need her help if this transition—and the PLC project—is to be a success. With Yuriko to show her the way, Kathleen learns to socialize at an izakaya, find the best onsen in Nikko, party at a matsuri, buy doujinshii in Akihabara, fall in love with Japan, and, perhaps, fall for the person who showed it to her.

First Bold Strokes Books edition; previously published 2016.

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Moon Shadow

By Suzie Clarke

Vacation
The Moon Shadow Series | Book 1
Bodyguard/Protection Romances
Bisexual
Friends to Lovers Romance
Las Vegas
Coming Out
People of Color
Private Investigator

Justice might be satisfying, but revenge is far sweeter.

Computer programmer Rachel Portola has a target on her back. She’s developed a top-secret program and her boss, Justin McKinney wants it and the millions it will bring on the open market. Even if it means murder.

When Rachel’s plane crashes and she and her friends are forced to hike through the Alaskan wilderness to survive, she thinks the worst is over. Rachel can finally focus on her attraction to her best friend Claire and the unexpected love they share.

But Justin’s not giving up. Armed with only her instincts and a sharp knife, Rachel’s in for the fight of her life to protect what’s hers. The odds are impossible, the future looks bleak, and with everything that matters on the line, Rachel’s not letting anything get in her way.

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Faux Ho Ho

By 'Nathan Burgoine

Marriage of Convenience/Fake Relationship
Holidays |
A Little Village Novella

Silas Waite doesn’t want his big-C Conservative Alberta family to know he’s barely making rent. They’d see it as yet another sign that he’s not living up to the Waite family potential and muscle in on his life. When Silas unexpectedly needs a new roommate, he ends up with the gregarious—and gorgeous—personal trainer Constantino “Dino” Papadimitriou.

Silas’s parents try to browbeat him into visiting for Thanksgiving, where they’ll put him on display as an example of how they’re so tolerant for Silas’s brother’s political campaign, but Dino pretends to be his boyfriend to get him out of it, citing a prior commitment. The ruse works—until they receive an invitation to Silas’s sister’s last-minute wedding.

Silas loves his sister, Dino wouldn’t mind a chalet Christmas, and together, they could turn a family obligation into something fun. But after nine months of being roommates, then friends, and now “boyfriends,” Silas finds being with Dino way too easy, and being the son that his parents barely tolerate too hard. Something has to give, but luckily, it’s the season for giving. And maybe what Silas has to give is worth the biggest risk of all.

 

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One Small Step

By MA Binfield

International Setting
Big City
Friends to Lovers Romance
Sports
Workplace Romance

Where love is concerned, the smallest steps are often the hardest to take—especially when you’ve guarded your heart as carefully as Iris Miller has. Still bruised from a relationship that crashed and burned, and all the meaningless hookups that followed, Iris has given up on love and buttoned her feelings up tight.

But when Cameron Hansen joins Iris’s law firm and her soccer team, and even starts hanging out in her favorite bookstore, everything gets turned upside down. Beautiful, open, and forward, Cam is impossible to ignore, and Iris is surprised to find herself intrigued. Cam’s straight, happily engaged, and simply looking for a friend—or so it seems.

London’s bitterly cold winter makes winning their soccer championship almost as difficult as keeping their feelings in check, being honest with each other, and trying not to fall in love. Iris and Cam are about to discover the meaning of taking chances and following your heart, even if it means getting hurt.

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