Love is in the air! Valentine’s Day is a time for celebrating all things love, but there’s definitely a tendency for the holiday to be very fixated on a heteronormative view of romance. And, okay, sure, commercialization and all that, but shouldn’t this be a time to celebrate love in all its many and varied forms? There are too many incredible LGBTQ books out there not to take a moment to shout out all the queer couples with swoony romances. And I’m not just talking about romance books either. From literary fiction to fantasy (and yes, some romance books thrown in the mix, too), these ten books feature queer couples you just can’t help but fall for. Cue Tracy Turnblad singing “I Can Hear the Bells.”
Royal romance? Check. Bisexuals falling in love? Check. Accidental marriage? Check. Get ready to swoon. With these ten adorable queer couples, you won’t be able to help it.
Alex Claremont-Diaz and Henry Fox-Mountchristen-Windsor
Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
History, huh? Alex and Henry know a thing or two about making that. Their continent-spanning relationship might’ve almost caused an international incident (or two), but their love for each other is pure and true. It’s not every day, after all, that the son of the president and England’s most eligible prince fall for each other. I could honestly read their adorable banter and tender email exchanges over and over again. Which, I’m not saying I’ve done, but I’m also not not saying I’ve done.
Evelyn Hugo and Celia St. James
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
An aging movie star recounts the seven husbands she married throughout her life—and finally reveals her one true love. In the 1950s, Hollywood starlets Evelyn Hugo and Celia St. James were the stuff of legends. Their rivalry turned friendship was the stuff of legends, too. But it was also so much more than that. Amidst ambition, tragedy, heartbreak, and the constant threat of McCarthyism, these two women loved and lost together. And Evelyn is finally ready to tell their story.
Soraya and Parvaneh
Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust
A princess and a div—could I make it any more obvious? I love that Soraya’s relationships with both men and women are given equal attention and consideration, but let’s be honest: Parvaneh is the only match for Soraya’s curse and her stubborn will. This is a true fairytale romance, full of tropes and storylines both familiar and entirely new. Get ready to fall in love with this book and with Soraya and Parvaneh’s story as they untangle their desires and true feelings.
Linus Baker and Arthur Parnassus
The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
Straightlaced Linus and easygoing Arthur might not seem like a logical match on paper, but together, along with the magical (literally magical) children at Marsyas Island Orphanage, they make the perfect pair. Arthur teaches Linus to question authority (especially the shady Department in Charge Of Magical Youth he answers to) and open his heart to love. And in return Linus completes the strange, patchwork family Arthur has created on Marsyas Island. Together, they finally find their happy ending. And oh what a happy ending it is!
Skye Shin and Henry Cho
I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee
A fat bisexual lead AND a bisexual love interest? I’d say it’s too good to be true, if I hadn’t already read it myself! I love seeing a book featuring any kind of bisexual representation, but I think this is the first one I’ve ever seen where both characters in a relationship are bi—self-proclaimed, spoken out loud “bi” and everything. And Skye and Henry are just too cute together. They’re pretty much the celebrity couple of my dreams. This book is pure good energy, through and through.
Grace Porter and Yuki Yamamoto
Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
Grace is many things, but spontenaous is not one of them. So no one would’ve expected her to marry a girl she just met in Vegas and wake up so hungover she can’t even remember said girl’s name. But Grace and Yuki had a whirlwind night for a reason, and as they begin to connect on a deeper level, their feelings for each other bloom. Who said there’s no such thing as love at first sight—or at least marriage at first sight and the love that follows?
Lily Hu and Kathleen Miller
Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
Amidst the Red Scare of the 1950s, two girls secretly fall in love. For Lily and Kathleen, The Telegraph Club—a lesbian nightclub in San Francisco—becomes not only a safe haven, but a sort of found family. They find love and community even as they struggle to find their place in a time when being different could mean being labeled a Communist or even—for Chinese American Lily’s father—being deported. Lily and Kathleen’s is a story of love against all odds and hope for an even better future.
Winslow and Hero
American Hippo by Sarah Gailey
Mix a British hippo-riding cowboy with a nonbinary hunk of a love interest with lots of Mississippi pseudo-western vibes, and you’ve got the gloriousness that is Sarah Gailey’s American Hippo. Intrigued? You should be. This collection of River of Teeth and Taste of Marrow (originally published as a duology) isn’t focused on romance, but the relationship that develops between Winslow and Hero is worth every twist and turn. Plus, hippos in the Mississippi? I mean, come on—what more could you want?
Danika Brown and Zafir Ansari
Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
I know some people might take issue with classifying a relationship between a bi person and straight person as “queer” (when only one of them actually is), but Dani’s sexuality is such a present aspect of the story and people are too quick to discount bi people in a relationship with a person of a different gender, anyway, so I’m saying it counts. And this is my list, so I make the rules. Besides, Dani and Zaf make one of the cutest couples ever, and this book ranked as one of my favorite reads of 2020, so don’t sleep on this adorable romance.
Addie and Henry
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
A woman who made a deal with an old god to save herself from an unwanted marriage and a kindhearted man working at a bookshop. Addie has accepted that the bargain she made 300 years ago mean a life without love—because how can anyone fall in love with you when they can’t even remember your name? But then she meets Henry, and for once she is not only seen, but remembered. This girl who longs for a life of freedom and this boy with a big heart who just wants to love and be loved become tangled together in a story of longing and hope. For the first time in 300 years, Addie falls in love.
More bisexual/pansexual romance, with both main characters sexualities casually present throughout the book, and a love story you won’t soon forget.
If that isn’t enough books for you, you might check out these 50 must-read LGBTQ fiction books, 5 M/F romances that are queer as hell, and 31 queer books with happy endings—because you know you want more of those.