Saturday Smutty Six: Trans Romance on Erin’s TBR

Ahoy! This week in our Saturday Smutty Six, we’ve once again extracted one letter out of LGBTQIA+ to bring you stories of trans people finding their HEAs (or, in the case of the YA story, a HFN, because while we’d love to think a teenager is all set for the HEA, it’s a bit bananas to consider in reality) (nevermind that Erin did marry her high school sweetheart).

Compared to our ace romance from last week, this week it was much easier to 1) find trans romance at all and 2) find Own Voices romance in this category. In this case, we’re talking trans women writing about trans women and trans men writing about trans men. Some of these authors are on Erin’s TBR more than once, too!

Titles link to the book’s Amazon page. 

The Craft of Love by E.E. Ottoman

E.E. Ottoman often appears in recommendation lists when people are talking about trans romance. While several of his books are on my TBR, one of the most popular and most recommended is The Craft of Love, a historical novella about a silversmith and a seamstress in New York. Bonus points: E.E. Ottoman is a trans man, so this is an Own Voices story.

Kinship and Kindness by Kara Jorgensen

This book isn’t even out yet, but it involves dirigibles in Louisiana, and you know I’ve got a soft spot for paranormal romance and M/M romance, so I’m pretty confident this book is right up my alley. Power and secrets and drama, OH MY! Bonus points: Jorgensen is a queer, non-binary author of paranormal romance. I’ve actually got a few of their books on my TBR.

Peter Darling by Austin Chant

Peter Darling is a reimagining of Peter Pan (obviously), in which Wendy Darling is Peter Pan. In this story, Peter embraces his true identity once he’s grown, and there’s some romance going on with Captain Hook, including maybe some anti-hero stuff? I am very intrigued. Bonus points: Austin Chant is a trans man, so this is an Own Voices story.

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

In If I Was Your Girl, Amanda is starting at a new school and befriends Grant, and feelings blossom. But Amanda’s keeping the secret that she’s trans, and she’s afraid of telling Grant the truth because she’s afraid of losing the new life she’s built at her new school. It’s not adult romance, it’s YA, but it sounds like it’ll get me right in the feels. Bonus points: Russo is a trans woman, so this is an Own Voices story.

Starting from Scratch by Jay Northcote

Ben is moving into a new house with new roommates after chest surgery and hormone treatment. Based on this intro sentence alone, we can imagine that the story will involve a sort of journey of self-discovery, including Ben getting comfortable with dating and with the idea that he will be loved for himself. I bet it’s gonna be an angsty one! Bonus points: Northcote is a trans man, so this is an Own Voices story.

Roller Girl by Vanessa North

I found this story when I read a piece by Sarah MacLean in a WaPo romance recommendations article, and it sounds sweet and kind of low key. Tina is a trans woman figuring out her life after a divorce, and, thanks to Joe, she finds an outlet in roller derby. She also finds Joe, and “we can’t tell anyone about this” sex is really fun, let’s be honest.

Other books with a trans protagonist that we’ve already highlighted in a Saturday Smutty Six this month include Hold Me by Courtney Milan and The Rat-Catcher’s Daughter by K.J. Charles

Have you read any great romance featuring trans protagonists lately? Please let us know what you recommend in the comments!


Saturday Smutty Six: Ace Romance on Erin’s TBR

It’s easy to find romance including women loving women, and it’s super easy to find romance including men loving men. It’s even pretty easy to find throuple romance that’s not exclusively about tittilating sex. But it’s not always so easy to find romance, especially Own Voices romance, featuring stories about all those other letters we see in our Pride hashtags. 

In my ongoing quest to read everything, I made myself some special shelves on my Goodreads list to help me focus. This week, let’s talk about ace (that’s asexual, but if you’re looking at the spectrum more broadly, we can also encompass gray, demisexual and aromantic) romance I’m excited about (which is in no way comprehensive, but it’s the Saturday Smutty Six, not the Saturday Smutty Everything-on-my-list). 

Titles link to the book’s Amazon page. 

Havesskadi by Ava Kelly

There be dragons in this fantasy romance. One protagonist has his dragon magic stolen (gasp!), and he must roam the earth as a mortal, seeking to recover it. And he’s mind-linked to the other protagonist, but they don’t know when they find each other!!! Sounds epic. Bonus points: The author is non-binary and asexual, so this is an own voices story.

The Rat-Catcher’s Daughter by K.J. Charles

I think K.J. Charles might be a genius. At the very least, her writing is incredibly tight. This short story is a Lilywhite Boys prequel, so you’ll be able to engage with these characters a bit more if you continue the series. I like to see trans and ace representation in historical romance, so I’m going to keep track of any I find and add it to my TBR. 

Fireland: Jimmy Loves Rob by Sam Burke

Historical romance in an unusual period: the 1970s. It sounds super angsty, since one protagonist is married with children and can’t figure out why he doesn’t like sex, and the other is gay in 1970s America, and it occurs over the course of a decade. I’m super intrigued. 

Human Enough by E.S. Yu

Please find enclosed a M/M pairing with a vampire and a vampire hunter in a non-linear timeline. The vampire hunter is autistic,  and the vampire is asexual, and together they find love and solve some shady mystery shenanigans. Bonus points: This fantasy story includes Asian protagonists and is written by an Asian author.

Rising from Ash by Jax Meyer

I was probably drawn to this book initially because my children are currently obsessed with a book about an Antarctic research station, but, I mean, it’s a forced proximity, enemies to lovers slow burn set at the South Pole, so… Aren’t you also interested? Plus, I do love an awkward scientist. Bonus points: This author is lesbian and neurodivergent. We’re on a roll with own voices stories in this list, amiright?

Upside Down by N.R. Walker

In an unexpected twist, Upside Down features not one, but two ace protagonists! And one of them is a librarian! While one protagonist is exploring his new understanding of his asexual label, the other is helping him to do it. Sounds utterly charming, doesn’t it? I bet it’ll get me right in the feels.

Please let me know if there are any ace romances you’re excited about, as I’m constantly updating my TBR, and I’ve already blown through my 2020 reading goal, so I need all the books. 


Saturday Smutty Six: LGBTQ Romances on Holly’s TBR

There are so many awesome books out there, and we can’t talk about all of them (or even read them), so I figured I’d take a second to talk about some of the books I haven’t read yet, but definitely want to get to. This list is not comprehensive, but is rather a sample of books that I have saved either in my Kindle app or my Libby app. 

Putting together the list brought some of my preferences into sharp relief: I prefer F/F or queer M/F stories to M/M stories, and I love LGBTQ historicals. So if you can’t get enough of M/M contemporaries, you should probably ask Erin for recommendations.

Titles link to the book’s Amazon page. 

Ruthless by Kara Lowndes

Kara Lowndes is an indie author whose blog I started following last year because she had the snarkiest Game of Thrones recaps. Since she writes sharp cultural criticism I figured – why not pick up one of her books? Ruthless features a lesbian with mysterious powers, so I bet it’s gonna be gooooood. 

The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows by Olivia Waite

A Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics was one of the best books I’ve read in the past year – it was sexy, political, and historically grounded. Plus, it included a bunch of conversations about the philosophies of science and art! Agatha Griffin had a small role – she’s the grumpy engraver whose press puts out the titular Lady’s Guide – and I’m super excited to see what Waite does with her story. The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows releases in July, and I’m stoked that I was able to get an ARC. 

Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi

A woman facing chronic health problems and poverty stows onto a ship and falls in love with the captain. IN SPACE. (Have I ever mentioned that I have a soft spot in my heart for science fiction? Because I do.) 

A Duke in Disguise by Cat Sebastian

I added A Duke in Disguise after reading a really insightful analysis of the opening passage over at Close Reading Romance (a blog you should definitely check out if you’re interested in in-depth textual analysis because damn). Maybe reading it will rekindle my zest for The Duke Project?

Slippery Creatures by K.J. Charles

1920s M/M romance, in the spirit of Golden Age pulp fiction? Count. Me. In. Relevant: Wanted, A Gentleman, also by K.J. Charles, is one of the best romances I’ve ever read, and I generally have little patience for M/M romance. 

Hold Me by Courtney Milan

I read Trade Me when it came out a million years ago, and meant to grab the sequel, but just never did. I think it’s time I rectified that oversight. 

Have you read any of these? Is there one I should bump to the top of my list? Let me know in the comments!


Saturday Smutty Six: Queer romance we loved in 2019

If you’re looking for a Queer romance to read RIGHT NOW, here are some of our favorites from last year. Now that we’ve compiled the list, it looks like we really loved Queer women in historicals, and Queer men in contemporaries.

Book titles link to our full reviews.

She Whom I Love by Tess Bowery

James the Staymaker is courting two women: actress Meg and lady’s maid Sarah. What he doesn’t know? Meg and Sarah are best friends and also lovers. Meg and Sarah torture James a bit for his perfidity, but most of the story centers around the three of them figuring out how to work out their relationship while keeping all parties satisfied and safe. 

Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure by Courtney Milan

Mrs. Martin is a grumpy widow with a nephew who is The Worst. So when Violetta Beauchamps shows up, asking for money owed by said nephew, Mrs. Martin sees an opportunity. Hilarity ensues as the women torture Mrs. Martin’s nephew, but in the end, this is a thoughtful and charming read, as both women are finally seen after being deemed invisible and unimportant. 

Romancing the Inventor by Gail Carriger

This is a charming May-December romance between a young maid who signs up to work in a house of vampires and the (non-vampire) scientist who takes her under her wing. Read for angst, shenanigans, and witty wordplay. 

The Half of Us by Cardeno C.

After a failed marriage and years of stress-reduction hookups with numerous men, Jason Garcia finally meets a man he can’t stop thinking about. Quiet, monogamous Abe Green spontaneously decides to give himself a one-time birthday hookup, but when Jason can’t let go, Abe finds himself quietly changing the older man’s perception of relationships and monogamy for good. 

A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole

Playboy “prince” Johan has spent years carefully cultivating his wild media persona, what with his highly visible hookups with various men and women, but when a referendum comes up in his family’s kingdom, he’s got to rein it in a little bit. Commence operation fake relationship with demure Nya. Bonus points for excellent non-binary representation as well.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Between Henry–a (publicly) closeted gay prince–and Alex–who realizes he’s bisexual during the course of the book–there’s plenty of drama in this enemies to lovers story. But when a kiss from Henry shocks Alex into recognizing his attraction to his enemy-cum-friend, the two young men have to decide if their romance is worth the political fallout that might ensue.


Saturday Smutty Six: Sexy Doctors

Mood: Erin texted Holly and Ingrid, saying she wanted some sexy doctor smut. It might be because she’s feeling withdrawal from binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy. It might be because she wants all those hard-working medical professionals to have a HEA, especially in these pestilential times. 

In case you are also feeling the doctor mood, we present a short list of sexy doctors, all approved as excellent reading by The Smut Report. 

We are also taking suggestions (because Erin is still looking), so if you have a favorite romance featuring a doctor (or a nurse or a magical healer), let us know in the comments!

The Half of Us by Cardeno C. 

Jason Garcia is a classic romance novel doctor: high-strung, emotionally distant, and extremely competent. So when he finds someone who challenges his set idea that monogamy is not for him? Swoon. 

Full Review

Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev

Trisha Raje is the best neurosurgeon pretty much ever, and she knows it. Bedside manner, schmedside manner; who cares if she’s nice if she just saved someone’s life? Her lack of interpersonal skills extends beyond the hospital, which makes for an excellent enemies-to-lovers storyline based on so many misunderstandings. 

Full Review

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

Drew Nichols is a pediatric surgeon. It has very little to do with the story, but the “Aww” factor of Drew’s being a pediatrician smooths out some of the rough edges of his emotional constipation as he figures out that Alexa is his forever love.

Full Review

The Demon Always Wins by Jeanne Oates Estridge

Doctors are not the only sexy medical practitioners! Nurse Dara Strong runs a clinic caring for the marginalized members of her community who have nowhere else to go – which makes her a perfect target for Satan, who loves corrupting do-gooders. Bonus points for a sexy demon who poses as a sexy doctor. 

Full Review

Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas

Gotta be sure to include at least one historical romance for our Regency Readers! (It’s a Victorian, sorry Regency Purists.) Garrett Gibson is the first and only female doctor in England (bad-ass). After saving Ethan’s life in one of the most dramatic moments, the two of them fall in love while also solving a Dramatic Murder Plot. 

Full Review

An Alaskan Christmas by Jennifer Snow

Erika Sheridan is an extremely successful surgeon, and it’s no surprise, since it’s her whole identity. When her head of surgery–the father she’s been trying to impress–forces her to take a vacation, she begins to realize that success might be more about balance and happiness and less about work accolades.

Full Review

Honorable mention: A Kiss for Midwinter by Courtney Milan, which features a doctor with a lot of love and a terrible sense of humor who finally decides to risk it all for the woman who’s held his heart for ages in this emotional holiday novella.