If you’ve been sticking to regular romance novels all this time, then you’ve definitely been missing out, and whether you’re looking for new adult romance, contemporary romance, fantasy romance, young adult romance, or something else entirely, these gay romance novels have you covered.
If you’re a fan of romance novels in general, then why not try out these gay romance novels?
Love is love in any form, and true fans of the romance genre will tell you that gay romance novels are just as beautiful as any romance novel including a man and a woman.
This list will cover some of the best gay romance novels out there across a variety of different subgenres and tropes, and while it may only contain one or two examples from an author, don’t be afraid to go ahead and explore the rest of their work, especially if you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far!
“First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz isn’t one to hide his disdain for Prince Henry, but when photos of an altercation at a wedding are leaked to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations, he agrees to a fake friendship with the Prince as damage control.
Only the fake relationship leads to a secret relationship that could derail his mother’s re-election campaign and upend two nations.”
If you’re looking for a great novel to get you started on your gay romance adventure, then there is arguably no better place to start than the amazing Red, White, and Royal Blue, which is a thrilling romance about two powerful men from Britain and America.
This romance is filled with some of the best tropes in the genre, including the opposites attract trope, as well as a whole bunch of other amazing themes, including political tension, and the public responsibility vs private desires theme that runs right through this novel.
- Full of heartwarming witty banter
- Amazing cast of side characters
- Makes great use of traditional romance tropes
- Captures the headspace of those in their 20s well
- Some people might not like the political idealism found within the story
“One compromising photo too many puts Luc’s job in jeopardy. His one chance at redemption turns out to be a fake relationship with a respectable boyfriend to clean up his image.
That “job” falls to Oliver Blackwood, a barrister, who is the opposite of Luc in every way.
But the thing about fake dating is that it can feel a lot like real dating. And that’s when you get used to someone. Start falling for them. Don’t ever want to let them go.”
Even in other romance novels, the fake relationship trope is one that just works so well every time, and this story, which focuses on the son of a rockstar, and a simple barrister, who fakes a relationship in order to help clean up the image of the controversial Luc.
This gay romance novel is poignant and gripping and is an excellent novel to read for those who love contemporary romances.
- Great humor
- Incredibly poignant and emotional
- Character development is well executed – they definitely grow on you as the story progresses
- The strong chemistry between lovers
- Some scenes were slightly drawn out
- The romance never really feels fake like it’s meant to be
“Dev Deshpande has always believed in fairy tales, which is why he loves working on the reality dating show Ever After.
But this season may be his toughest yet, when disgraced tech wunderkind Charlie Winshaw is cast as its star.
Charlie doesn’t believe in true love, and only agreed to the show as a last-ditch effort to rehabilitate his image.
In front of the cameras, he’s a stiff, anxious mess with no idea how to date twenty women on national television. Behind the scenes, he’s cold, awkward, and emotionally closed-off.
As Dev fights to get Charlie to connect with the contestants on a whirlwind, worldwide tour, they begin to open up to each other, and Charlie realizes he has better chemistry with Dev than with any of his female co-stars.
But even reality TV has a script, and in order to find happiness ever after, they’ll have to reconsider whose love story gets told.”
Sometimes, the best romance novels aren’t ones where the romance bursts into life immediately, it’s the ones that burn away slowly before neither of the romantic interests is able to contain it anymore, and that’s exactly what this novel provides!
There are a lot of important themes that sometimes get left out of most romance novels too, especially the discussion around mental health, which makes this novel incredibly emotional at some points, but at the end, you’ll feel giddy with joy about the love story!
- The interesting and well-thought-out dynamic between the characters
- Great themes run throughout
- The characters develop and grow organically throughout the story
- Amazing side characters
- The story is maybe slightly too drawn out
“When the lead singer of the world-famous rock band, TBD walks out of the studio one day, it leaves the rest of the band members scrambling for his replacement.
After months of lackluster auditions, Viper, the lead guitarist and resident bad boy of the group, is ready to find solace in the bottom of a bottle. But then Halo walks through the door.
With a voice to match his stunning good looks, it isn’t long before Viper’s taking notice. But there are several reasons this is a bad idea but the main one is that Halo is straight.”
If you’re looking for a gay romance that is both emotional and steamy, then look no further, as this novel contains some of the hottest romantic interests that you’ll find on this list, we couldn’t get enough of them!
This novel has a dual POV, which means that you get to read the thoughts and feelings of both characters as the story unfolds, which makes for an intriguing and gripping read, especially as their lust for one another begins to reach a boiling point.
- Features a load of great tropes
- Interesting and well-developed characters
- Dual POV dynamic works well
- Steamy romance is always a winner
- The plot definitely takes a back seat in favor of the romance
“Cutthroat political consultant Thom Morgan is thriving, working on the governor of California’s presidential campaign.
If only he didn’t have to deal with Clay Parker, the infuriatingly smug data analyst who gets under Thom’s skin like it’s his job.
In the midst of one of their heated and very public arguments, a journalist snaps a photo, but the image makes it look like they’re kissing.
The photo goes viral—and in a bid to secure the liberal vote, the governor asks them to lean into it. Hard.
Thom will grin and bear this challenge, but as staffers push the boundaries of “giving the people what they want,” the animosity between them blooms into something deeper and far more dangerous: desire.
Soon their fake relationship is hurtling toward something very real, which could derail the campaign and cost them both their jobs…and their hearts.”
Everyone knows that the enemies-to-lovers trope is one that always results in fiery chemistry and a passionate romance between the two lovers, and if this trope is something that grips you, then you need to check out Love, Hate, & Clickbait, which also makes use of the fake lovers trope too.
There’s also the political aspect to this novel which works well, and helps to further the plot along without feeling forced, which leads to a well-written story that you’re bound to end up loving!
- Character development is amazing
- Great use of common tropes
- Romantic chemistry is off the charts
- Both main characters are slightly unlikeable at first
“When the pressure to marry his childhood sweetheart became too much, Maddox told her he was gay and then fled to New York.
Now, five years later, and after a drunken encounter, he finds himself invited to her wedding. And he has to bring his boyfriend—the boyfriend who doesn’t exist because he’s straight.
Yet, meeting the guy he’s bribing to be his boyfriend for the weekend makes him question everything about himself.
Damon has no choice but to agree to a fake date because he needs Maddox’s help in return.
Forty-eight hours with his sister’s best friend in exchange for a meeting with a possible client shouldn’t be too hard. If only Maddox wasn’t so hot and if he didn’t kiss me.”
Author Eden Finley is no stranger to gay romance novels, so if you’re looking for a novel to read that is written by an author with plenty of more novels to read afterward, then this novel is definitely worth checking out.
Of course, it’s another novel that features the fake lovers trope. However, one of the other tropes that is included in this novel, and as you’ll soon see, many of the other novels on this list, is the straight-to-gay trope, which so many readers love!
If you want to get a taste of what this trope is like in action, then Fake Out is certainly a great novel to read.
- Great trope usage
- Compelling storyline
- Loveable characters
- Part of a long series of novels
- The plot is slightly formulaic for veteran fans of the genre
“After divorcing the woman he’d been with since he was seventeen, Nick Fuller is starting over. Easier said than done—that is until he meets his new neighbor, Bryce Tanner.
Bryce is all about a good time. He plans to show Nick how it’s done, help him meet a few women, and enjoy the gift of the single life he’s been given.
But things don’t go as planned, and soon they realize they’d rather be together than with anyone else.
Neither man has ever wanted another guy, but there’s a connection between them from the start—a spark they can’t deny. They find themselves navigating an unfamiliar new world and dealing with unforeseen obstacles.
Physical desire isn’t enough, and now Nick and Bryce are at a crossroads. They have to decide which way to go: the easy path they’ve always followed, or the one that’s determined to trip them up at every turn.”
Another popular author in the gay romance novel scene is Riley Hart, and Crossroads is definitely one of their most popular books, so if you’ve been recommended to read one of their novels, then this is a great place to start.
Following the blossoming friendship, and later romance, between Bryce and Nick, this story is both compelling and gripping and is one that you won’t want to put down until you’ve finished completely.
- Great friendship to lovers story
- The pacing of the story is good
- Romantic chemistry is perfect
- Plenty of steaminess too
- May be slightly unrealistic for some people
“One day River Wade is slinging pizzas and the next he’s the drummer of the most popular alternative band ever.
Despite being world-famous, River was no connection in it and can’t find a place to be normal. He’s lived his entire life straight-edged while watching obsession destroy his best friend.
Obsession terrified him until he met Emory Ker. After a night with him, Emory vanishes into thin air, and all the money in the world can’t help River find him.
But he’s determined to find him and convince the beautiful boy he’s pretty obsessed.”
There’s something gripping about a guy who goes out of his way to hunt down the guy he’s become obsessed with after one night, especially when he’s had no desire to do this for any of the people he’s met before, which is probably why so many people love Pretty Obsessed.
If you’re not a fan of long-burning love and prefer passionate and explosive insta-romance, then this novel will definitely appeal to you, as it’s bursting with its steamy romance that is sure to fluster any reader!
- The chemistry between love interests is great
- Miscommunication insta-love tropes work well
- Captivating characters
- There are some trigger-warning-worth topics, so worth checking out before you read
“Brooklyn firefighter Griff Muir wrestles with impossible feelings for his best friend and partner at Ladder 181, Dante Anastagio. Unfortunately, Dante is strictly a ladies’ man, and the FDNY isn’t exactly gay-friendly.
For ten years, Griff has hidden his heart in a half-life of public heroics and private anguish.
There’s nothing Griff wouldn’t do for his friend so when a nearly bankrupt Dante proposes that they appear together on HotHead.com, he agrees.
Griff will have to guard his heart while living out his darkest fantasies on camera. Can he rescue the man he loves without wrecking their careers, their families, or their friendship?”
Let’s be real, who doesn’t have a thing for firefighters? And if you didn’t before, you most certainly will after reading your way through this fiery, passionate romance novel filled with steam.
Aside from the steam, this romance is also emotionally gripping too, so if you’re looking for a novel that is going to satisfy all of your needs, then you’re definitely going to enjoy this novel!
- Story is compelling
- Characters are well developed
- Romance is gripping
- Plenty of steaminess
- Suffers from a slight cliché romance formula
“Preston “PK” Harrington the third is a writer, toiling in obscurity as an editorial assistant at a New York City publishing house. And, he’s been secretly in love with his best friend, Art, since they once drunkenly kissed in college.
When Art moves in with PK following a bad breakup, PK hopes this will be the moment when Art finally sees him as more than a friend.
But Art seems to laugh off the very idea of them in a relationship, so PK returns to his writing roots—in fiction, he can say all the things he can’t say out loud.
In his book, PK can be the perfect boyfriend. Before long, it seems like the whole world has a crush on the fictionalized version of him, including Art.
But when his brilliant plan to win Art over backfires, PK might lose not just his fantasy book boyfriend, but his best friend.”
If you like your romance novels to be full of angst, then Book Boyfriend is a gay romance novel that you’ll enjoy, and it involves a secret crush amongst a friendship group which, as you can imagine, causes plenty of angst!
This novel is something of an emotional rollercoaster, so be sure to strap yourselves in when it comes to reading this gripping novel.
- Well-written and captivating story
- Plenty of humor throughout
- Not your typical romance novel
- The ending is perhaps slightly anti-climatic
“Shaw Jennings has built a life he’s proud of and has plenty of men to keep his bed warm. Only no man has ever made him take notice for long until he meets famous rock star, Trent Knox.
Trent Knox walked away from the biggest band in the world and his hoping to find himself and his love for music on South Haven Island. But what he never expects is to find his muse in a six-five, tatted-up hottie.
But Trent’s a notorious womanizer, and Shaw isn’t interested in being someone’s experiment.
Yet in a town as small as this one, Shaw is finding it more and more difficult to keep the rocker at arm’s length.
As the tension between them builds, maybe it’s time to finally give in and get carried away with something a little bit like…desire.”
Now if you read and enjoyed Halo, then you’re going to need to focus your attention on A Little Bit Like Desire, which focuses on the rockstar Trent Knox, who was the lead singer of TBD in Halo!
This romance novel is the perfect small-town gay romance story and is especially appealing if you’re a fan of rock bands and tattoos too.
So, for a romance that continues to build and build without stopping, then check this novel out soon.
- Drama and angst-free romance that is captivating
- Great chemistry between romantic leads
- Plenty of steam too
- Perhaps slightly uneventful for those who like their romances to have loads of action
“Gideon Holiday is the perfect neighbor. And he’s waited years for his hot, grumpy, silver fox neighbor, Paul, to need him. For anything.
But this December, Gideon would be happy if he could just get the Scrooge-like Paul on board with the neighborhood holiday lights fundraiser.
Paul Frost has no intention of decking his halls. But when his beloved younger brother announces an unexpected visit, Paul needs all the trimmings for a festive homecoming—and fast.
Luckily, Gideon is there with a color-coded plan to save Christmas. Soon Paul’s hanging lights, trimming trees, and steaming up his new flannel sheets with Gideon.
It’ll take some winter magic to preserve their happiness and keep these rival neighbors together longer than one holiday season.”
If you’re a sucker for a holiday romance, then The Geek Who Saved Christmas is going to be a romance novel that you’ll cherish, although you can read it any time of year, especially if you’re looking for a gay romance novel with a bit of sunshine in your life.
Another great thing about the characters in this book is that they’re in their 40s, which is a great representation for some of the readers of the same age who are fed up with reading about lovers in their 20s!
- Feel good love story
- Opposites attract love story
- Holiday romance
- Nothing particularly exciting or dramatic goes on in the story
“After four years abroad, artist Jonas Davenport has come home to start building his dream of owning his own art studio and gallery.
But just as he’s ready to put the darkness of his past behind him forever, it comes roaring back with a vengeance.
The only thing keeping ex-cop Mace Calhoun sane after an unthinkable loss is his role in an underground syndicate that seeks to get justice for the innocent by taking the lives of the guilty.
But when it comes to ending the young artist, he can’t do it.
After years of fighting, Navy SEAL Cole Bridgerton has come home to find answers about the younger sister who ran away from home eight years earlier. But he never expected to feel something more for the haunted artist.
Two men, one light, one dark, will find themselves and each other when they’re forced to stand side by side to protect Jonas from an unseen danger that will stop at nothing to silence the young artist forever.”
Now it might not be your usual cup of tea, but this gay romance involves a polyamorous romance, which means that there are 3 men involved rather than 2, so you definitely get plenty of action within the novel.
There’s also plenty of angst and emotion throughout this novel too, so you’ll definitely need to prepare yourself for what’s to come in this novel.
- Addictive story
- Full of emotion
- Plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader engaged
- Heavy subjects that are trigger warning worthy
- The plot is probably unrealistic
“Nesto Vasquez is taking a huge gamble moving his Afro-Caribbean food truck from New York City to the wilds of Upstate New York.
He’s got six months to make it a success so the last thing he needs is a distraction.
Jude Fuller is proud of the life he’s built on the banks of Cayuga Lake, if only he wasn’t so lonely.
When he tries Ithaca’s most-talked-about new lunch spot he can’t get enough of Nesto’s food or of Nesto.
Only staying together may not be so easy. Can Nesto remember that happiness isn’t always measured by business success? And can Jude overcome his past and trust that his man will never let him down?
Who doesn’t love a success story? Well, this story, which is of course interwoven with an incredible gay romance, is definitely one about success, and focuses on Nesto Vasquez, who is looking to move his food truck business to a new part of New York in the hopes of finding success, and the love that blossoms between him and his customer Jude Fuller!
This book is a part of the Dreamers series of novels, which all focus on amazing gay romance stories, so if you like this one, there’s plenty more for you to read.
- Great representation
- Compelling and moving storyline
- The story gets better as it goes on
- Filled with comforting tropes
- Romance is rather instant
“It starts with a drunken text pic. Only, instead of it going to the flirty hotel bartender, it goes to some random stranger who actually responds.
Little do I know the man on the other end of the line is none other than Wells Grange: the most controlling, egotistical, emotionless SOB I’ve ever met.
I spend my days squaring off against Wells in the boardroom, and my nights succumbing to the hot stranger’s commanding texts in the bedroom.
Within days, I’m falling for someone I shouldn’t, and I have to remind myself that none of this is real.”
Bringing some of the digital world into novels is always interesting, and it works exceptionally well in this novel, which is filled with drama and humor that will have you invested right until the very end.
The dual dynamic of the texting and real-life encounters between our two lovers makes this novel even more interesting and certainly makes it a refreshing change from some of the other gay romance novels out there.
- Interesting romance dynamic
- Full of drama
- Enemies to lover trope
- Can be slightly predictable at times
“Landon Larsen is the envy of all the dads in Last Waters, Texas. He’s cool, confident, and put together. He and his son have the perfect father-son relationship.
I’m not cool, or confident, and my relationship with my son couldn’t be worse.
Landon’s son and mine are best friends and teammates on the football team. To rebuild my relationship with my son, I’m now spending all my free time with the team—and with Landon.
Only I never expected to fall for my son’s best friend’s father.”
One for the sports fans out there, this MM romance novel has everything you could want from a gay romance, with sports, the classic friends-to-lovers trope, single dads, and even a bi-awakening story, so it’s very much the full package.
This story is incredibly emotional too, so you better have tissues on standby, because this story is sure to make your eyes water more than once as you turn the pages!
- Provoking and emotional writing
- Realistic story and plot
- Romance is well-paced
- Great side characters
- Could benefit from a dual POV dynamic
“Earning a full scholarship to King University was my hard-earned ticket out of the small town and away from the small-minded people who live there.
Diving head-first into new experiences, new friends, and parties, I didn’t expect to run straight into the one thing I wasn’t ready for.
Cole Huxley is everything I could fall in love with, except for one problem… I never wanted to fall for my professor.”
Forbidden romances are a favored trope in the gay romance genre, and nothing screams forbidden like a student and teacher romance, especially between an 18 year old student and 31 year old professor!
There’s also the emotional turmoil of our professor, Cole Huxley, having no interest in a long-term relationship.
Of course, that is until student Elijah Williams, who is a very mature head on young shoulders, comes along.
- Contains many favorable tropes (MM, age-gap, student-teacher)
- The chemistry between lovers was off the charts
- Character growth is well-done
- Poor side character development
“One night a hot NHL hockey player walks into Dean’s London bar and it’s chemistry at first sight.
It was only supposed to be a fling but love had other plans.”
Considering how far Lauren Blakley has come as the author of gay romance novels, you most certainly believe that this compelling and steamy romance was her debut in the genre.
This novel is a complete standalone, so there are no worries about having to read any prequels or sequels, just enjoy this one-off story!
Filled with a perfectly steamy romance and plenty of banter, this gay romance novel is sure to have you gripped throughout.
- Combo of steam and romance is perfect
- Likable main characters
- The chemistry between the main characters is obvious
- Good supporting characters
- Might be too fast-paced for some readers
“I wasn’t looking for Derek Wolfe. All I wanted was to start a new life in America. But when I found myself stranded here with no place to go, he came to my rescue, offering me a place to stay.
I can barely sleep knowing he’s right down the hall. And when the chemistry between us ignites one night with fierce, fiery passion, it’s hard to deny there’s something real there.
But he does. He says he’s not into guys and what we did meant nothing.
He’s lying. Because it happened again, and again, and again. And it’s better every time.
I know we could be good together, and I want the chance to try, but I’m done hiding. If he’s not strong enough to admit the truth, I’ll have to be strong enough to walk away.”
One of the most emotional storylines that some of these gay romance novels deal with is the struggle that some characters have to accept that they are gay.
It’s a difficult process in real life, and reflecting on it in these novels is a good hindsight into the struggle that so many men have to deal with when it comes to their orientation.
Strong Enough reflects this struggle well with the character of Derek, who only begins to realize it when he becomes involved with Maxim!
- An emotional rollercoaster of a story
- The chemistry between characters bursts through the pages
- Plenty of steaminess
- Pacing is good
- The story is predictable despite its strengths
“After accepting a dream promotion at one of New York City’s most renowned publishing houses and moving in with his oldest friend, Will Cowen is ready to dive headfirst into this new chapter and take the literary world by storm – that is, until he crosses paths with Graham Austin.
No matter how hard he tries, he can’t help but put the wrong foot forward in front of the all-business and inconveniently gorgeous heir to the publishing empire.
So, when a heartbreakingly beautiful manuscript lands on his desk, Will seizes the opportunity for a win. Could this prized new author be his big break or his downfall?
At the moment Will’s confidence and hope for his professional future is obliterated, the normally cold and distant Graham steps in.
This small glimpse behind Graham’s icy exterior is the spark that sweeps these two up in an epic and unforeseen romance.”
Authors writing about authors? It’s a match made in heaven!
This story is full of heartbreak and emotion that really grips you as you read through its pages, this romance novel also sets about to tackle some much deeper, more personal issues too, which is what helps to give it substance.
This book is also Chip Pons’ debut novel, although you certainly wouldn’t think that when reading this! So why not give a new author a try?
- The relatable and likable main character in Will
- Rejects the cliché third act conflict trope
- Plenty of great humor throughout
- Romance feels natural
- Lacks angst, which might make it boring for some readers
“For Logan Mitchell, men and women alike fall into his bed. He lives by one motto—if something interests you, why not just take a chance and try?
And he wants to try Tate Morrison.
Just coming out of a four-year marriage with a horrible ex-wife, a relationship is the last thing on Tate’s mind.
The only problem is, Tate has caught the unwavering and unwelcome attention of Mr. Logan Mitchell – a regular at the bar where he works and a man who always gets what he wants.
Logan doesn’t do relationships. Tate doesn’t do men. But what would happen if they both just gave in and…tried?”
Another gay romance novel debut! This time for author Ella Frank, who’s gone on to write plenty of more books after this, so if you enjoyed this, then you’ll definitely want to check out some of the rest of her work.
In terms of the actual novel, wow. Who doesn’t love a hot and confident main character? Logan is the perfect deviant and the straight-to-gay trope with Tate is one that all hardcore MM romance readers will enjoy!
- The confident and hot main character
- Great trope usage
- The writing is excellent
- The story is a little bit drawn out
“Max has spent that last ten years rebuilding his life after being kicked out by his family for being gay.
He’s survived addiction and living on the streets so he should be able to handle working as a nurse for an ailing billionaire.
He just didn’t expect the spark he felt upon meeting the billionaire’s son who he soon learns is hiding secrets in order to inherit his family’s fortune.”
Reading so many stories about people learning how to love and accept themselves for who they are can definitely be heart-wrenching, but it makes for such a gorgeous read that we just can’t tear ourselves away.
If you’re looking for a gay romance novel that is going to really tear at your heartstrings, then this novel is definitely one you should read, and it even has the perfect opposites-attract story trope to top it off!
- Emotional story
- Opposites attract trope
- Feel-good plot
- The chemistry between characters is enjoyable
- The ending works out too convenient – slightly unrealistic
“My readers expect me to chronicle my very real, very steamy encounters in my novels. I’d never want to disappoint my fans, but the creative well has run a bit dry.
Burlington, Vermont, seems like a good place to fill it up. This town offers a tempting array of artists, craftsmen, farmers. . . and so many beards.
But no one prepared me for Brody. He’s young, hot and definitely a grump. And he’s getting under my skin. Where I want him is under my bed sheets.
When my friend bets I’ll never be able to get Brody there, I make winning my mission.
Turns out being with Brody is more than a plot device. He’s so very wrong for my life, but is he right for my heart?”
Another great story about authors, but this time with a much steamier side to things, this gay romance novel is a great standalone novel, which makes it perfect for those who are looking to sample the genre at its steamiest!
This bed-hopping author enters a bet to try and seduce the man he fancies, it turns into much more than just a one-night stand.
- The plot feels organic and realistic
- Chemistry is definitely real
- Interesting and fresh premise
- Features the three-quarters cliché fight/argument trope that many gay romance novels use
“Donovan Brody, recently divorced, single dad sees his single status as an opportunity to explore the attraction he’s always felt toward men, but never pursued having married his high school sweetheart.
Unsure how to proceed or even enter the dating world, he takes up his friend’s suggestion to try a dating app.
He just never thought he’d make a connection so quick. Nor did he anticipate the man he’s falling for to be his student.”
Following a recently divorced dad who hops on to a dating app to finally get the chance to explore his attraction to men, this story blossoms into an age-gap relationship with one of his students, which is always going to make for an interesting read!
This book definitely lacks some of the angst that some readers want from a gay romance novel, so it’s perhaps best to steer clear if that’s what you’re looking for, as this is much more of a lighthearted story.
- A sweet and lighthearted story
- The connection between lovers feels genuine
- Character development is well executed
- Intertwines with other stories in the series
- Might not have enough angst for some readers
“Living with four other guys, it’s bound to happen. Every guy’s been caught taking care of business at least once, right? It shouldn’t be a big deal.
I’ve been happily subsisting on the typical frat guy diet of booze and sorority girls. But the way Eric looked at me that night? There was something there. Something that’s got me curious.
Something that’s making me think I’m not as straight as I thought I was.
I can’t get him off of my mind. I don’t think I want to. So, when he offers to help me study for a midterm, I take him up on it. It’s innocent. Probably. Maybe.”
Now, going from something lighthearted to something much more steamy, this gay romance novel covers all of the bases, which makes it a great introduction to the genre for newcomers, and will be sure to leave you flustered as you turn each page.
Originally separated into 6 “episodes” this story is now available as one contained collection, with the bonus of an additional episode added on too, so if you want a great standalone romance novel that is going to have all of the steam you need, then this is definitely the novel for you.
- Characters are likable
- Plenty of tender moments despite the steam
- No holding back during the steamy scenes
- Plenty of chemistry
- No real defined ending, just sort of petered out instead
“Wren Roland has never been kissed, but he wants that movie-perfect ending more than anything.
On the eve of his birthday, he sends emails to all the boys he loved before he came out. Morning brings the inevitable panic, but no one will actually read the emails, much less respond. Right?
Enter Derick Haverford, Wren’s #1 pre-coming-out-crush and his drive-in theater’s new social media intern.
Too bad he doesn’t feel the same way about the infamous almost-kiss that once rocked Wren’s world.
But as their hazy summer becomes consumed with a special project that may just save the struggling drive-in for good, Wren and Derick are drawn ever closer, and maybe, finally, Wren’s dream of a perfect-kiss-before-the-credits is within reach.”
This story certainly is an emotional one and does a lot to discuss what it’s like when you initially discover that the queer umbrella is much more diverse than you initially thought.
There’s also plenty of humor to be found throughout the novel, and it certainly has its laugh-out-loud moments.
If you’ve been trying to find a feel-good queer love story novel, then Never Been Kissed might just be the exact novel you’ve been searching for, so give it a try sometime!
- Excellent queer representation
- Laugh-out-loud humor
- Chosen family trope
- Likable characters
- Some might be disappointed with the lack of steaminess
“Keaton wants to give his college girlfriend a birthday present she always wanted and will never forget – inviting someone to join them.
Looking for a guy to join their bed, he turns to a hookup app. Yet he soon discovers that texting with SinnerThree turns him on a little more than he’s willing to admit.”
Ella Kennedy and Sarina Bowen are two treasured authors in the gay romance genre community, so when it comes to them collaborating together on a novel like this, then you know it’s going to be worth reading.
When Keaton wants to make his girlfriend happy and plans on inviting another man into the bedroom to join them, he probably didn’t expect to be so infatuated with the man that joins, especially when it turns out to be one of the frat guys he shares a house with, let alone the one that he can’t stand!
This book is full of tropes in the best way possible, and with Kennedy and Bowen having penned it, it should definitely be on your TBR list.
- A perfect combination of enemies-to-lovers and opposites attract trope
- Plenty of tension, definitely a slow-burn romance
- The chemistry between lovers is clear
- Story feels realistic
- Things get resolved too quickly or without much development, which can leave some aspects of the story feeling unfinished
“Maximoff Hale is headstrong, resilient, and wholly responsible. The twenty-two-year-old alpha billionaire can handle his unconventional life, having been born into one of the most famous families in the country.
When he’s assigned a new bodyguard, he comes face-to-face with the worst-case scenario: being attached to the tattooed, MMA-trained, Yale graduate who fills Maximoff’s fantasies.
Twenty-seven-year-old Farrow Keene has one job: protect Maximoff Hale. But when feelings surface, protecting the hot, stubborn celebrity becomes increasingly complicated.
Together, boundaries blur, and being exposed could mean catastrophic consequences for both.”
If you like plenty of drama and angst in your stories, then Damaged Like Us is a macho gay romance novel that we definitely think you’ll enjoy, and sees two stubborn men struggle with the thought of falling for one another, especially when it comes to the awkward situation they find themselves in.
If you’re a sucker for forbidden romances like we are, then this novel will definitely draw you in, so it’s certainly a novel we think you should add to your TBR list!
- Start of a popular and beloved series
- Unique contemporary series
- Great debut at gay romance
- Plot gets lost in favor of the relationship
“Michael has made an art of hiding his true identity from everyone. Including himself.
And what happens in high school should stay in high school, right?
Only his former best friend, John, is now his new teammate and has the power to out him.”
Sarina Bowen is known for capturing the hearts and minds of so many people who are fans of the gay romance genre, and for many people, she can do no wrong, and it’s easy to understand why so many people who are fans of the genre love her work once you’ve read one of her novels.
College campuses are always a great setting for romance novels, and this friends-to-lovers plot works especially well with it.
Of course, there’s also the heartbreaking aspect of Michael having hidden his identity for so long, which will surely tug at your heartstrings!
- An emotional story that will resonate with readers
- Friends to lovers trope
- Amazing character development
- A likable cast of side characters
- Might be too angsty for some people
“Arthritis only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.
Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.
But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?
Maybe nothing. Maybe everything. What if it’s us?”
If you’re a fan of Broadway, and great Young Adult gay romance novels, then look no further than What If It’s Us?, which manages to expertly combine the two into one amazing story which is full of emotional turmoil and great romance.
There’s something humorous about the two lovers’ inability to have a good date, and it definitely helps to keep the story fresh and interesting as the two romantic interests try to make things work.
- Complex and well thought out characters
- Humorous throughout
- Emotional storytelling
- Plenty of intense moments
- The lack of many significant events makes the plot predictable:
“When Tanner Scott’s family moved from California to Utah three years ago, he was forced to push his bisexual identity back into the closet. Now he only has one semester left of high school before he can move out of state.
But when his best friend encourages him to take the coveted Seminar at Provost High, he meets TA Sebastian Brother.
Now Tanner has to not only write a book in four months, he also has to try and not fall in love with his mentor.”
There’s nothing more gripping than a slow-burning love story, and if you’ve been craving a great Young Adult gay romance novel with this sort of love story at the center of it all, then Autoboyography will provide you with exactly what you’ve been looking for.
With a forbidden romance brewing, this book will have you addicted right until the very end and is filled with great chemistry and romance throughout.
Plus, it’s written by the amazing Christina Lauren, who is revered as a writer in this genre!
- Great exploration of sexuality in teenagers
- Plenty of complications help to create a layered and complex story
- The connection between love interests feels organic and realistic
- Definitely a good insight into the lives of LGBTQ+ teenagers
- Suffers from a slightly generic start, but this is resolved as the book progresses.
“This is the story of Paul, a sophomore at a high school like no other: The cheerleaders ride Harleys, the homecoming queen used to be a guy named Daryl, and the gay-straight alliance was formed to help the straight kids learn how to dance.
When Paul meets Noah, he thinks he’s found the one his heart is made for. Until he ruins it.
The school bookie says the odds are 12-to-1 against him getting Noah back, but Paul’s not giving up without playing his love really loud.”
Set in what comes across as a gay utopia world, this is definitely a novel reserved for the teens who are looking to find a novel that provides plenty of escapism, especially from the harsh realities of the world that we live in.
This emotional story about finding love, losing it, and then doing everything in your power to try and get it back again is definitely one that anyone can relate to, whether you’re gay or not!
- Great escapist fiction
- A classic teen story about love and heartbreak
- Characters are likable
- Simple love story
- Some readers might not enjoy the unrealistic nature of the “utopian” society/town the novel takes place in.
“Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical.
But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight.
Now change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.”
Simon Vs The Homo Sapien’s Agenda was Becky Abertalli’s debut novel, and has gone on not only to become one of the absolute must-reads in the Young Adult gay romance genre but has also become a popular film too, under the name of “Love, Simon”.
So, whether you’ve seen the film or not, this novel is definitely worth reading, and is the perfect coming-out gay romance story for teens to enjoy!
- Fun and cute coming out/coming of age story
- Mystery in the romance is exciting
- Deals with teenage drama well
- Plot is relatable
- The surprise reveal might be easy for some people to figure out
“Josh Miller is my new stepbrother but I call him DG for Do Gooder. When he’s not being scouted to play college soccer, he’s playing in the band, earning Boy Scout badges, and front-rowing it at the First Baptist church.
I’m starting senior year a whole year late, but I’m keeping the reason why a secret and letting everyone think I just came to play varsity football.
Unfortunately, DG is making my life worse than it already is. But I found out a little secret that he plays for the “other” team and that he wants me.”
Forbidden romances are always a favored trope amongst fans of the gay romance genre, but this takes it to a whole nother level, as these two lovers are actually stepbrothers!
But it doesn’t stop there, as the two stepbrothers also severely dislike each other, to begin with at least, as one of them likes to bully the other.
However, when a secret desire begins to lurk, things certainly change.
- Emotional and dark at times
- The romance between the two is heart-wrenching
- Full of hope at the end
- Boring side characters
- At 700+ pages, it’s slightly drawn out
“Eighteen-year-olds Ruben Montez and Zach Knight are two members of the boy-band Saturday, one of the biggest acts in America.
Along with their bandmates, Angel Phan and Jon Braxton, the four are teen heartthrobs in front of the cameras and best friends backstage.
But privately, the pressure to stay in the closet has Ruben confiding in Zach.
On a whirlwind tour through Europe with an unrelenting schedule and minimal supervision, the two come to rely on each other more and more, and their already close friendship evolves into a romance.
But when they decide they’re ready to tell their fans and live freely, Zach and Ruben realize they will never truly have the support they need.
How can they hold tight to each other when their whole world is coming apart?”
There have been plenty of rockstar-themed gay romance novels on this list, but if you’re looking for one that is suitable for a Young Adult audience, then If This Gets Out is going to be the one that you want to read.
This story is all about two boys in a band who end up falling for each other, and have to keep their relationship hidden from the band and from their fans, which leads to plenty of tension throughout the story!
- A likable cast of characters
- The development and growth of characters is organic and natural
- Shows the unglamorous side of the music industry
- Heartwarming love story
- Bad pacing
- Reads somewhat like a fanfiction
“Jamie Canning has never been able to figure out how he lost his closest friend. So what if things got a little weird four years ago on the last night of hockey camp the summer they were eighteen?
Ryan Wesley’s biggest regret is coaxing his very straight friend into a bet that pushed the boundaries of their relationship.
Now, with their college teams set to face off at the national championship, he’ll finally get a chance to apologize. But all it takes is one look at his longtime crush, and the ache is stronger than ever.
When Wesley turns up to coach alongside Jamie for one more hot summer at camp, Jamie has a few things to discover about his old friend… and a big one to learn about himself.”
For sports fans, this is where the novels you will love start, and Him is going to be perfect for the hockey fans out there and is going to be sure to have your heart melting by the end of it.
This is an amazing friends-to-lovers story, so we’re sure you’ll enjoy this one!
- Emotional story
- Well-developed characters
- Amazing friends-to-lovers trope
- The POV feels choppy and stilted at times
“NHL forward Ryan Wesley is having a record-breaking rookie season. He’s living his dream of playing pro hockey and coming home every night to the man he loves—Jamie Canning, his longtime best friend turned boyfriend.
There’s just one problem: the most important relationship of his life is one he needs to keep hidden, or else face a media storm that will eclipse his success on the ice.
When Wes’s nosiest teammate moves in upstairs, the threads of their carefully woven lie begin to unravel.
With the outside world determined to take its best shot at them, can Wes and Jamie develop major-league relationship skills on the fly?”
If you read and enjoyed Him, then your next step should absolutely be to read Us, which picks up the story of these two lovers from where the last book left off, and as the strain of hiding their relationship gets harder and harder, and with the added aspect of their nosiest teammate moving into the apartment above them, there’s a lot of tension in the air!
Us is an absolute must-read, especially if you want to keep track of everyone’s favorite hockey couple, so add it to your TBR list soon.
- Great conclusion of the story
- Full of angst and the usual tropes
- Still plenty of sports involved
- Considered to be slightly worse than the first book
“We’ve been teammates for two years, but it feels like a lifetime that Oliver Bergman’s been on my last nerve.
A demanding captain and veteran player, I’m feared and friendless, while he’s the beloved rising star, all sunshine smiles and upbeat team spirit.
But when Coach notifies us that we’re now co-captains, avoiding him becomes impossible, and keeping the truth from him–let alone my distance–is harder than ever.”
If you love an enemies-to-lovers story with a grumpy-sunshine dynamic, as well as an age gap, then Everything For You is going to be the slow-burn gay romance novel that you’ll want to read, especially if you’re a sports fan too!
This novel is littered with plenty of great representation, as well as plenty of pop culture references too, so if you like a novel that’s in tune with pop culture, then you’ll definitely enjoy this novel.
- Side characters from previous novels make an appearance
- Great representation
- Classic tropes are well-used
- Slightly too lengthy, could do with shortening
“Senior year, two hockey championships under his skates, and parents who didn’t freak out when he swung the proverbial closet door open and stepped out.
Damon Grant’s life couldn’t get any better. At least that’s what he thought.
When Jonah Kingston showed up at the barn as the new hockey coach, Damon couldn’t believe his luck.
What was it about the dark-haired, bright-eyed, former hockey star that made him want to grind on and off of the ice?”
As you can tell there’s something of a theme running here, as there seem to be plenty of gay romance novels involving hockey players! Although we’re sure you’re not complaining.
Grinder is filled with plenty of amazing tropes that help to bring this gay romance to life, including age gap, enemies-to-lovers, and even a forbidden romance too, so what’s not to love about this novel?
- Great tropes
- Plenty of steamy romance
- Will be enjoyed by sports/hockey lovers
- Pacing is too fast
- Somewhat over the top at times
“Shane Hollander and Ilya Rozanov are the most talented men in pro hockey. The media may hype up their rivalry but out of the spotlight these two men heat up the sheets.
When secret hookups are no longer enough, it may be time to walk away rather than risk it all.”
There’s nothing better than seeing two bitter rivals end up in bed with each other! And when it comes to romance, you just know that there’s plenty of passion as these two have to navigate the difficulties of hiding their relationship from everyone around them.
Shane and Ilya are definitely bound to become one of your all time favorite gay romance couples, so Heated Rivalry is certainly one for the TBR list!
- Loveable characters
- The rivalry turned romance means plenty of chemistry
- Perfect slow-burn romance
- Great banter throughout
- The jumps back and forth between past and present can be confusing
“Ten years. That’s how long Shane Hollander and Ilya Rozanov have been seeing each other.
How long they’ve been keeping their relationship a secret. From friends, from family, from the league.
If Shane wants to stay at the top of his game, what he and Ilya share has to remain secret. He loves Ilya, but what if going public ruins everything?
Ilya is sick of secrets. Shane has gotten so good at hiding his feelings, sometimes Ilya questions if they even exist.
The closeness, the intimacy, even the risk that would come with being open about their relationship…Ilya wants it all.
It’s time for them to decide what’s most important—hockey or love.”
If you liked Heated Rivalry then you’ll need to read The Long Game, which is the stunning conclusion to the story between Shane and Ilya, and follows the pair of lovers as they finally have to decide whether or not they should be open about their relationship.
Filled with angst, drama, laughter, and tears, this novel is something of an emotional rollercoaster, and is definitely a heart-wrenching conclusion, so you’ll definitely need to make sure that you have some tissues on standby ready for yourself!
- Full of emotions
- Plot isn’t far-fetched or unrealistic
- Rewarding ending
- Representation for a number of issues
- Slight continuity errors when read in context of the series of novels
“McRae has had a crush on his brother’s best friend since the moment he laid eyes on him four years ago.
Warner Ramsey is 225 pounds of pure hotness, a media darling, and one of the best NFL quarterbacks in the league.
It was easy to keep his crush under control when he was in college. Now, they play for the same team, and he should be focusing on dominating his rookie year, not crushing on his teammate.
Besides, Ramsey’s straight.”
Riley Hart and Neve Wilder are two excellent gay romance novel writers, so when it comes to adding Rookie Move to your TBR list, you should know that you’re going to be in safe hands, and that there is going to be an awesome romance novel for you to read!
There’s nothing better than two queer teammates secretly experimenting with each other, and with all of the drama about them trying to secure professional NFL contracts on the line, then this novel will definitely grip you.
- Enjoyable forbidden romance trope
- Amazing chemistry between the two lovers
- Snarky banter throughout
- Heartwarming too
- Story is somewhat predictable
“A freak accident during the Stanley Cup Playoffs put an end to Max Ashford’s hockey career.
Despite everything, Max gets back into the game he loves—only this time, behind the bench as an assistant coach to the worst team in the entire league.
But nothing prepares him for the shock when he learns the new head coach is Misha Samarin, the man who caused Max’s accident.
After spending years guilt ridden for his part in Max’s accident, Misha Samarin has no idea what to do when he’s confronted with Max’s presence.
Not only must they navigate Misha’s remorse and a past he’s spent a lifetime trying to forget, but also a sleazy GM who is determined to use their history as a marketing hook.
But when an unwelcome visitor targets a player, Misha revisits his darkest days, and that might cost him and Max the beginning they’ve worked so hard to build.”
If you’re looking for a simple and sweet gay romance novel, then Power Play might just be the novel for you.
That’s not to say that this story is without its fair share of drama and angst though, especially when Misha and Max share a history with one another.
With the grumpy-sunshine dynamic and opposites attract trope all in play in this novel, it’s a classic gay romance novel that is sure to warm your heart!
- Story flows easily
- Just enough angst and drama
- Plenty of steamy romance
- Character development is excellent
- The subplot was big enough to warrant its own novel
“Wes Van de Hoek clawed his way off his family’s West Texas ranch under the Friday night lights, earning a football scholarship to the state’s best university.
Three years in, he has it all: he’s the starting tight end, team captain, and, according to ESPN, maybe the best college football player in the nation. But he’s been keeping a secret from everyone.
Justin Swanscott has three certainties in his life: he’s gay, football is overrated, and he really, really doesn’t like cowboys.
He should never have fallen into Wes’s open-range eyes or let his heart run wild when Wes gave him that shy little smile over summer.
With stadiums packed, ESPN all over him, and the NFL wanting him, Wes is feeling the pressure, but all he wants is to love Justin.”
If you’re looking for a gay romance novel that skips past a lot of the conflict and angst that many of the other novels in this genre tend to focus on, then The Jock is a novel that you’ll definitely enjoy.
That’s not to say there’s no emotional turmoil in this book (there’s plenty).
This is a story that will definitely resonate with you as a reader, and is a story that is beautifully told, which makes it an absolute must read for any fans of the gay romance genre, or for any NFL lovers out there!
- Beautiful storytelling
- Emotional throughout
- Great for sports lovers
- Loveable characters
- Some readers might find it too sappy or flowery
“Valentine Layton, the Duke of Malvern is trying to fulfill his father’s wish that he marry Miss Arabella Tarleton.
Unfortunately, a marriage of convenience will not do for the romantic and she flees into the night determined never to set eyes on Valentine again.
Despite copious misgivings, Valentine finds himself on a chase to Dover with Arabella’s twin brother, Bonny, by his side.
But being with him makes Valentine question everything he thought he knew. About himself. About love. Even about which Tarleton he should be pursuing.”
If you’re interested in historical romances, then Something Fabulous is a novel that might just pique your interest, however, despite its historical setting, it’s set in a world much different from the one we know, as Hall has dreamt up a world where pretty much everyone in it is queer!
This book is fabulously gay, and is definitely perfect for someone who is looking for a book that is just a bit crazy or ridiculous, all whilst managing to be a perfectly good gay romance novel.
- Fun escapism gay historical romance
- Funny and witty throughout
- Great vibes
- Lacks any real plot
- Gets slightly repetitive
“Jack Turner grew up in the darkness of London’s slums, willing to do anything to keep his belly full and his siblings safe.
Now he uses the tricks and schemes of the underworld to help those who need the kind of assistance only a scoundrel can provide.
His distrust of the nobility runs deep and his services do not extend to the gorgeous high-born soldier who personifies everything Jack will never be.
After the chaos of war, Oliver Rivington craves the safe predictability of a gentleman’s life-one that doesn’t include sparring with a ne’er-do-well who flouts the law at every turn.
But Jack tempts Oliver like no other man has before. Soon his yearning for the unapologetic thief is only matched by Jack’s pleasure in watching his genteel polish crumble every time they’re together. “
For a historical gay romance with a bit more grit and angst, then this historical opposites attract romance is definitely going to be more to your liking, especially considering this novel digs deeper into some of the most important aspects of society in London, including the class divide, and how disabled people were viewed!
This novel will surely tug on your heartstrings, and the chemistry between the two lovers is so warming!
- Great character development
- Historical setting is well done
- Digs deeper into societal issues
- Romance is well-crafted
- The start of the book is a bit slow
- The cover of the book is cringy
“Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen, according to his roommate, Baz.
And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.
Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire.
His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face.
Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.”
A ghost story, mystery, and gay romance all rolled into one? Count us in!
If you were a fan of Harry Potter when you were younger, then Carry On is definitely going to help satisfy those cravings for more fantastical adventures, and it also features an incredible enemies-to-lovers arc too, which will have you on the edge of your seat as you read through the pages.
- Loveable characters
- Style is refreshing
- Fun story
- Excellent writing
- A lot of information to process at the start of the book
“Ox was twelve when his daddy taught him a very valuable lesson. He said that Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then he left.
When Ox was sixteen, he met the boy on the road, the boy who talked and talked and talked.
He found out later the boy hadn’t spoken in almost two years before that day, and that the boy belonged to a family who had moved into the house at the end of the lane.
Ox was seventeen when he found out the boy’s secret, and it painted the world around him in colors of red and orange and violet, of Alpha and Beta and Omega.
He was twenty-three when came to town and tore a hole in his head and heart. The boy chased after the monster with revenge in his bloodred eyes, leaving Ox behind to pick up the pieces.
It’s been three years since that fateful day—and the boy is back. Except now he’s a man, and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.”
From that blurb alone you should be dying to read this novel, but if that isn’t enough, how about the premise of a gay paranormal werewolf romance novel?
- Paranormal aspect makes it interesting
- Amazing character development
- Addictive storytelling
- The plot is slow to start
We hope that you’ve enjoyed this compilation of just some of the best gay romance novels out there, of course we couldn’t fit everything in, but we made sure to include a wide variety of romance novels that we think you’ll love, so we hope that you get the chance to read one of these novels soon!
How To Pick The Right Gay Romance Novel For You
Try A Classic
If you’re stuck for where to start in the genre, especially one as large as this, then you can always resort to picking out one of the well-revered books in the genre!
Read The Blurb
While you will have heard the phrase “Never judge a book by its cover”, the way you should judge a book at first is by reading the blurb on the back of a book.
This is a great way to get a feel for the story and premise of a book, and will allow you to make a judgement about whether you might enjoy it!
If you’re stuck when it comes trying to find a gay romance novel for you, and if you’re ever unsure on whether or not a book you’ve found is worth reading, then don’t be afraid to check out some reviews online.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does MM Mean In Gay Romance Novels?
MM stands for male-on-male, which indicates that the romance is between two men.
What Tropes Are In Gay Romance Novels?
Age-gap, enemies-to-lovers, and straight-to-gay are some of the most common tropes in the genre.
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