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Rainbow Reading: Gearing Up for Valentine’s Day With Queer Romance Reads

Feature image photo by Westend61 via Getty Images

A book in faded colors of the rainbow is open, and the words RAINBOW READING are on top of it.
illustration by A. Andrews

Hey hi hello, everyone!

If I owe you a text or email back, please have mercy on me — I’m (happily) buried under an avalanche of queer romance novels in anticipation of Valentine’s Day, and my god, there are so! many!! I’ve long since lost sight of my coffee table, they’re rapidly encroaching on my couch, and they’re creeping up under my desk in stalagmite-like stacks. It’s a superb problem to have, so I’ve recruited my brave friend Caroline to help me make a dent in them; should we make a bracket of the queer romances we read, just for funsies?

Shelf Care: Reviews, Essays, and other Things of Note

“The clouds parted, the heavens opened up, and here was a treasure trove of lesbian romances featuring my absolute favorite tropes: ice queens and age gaps. … If you have ever known the joy and the pain of being totally head-over-heels invested in a slow burn, incomplete fanfic, then The Fixer is for you, I promise.” — Christina, on The Fixer by Lee Winter

Rounding Up Some Romance

We’ve shouted out a bunch of romance novels in recent columns, and there’s plenty more cool ones on the way, so I’ve gathered them here in one place for ya!

Autocorrect: Books content from the last couple weeks at Autostraddle!

As ever, as always: we’ve had some absolutely banging books coverage here at Autostraddle over the last two weeks:

i meant to put something ~bookish~ and whatnot here at the end but then i saw this gay jolene artwork on instagram and it’s all i’ve been able to think about since.

That’s all she wrote, folks! If you’re a queer writer, particularly an early-career queer writer: I’d love to hear about the cool things you’re up to so that I can share links to your published essays, book reviews, short stories, poems, and longform features on LGBTQ+ topics! Please email me links for consideration at [email protected] with the subject line “Rainbow Reading Submission” — I’m an avid browser-tab-collector, and I especially want to hear from you if you’ve just landed your first publication or first major byline.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

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Yashwina Canter is a reader, writer, and dyke putting down roots in Portland, Oregon. You can find her online at @yashwinacanter.

Yashwina has written 53 articles for us.


  1. I love this roundup as always!! Thank you for featuring so many fantastic queer books, and I especially can’t wait to see your review of Mac’s novel I KEEP MY EXOSKELETONS TO MYSELF. If I may offer a few queer books on the horizon: THE ADULT, DYKETTE, BROTHER & SISTER ENTER THE FOREST (about gay men fwiw) and THE LAST CATASTROPHE are all divine.

  2. Thank you for the lovely roundup as always!!

    Just saw on the HC union insta this morning that management has agreed to mediation!! So they are still on strike but are optimistic they can get a fair settlement. 🤞🤞🤞

  3. Wow, I totally remember that NYT article about the professor! What a horrifying story. The memoir sounds fascinating — adding it to my list right now!

    I always wish i enjoyed romance novels, but for whatever reason they never do it for me. I love the sound of the premise but the actual reading experience in that genre falls short. I love a good romcom movie though!

    • I have a similar experience with a different genre. I always wish I liked queer literary fiction more than I do. The blurbs sound so good! The buzz is so exciting! But they usually don’t work for me. The New Life by Tom Crewe is one that I really wanted to like but alas, I think I’m going to have to return it to the library unfinished.

      But I did read and enjoy the hell out of Kiss Her Once for Me. So there you are.

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