I know everyone recommends books during Pride Month, but I'm going to do it too because I love talking about books and sharing books I've enjoyed. While staring at my bookcases and Kindle library and audiobook library and feeling slightly overwhelmed (but also loving the sight of all those books...), I decided to split up my recs by genre and give you a few posts this month. First up is historical romance, for absolutely no reason whatsoever. (Do not ask me how difficult narrowing the list down was or how many books are waiting for me to read!)
The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite: This book is a lovely F/F Regency romance between two women who have been scarred by past relationships. It's a slow burn, full of care and passion. It's also a depiction of women's strength and kindness and support of one another, and an exploration of the value of art and craft and traditional women's work, along science and women's contributions to it and how they were so often ignored or stolen. The other two books in the Feminine Pursuits series--The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows and The Hellion's Waltz—are both excellent as well.
That Could Be Enough by Alyssa Cole: That Could Be Enough is only about a hundred pages, but it is a beautiful, gentle romance between two Black women in the post-Revolutionary War United States. Mercy is the secretary/lady's maid to Eliza Hamilton, and Andromeda is a dressmaker in New York. They are very much opposites, but they find what they need in each other with much yearning along the way.
Think of England by KJ Charles: Okay, so, it was extremely difficult to pick a KJ Charles to highlight because I love so many of her books. Ultimately, I went with Think of England because it is a favorite of mine and because it's set in the Edwardian period, which is different from other books I have on this list. Stoic, manly ex-Army captain Archie Curtia goes to a remote country house party to find out if the malfunctioning guns that injured him and killed his friends were the product of sabotage. There, he meets Daniel DaSilva, a femme Jewish poet who is also a secret agent there to investigate a blackmail scheme. They clash, then work together, then fall for each other (and I will never stop wishing there were more books about these two!). The book has a fantastic plot and wonderful characters, two of which, Pat and Fen, have their story told in the prequel Proper English, which is also delightful. Charles's Will Darling Adventures are set in the same world about twenty years later and have some fun character crossovers.
Introducing Mr. Winterbourne by Joanna Chambers: I almost picked Joanna Chambers's Enlightenment series, a wonderful Scotland-set historical romance series, to talk about, but I just adore this novella too much. Adam Freeman is a wealthy mill owner used to being looked down upon by aristocratic society in Regency England, but when his younger brother becomes engaged to the daughter of an aristocratic society, he agrees to be introduced to society by Lysander Winterbourne. This begins with a slight enemies to lovers cast, as Adam believes Lysander will treat him as others have, but it's just lovely as they begin to get know each other. My only complaint at the time was that it ended, but now there's more in this series, so I can't complain anymore.
Hither, Page by Cat Sebastian: The Page & Sommers books are probably my favorite Cat Sebastian books (anyone know if there are going to be more of them? because I would very much enjoy that), though I have a hard time picking favorites of anything. These two books, of which Hither, Page is the first, are a mix of Agatha Christie-esque mystery and mm romance set in a post-WWII English village. James is a country doctor with what we would call PTSD from the war, who has escaped into the life of a country doctor. Leo is a spy and secret agent and has been for most of his life, but is now jaded and wondering why he's doing it. They meet because of a murder in the village. The mystery is excellent, the characters are all fully realized, and the romance is a wonderful, gentle slow burn with a warm, cozy feel to it.
The Perks of Loving a Wallflower by Erica Ridley: One more Regency romance for you! This one is an absolute romp of a f/nb (Tommy seems nonbinary from the text anyway) romance between Tommy, a master of disguise who only wants to be loved and accepted for who she is, and Philippa, a demisexual bluestocking with wealthy, overbearing parents who want her to make the best marriage possible (despite what she wants). The romance between the two is delightful, with lots of banter and fun but also heartfelt moments. The mystery/heist part of the novel was also lots of fun. This is the second book in the series, but I read it without reading the previous book first and was perfectly fine.
Do you have any favorite LGBTQ historical romances?